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The Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI CASC) supports sustainability and climate adaptation in communities across the Pacific Islands by providing natural and cultural resource managers with access to actionable science specific to the region. PI CASC is hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) with consortium partners at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UHH) and the University of Guam (UOG). During the period of 2019 - 2024, the PI CASC consortium will strive to i) build resiliency and sustainability in ecosystems and communities to climate change impacts; ii) strive to develop the best actionable climate science, while maintaining a non-advocacy stance; and iii) apply the elements...
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PI-CASC regularly interacts with a diverse and extensive network of stakeholder organizations at federal, territory, state, county, and local levels across the Pacific Region, supporting communication and iterative problem solving between researchers, managers, and decision makers. In addition to these partnerships, PI-CASC has two important ongoing collaborative initiatives. Pacific Islands-Alaska CASC collaboration The PI-AK CASC collaboration is aimed at bringing together scientist and resource managers from the Pacific and Alaska regions to share insights on related climate adaptation challenges in Ridge-to-Reef (R2R) and Icefield-to-Ocean (I2O) ecosystems. Similarities in landscapes and communities in these...
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Climate change is already affecting and will continue to impact the supply and demand of ecosystem goods and serivces (EGS) that are important for human well-being. Therefore, it is important to monitor trends and identify gaps in how climate change is incorporated into the assessment and management of these services. Systematic literature reviews play an important role in this process. For example, Runting et al. (2017) quantitatively synthesized how journal-published literature considered climate impacts in EGS assessments. Characterizing studies in a similar manner, our work examines assessments published since the November 2014 publication period included in Runting et al. (2017). These comparisons may reveal...
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There are approximately 2,000 species of migratory birds worldwide, and over 300 of those can be found in North America. Changing climate conditions pose challenges for many migratory birds and their responses to these challenges can depend on their biology. To illustrate these impacts, a board game, called Migration Mismatch, was developed to help elementary school students understand these challenges. Migration Mismatch can help students build their understanding of biological processes and how species, birds in this case, interact with their environment. The game provides an interactive element to learning about adaptations of different bird species to environmental changes and provides a link to birds they may...
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Inland fish populations are a crucial resource to humans and communities around the world. Recreational fishing throughout the United States, for example, provides important revenue to local and state economies; globally, inland fisheries are a vital food source for billions of people. Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, however, are already causing significant changes to fish communities worldwide. Since the mid-1980s, scientists have projected the effects of climate change on inland fish, and in more recent years, documentation of impacts has increased. However, the number of documented impacts of climate change on inland fish remains low. A comprehensive understanding of how climate change...
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Covering 120 million acres across 14 western states and 3 Canadian provinces, sagebrush provides critical habitat for species such as pronghorn, mule deer, and sage-grouse – a species of conservation concern. The future of these and other species is closely tied to the future of sagebrush. Yet this important ecosystem has already been affected by fire, invasive species, land use conversion, and now, climate change. In the western U.S., temperatures are rising and precipitation patterns are changing. However, there is currently a limited ability to anticipate the impacts of climate change on sagebrush. Current methods suffer from a range of weakness that limits the reliability of results. In fact, the current uncertainty...
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Maintaining the native prairie lands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), which provide an important habitat for declining grassland species, requires anticipating the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and climate change on the region’s vegetation. Specifically, climate change threatens NGP grasslands by increasing the potential encroachment of native woody species into areas where they were previously only present in minor numbers. This project used a dynamic vegetation model to simulate vegetation type (grassland, shrubland, woodland, and forest) for the NGP for a range of projected future climates and relevant management scenarios. Comparing results of these simulations illustrates...
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Water scarcity is a growing concern in Texas, where surface water is derived almost entirely from rainfall. Changes in air temperature and precipitation patterns associated with global climate change are anticipated to regionally affect the quality and quantity of inland surface waters and consequently their suitability as habitat for freshwater life. In addition to directly affecting resident organisms and populations, these changes in physicochemical traits of aquatic habitats may favor the establishment of harmful invasive species. As conflicts over the use of water resources grow in intensity, this information will become important for fish and wildlife managers to anticipate impacts of climate change on trust...
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Cheatgrass began invading the Great Basin about 100 years ago, changing large parts of the landscape from a rich, diverse ecosystem to one where a single invasive species dominates. Cheatgrass dominated areas experience more fires that burn more land than in native ecosystems, resulting in economic and resource losses. Therefore, the reduced production, or absence, of cheatgrass in previously invaded areas during years of adequate precipitation could be seen as a windfall. However, this cheatgrass dieoff phenomenon creates other problems for land managers like accelerated soil erosion, loss of early spring food supply for livestock and wildlife, and unknown recovery pathways. We used satellite data and scientific...
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With joint funding from the North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) and NASA's Earth Science Applied Sciences Program, the NC CSC supports resource managers and their decision process through its Resource for Vulnerability Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation Planning (ReVAMP), a collaborative research/planning effort supported by high performance computing and modeling resources. The NC CSC focuses primarily on climate data as input to the ReVAMP. In this project the NASA DEVELOP program was used to evaluate how remote sensing data sets can contribute to the ecological response models that are implemented in the ReVAMP system. This work demonstrates the utility of remote sensing in vulnerability assessment...
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Global climate change and sea-level rise will have profound effects on estuarine fish, shellfish and wildlife populations and their habitats. Our ability to manage sustainable fish, shellfish and other wildlife populations in the future will be seriously compromised unless we have a basic understanding of the coming changes and use this to develop mitigation and adaptation measures. The overall objective of this multi-agency research is to develop the baseline climatic and biological data, models, and tools to predict the cumulative impact of climate change on habitats and ecosystem services in a series of coastal estuaries of the Pacific Northwest. In collaboration with other federal, state, and non-governmental...
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Appropriate ecological indicators of climate change can be used to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and potentially to project the consequences of climate change. However, many of the available indicators for North American birds do not account for imperfect observation. We proposed to use correlated-detection occupancy models to develop indicators from the North American Breeding Bird Survey data. The indicators were used to test hypotheses regarding changes in range and distribution of breeding birds. The results will support the Northeast Climate Science Center’s Science Agenda, including the science priority: researching ecological vulnerability and species response...
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Throughout its native range in the Eastern U.S., the brook trout is a culturally and economically important species that is sensitive to warming stream temperatures and habitat degradation. The purpose of this assessment was to determine the impacts that projected future land use and climate changes might have on the condition of stream habitat to support self-sustaining brook trout populations. The study region encompassed the historic native range of brook trout, which includes the northeastern states and follows the Appalachian Mountains south to Georgia, where the distribution is limited to higher elevation streams with suitable water temperatures. Relationships between recent observations of brook trout and...
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Determining which species, habitats, or ecosystems are most vulnerable to climate change enables resource managers to better set priorities for conservation action. To address the need for information on vulnerability, this research project aimed to leverage the expertise of university partners to inform the North Central Climate Science Center on how to best assess the vulnerability of elements of biodiversity to climate and land use change in order to inform the development and implementation of management options. Outcomes from this activity were expected to include 1) a framework for modeling vegetation type and species response to climate and land use change, 2) an evaluation of existing alternative vegetation...
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The Northwest Climate Conference (formerly called the Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference) is the premier climate science event for the region, providing a forum for researchers and practitioners to share scientific results and discuss challenges and solutions related to the impacts of climate change on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Northwest. Conference participants include policy- and decision-makers, resource managers, and scientists from academia, public agencies, sovereign tribal nations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. More information can be found at the conference website: http://pnwclimateconference.org. The Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference...
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The goal of this project was to inform implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC) Whitebark Pine (WBP) subcommittee’s “WBP Strategy” based on climate science and ecological forecasting. Project objectives were to: 1. Forecast ecosystem processes and WBP habitat suitability across the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) under alternative IPCC future scenarios; 2. Improve understanding of possible response to future climate by analyzing WBP/climate relationships in past millennia; 3. Develop WBP management alternatives; 4. Evaluate the alternatives under IPCC future scenarios in terms of WBP goals, ecosystem services, and costs of implementation; and 5. Draw recommendations for implementation...
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Invasive species establish outside of their native range, spread, and negatively impact ecosystems and economies. As temperatures rise, many invasive plants can spread into regions that were previously too cold for their survival. For example, kudzu, ‘the vine that ate the south’, was previously limited to mid-Atlantic states, but has recently started spreading in New Jersey and is expected to become invasive farther north. While scientists know of many of the invasive species expanding into the northeastern U.S., they do not know where those species are likely to become abundant and how they will impact vulnerable native ecosystems due to climate change. There are also currently no strategies to manage emerging...
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Social scientists funded through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Climate Science Centers (CSCs) have an obligation to provide access to their climate science related research data. We suspect, as with other data types, that tools for creating and editing social science metadata specific to the climate science domain and linking the metadata to the actual data either do not exist or are non-intuitive for scientists. Through our research we sought to verify whether any definitive metadata tool for social scientists working in the climate science domain exists. We also sought to determine whether a commonly agreed upon social science metadata standard exists. We suspect that...
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In southwestern Colorado, land managers anticipate the impacts of climate change to include higher temperatures, more frequent and prolonged drought, accelerated snowmelt, larger and more intense fires, more extreme storms, and the spread of invasive species. These changes put livelihoods, ecosystems, and species at risk. Focusing on communities in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan and Gunnison river basins, this project will expand opportunities for scientists, land managers, and affected residents to identify actions that can support resilience and adaptation in the face of changing climate conditions. This project builds on the project “Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in southwestern...
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Resource managers, policymakers, and scientists require tools to inform water resource management and planning. Information on hydrologic factors – such as streamflow, snowpack, and soil moisture – is important for understanding and predicting wildfire risk, flood activity, and agricultural and rangeland productivity, among others. Existing tools for modeling hydrologic conditions rely on information on temperature and precipitation. This project sought to evaluate different methods for downscaling global climate models – that is, taking information produced at a global scale and making it useable at a regional scale, in order to produce more accurate projections of temperature and precipitation for the Pacific...


map background search result map search result map Predicting Climate Change Threats to Key Estuarine Habitats and Ecosystem Services in the Pacific Northwest Modeling and Projecting the Influence of Climate Change on Texas Surface Waters and their Aquatic Biotic Communities Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest Projecting the Future Encroachment of Woody Vegetation into Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains by Simulating Climate Conditions and Possible Management Actions Regional Short- and Long-term Climate Impacts on Northern Rocky Mountain and Great Plains Ecosystems Assessing the Vulnerability of Vegetation to Future Climate in the North Central U.S. Projected Vulnerability of Brook Trout to Climate and Land Use Changes in the Eastern U.S. (Regional Assessment) Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Forecasting Future Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Migration Mismatch: Bird Migration and Phenological Mismatching A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand Identifying Vulnerable Ecosystems and Supporting Climate-Smart Strategies to Address Invasive Species Under Climate Change Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center Consortium - Hosted by University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa (2019-2024) Regional Collaborations Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Modeling and Projecting the Influence of Climate Change on Texas Surface Waters and their Aquatic Biotic Communities Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Projecting the Future Encroachment of Woody Vegetation into Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains by Simulating Climate Conditions and Possible Management Actions Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest Forecasting Future Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Projected Vulnerability of Brook Trout to Climate and Land Use Changes in the Eastern U.S. (Regional Assessment) Identifying Vulnerable Ecosystems and Supporting Climate-Smart Strategies to Address Invasive Species Under Climate Change Regional Short- and Long-term Climate Impacts on Northern Rocky Mountain and Great Plains Ecosystems Assessing the Vulnerability of Vegetation to Future Climate in the North Central U.S. Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Migration Mismatch: Bird Migration and Phenological Mismatching Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center Consortium - Hosted by University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa (2019-2024) Regional Collaborations Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand