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UNC Asheville-NEMAC

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The capacity of ecosystems to provide services such as carbon storage, clean water, and forest products is determined not only by variations in ecosystem properties across landscapes, but also by ecosystem dynamics over time. ForWarn is a system developed by the U.S. Forest Service to monitor vegetation change using satellite imagery for the continental United States. It provides near real-time change maps that are updated every eight days, and summaries of these data also provide long-term change maps from 2000 to the present. Based on the detection of change in vegetation productivity, the ForWarn system monitors the effects of disturbances such as wildfires, insects, diseases, drought, and other effects of weather,...
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WaSSI (Water Supply Stress Index) predicts how climate, land cover, and human population change may impact water availability and carbon sequestration at the watershed level (about the size of a county) across the lower 48 United States. WaSSI users can select and adjust temperature, precipitation, land cover, and water use factors to simulate change scenarios for any timeframe from 1961 through the year 2100. Simulation results are available as downloadable maps, graphs, and data files that users can apply to their unique information and project needs. WaSSI generates useful information for natural resource planners and managers who must make informed decisions about water supplies and related ecosystem services...
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Efforts to model and predict long-term variations in climate-based on scientific understanding of climatological processes have grown rapidly in their sophistication to the point that models can be used to develop reasonable expectations of regional climate change. This is important because our ability to assess the potential consequences of a changing climate for particular ecosystems or regions depends on having realistic expectations about the kinds and severity of change to which a region may be exposed.The fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) is a collaborative climate modeling research effort coordinated by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). This is the most recent phase...
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Information about economic activity was obtained from the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (cohesivefire.nemac.org). Data were derived from the USDA Economic Research Service to create a county-level measure of Dominant Economic Activity (county economic dependence). This describes the most prevalent kind of economic activity, which includes activities from farming, mining, and manufacturing to government employment and the service industry. The Appalachian economy is diverse and geographically variable; for example, manufacturing is spread throughout the region, whereas mining activities are located more centrally. Data are from 2004.The mission of the USDA Economic Research Service is to inform...
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The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, initiated in 2009 and finalized in 2014, provides a national vision for wildland fire management. This highly collaborative effort establishes three overarching goals, and describes stakeholder-driven processes for achieving them: (1) resilient landscapes; (2) fire-adapted communities; and (3) safe and effective wildfire response. The scientific rigor of this program was ensured with the establishment of the National Science and Analysis Team (NSAT). The main tasks of NSAT were to compile credible scientific information, data, and models to help explore national challenges and opportunities, identify a range of management options, and help set national priorities...
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