Changing climate in the Bolivian Altiplano: CMIP3 projections for temperature and precipitation extremes
Due to a general dependence on rainfed agriculture, climate change and subsequent fluctuations in precipitation and temperature presents significant challenges for the Bolivian Altiplano. It is imperative that current climate models are able to accurately predict these changes. This study offers a comparison of projections derived from empirical temperature and precipitation indices of La Paz/Alto and Patacamaya from 1973-2007 and those derived from nine World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 3 (CMIP3) models. Consistencies were found among increasing trends in warm nights, dry days, precipitation, precipitation intensity, and temperature. Overpredictions by the models existed concerning frost days, and some observed results suggest that a longer dry season coupled with more intense but less frequent rainfall are occurring before the models had predicted. These results indicate that the models are relevant tools for the Altiplano in its adaptation to climate change and the prevention of food insecurity related to disturbances in growing seasons.