Climate Change Scenario Planning in Central New Mexico
Reporting on Future Regional Climate and Related Impacts for the Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning Project
Similar to many other metropolitan areas in the western United States, Albuquerque and surrounding cities in central New Mexico comprise a rapidly growing region in an arid environment. Planning for such an area in the 21st century requires addressing a mixture of challenges from congestion, sprawl, energy use, vehicle emissions, water supply, and potential changes in future regional climate along with related impacts.
Led by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a group of federal agencies and the Mid-Region Council of Governments of New Mexico is embarking on a project – the Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning Project – to help the region address these intertwined challenges. This project aims to influence regional transportation and land-use decision making, and analyze strategies to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for impacts related to potential changes in future climate.
To support these efforts, a new CLIMAS report provides a summary of current research on anticipated changes to temperature and precipitation in the Southwest – with particular attention to central New Mexico and the upper Rio Grande basin – over the course of this century, as well as some of the potential impacts related to these changes. Along with information regarding the magnitude and direction of such changes, this report also presents the level of confidence that experts have in such changes, which is an important aspect of interpreting climate projections.