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North Central CASC

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Grasslands in the northern Great Plains are important ecosystems that support local economies, tribal communities, livestock grazing, diverse plant and animal communities, and large-scale migrations of big game ungulates, grassland birds, and waterfowl. Climate change and variability impact how people and animals live on and interact with grasslands, and can bring more frequent droughts, fires, or new plant species that make managing these landscapes challenging. Understanding how climate change and variability will impact grassland ecosystems and their management in the 21st century first requires a synthesis of what is known across all of these scales and a gap analysis to identify key areas of focus for future...
USGS researchers from the North Central CASC and the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center recently collaborated with the National Park Service Climate Change Response Program to develop a new product that communicates the results from a collaborative effort—involving resource managers, subject-matter experts, and a larger climate change adaptation team—to identify potential climate impacts and management responses in Badlands National Park. The researchers used scenario planning and ecological simulation modeling to anticipate management challenges and identify options for Badlands National Park and adjacent federal and tribal lands in the coming decades (through 2050). The ecological simulation models help...
Evaporative demand (E0) both drives and responds to droughts based on interactions across the land surface-atmosphere interface, and can be exploited to signal agricultural, hydrologic, and ecological droughts. In this chapter, we argue that using a fully physically based measure of E0 moves the drought community toward a more complete understanding of drought processes that will enhance its abilities with regard to early warning and drought monitoring in the present day and drought-risk assessment under future climate change scenarios. We examine regional characteristics in E0 and their behavior during droughts in the recent historical period across different hydroclimates. We review physical mechanisms driving...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Although drought is a natural part of climate across the north-central United States, how drought is experienced and responded to is the result of complex biophysical and social processes. Climate change assessments indicate drought impacts will likely worsen in the future, which will further challenge decision-making. Here, a drought management decision typology is empirically developed from synthesis of three in-depth case studies using a modified grounded-theory approach. The typology highlights 1) the entity or entities involved, 2) management sectors, 3) decision types, 4) spatial and temporal scale(s) of decision-making, and 5) barriers that inhibit decision-making. Findings indicate similarities in decision...
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