Scientists project warmer springtimes in the American West

The world's most authoritative scientific body on climate change — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — projects springtime temperature increases in the Western US, for a wide range of possibilities for how greenhouse gas emissions might grow.

Not surprisingly, the amount of projected temperature increase depends on the volume of gases you assume will be emitted, which depends on many factors, including economic growth and whether or not fossil fuels are replaced with other energy sources. Various projections, along with the assumptions behind them, can be found in the IPCC’s report at Figure 10.8, p. 766.

Rising temperatures in this part of the U have a number of significant consequences, including earlier snowmelt, an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires and increasing numbers of insect epidemics. All of these effects are expected to worsen as average temperatures rise.