Title

The accuracy of climate models' simulated season lengths and the effectiveness of grid scale correction factors

Authors

Authors

W. E. Winterhalter

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

Ecol. Appl.

Keywords

Allonemobius socius; AOGCM; climate change; model accuracy; season; length; GROWING-SEASON; RESPONSES; SYSTEMS; TEMPERATURES; VARIABILITY; PREDICTION; PATTERNS; IMPACTS; CRICKET; LIZARD; Ecology; Environmental Sciences

Abstract

Global climate change is expected to impact biological populations through a variety of mechanisms including increases in the length of their growing season. Climate models are useful tools for predicting how season length might change in the future. However, the accuracy of these models tends to be rather low at regional geographic scales. Here, I determined the ability of several atmosphere and ocean general circulating models (AOGCMs) to accurately simulate historical season lengths for a temperate ectotherm across the continental United States. I also evaluated the effectiveness of regional-scale correction factors to improve the accuracy of these models. I found that both the accuracy of simulated season lengths and the effectiveness of the correction factors to improve the model's accuracy varied geographically and across models. These results suggest that regional specific correction factors do not always adequately remove potential discrepancies between simulated and historically observed environmental parameters. As such, an explicit evaluation of the correction factors' effectiveness should be included in future studies of global climate change's impact on biological populations.

Journal Title

Ecological Applications

Volume

21

Issue/Number

6

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

2313

Last Page

2323

WOS Identifier

WOS:000294155900034

ISSN

1051-0761

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