Lulin Xue


DOI bib
Hydroclimatic changes in Alaska portrayed by a high-resolution regional climate simulation
Andrew J. Newman, Andrew Monaghan, Martyn P. Clark, Kyoko Ikeda, Lulin Xue, E. D. Gutmann, Jeffrey R. Arnold
Climatic Change, Volume 164, Issue 1-2

The Arctic has been warming faster than the global average during recent decades, and trends are projected to continue through the twenty-first century. Analysis of climate change impacts across the Arctic using dynamical models has almost exclusively been limited to outputs from global climate models or coarser regional climate models. Coarse resolution simulations limit the representation of physical processes, particularly in areas of complex topography and high land-surface heterogeneity. Here, current climate reference and future regional climate model simulations based on the RCP8.5 scenario over Alaska at 4 km grid spacing are compared to identify changes in snowfall and snowpack. In general, results show increases in total precipitation, large decreases in snowfall fractional contribution over 30% in some areas, decreases in snowpack season length by 50–100 days in lower elevations and along the southern Alaskan coastline, and decreases in snow water equivalent. However, increases in snowfall and snowpack of sometimes greater than 20% are evident for some colder northern areas and at the highest elevations in southern Alaska. The most significant changes in snow cover and snowfall fractional contributions occur during the spring and fall seasons. Finally, the spatial pattern of winter temperatures above freezing has small-scale spatial features tied to the topography. Such areas would not be resolved with coarser resolution regional or global climate model simulations.