Future Climate of the Bridgers

Ten years ago, I explored future climate analogs for my location in Montana:

When things really warm up, to +9 degrees F (not at all implausible in the long run), 16 of the top 20 analogs are in CO and UT, …

Looking at a lot of these future climate analogs on Google Earth, their common denominator appears to be rattlesnakes. I’m sure they’re all nice places in their own way, but I’m worried about my trees. I’ll continue to hope that my back-of-the-envelope analysis is wrong, but in the meantime I’m going to hedge by managing the forest to prepare for change.

I think there’s a lot more to worry about than trees. Fire, wildlife, orchids, snowpack, water availability, …

Recently I decided to take another look, partly inspired by the Bureau of Reclamation’s publication of downscaled data. This solves some of the bias correction issues I had in 2008. I grabbed the model output (36 runs from CMIP5) and observations for the 1/8 degree gridpoint containing Bridger Bowl:

Then I used Vensim to do a little data processing, converting the daily time series (which are extremely noisy weather) into 10-year moving averages (i.e., climate). Continue reading “Future Climate of the Bridgers”