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This recorded presentation is from the April 17, 2014 workshop for the "Integrated Scenarios of the Future Northwest Environment" project. The recording is available on YouTube. The Integrated Scenarios project is an effort to understand and predict the effects of climate change on the Northwest's climate, hydrology, and vegetation. The project was funded by the Northwest Climate Science Center and the Climate Impacts Research Consortium.
Monthly temperature and precipitation data from 41 global climate models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) were compared to observations for the 20th century, with a focus on the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW) and surrounding region. A suite of statistics, or metrics, was calculated, including correlation and variance of mean seasonal spatial patterns, amplitude of seasonal cycle, diurnal temperature range, annual- to decadal-scale variance, long-term persistence, and regional teleconnections to El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Performance, or credibility, was assessed based on the GCMs' abilities to reproduce the observed metrics. GCMs were ranked in their credibility using two...
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As the impacts of climate change amplify, understanding the consequences for wetlands will be critical for their sustainable management and conservation, particularly in arid regions such as the Columbia Plateau. The depressional wetlands in this region (wetlands located in topographic depressions where water can accumulate) are an important source of surface water during the summer months. However, their health depends directly on precipitation and evaporation, making them susceptible to changes in temperature and precipitation. Yet few tools for monitoring water movement patterns (hydrology) in and out of these landscapes currently exist, hindering efforts to model how they are changing. This project provided...
Abstract (from http://www.nature.com/articles/srep24441): The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Northwest CASC, forests, grasslands
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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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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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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 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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The Southeastern U.S. spans broad ranges of physiographic settings and contains a wide variety of aquatic systems that provide habitat for hundreds of endemic aquatic species that pose interesting challenges and opportunities for managers of aquatic resources, particularly in the face of climate change. For example, the Southeast contains the southernmost populations of the eastern brook trout and other cold-water dependent species. Climate change is predicted to increase temperatures in the South and is likely to have a substantial effect on extant populations of cold-water biota. Thus, aquatic managers are tasked with developing strategies for preserving cold-water dependent biota, such as eastern brook trout,...
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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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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...
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Road crossings at rivers and streams can create barriers to the movement of migratory fish when they are improperly designed or constructed. Washington State is home to several threatened species of salmon and trout, including bull trout, and recovery plans for these fish include repairing or replacing culverts that currently block their passage. The state is currently looking to replace approximately 1,000 culverts at an estimated cost of $2.45 billion. As engineers re-design these culverts, which typically have a service life of 50-100 years, it will be important to consider how changing climate conditions will impact streams in the region. Climate change is projected to increase peak streamflows, and therefore...
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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
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UW_Olallie_photo_metadata & image files: These are the raw timelapse photographs. The date/time stamp is inaccurate for the camera deployed in the open (at the SNOTEL) due to a programming error. This timestamp is one day early (i.e., subtract 1 day from the timestamp when using these data). Also available is metadata for two timelapse cameras and their associated snow depth poles (two visible in each camera's field of view) deployed at Olallie Meadows SNOTEL during water year 2015. One camera was deployed in the open area that is the Olallie Meadows SNOTEL station (the snow pillow is in the field of view). The other camera was deployed in the adjacent forest, approximately 60 m to the southeast of the SNOTEL....
Climate change is already affecting species in many ways. Because individual species respond to climate change differently, some will be adversely affected by climate change whereas others may benefit. Successfully managing species in a changing climate will require an understanding of which species will be most and least impacted by climate change. Although several approaches have been proposed for assessing the vulnerability of species to climate change, it is unclear whether these approaches are likely to produce similar results. In this study, we compared the relative vulnerabilities to climate change of 76 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and trees based on three different approaches to assessing vulnerability....
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The percentage difference between mean modeled snow-water-equivalent (meters) on April 1 for the reference (1989-2011) climate period and mean modeled snow-water-equivalent on April 1 for the T4 climate change scenario. Reference period: the period 1989 – 2011 for the Upper Deschutes River Basin domain, for which observed historical meteorology is used for model input. T4 scenario: the observed historical (reference period) meteorology is perturbed by adding +4°C to each daily temperature record in the reference period meteorology, and this data is then used as input to the model.
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Mean modeled snow-water-equivalent (meters) on February 20, the date of peak basin-integrated mean modeled snow-water-equivalent (meters) for the T4 climate change scenario. Reference period: the period 1989 – 2011 for the Upper Deschutes River Basin domain, for which observed historical meteorology is used for model input. T4 scenario: the observed historical (reference period) meteorology is perturbed by adding +4°C to each daily temperature record in the reference period meteorology, and this data is then used as input to the model.
Some of California’s most cherished coastal wetlands, where endangered birds chatter and green growth thrives, could turn to mudflats by the middle of the century. By the end of the century, they could be gone. New research based on years of observation says rising sea levels might well outpace the ability of coastal wetlands to adapt, inundating them before they have time to colonize higher elevations. Continue Reading >>
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Estimates of the probability of mortality in whitebark pine from mountain pine beetles as determined from a logistic generalized additive model of the presence of mortality as functions of the number of trees killed last year, the percent whitebark pine in each cell, minimum winter temperature, average fall temperature, average April - Aug temperature, and cummulative current and previous year summer precipitation. Analysis was done at a 1 km grid cell resolution. Data are a list of points in comma separated text format. Point coordinates are the center of each 1 km grid cell.
The Klamath Basin in Oregon and California is home to a rich abundance of natural and cultural resources, many of which are vulnerable to present and future climate change. Climate change also threatens traditional ways of life for tribal communities, who have deep connections to the region. This project sought to increase the effectiveness of regional climate change adaptation and planning by (1) developing ways to integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with western science in decision making, (2) building partnerships between tribal, academic, and government institutions, and (3) increasing future capacity to respond to climate change by engaging tribal youth. Through this project, the Quartz Valley...


map background search result map search result map Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Probability of Whitebark Pine Mortality from Mountain Pine Beetle, 1997-2009, Northern Rockies Study Area Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Modeled snow-water-equivalent, percent difference between historical and projected April 1 values under T4 climate change scenario, Upper Deschutes River Basin, Oregon [full and clipped versions] Modeled snow-water-equivalent, projected seasonal peak values under T4 climate change scenario, Upper Deschutes River Basin, Oregon [full and clipped versions] Timelapse photos at SNOTEL station, locations, and associated metadata, Ollalie Meadows, Wash., 2015 Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Climate Projections for use in Stream Restoration and Culvert Design in Washington State Timelapse photos at SNOTEL station, locations, and associated metadata, Ollalie Meadows, Wash., 2015 Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Modeled snow-water-equivalent, percent difference between historical and projected April 1 values under T4 climate change scenario, Upper Deschutes River Basin, Oregon [full and clipped versions] Modeled snow-water-equivalent, projected seasonal peak values under T4 climate change scenario, Upper Deschutes River Basin, Oregon [full and clipped versions] Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Climate Projections for use in Stream Restoration and Culvert Design in Washington State Probability of Whitebark Pine Mortality from Mountain Pine Beetle, 1997-2009, Northern Rockies Study Area Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections