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The overarching goal of this research was to use site-specific data to develop local and regionally-applicable climate change models that inform management of tidal wetlands along the Pacific Northwest coast. The overarching questions were: (1) how do tidal marsh site characteristics vary across estuaries, and (2) does tidal marsh susceptibility to sea-level rise (SLR) vary along a latitudinal gradient and between estuaries? These questions are addressed in this data collection with three specific objectives: (1) measure topographical and ecological characteristics (e.g., elevation, tidal range, vegetation composition) for tidal marsh and intertidal mudflats, (2) model SLR vulnerability of these habitats, and (3)...
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The Integrated Scenarios of the Future Northwest Environment project (an FY2012 NW CSC funded project), resulted in several datasets describing projected changes in climate, hydrology and vegetation for the 21st century over the Northwestern US. The raw data is available in netCDF format, which is a standard data file format for weather forecasting/climate change/GIS applications. However, the sheer size of these datasets and the specific file format (netCDF) for data access pose significant barriers to data access for many users. This is a particular challenge for many natural/cultural resource managers and others working on conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of this project was to increase...
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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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The San Francisco Bay estuary, though severely fragmented and modified, represents the largest extent of tidal marsh in the western United States. Projected sea-level rise of 0.3-1.5 meters poses further threat to several endemic tidal marsh species that are listed as federally endangered or state threatened species, such as the salt marsh harvest mouse, the California clapper rail,and the California black rail. Resource and land managers charged with the protection of endangered species and their habitats are in need of site-specific predictions of anticipated climate change impacts through the synthesis of downscaled regional climate change models and available data on species’ ecological constraints. Changing...
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A large portion of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean; however, our coasts are also home to many fish, wildlife, and plant species that are important for recreation, tourism, local economies, biodiversity, and healthy coastal ecosystems. Coastal habitats also provide protective "ecosystem services" to human communities, which are increasingly at risk to storms and sea level rise under future climate change. Understanding how climate change will impact natural and human communities is a crucial part of decision making and management related to the protection of our coasts. In an ongoing collaborative project between the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation...
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In the Northeastern U.S., climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme precipitation events. However, less rain is predicted to fall in between these extreme events and air temperatures are also expected to rise. This combination of conditions will likely expose the Northeast to both floods and droughts that will have significant ecological, social, and economic implications for the region. Infrastructure damage from extreme storm events, increased competition for water supplies during droughts, and the potential loss of wildlife and habitats are some of the various challenges facing resource managers and decision makers. Management actions that mitigate the damage from extreme floods and droughts...
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Led by the consortium of the South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC), this project developed and implemented a professional development workshop for graduate students, post-docs, and early career researchers within the SC CSC region. The objectives were to: (1) introduce participants to the goals, structure, and unique research-related challenges of the SC-CSC and its place within the U.S. Department of the Interior and the larger CSC network, offering them insight into how their research fits into the broader research priority goals and its eventual applicability to end user needs across the region; (2) provide an opportunity for participants to present their research to fellow peers; (3) facilitate interdisciplinary...
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Historical and projected climate data point toward significant changes in the future for the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. These changes will include impacts to many species (like birds, fish, and mammals), ecosystems (like forests), and natural resources (like water) that humans appreciate and rely on. In order to prepare for these changes, land and resource managers need to be able to predict how species will respond, what specific mechanisms are driving these changes, and what thresholds wildlife species may soon be pushed across. Crossing these thresholds could lead to rapid change or decline in the health of a wildlife population. In response to this need, a team of researchers is working to identify the...
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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 Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference...
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Plants and animals undergo certain recurring life-cycle events, such as migrations between summer and winter habitats or the annual blooming of plants. Known as phenology, the timing of these events is very sensitive to changes in climate (and changes in one species’ phenology can impact entire food webs and ecosystems). Shifts in phenology have been described as a “fingerprint” of the temporal and spatial responses of wildlife to climate change impacts. Thus phenology provides one of the strongest indicators of the adaptive capacity of organisms (or the ability of organisms to cope with future environmental conditions). In this study, researchers are investigating how the timing and occurrence of a number of...
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The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a familiar species across the southeastern Coastal Plain, but its population has declined significantly over the decades. One reason is that much of its primary habitat, sparse stands of mature pine, has been replaced by development or agriculture. Another is that periodic ground fires, which are important for providing needed forage for the tortoise, have been largely suppressed on the landscape. The gopher tortoise is a “keystone” species, meaning that its disappearance from the landscape would jeopardize the existence of many other species that make use of its underground burrows. Besides tortoise habitat, the uplands of the Coastal Plain contain isolated seasonal...
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Forests are of tremendous ecological and economic importance. They provide natural places for recreation, clean drinking water, and important habitats for fish and wildlife. However, the warmer temperatures and harsher droughts in the west that are related to climate change are causing die-offs of many trees. Outbreaks of insects, like the mountain pine beetle, that kill trees are also more likely in warmer, drier conditions. To maintain healthy and functioning forest ecosystems, one action forest managers can take is to make management decisions that will help forests adapt to future climate change. However, adaptation is a process based on genetic change and few tools are currently available for managers to use...
