2024 Climate Change in Colorado Report Predicts a Warmer, Drier Future

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The third edition of the Climate Change in Colorado report published on Jan. 8, 2024. Created by researchers at the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University, the new multi-chapter report combines and synthesizes relevant climate science information to help inform future management and planning of the state’s water resources. The authors emphasize an uncertain and more variable water future in Colorado – so the report will be critical in guiding decisions in the years ahead.


Previous editions of the report in 2008 and 2014 were among the first state-level climate change assessments ever conducted in the United States. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), along with Denver Water, funded and supported the report. CWCB staff oversaw the execution of the report—completing peer review, planning stakeholder events, and more. 


“Climate change is water change. And in the spirit of the Colorado Water Plan, this report will help provide Colorado-specific climate data to help decision makers better understand localized climate impacts and the need for climate adaptation,” said Russ Sands, Section Chief of the Water Supply Planning Section at the CWCB. “It’s also important to remember that, compared to other areas of the world, Colorado is a difficult place to apply climate projections because of its complex terrain—so having local data is critical for modeling and planning.” 


CSU Research Scientist Becky Bolinger served as the lead author for the report and is the assistant state climatologist for Colorado. Bolinger said the report describes trends in Colorado’s climate and hydrology, interprets model-based projections for the future, and considers potential hazards stemming from changes in climate. It also verifies projections found in earlier reports and updates them to extend out through 2050 and beyond.


This press release was modified from Colorado State University. What does the report say about future temperatures, changes in water resources, and climate extremes? Read their release here for highlights.