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South Central CSC

These videos were recorded as part of an online interactive course titled "Managing for a Changing Climate", offered by the University of Oklahoma. The course is free and available worldwide for anyone with an internet connection through the Janux platform. Course content and assignments provide students with an integrative understanding of the climate system, the role of natural variability in the climate system, external drivers of climate change, and the implications of climactic shifts for natural and cultural resources. Resources managers, tribal environmental professionals, staff and students at other Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, and members of the general public can participate...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-016-2376-z): Drought is among the most insidious types of natural disasters and can have devastating economic and human health impacts. This research analyzes the relationship between two readily accessible drought indices—the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and Palmer Hydrologic Drought Index (PHDI)—and the damage incurred by such droughts in terms of monetary loss, over the 1975–2010 time period on monthly basis, for five states in the south-central USA. Because drought damage in the Spatial Hazards Events and Losses Database for the United States (SHELDUS™) is reported at the county level, statistical downscaling techniques were used to estimate...
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The sky island forests of the southwestern United States are one of the most diverse temperate forest ecosystems in the world, providing key habitat for migrating and residential species alike. Black bear, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and wild turkey are just a few of the species found in these isolated mountain ecosystems that rise out of the desert landscape. However, recent droughts have crippled these ecosystems, causing significant tree death. Climate predictions suggest that this region will only face hotter and drier conditions in the future, potentially stressing these ecosystems even further. Simple models predict that vegetation will move to cooler and wetter locations in response to this warming. However,...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gdj3.47/abstract): Two datasets of soil temperature observations collected at Norman, Oklahoma, USA, were analysed to study horizontal and vertical variability in their observations. The first dataset comprised 15-min resolution soil temperature observations from 20 September 2011 to 18 November 2013 in seven plots across a 10-m transect. In each plot, sensors were located at depths of 5, 10, and 30 cm. All seven plots observed fairly consistent maximum soil temperature observations during the spring, fall, and winter months. Starting in late May, the observed spread in soil temperatures across the 10-m transect increased significantly until August when the...
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The South Central U.S. encompasses a wide range of ecosystem types and precipitation patterns. Average annual precipitation is less than 10 inches in northwest New Mexico but can exceed 60 inches further east in Louisiana. Much of the region relies on warm-season convective precipitation – that is, highly localized brief but intense periods of rainfall that are common in the summer. This type of precipitation is a significant driver of climate and ecosystem function in the region, but it is also notoriously difficult to predict since it occurs at such small spatial and temporal scales. While global climate models are helpful for understanding and predicting large-scale precipitation trends, they often do not capture...
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