Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Linda A. Joyce; David T. Price; Daniel W. McKenney; R. Martin Siltanen; Pia Papadopol; Kevin Lawrence; David P. Coulson
    Date: 2011
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-263. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 87 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (14.34 MB)


    Projections of future climate were selected for four well-established general circulation models (GCM) forced by each of three greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenarios, namely A2, A1B, and B1 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). Monthly data for the period 1961-2100 were downloaded mainly from the web portal of Third Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (Phase 3) of the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) and subsets of data covering North America were extracted. Climate variables included monthly mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, incident surface solar radiation, wind speed, and specific humidity. All variables were expressed as changes relative to the simulated monthly means for 1961-1990, which corrected for GCM bias in reproducing past climate and allowed future projected trends to be compared directly. The downscaling procedure used the ANUSPLIN software package to fit a two-dimensional spline function to each month's change data for each climate variable at a spatial resolution of 5 arcminutes (0.0833ยบ) longitude and latitude. The A2 emission scenario invariably generated the greatest warming by 2100 and the B1 the least. Alaska is projected to undergo the greatest regional increases in temperature and precipitation. Differences across the projections were generally greater from the different GHG forcings than those resulting from the different GCMs, although the consistency varied spatially. Gridded datasets are publicly available. The downscaled change factors from this study are being used with historical climatology developed from the PRISM climate data set to develop the climate projections for the RPA scenarios in the USDA FS RPA assessment. A companion report and data set will be issued by Natural Resources Canada (Canadian Forest Service) for Canada.

    Data for this publication: Conterminous US ( and Alaska (

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Joyce, Linda A.; Price, David T.; McKenney, Daniel W.; Siltanen, R. Martin; Papadopol, Pia; Lawrence, Kevin; Coulson, David P. 2011. High resolution interpolation of climate scenarios for the conterminous USA and Alaska derived from general circulation model simulations. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-263. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 87 p.


    Google Scholar


    climate scenario, GCM, downscaling, interpolation, ANUSPLIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR, Community Climate System Model, CCSM, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, CCCma, Coupled Global Climate Model, CGCM, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, Climate System Model, Centre for Climate System Research, CCSR, National Institute for Environmental Studies, NIES, Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, MIROC

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page