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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers > Alaska CASC > FY 2014 Projects ( Show all descendants )

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Water is a key ecosystem service that provides life to vegetation, animals, and human communities. The distribution and flow of water on a landscape influences many ecological functions, such as the distribution and health of vegetation and soil development and function. However, the future of many important water resources remains uncertain. Reduced snowfall and snowpack, earlier spring runoff, increased winter streamflow and flooding, and decreased summer streamflow have all been identified as potential impacts to water resources due to climate change. These factors all influence the water balance in the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest (PCTR). Ensuring healthy flow and availability of water resources is...
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Permafrost is a layer of perennially frozen soil that primarily exists in and around the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the world. While a shallow near-surface soil layer (called active layer) thaws during the summer and re-freezes in the winter, the underlying permafrost remains perennially frozen, often underlying buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. As warmer temperatures become more common, thawing of permafrost could have major consequences for Alaska. Where thawing has already occurred, dramatic changes in ecosystems and existing infrastructure are evident. For example, thawing permafrost along the ocean shore and riverbanks in Northern Alaska is causing substantial coastal erosion and is impacting...
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The hydrology of the Yukon River Basin has changed over the last several decades as evidenced by a variety of discharge, gravimetric, and geochemical analyses. The Indigenous Observation Network (ION), a community-based project, was initiated by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council and USGS. Capitalizing on existing USGS monitoring and research infrastructure and supplementing USGS collected data, ION investigates changes in surface water geochemistry and active layer dynamics throughout the Yukon River Basin. Over 1600 samples of surface water geochemistry (i.e., major ions, dissolved organic carbon, and 18O and 2H) have been collected at 35 sites throughout the Yukon River and its major tributaries...
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The Nome Creek Experimental Watershed (NCEW) has been the site of multiple studies focused on understanding hydrology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem changes related to permafrost thaw and fire in the boreal forest. The boreal forest is the Earth’s largest terrestrial biome, and thus plays a major role in biogeochemical cycling, creation of habitat for wildlife, as well as wilderness and resources for humans. This project specifically investigates tracers experiments designed to provide comparative hydrological and soils investigations in a small, fire impacted, boreal forest watershed with discontinuous permafrost. The dataset includes field collected data on soil moisture, meteorology, stream flow, aquatic biogeochemistry,...
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Moose and caribou are two very important animals to both subsistence and sport hunting economies in Alaska. Their survival and reproduction is dependent on sufficient winter habitat and food sources, which may be threatened by climate change. During the winter, caribou eat lichens (organisms made up of algae and fungus) that grow on the snow-covered ground. Lichens will likely have a complex response to climate change, affected in different ways by factors like changing precipitation, wildfire, and competition with plants. For example, as temperatures warm, there will likely be less snow cover, exposing more of the lichen to caribou. Simultaneously, increased fire frequency could reduce lichen availability. Moose,...


    map background search result map search result map Studying the Effects of Climate Change on Moose and Caribou Habitat in Alaska Assessing Permafrost Changes and Related Impacts on Alaskan Infrastructure and Communities Projecting the Future Distribution and Flow of Water in Alaskan Coastal Forest Watersheds Nome Creek Boreal, Fire and Permafrost Hydrology investigations Yukon River Basin Indigenous Observation Network Assessing Permafrost Changes and Related Impacts on Alaskan Infrastructure and Communities Projecting the Future Distribution and Flow of Water in Alaskan Coastal Forest Watersheds Studying the Effects of Climate Change on Moose and Caribou Habitat in Alaska Nome Creek Boreal, Fire and Permafrost Hydrology investigations Yukon River Basin Indigenous Observation Network