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2012 Southwest Climate Summit

The Southwest Climate Summit was held June 12-13, 2012 in Tucson, AZ.  The goals of the Summit were to present the findings of the Southwest Climate Assessment (available here) and collect input from regional stakeholders for the Southwest Climate Science Center’s long-term science plan.  We accomplished both goals by blending talks given by Southwest Climate Assessment authors, talks by other climate scientists and resource managers, and time for questions and discussion between and among presenters and Summit participants.  The content of talks given at the Southwest Climate Summit is available below.  Presentation pdfs will be added as authors make them available.

Breakout sessions allowed participants to discuss, in greater detail, issues raised by the findings of the Southwest Climate Assessment and to contribute their ideas for questions or projects that should be undertaken by the Southwest Climate Science Center over the next 5 years.  Summaries of breakout discussions are included in the hardcopy summary here.

One hundred twenty people participated in the Summit with about 1/3 representing federal agencies, 1/3 from universities in the Southwest, and the rest from tribes (10 people), NGOs (11 people), Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (5 people), and state and local agencies and governments, private firms, and water utilities.  A participant list can be found here.

Tuesday June 12, 2012


Plenary – Welcome and Summit Overview

o   Jonathan Overpeck – University of Arizona/SWCSC   

o   Dave Busch (USGS/SWCSC): Regional Climate Centers and the SWCSC

PLENARY - Southwest Climate Assessment Session 1: Our Changing Southwest Climate – Past and Future

o   Jonathan Overpeck (University of Arizona/SWCSC): The Southwest Climate Assessment: Key Findings and Implications for the Region

o   Kelly Redmond (Desert Research Institute/SWCSC): The Weather and Climate of the Southwest

o   Marty Hoerling (NOAA): Evolving Weather and Climate Conditions of the Southwest

PLENARY - Southwest Climate Assessment Session 2: Climate Change Impacts and Options in the Southwest

o   Erica Fleishman (UC-Davis/SWCSC): The Impact of Climate Change on Natural Ecosystems

o   Dan Ferguson (University of Arizona/CLIMAS): Climate Change and American Indian Communities

o   Karl Ford (BLM): Southwest Climate Change and Ecosystems: Land Management Implications

Breakout Session: State of the Southwest Climate and Future Research Needs

Keynote Address “Water is Key”

o   Tim Brick; Immediate Past Chairman - Metropolitan Water District of Southern California




PLENARY - Emerging Climate Science

o   Dan Cayan (Scripps Institution of Oceanography/SWCSC): New Analyses of Global Climate Models CMIP5 and AR5

o   Mike Dettinger (Scripps Institution of Oceanography/SWCSC): Atmospheric Rivers

o   Brad Udall (University of Colorado/SWCSC): New Science About the Colorado River

PLENARY - Provocative Ideas in Climate Research (Grand Ballroom)

o   Glen MacDonald (UCLA/SWCSC): Evolutionary Adaptation to Climate Change

o   Susan Frankel (USFS): Forest Pests and Pathogens

o   David Miller (USGS): Using Paleoclimate Data to Understand Ecological Responses to Climate Change

o   Paul Weiland (Nossaman, LLP): Water Policy and Climate Change

Breakout Session: Long term science planning for the SWCSC

Plenary - Report back from breakouts: The Future of Southwest Climate Research