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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers > Alaska CASC > FY 2012 Projects ( Show all descendants )

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The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth, supporting salmon fisheries that alone provide nearly $1 billion per year in economic benefits to Southeast Alaska. Glaciers are central to many of the area’s natural processes and economic activities, but the rates of glacier loss in Alaska are among the highest on Earth, with a 26-36 percent reduction in total volume expected by the end of the century. This project brought together scientists and managers at a workshop to synthesize the impacts of glacier change on the region’s coastal ecosystems and to determine related research and monitoring needs. Collected knowledge shows that melting glaciers are expected to have cascading effects...
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The western coast of Alaska is a remote region, rich in wildlife and providing critical nesting habitat for many of Alaska’s seabirds. It is also home to indigenous communities who rely upon the region’s natural resources to support a traditional lifestyle of hunting, gathering, and fishing. Although the region is frequently subject to extensive inland flooding from Bering Sea storms, little is known about the extent and frequency of flooding and its impacts on vegetation, wildlife, and water quality. Furthermore, information is lacking about how climate change and sea-level rise (which can influence the frequency and intensity of storms and subsequent flooding) are affecting this area, its communities, and their...
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The western coastline of Alaska is highly susceptible to coastal storms, which can cause erosion, flooding, and saltwater storm surge, affecting natural ecosystems, human communities, and commercial activity. Historically, a large buffer of ice along the shoreline has protected this region from some of the more severe effects of coastal storms. However, climate change may not only increase the frequency and intensity of storms, but also cause a loss of shoreline ice, possibly increasing the incidence of coastal erosion and flooding and introducing saltwater to freshwater environments. These hazards have the potential to substantially disrupt the environment and commerce in the region, but more information is needed...
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Permafrost – the thick layer of permanently frozen soil found in Arctic regions – has been thawing rapidly over the past century due to climate change. When permafrost thaws unevenly, it produces thermokarst landscapes, irregular surfaces of small hills interspersed with hollows. The processes that produce thermokarst can lead to significant changes within the surrounding ecosystems, altering water quality, vegetation, and water, carbon, and nutrient storage and flows. These changes can have substantial implications for fish and wildlife populations and disrupt rural communities and infrastructure. The goal of this project was to better understand the extent of thermokarst processes and the rate at which they...
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Caribou populations in Alaska are important to both resident and visiting hunters and provide a large source of income for commercial operators and local communities who provide services to these hunters. Caribou have also provided a traditional staple food source for native Alaskan communities. Moreover, caribou are important prey for wolves and bears and their health and population size impact the entire food web in the region. The 2013 Arctic Report Card from NOAA reported declining populations of caribou throughout Alaska. Several possible mechanisms may be responsible for the declines, including changes in climate. This project aimed to form a research consortium to bring together scientists and partners...
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Snow is extremely important to a wide range of natural processes in Alaska. Snow cover helps regulate the earth’s temperature and stores water on the landscape. As it melts, snow hydrates the soil and replenishes the freshwater supplies of streams and lakes, providing water for vegetation, wildlife, and human activities such as agriculture and electricity generation. Understanding present and future snow conditions under climate change is critical for managing Alaska’s natural resources, yet many scientists, land managers, and policymakers lack this information at useful scales. Hence, the goal of this project was to produce an advanced snow modeling system for part of the Arctic that predicts a variety of factors...
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Water is a key resource in Alaska: Although it comprises 17 percent of the country’s land area, Alaska contains more than 40 percent of the United States’ surface water. Climate changes are anticipated to greatly impact water processes (hydrology), including water temperature and seasonal precipitation patterns and amounts. Understanding the likely impacts of climate change on hydrology is an important first step toward understanding consequent impacts on natural and human communities. The purpose of this project was to assist with the development of a coordinated state-wide approach for monitoring temperature in streams and lakes. This process was guided by the recommendations of a workshop involving hydrologists,...


    map background search result map search result map From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems Modeling Future Storm Impacts on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Linking Climate, Vegetation, and Caribou Dynamics Across the Alaska Region Modeling Western Alaska Coastal Hazards Monitoring Thermokarst on the Landscapes of Northern Alaska Modeling and Predicting Future Changes in Snowfall and Snow Cover in Alaska Monitoring Alaska Stream and Lake Temperatures to Understand Future Conditions Modeling Future Storm Impacts on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Monitoring Thermokarst on the Landscapes of Northern Alaska Modeling and Predicting Future Changes in Snowfall and Snow Cover in Alaska Modeling Western Alaska Coastal Hazards From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems Monitoring Alaska Stream and Lake Temperatures to Understand Future Conditions Linking Climate, Vegetation, and Caribou Dynamics Across the Alaska Region