Modeling Future Temperature and Precipitation for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Caribbean
Ryan Boyles and Adam Terando, USGS DOI Southeast Climate Science Center
Jaime Collazo, USGS NC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Jared Bowden, UNC Institute for the Environment
William Gould, USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Vasu Misra, Florida State University
Global increases in surface air temperature are the most widespread and direct consequence of anthropogenic climate change (ACC). However, while 21st century temperatures are projected to increase in Puerto Rico and the broader U.S. Caribbean (whose geography is contained within the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative, or CLCC), the low variability and already high annual average temperatures suggest that the largest climate-related impact on ecosystems and water resources is more likely to be through changes in the timing, pattern, and availability of moisture. While numerous perturbed climate simulations are available through model intercomparison projects, the development of adaptation strategies that respond to ACC for the CLCC, and particularly for Puerto Rico, is currently hindered by the lack of local-scale climatescenarios that resolve the complex topographical and meso-scale climate features that will mediate the island-wide response to the global anthropogenic climate forcing. We propose to address these issues by developing a suite of dynamically downscaled, nonhydrostatic climate model projections for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Caribbean region.