There is a pressing need to prepare for the current and future impacts of our changing climate in New Hampshire. This includes an examination of how climate change will impact ecosystem services. The New Hampshire Climate website provides visualizations of historical (1895-2012) and projected future (to 2100) climate trends across New Hampshire to help stakeholders; such as resource mangers, planners, businesses, governments and citizens; integrate projections of future climate change into their decision making process.
For scientific researchers, more detailed statistically downscaled, daily global climate model projections across dozens of stations in New Hampshire have also been developed for use as input process-based models that simulate changes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem services in the future.
Ecosystems in New Hampshire and the surrounding northern forest region provide a wide range of services that are critical to the region's inhabitants. Together, forests and their adjacent aquatic ecosystems provide clean water, biomass for timber and energy production, carbon storage, climate regulation, nutrient regulation, and opportunities for recreation and aesthetic renewal. These services bring significant benefits to the region's economy and are central to the well-being of its residents. Ensuring that these benefits can be sustained into the future will require improved understanding of basic ecosystem processes and their interactions with changes in climate and land management.
Historical (1895-2012) trends in temperature and precipitation are quantified using high-quality monthly data from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network. There are five USHCN stations in New Hampshire (Bethlehem, Durham, Hanover, Keene, First Connecticut Lakes) and trends in temperature and precipitation from these stations can be viewed on the 1895-2012 Historical Climate Trends page.
Daily temperature and precipitation observations are available for dozens of stations across New Hampshire for the period 1960-2012 from the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily. Trends in a wide range of temperature and precipitation variables can be examined on the 1960-2099 Climate Trends page.
Projections of future climate change are required to examine how climate change across New Hampshire might impact ecosystem services in the future. To generate future climate projections for New Hampshire, simulated temperature and precipitation from four global climate models (GCMs) were statistically downscaled using historical weather observations over the period 1960-2012 from the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily; more details on methods are available.
A range of potential futures is accounted for through the use of two very different future global climate emissions scenarios, B1 and A1fi. In the lower emissions scenario, B1, improvements in energy efficiency combined with the development of renewable energy reduce global emissions of heat-trapping gasses, also known as greenhouse gasses, below 1990 levels by the end of the twenty-first century. In the higher emissions scenario, fossil fuels are assumed to remain a primary energy resource, and emissions of heat-trapping gasses grow to three times those of today by the end of the century. Although both scenarios are possible, the current global emssions trend from 2000 through 2012 suggests that in the absence of concerted international efforts to reduce emissions, climate change will likely track or exceed the projection for the higher emissions scenario over the course of the century.
For New Hampshire residents, visualizations of historical (1895-2012) and projected future (to 2100) climate trends across New Hampshire are provided to help stakeholders; such as resource managers, planners, businesses, governments and citizens; integrate projections of future climate change into their decision making process.
More detailed statistically downscaled, daily global climate model projections for dozens of stations across New Hampshire have also been developed for use as input process-based models that simulate changes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem services in the future.
Two reports, "Climate Change in New Hampshire: Past, Present, and Future" were developed in collaboration between the NH Granite State Future and NH EPSCoR Ecosystems and Society projects. These reports provide a detailed description of past and project future climate change in southern and northern New Hampshire. The reports are intended to provide decision relevant information as municipalities and regions face challenging choices regarding future investments.
The reports can be downloaded here: