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Planetary and synoptic-scale atmospheric features are important because they set the stage for differing climate regimes in the Yucca Mountain area—whether in past, present, or future time. Climate proxy records in the region show that numerous climate regimes occurred during the past 800 k.y. ranging from warm interglacial periods (similar to modern climate) to cool or cold and wet glacial periods. The current climate at Yucca Mountain is arid, with an annual average precipitation of ∼17.7 cm/yr. Most of the annual precipitation occurs during winter or during July and August monsoons. Annual average temperatures generally range from 15° to 18...

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