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A new method for automatic detection of atmospheric rivers (ARs) is developed and applied to an atmospheric reanalysis, yielding an extensive catalog of ARs land-falling along the west coast of North America during 1948–2017. This catalog provides a large array of variables that can be used to examine AR cases and their climate-scale variability in exceptional detail. The new record of AR activity, as presented, validated and examined here, provides a perspective on the seasonal cycle and the interannual-interdecadal variability of AR activity affecting the hydroclimate of western North America. Importantly, AR intensity does not exactly follow the climatological pattern of AR frequency. Strong links to hydroclimate...
The Hawaiian Islands are home to a variety of native species that have been subject to numerous threats including development of habitat for human use, predation by introduced herbivores, and competition with invasive plant species. In addition to these threats global climate change is expected to increase temperature and alter patterns of precipitation in Hawaii. This project models the relative vulnerability of native plant species to the effects of climate change, in order to assist resource managers in effectively allocating limited resources to efficiently preserve and protect current and future habitat for native plants. We modeled vulnerability by creating an expert system – a network model linking biological...
Abstract (from http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-13-00202.1): Traditional long-term (decadal) and large-scale (hundreds of kilometers) shoreline change modeling techniques, known as single transect, or ST, often overfit the data because they calculate shoreline statistics at closely spaced intervals along the shore. To reduce overfitting, recent work has used spatial basis functions such as polynomials, B splines, and principal components. Here, we explore an alternative to such basis functions by using regularization to reduce the dimension of the ST model space. In our regularized-ST method, traditional ST is an end member of a continuous spectrum of models. We use an evidence information criterion...
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...
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions for 2004–2016 at a 30-m spatial resolution based on monthly or annually updated values of climatic conditions and static physiographic variables associated with the upstream basin. Predictions correspond to any pixel on the channel network consistent with the medium resolution National Hydrography...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060199/abstract): While recent work demonstrates that glacial meltwater provides a substantial and relatively labile flux of the micronutrient iron to oceans, the role of high-latitude estuary environments as a potential sink of glacial iron is unknown. Here we present the first quantitative description of iron removal in a meltwater-dominated estuary. We find that 85% of “dissolved” Fe is removed in the low-salinity region of the estuary along with 41% of “total dissolvable” iron associated with glacial flour. We couple these findings with hydrologic and geochemical data from Gulf of Alaska (GoA) glacierized catchments to calculate meltwater-derived...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GB005493/abstract): Phytoplankton growth in the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) is limited by iron (Fe), yet Fe sources are poorly constrained. We examine the temporal and spatial distributions of Fe, and its sources in the GoA, based on data from three cruises carried out in 2010 from the Copper River (AK) mouth to beyond the shelf break. April data are the first to describe late winter Fe behavior before surface water nitrate depletion began. Sediment resuspension during winter and spring storms generated high “total dissolvable Fe” (TDFe) concentrations of ~1000 nmol kg−1 along the entire continental shelf, which decreased beyond the shelf break. In July, high...
Concern over global environmental change and associated uncertainty has given rise to greater emphasis on fostering resilience through forest management. We examined the impact of standard silvicultural systems (including clearcutting, shelterwood, and selection) compared with unharvested controls on tree functional identity and functional diversity in three forest types distributed across the northeastern United States. Sites included the Argonne, Bartlett, and Penobscot Experimental Forests located in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Maine, respectively. We quantified functional trait means for leaf mass per area, specific gravity, maximum height, height achieved at 20 years, seed mass, drought tolerance, shade tolerance,...
Summary Analysis of historical streamflow trends and their relationship to landscape characteristics is essential for understanding geographic differences in runoff within the Great Lakes basin and for distinguishing temporal trends from temporal variance. Factor analysis of streamflow records (1956–1988) from 32 US Geological Survey gauging stations within the Great Lakes basin revealed distinct spatio-temporal patterns of stream runoff within five different regions of the basin. Streams represented by the first annual factor occurred in southern Wisconsin and the lower peninsula of Michigan, and exhibited a linear increase in mean annual streamflow over the 33 year period caused by increased autumn and winter...