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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
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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...
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...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Drought, Fire, Southwest CASC
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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...
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The threat of droughts and their associated impacts on the landscape and human communities has long been recognized in the United States, especially in high risk areas such as the South Central region. There is ample literature on the effects of long-term climate change and short-term climate variability on the occurrence of droughts. However, it is unclear whether this information meets the needs of relevant stakeholders and actually contributes to reducing the vulnerability or increasing the resilience of communities to droughts. For example, are the methods used to characterize the severity of drought – known as drought indices – effective tools for predicting the actual damage felt by communities? As droughts...
This research investigates the interannual variability of soil moisture as related to large-scale climate variability and also evaluates the spatial and temporal variability of modeled deep layer (40?140 cm) soil moisture in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). A three layers hydrological model VIC-3L (Variable Infiltration Capacity Model ? 3 layers) was used to generate soil moisture in the UCRB over a 50-year period. By using wavelet analysis, deep layer soil moisture was compared to the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), precipitation, and streamflow to determine whether deep soil moisture is an indicator of climate extremes. Wavelet and coherency analysis for the UCRB indicated a strong relationship between...
Evidence from woodrat middens and tree rings at Dutch John Mountain (DJM) in northeastern Utah reveal spatiotemporal patterns of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis Engelm.) colonization and expansion in the past millennium. The DJM population, a northern outpost of pinyon, was established by long-distance dispersal (approximately 40 km). Growth of this isolate was markedly episodic and tracked multidecadal variability in precipitation. Initial colonization occurred by AD 1246, but expansion was forestalled by catastrophic drought (1250-1288), which we speculate produced extensive mortality of Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little), the dominant tree at DJM for the previous approximately 8700 years. Pinyon then...
A severe sustained drought in the Colorado River Basin would cause economic damages throughout the Basin. An integrated hydrologic-economic-institutional model introduced here shows that consumptive water users in headwaters states are particularly vulnerable to very large shortfalls and hence large damages because their rights are effectively junior to downstream users. Chronic shortfalls to consumptive users relying on diversions in excess of rights under the Colorado River Compact are also possible. Nonconsumptive water uses (for hydropower and recreation) are severely affected during the worst drought years as instream flows are reduced and reservoirs are depleted. Damages to these uses exceeds those to consumptive...
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...
This data release is provided in support of Arismendi, I., Dunham, J.B., Heck, M.P., Schultz, L.D., Hockman-Wert, D.P., 2017, A statistical method to predict flow permanence in dryland streams from time series of stream temperature: Water, v. 9, no. 12, p. 946, https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120946. This code release contains all of the source code from the "Hidden Markov Model" sections of the associated manuscript. The source code was written using the R programming language (www.r-project.org, version 3.3.1). Running the code requires knowlege of the R programming language. The code snippet requires the folder location containing the data, and the site being processed, to be updated. The code requires certain R packages,...
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Final Report - Executive Summary: This final project report is prepared to summarize the research project titled “Assessing evapotranspiration rate changes for proposed restoration of the forested uplands of the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC)” for the Desert LCC of the Bureau of Reclamation as a requirement for closing out the project. This report includes the scope of work, summary of research project, results, and conclusions. Among all of the components of the terrestrial water cycle, evapotranspiration (ET) consumes the largest amount of water. Accurate estimation of ET is very important to understand the influence of ET to the hydrologic response of recharge and runoff processes in the water...
The Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and their managing organization, the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey, have chosen the emerging climate science field of Ecological Drought as a research focus area. This workshop is part of a series of meetings at each of the nation’s eight CSCs aimed at collating our existing knowledge of the ecological impacts, resistance, and recovery from drought. The eight CSCs provide a fantastic opportunity to compare the ecological effects of drought, related research activities, and management options at different regions, spatial scales, and biomes.
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...
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...
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,...
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This dataset shows the predicted area of high fire potential for the current year up to the end of the forecast period as simulated by a modified version of the MC1 Dynamic General Vegetation Model (DGVM). The area of high fire potential is where PDSI and MC1-calculated values of potential fire behavior (fireline intensity for forest and shrubland and rate of spread of spread for grassland) exceed calibrated threshold values. Potential fire behavior in MC1 is estimated using National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) formulas, monthly climatic (temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity) data, and fuel moisture and loading estimates. Monthly climatic data includes recorded values up to the last observed...


map background search result map search result map Community Resilience to Drought Hazard: An Analysis of Drought Exposure, Impacts, and Adaptation in the South Central U.S. Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future MC1 DGVM fire potential forecast January 2012 - December 2012 (based on CCM3V6 7-month weather forecast) Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Report and Publications: Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Report and Publications: Assessing Evapotranspiration Rate Changes for Proposed Restoration of the Forested Uplands of the DLCC Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Community Resilience to Drought Hazard: An Analysis of Drought Exposure, Impacts, and Adaptation in the South Central U.S. MC1 DGVM fire potential forecast January 2012 - December 2012 (based on CCM3V6 7-month weather forecast)