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Abstract (from http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3417/2017006): The Earth system is undergoing rapid, profound anthropogenic change. The primary axes of change include not only the climate system, but also the spread of invasive species, altered biogeochemical and hydrological cycles, modified disturbance regimes, and land degradation and conversion. These factors are influencing the distribution of species and the structure and function of ecosystems worldwide, interacting with climatic stressors that may preclude the persistence of many current species distributions and communities. Ecological disturbances such as wildfires and insect outbreaks can interact with climate variability to precipitate abrupt change...
Abstract (from ESA): Estimating population size and resource selection functions (RSFs) are common approaches in applied ecology for addressing wildlife conservation and management objectives. Traditionally such approaches have been undertaken separately with different sources of data. Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) provides a hierarchical framework for jointly estimating density and multi‐scale resource selection, and data integration techniques provide opportunities for improving inferences from SCR models. Despite the added benefits, there have been few applications of SCR‐RSF integration, potentially due to complexities of specifying and fitting such models. Here, we extend a previous integrated SCR‐RSF model...
Abstract (from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0174045): Several studies have projected increases in drought severity, extent and duration in many parts of the world under climate change. We examine sources of uncertainty arising from the methodological choices for the assessment of future drought risk in the continental US (CONUS). One such uncertainty is in the climate models’ expression of evaporative demand (E0), which is not a direct climate model output but has been traditionally estimated using several different formulations. Here we analyze daily output from two CMIP5 GCMs to evaluate how differences in E0 formulation, treatment of meteorological driving data, choice of GCM,...
Climate policy developers and natural resource managers frequently desire high-resolution climate data to prepare for future effects of climate change. But they face a long-standing problem: the vast majority of climate models have been run at coarse resolutions—from hundreds of kilometers in global climate models (GCMs) down to 25–50 kilometers in regional climate models (RCMs).
There is growing evidence that the rate of warming is amplified with elevation, such that high-mountain environments experience more rapid changes in temperature than environments at lower elevations. Elevation-dependent warming (EDW) can accelerate the rate of change in mountain ecosystems, cryospheric systems, hydrological regimes and biodiversity. Here we review important mechanisms that contribute towards EDW: snow albedo and surface-based feedbacks; water vapour changes and latent heat release; surface water vapour and radiative flux changes; surface heat loss and temperature change; and aerosols. All lead to enhanced warming with elevation (or at a critical elevation), and it is believed that combinations...
Abstract (from AGU 100): This study investigates snowmelt and streamflow responses to cloudiness variability across the mountainous parts of the western United States. Twenty years (1996–2015) of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite‐derived cloud cover indices (CC) with 4‐km spatial and daily temporal resolutions are used as a proxy for cloudiness. The primary driver of nonseasonal fluctuations in daily mean solar insolation is the fluctuating cloudiness. We find that CC fluctuations are related to snowmelt and snow‐fed streamflow fluctuations, to some extent (correlations of <0.5). Multivariate linear regression models of daily snowmelt (MELT) and streamflow (ΔQ) variations are constructed for each...
Members of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes have been working with an interdisciplinary team of social, ecological, and climate scientists from the North Central CSC, the High Plains Regional Climate Center, and the National Drought Mitigation Center along with other university and agency partners to prepare regular climate and drought summaries to aid in managing water resources on the Wind River Reservation and in surrounding areas.
The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming are preparing for drought and other climate fluctuations with help from a broad coalition of scientists. Read More: https://www.drought.gov/drought/sites/drought.gov.drought/files/media/whatisnidis/Newsletter/October%202015%20v4.pdf
This project consisted of two principal components: (1) A climatological analysis of burn conditions (2) A forum to discuss fire risk and management practices The climatological study included seasonality and inter-annual variability and potential changes due to increasing temperatures. The regional forum engaged stakeholders in a discussion of the use of prescribed fire in a safe and effective manner.
Severe droughts cause widespread tree mortality and decreased growth in forests across the globe. Forest managers are seeking strategies to increase forest resistance (minimizing negative impacts during the drought) and resilience (maximizing recovery rates following drought). Limited experimental evidence suggests that forests with particular structural characteristics have greater capacity to resist change and or recover ecosystem function in the face of drought. However, the applicability of these results to practical forest conservation and management remains unclear. This project utilized an existing network of eight long-term, operational-scale, forest management experiments from Arizona to Maine to examine...
Exposure (vulnerability) index for the future time period (2061-2080) representing projected climate conditions from the Meteorological Research Institute's Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model, version 3, and the rcp85 emissions scenario. The exposure model uses LANDFIRE vegetation data and Worldclim climate data .The raster values represent exposure scores for the corresponding vegetation type. The modeled vegetation types can be spatially associated with the exposure values by overlaying them with the "landfire_veg_sw_300m.tif" raster.Exposure values represent where the location falls in climate space relative to its recent historical distribution:5 (core 5% of historical climate space); 10 (5 -...
The responses of individual species to environmental changes can be manifested at multiple levels that range from individual-level (i.e., behavioral responses) to population-level (i.e., demographic) impacts. Major environmental changes that ultimately result in population level impacts are often first detected as individual-level responses. For example, herbivores respond to limited forage availability during drought periods by increasing the duration of foraging periods and expanding home range areas to compensate for the reduction in forage. However, if the individual-level responses are not sufficient to compensate for reduced forage availability, reduced survival and reproductive rates may result. We studied...
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To assess the current topography of the tidal marshes we conducted survey-grade elevation surveys at all sites between 2009 and 2013 using a Leica RX1200 Real Time Kinematic (RTK)Global Positioning System (GPS) rover (±1 cm horizontal, ±2 cm vertical accuracy; Leica Geosystems Inc., Norcross, GA; Figure 4). At sites with RTK network coverage (San Pablo, Petaluma, Pt. Mugu, and Newport), rover positions were received in real time from the Leica Smartnet system via a CDMA modem (www.lecia-geosystems.com). At sites without network coverage (Humboldt, Bolinas, Morro and Tijuana), rover positions were received in real time from a Leica GS10 antenna base station via radio link. When using the base station, we adjusted...
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...


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