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In Alaska, recent research has identified particular areas of the state where both a lack of soil moisture and warming temperatures increase the likelihood of wildfire. While this is an important finding, this previous research did not take into account the important role that melting snow, ice, and frozen ground (permafrost) play in replenshing soil moisture in the spring and summer months. This project will address this gap in the characterization of fire risk using the newly developed monthly water balance model (MWBM). The MWBM takes into account rain, snow, snowmelt, glacier ice melt, and the permafrost layer to better calculate soil moisture replenishment and the amount of moisture that is lost to the atmosphere...
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.
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,...
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...
These datasets are continuous parameter grids (CPG) of permeability (and impermeability) of surface geology in the Pacific Northwest. Source data come from work by Chris Konrad, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and geologic map databases produced by USGS scientists.
A warming climate, fire exclusion, and land cover changes are altering the conditions that produced historical fire regimes and facilitating increased recent wildfire activity in the northwestern United States. Understanding the impacts of changing fire regimes on forest recruitment and succession, species distributions, carbon cycling, and ecosystem services is critical, but challenging across broad spatial scales. One important and understudied aspect of fire regimes is the unburned area within fire perimeters; these areas can function as fire refugia across the landscape during and after wildfire by providing habitat and seed sources. With increasing fire activity, there is speculation that fire intensity and...
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 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.
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gdj3.47/abstract): Two datasets of soil temperature observations collected at Norman, Oklahoma, USA, were analysed to study horizontal and vertical variability in their observations. The first dataset comprised 15-min resolution soil temperature observations from 20 September 2011 to 18 November 2013 in seven plots across a 10-m transect. In each plot, sensors were located at depths of 5, 10, and 30 cm. All seven plots observed fairly consistent maximum soil temperature observations during the spring, fall, and winter months. Starting in late May, the observed spread in soil temperatures across the 10-m transect increased significantly until August when the...
Wildfire refugia are forest patches that are minimally-impacted by fire and provide critical habitats for fire-sensitive species and seed sources for post-fire forest regeneration. Wildfire refugia are relatively understudied, particularly concerning the impacts of subsequent fires on existing refugia. We opportunistically re-visited 122 sites classified in 1994 for a prior fire refugia study, which were burned by two wildfires in 2012 in the Cascade mountains of central Washington, USA. We evaluated the fire effects for historically persistent fire refugia and compared them to the surrounding non-refugial forest matrix. Of 122 total refugial (43 plots) and non-refugial (79 plots) sites sampled following the 2012...
This management brief summarizes the results of a project evaluating the scientific body of research on climate adaptation actions relevant to ecological drought. This adaptation science assessment evaluated strategies developed and prioritized by participants at regional adaptation workshops by synthesizing supporting evidence from the literature. The brief presents findings on the benefits and limitations of these climate adaptation options from the accompanying report, Extremes to Ex-Streams: Ecological Drought Adaptation in a Changing Climate.
This dataset is a continuous parameter grid (CPG) of normal (average) annual precipitation data for the years 1981 through 2010 in the Pacific Northwest. Source precipitation data was produced by the PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University.
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions for 2004–2016 at a 30-m spatial resolution based on monthly or annually updated values of climatic conditions and static physiographic variables associated with the upstream basin. Predictions correspond to any pixel on the channel network consistent with the medium resolution National Hydrography...
These datasets are continuous parameter grids (CPG) of first-of-month snow water equivalent data for March through August, years 2004 through 2016, in the Pacific Northwest. Normal (average) first-of-month values for the same months, averaged across all years, are also located here. Source snow water equivalent data was produced by the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Abstract (from SpringerOpen): Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana, USA) have been immense in recent years, capturing the attention of resource managers, fire scientists, and the general public. This paper synthesizes understanding of the potential effects of changing climate and fire regimes on Pacific Northwest forests, including effects on disturbance and stress interactions, forest structure and composition, and post-fire ecological processes. We frame this information in a risk assessment context, and conclude with management implications and future research needs. Large and severe fires in the Pacific Northwest are associated with warm and dry conditions, and such...


map background search result map search result map Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Streamflow Permanence Probability rasters, 2004-2011, Version 2.0 (PROSPER) Streamflow Permanence Probability rasters, 2004-2011, Version 2.0 (PROSPER) Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska