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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Climatic changes in mountain regions of the American Cordillera and the tropics: historical changes and future outlook

Authors:

Henry Diaz

Raymond Bradley

Liang Ning

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2014
Secondary Title:
Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
DOI:
10.1657/1938-4246-46.4.1
Pages:
1-9
Section:
1
Volume:
46
Year:
2014
Date:
11/2014
URL:
https://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/papers2/Diaz_AAAR_2014.pdf

Abstract

We review some recent work regarding climatic changes in selected mountain regions, with particular attention to the tropics and the American Cordillera. Key aspects of climatic variability and trends in these regions are the amplification of surface warming trends with height, and the strong modulation of temperature trends by tropical sea surface temperature, largely controlled by changes in El Ni\~no–Southern Oscillation on multiple time scales. Corollary aspects of these climate trends include the increase in a critical plant growth temperature threshold, a rise in the freezing level surface, and the possibility of enhanced subtropical drying. Anthropogenic global warming projections indicate a strong likelihood for enhancement of these observed changes.