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Scientists, planners, policy makers and other decision-makers in the South Central U.S. want to understand the potential impacts of changes in climate, precipitation, and land-use patterns on natural and cultural resources. Though the potential impacts of climate change can be modeled to help decision-makers plan for future conditions, these models rarely incorporate changes in land-use that may occur. Climate change and land-use change are often linked, as shifts in precipitation and temperature can alter patterns in human land-use activities, such as agriculture. This project seeks to address this gap by developing new software tools that enable stakeholders to quickly develop custom, climate-sensitive land-use...
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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 propose to use correlated-detection occupancy models to develop indicators from the North American Breeding Bird Survey data. The indicators will be 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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Coastal wetlands and the many beneficial services they provide (e.g., purifying water, buffering storm surge, providing habitat) are changing and disappearing as a result of sea-level rise brought about by climate change. Scientists have developed a wealth of information and resources to predict and aid decision-making related to sea-level rise. However, while some of these resources are easily accessible by coastal managers, many others require more expert knowledge to understand or utilize. The goal of this project was to collate science and models pertaining to the effects of sea-level on coastal wetlands into a format that would be accessible and useful to resource managers. Researchers conducted training sessions...
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National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) along the East Coast of the United States protect habitat for a host of wildlife species, while also offering storm surge protection, improving water quality, supporting nurseries for commercially important fish and shellfish, and providing recreation opportunities for coastal communities. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the ability of NWRs to protect our nation’s natural resources and to sustain their many beneficial services. Through this project, researchers are collaborating with...
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Northeastern boreal forests are important breeding grounds for many populations of resident and migratory birds. These birds play a vital role in ecosystems, are a source of pleasure for bird watchers, and contribute to tourism revenue for many communities. However, boreal birds are thought to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In the Adirondack Park system, five species of boreal birds have shown occupancy declines of 15% or more. Building upon earlier work related to moose populations and management, this project will focus on climate change impacts to bird communities in the Adirondacks and neighboring boreal ecosystems. The project team will use existing research to develop a mechanistic...
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The beaches of the Hawaiian Islands attract nearly 9 million visitors each year, who inject around $15.6 billion into the state’s economy and support almost 200,000 jobs. Beyond their economic importance, Hawaiian beaches are also culturally and ecologically valuable. However, climate change driven sea-level rise is causing many beaches to disappear, endangering property, infrastructure, and critical habitats. The goal of this project was to develop a method for forecasting erosion-vulnerable beach areas that could be used in coastal management planning. Researchers focused on the island of Kauaʻi, modeling beach response to rising sea level over the next century and producing maps that provide information about...
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The rugged landscapes of northern Idaho and western Montana support biodiverse ecosystems, and provide a variety of natural resources and services for human communities. However, the benefits provided by these ecosystems may be at risk as changing climate magnifies existing stressors and allows new stressors to emerge. Preparation for and response to these potential changes can be most effectively addressed through multi-stakeholder partnerships, evaluating vulnerability of important resources to climate change, and developing response and preparation strategies for managing key natural resources in a changing world. This project will support climate-smart conservation and management across forests of northern Idaho...
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Streamflow in the Colorado River is heavily influenced by high-elevation snowpack. Warming temperatures in spring can reduce snow-fed flows, with serious implications for the water supplies that support communities and wildlife. While it is already well-known that precipitation has a significant influence on river flow, recent observations suggest that temperature and the amount of water in soil may also influence streamflow. In the face of a changing climate, it is important that resource managers understand how factors such as changing temperatures and precipitation will affect this vital water source. To address this need, researchers are examining records of streamflow, temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation...


map background search result map search result map Fate of Endangered Species in San Francisco Bay Tidal Marshes with Sea Level Rise A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models Science to Support Adaptive Landscape Planning and Decision Making for Gopher Tortoise Conservation Regional Graduate Student, Post-Doc, and Early Career Researcher Workshop Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Support for the Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish Slowing the Flow for Climate Resilience (SFCR): Reducing Vulnerability to Extreme Flood and Drought Events Examining the Responses of Species to Climate Change: Will Wildlife Face Biological Thresholds? How and Why is the Timing and Occurrence of Seasonal Migrants in the Gulf of Maine Changing Due to Climate? Identifying Critical Thresholds and Tipping Points for Priority Coastal Species in a Changing Future Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Climate Change Research to Inform Management of Birds in Northeastern Boreal Forests Sea-level rise projections for and observational data of tidal marshes along the California coast Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Climate Change Research to Inform Management of Birds in Northeastern Boreal Forests Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Fate of Endangered Species in San Francisco Bay Tidal Marshes with Sea Level Rise Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Sea-level rise projections for and observational data of tidal marshes along the California coast How and Why is the Timing and Occurrence of Seasonal Migrants in the Gulf of Maine Changing Due to Climate? Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Support for the Sixth Annual Northwest Climate Conference Science to Support Adaptive Landscape Planning and Decision Making for Gopher Tortoise Conservation Slowing the Flow for Climate Resilience (SFCR): Reducing Vulnerability to Extreme Flood and Drought Events Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Regional Graduate Student, Post-Doc, and Early Career Researcher Workshop A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models Examining the Responses of Species to Climate Change: Will Wildlife Face Biological Thresholds? Identifying Critical Thresholds and Tipping Points for Priority Coastal Species in a Changing Future Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish