What will climate change look like in Southwest Colorado?
That’s the subject of the Life-long Learning Free Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at Fort Lewis College’s Noble Hall in Room 130.
Mountain Studies Institute Executive Director Marcie Bidwell and Renee Rondeau, conservation planner for the Colorado National Heritage Program, will present the findings of a three-year study that aims to look at how climate change will affect the region and how communities can best respond.
In 2013, the North Central Climate Science Center tasked local representatives in Southwest Colorado to develop climate projections and scenarios as part of the “Social-Ecological Climate Resilience Project for Southwest Colorado.”
The goal, according to the project proposal, is to “facilitate climate change adaptation that contributes to social-ecological resilience, ecosystem/species conservation and sustainable human communities in southwestern Colorado, focusing on the Gunnison Basin and the San Juan Mountains.”
“When we think about the future, there’s a lot of talk about it being hotter and drier across the Southwest,” Bidwell said. “But when one considers that there are 72 different major modeling centers in the world, there’s actually a lot of variations on that.”
Bidwell said the study found there’s a lot more uncertainty rather than a simple guarantee on how climate change will affect Southwest Colorado, so it’s important for local representatives to plan for those variations.
“Given that we don’t know what will happen in the future, how do we make ourselves more resilient? How do we plan win-win scenarios for businesses and for the environment?” she said.
A webinar series on the topic will start at noon Wednesday. People can log in to the webinar through AdobeConnect at https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/sac. Participants accessing AdobeConnect will be prompted to download a plug-in. There is no password for the webinar meeting room. Audio for the webinar is available through the conference line (888) 844-9904, passcode 2453228#.