Climate Change & The Data
Climate Change in Montana
According to the IPCC, possible effects of climate change for our general region include:
- Less water available in some areas.
- More species at risk for extinction and increased risks for wildfire.
- A possible increase in cereal productivity at our latitude.
- Increased damage from floods and storms.
- A change in disease vectors, an increase in mortality due to heat waves, floods, and droughts, and other health problems.
- Warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding, and reduced summer flows, and increased competition for over allocated water resources.
- Disturbances from pests, diseases, and fire are projected to have increasing impacts on forests, with an extended period of high fire risk and large increases in area burned.
- Moderate climate change in the early decades of the century is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain fed agriculture by 5 percent to 20 percent, but with important variability among regions. Major challenges are projected (PDF 1.92 MB) for crops that are near the warm end of their suitable range or depend on highly utilized water resources.
For a more detailed look at how climate change might affect specific sectors in Montana, link to the Natural Resources and Commerce tabs on the navigation bar at the top of the page. The Western Regional Climate Center offers an excellent program that plots historic temperatures and precipitation for Montana’s geographic regions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also offers a site where Montana-specific weather data can be accessed.