MARCH 2017
Updates from the Climate Working Group
The Climate Working Group (CWG) is tasked with reporting detailed information about Indiana's climate, and their analyses will provide the basis for the IN CCIA.
The team has assembled several high-resolution climate projections (briefly described in the Dec 2016 Newsletter). Informed by stakeholder input, the CWG will examine historical data (last 100 years) in addition to future projections. Two primary emissions scenarios will be used to characterize the future climate. The "moderate" scenario assumes that global CO2 emissions peak at about 2040 and then rapidly decline, whereas the "high" scenario assumes that emissions continue to rise unabated through the end of the century. Under both scenarios, the IN CCIA will look at climate conditions for 30-year periods centered around 2025, 2055, and 2085.

The CWG report will include standard analysis on monthly and seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation in addition to specialized climate indicators. Information about the length of the growing season, the number of days per year above 90 °F, and the number of annual events with rainfall over 2" will be among the analysis provided. The report will also examine snow statistics, combined heat and humidity indices, and selected severe weather indicators. An example plot of data from the CWG is shown below.

The CWG includes experts from Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, Ball State University, and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.
The above graphic shows the average number of days per year where minimum temperatures are above 68 °F (also called "Tropical Nights"). The far left map represents the historical average (1915-2013) occurrence of Tropical Nights. The maps on the right display average annual number of Tropical Nights for three future periods. The “2020s” represent average conditions for the 30-year period centered around 2025. The “2050s” are centered around 2055, and the “2080s” are centered around 2085. The top set of maps represent a moderate emissions scenario (RCP 4.5), and the bottom set of maps represent a high emissions scenario (RCP 8.5). 

Humans, livestock, and crops can suffer negative impacts when overnight temperatures remain elevated. These maps show that Hoosiers can expect a two- to four-fold increase in the annual number of warm nights by mid-century, with even more dramatic increases across the state by the end of the century.
New research shows 2-4 fold rise in warm nights by 2050s. Implications for humans, crops @PurdueCCRC @indianaclimate
Stakeholder Reviews Now Underway

Nine IN CCIA working groups are each developing a sector-specific technical report detailing the impacts of climate change on Indiana. To increase relevance and usability, over the last few months we have recruited a variety of stakeholders to review our content outlines and draft technical reports. Stakeholder review of our outlines is underway, and we expect to begin technical report reviews in early summer. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to serve in this role to help strengthen the assessment.
Welcome New PCCRC Researcher

Last month we welcomed Kim Hoogewind to the PCCRC where she will be analyzing climate modeling results in support of the IN CCIA. Prior to joining the PCCRC, Kim was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Illinois. She holds degrees from Central Michigan University (B.S.) and Purdue University (M.S. and Ph.D.). Her main research interests involve severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, severe weather climatology, seasonal to sub-seasonal prediction, and climate change.

Upcoming Events

March 24, 2017 | Terre Haute, IN
Songlin Fei, lead author for the Terrestrial Ecosystems working group and Purdue professor, will speak about the IN CCIA and his research on mapping and modeling exotic invasives at Indiana State University.

March 28, 2017 | Webinar
NCAnet Partners Conversation, hosted by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

April 21, 2017 | West Lafayette, IN
Jeff Dukes, PCCRC Director, will give a keynote lecture at the 2017 Purdue Geotechnical Society Workshop. This year's workshop theme is "Climate Change and Geotechnical Engineering." Additional details, including the Call for Presentations, are available online.
Sept 27, 2017 | Carmel, IN
The Carmel Green Initiative's Sustainable Living Seminar on Sept 27, 6:30-8:30 PM, will focus on climate change in Indiana and feature results from the IN CCIA. This event is free and open to all. Additional information is available online.

Climate Facts

Did you know?
February 2017 will be one for the record books across Indiana as unseasonably warm temperatures jump-started an early spring for much of the state. Just how unusual was this early warmth? Statewide, we experienced our first February on record (dating back to 1895) where the average high temperature exceeded 50 °F for the month, and minimum temperatures were over 10 °F above normal. Indianapolis will generally see about 2 days with high temperatures reaching 60 °F in February, but in 2017 there were 11 (also a new record).

While this unprecedented warmth was enjoyed by many, such an early spring can have negative impacts on food production, plants and animals, and human health. For instance, premature budding makes fruit crops vulnerable to freeze damage in March and April, and early warmth extends the allergy season for sensitive individuals. Our climate record shows that over the last century February temperatures have been warming, and future projections suggest this trend is going to continue.
Above: This statewide summary shows how February 2017 temperatures compared to the historical record for Indiana. Also included are the long-term trends in February minimum, average, and maximum temperature. Data displayed in this chart are from the NOAA Climate at a Glance database.
About Us:
Led by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA) is a statewide effort that will bring together the best available climate change research into a series of reports that will help Hoosiers better understand climate change-related risks so they can prepare for challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
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Contact Us:
Melissa Widhalm, IN CCIA Coordinator

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