Assessment of bioclimatic change in Kazakhstan, end 20th—middle 21st centuries, according to the PRECIS prediction
PRECIS prediction
Bioclimatic change
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We evaluate bioclimatic changes in Kazakhstan from the end of the 20th century until the middle of the 21st century to offer natural resource managers a tool that facilitates their decision-making on measures to adapt agriculture and environmental care to foreseeable climate change. We use climatic data from the “Providing REgional Climates for Impact Studies” (PRECIS) prediction and study them following the Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (WBCS) of Rivas-Martı´nez. For three 25-year intervals (1980–2004, 2010–2034 and 2035–2059), we identify the continentality, acrobioclimates, bioclimates, bioclimatic variants, thermotypes, ombrotypes and isobioclimates of the study area. The results of the work allow us to: locate the territories where bioclimatic conditions will change, quantify the magnitude of the predicted climate changes, and determine the trends of predictable climate change. We present the results in maps, tables and graphs. For the 80-year interval, we identify 3 macroclimates, 3 bioclimatic variants, 10 bioclimates, 11 thermotypes, 10 ombrotypes and 43 isobioclimates. Some of those found bioclimates, thermotypes, ombrotypes and isobioclimates are only located in the E, SE and S mountains, where they occupy very small areas, that decrease in a generalized way as the 20th century progresses. Comparing the three successive periods, the following trends are observed: 36.2% of the territory increases in thermicity; 7.3% of the territory increases in continentality; 9.7% of the territory increases in annual aridity; 9.5% of the territory increases in summer aridity or mediterraneity; and generalized losses occur in the areas of all mountain sobioclimates. The climate change foreseen by the PRECIS model for the middle of the 21st century leads to bioclimatic homogenization, with 20.8% losses in bioclimatic diversity. We indicate on maps the locations of all the predicted bioclimatic changes; these maps may provide decision makers with a scientific basis to take necessary adaptation measures.

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