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Evaluating the Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use in the
Western United States: Michael W. Kerwin

Project Title: Evaluating the Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use in the Western United States
Mendenhall Fellow: Michael W. Kerwin, (303) 236-7870,
Duty Station: Denver
Start Date: November 1, 2001
Education: Ph.D. (Geology), 2000, University of Colorado
Research Advisor: Robert S. Thompson, (303) 236-5347,
      Mike Kerwin

Project Description: This project is designed to produce coherent, high-resolution records of climate and environmental change from new and existing data in arid regions of the western United States. Aspects of the investigation include updating the record of lake level fluctuations in pluvial basins of the western United States since the last glacial maximum (21,000 years ago), and comparing these data to other proxies of climate and environmental change in the region (that is, pollen, isotopic, and geochemical data). The resulting records will be organized and mapped is such a way that they can be used to evaluate how well the latest global and regional climate models predict past fluctuations in Earth's climate. Such exercises are essential to verify that state-of-the-art climate models (that will be used to predict the magnitude of future changes) can in fact simulate past conditions when climatic forcings and feedbacks were very different from today.

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Last modified: 16:08:29 Thu 13 Dec 2012