Climate variability and change in the Andean highlands
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The Altiplano region of Bolivia and Peru is vulnerable to both climate variability and climate change. Its proximity to El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) yields changes in the rainy season from year-to-year. In addition, the region depends on snowpack and glacial meltwater for water resources during the long dry season, which are diminishing due to global warming. As part of a larger study to understand how market forces and climate change are affecting highland agriculture, this research explores recent and future climate variability and change in the region. The observed 20th century climate and recent trends are evaluated using global gridded datasets, and station data. In addition, several global climate models employed in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are evaluated for the recent period. Preliminary analysis of the 21st century scenarios for the highland region are also presented.