Downscaled Climate Change Forecasting and Maryland's Forests
McIntosh, Marla S
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Effective planning and management of forests in a changing climate requires valid and robust predictions of future climate change that are context-specific since climate changes vary by region. Climate models are often used to predict future trends in temperature and precipitation at the global level, but are most useful if downscaled to predict change at regional levels. Monthly temperature and precipitation were predicted using three downscaled regional climate models for the 1990s and the 2050s. Comparison of the 1990's predictions to weather station data from across Maryland indicated inherent model biases affecting accurate predictions, which were used to adjust the model-projected climate variables for the 2050s. The projected daily temperatures were also used to calculate projected growing degree days and frost days. The degree of climate change in Maryland projected by these regional models for the next half-century would have profound impacts on forests across Maryland.