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These videos were recorded as part of an online interactive course titled "Managing for a Changing Climate", offered by the University of Oklahoma. The course is free and available worldwide for anyone with an internet connection through the Janux platform. Course content and assignments provide students with an integrative understanding of the climate system, the role of natural variability in the climate system, external drivers of climate change, and the implications of climactic shifts for natural and cultural resources. Resources managers, tribal environmental professionals, staff and students at other Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, and members of the general public can participate...
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.
Climate, sea level rise, and urbanization are undergoing unprecedented levels of combined change and are expected to have large effects on natural resources—particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coastline (Gulf Coast). Management decisions to address these effects (i.e., adaptation) require an understanding of the relative vulnerability of various resources to these stressors. To meet this need, the four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives along the Gulf partnered with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to conduct this Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA). Vulnerability in this context incorporates the aspects of exposure and sensitivity to threats, coupled with the adaptive capacity to mitigate those threats. Potential...
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...
The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA or “Assessment”) is a collaborative effort to evaluate the vulnerability of four key ecosystems and eleven associated species to the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and land use change across the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico. It is designed to inform land managers, researchers, and decision makers about the relative vulnerability across individual species and ecosystems and how that vulnerability varies spatially across the Gulf region for each. The GCVA is a qualitative assessment that compiles the expert opinions of managers, scientists, administrators, and others. The results presented herein represent informed opinions of the experts engaged, and...
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In the Western U.S., approximately 65% of the water supply comes from forested regions with most of the water that feeds local rivers coming from snowmelt that originates in mountain forests. The Rio Grande headwaters (I.e. the primary water generating region of the Rio Grande river) is experiencing large changes to the landscape primarily from forest fires and bark beetle infestations. Already, 85% of the coniferous forests in this region have been affected by the bark beetle, and projections indicate greater changes will occur as temperatures increase. In this area, most of the precipitation falls as snow in the winter, reaches a maximum depth in the late spring, and melts away due to warmer temperatures by early...
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The South Central U.S. is one of the main agricultural regions in North America: annual agricultural production is valued at more than $44 billion dollars. However, as climate conditions change, the region is experiencing more frequent and severe droughts, with significant impacts on agriculture and broader consequences for land management. For example, in 2011 drought caused an estimated $7.6 billion in agricultural losses in Texas and an additional $1.6 billion in Oklahoma. Although there are many drought monitoring tools available, most of these tools were developed without input from the stakeholders, such as farmers and ranchers, who are intended to use them. The goal of this project was to assess the information...
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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...
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Pollinator restoration requires information about what species to plant and when to plant them to ensure food sources are available throughout the periods when pollinators are active. Changes in climate, including earlier spring warming and warmer fall temperatures, may cause flowering to become out of sync with pollinator activity. When restoring land to support pollinators, managers are challenged to select a mix of species that support pollinators of concern throughout their periods of activity. Existing planting tools have several disadvantages such as, their usability is location specific, they are virtually non-existent for the South Central region, and they do not often account for future changes in plant...
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The South Central U.S. encompasses a wide range of ecosystem types and precipitation patterns. Average annual precipitation is less than 10 inches in northwest New Mexico but can exceed 60 inches further east in Louisiana. Much of the region relies on warm-season convective precipitation – that is, highly localized brief but intense periods of rainfall that are common in the summer. This type of precipitation is a significant driver of climate and ecosystem function in the region, but it is also notoriously difficult to predict since it occurs at such small spatial and temporal scales. While global climate models are helpful for understanding and predicting large-scale precipitation trends, they often do not capture...
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A limited amount of valid scientific information about global climate change and its detrimental impacts has reached the public and exerted a positive impact on the public policy process or future planning for adaptation and mitigation. This project was designed to address this limitation by bringing together expertise in the social and communication sciences from targeted academic institutions affiliated with the Department of the Interior’s Climate Science Centers (CSCs) through a workshop. The project team brought together expertise in the social and communication sciences from targeted academic institutions, particularly experts and scholars who are affiliated with the nation’s CSCs, by means of an invited...
Categories: Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2012, CASC, Completed, Completed, Completed, All tags...
Global climate models (GCMs) are numerically complex, computationally intensive, physics-based research tools used to simulate our planet’s inter-connected climate system. In addition to improving the scientific understanding of how the large-scale climate system works, GCM simulations of past and future climate conditions can be useful in applied research contexts. When seeking to apply information from global-scale climate projections to address local- and regional-scale climate questions, GCM-generated datasets often undergo statistical post-processing generally known as statistical downscaling (hereafter, SD). There are many different SD techniques, with all using information from observations to address GCM...
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Scientists, planners, policy makers and other decision-makers in the South Central U.S. want to understand the potential impacts of changes in climate, precipitation, and land-use patterns on natural and cultural resources. Though the potential impacts of climate change can be modeled to help decision-makers plan for future conditions, these models rarely incorporate changes in land-use that may occur. Climate change and land-use change are often linked, as shifts in precipitation and temperature can alter patterns in human land-use activities, such as agriculture. This project sought to address this gap by developing new software tools that enable stakeholders to quickly develop custom, climate-sensitive land-use...
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The sky island forests of the southwestern United States are one of the most diverse temperate forest ecosystems in the world, providing key habitat for migrating and residential species alike. Black bear, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and wild turkey are just a few of the species found in these isolated mountain ecosystems that rise out of the desert landscape. However, recent droughts have crippled these ecosystems, causing significant tree death. Climate predictions suggest that this region will only face hotter and drier conditions in the future, potentially stressing these ecosystems even further. Simple models predict that vegetation will move to cooler and wetter locations in response to this warming. However,...
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This data set includes a dropped-edge analysis of grassland and forest networks in the South Central United States based on land cover data from 2006 and graph theory to evaluate Landscape Resistance to Dispersal (LRD). LRD represents the degree to which habitat availability limits species movement. LRD decreases as habitat availability increases and increases as habitat availability decreases. This data set includes a range of LRD thresholds to represent species with different dispersal abilities and responses to landscape structure. A threshold indicates the highest LRD that still allows dispersal by a particular group of species. LRD thresholds are included in the data set, with low values representing connectivity...
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The threat of droughts and their associated impacts on the landscape and human communities have long been recognized in the United States, especially in high risk areas such as the southcentral region. This project examines whether existing drought indices can predict the occurrence of drought events and their actual damages, how the adaptive capacity (i.e., resilience) varies across space, and what public outreach and engagement effort would be most effective for mitigation of risk and impacts. The study region includes all 503 counties in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. This data set was created to assess the community resilience to the drought hazards using the Resilience Inference Measurement...
This webinar is part of a series featuring South Central Climate Science Center researchers studying the Rio Grande, a critical water resource for people and wildlife. Learn more at southcentralclimate.org and view the other webinars in this series here.


map background search result map search result map Building Capacity within the CSC Network to Effectively Deliver and Communicate Science to Resource Managers and Planners Predicting Sky Island Forest Vulnerability to Climate Change: Fine Scale Climate Variability, Drought Tolerance, and Fire Response Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Community Resilience to Drought Hazard: An Analysis of Drought Exposure, Impacts, and Adaptation in the South Central U.S. Developing Effective Drought Monitoring Tools for Farmers and Ranchers in the South Central U.S. Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Combined county-level drought incidence, damage, and census data Dropped-edge analysis of terrestrial connectivity of grassland and forest networks in the South Central United States based on the National Land Cover Database from 2006 Estimating the Future Effects of Forest Disturbance on Snow Water Resources in a Changing Environment Time to Restore: Using a Community Based Approach to Identify Key Plant Species for Pollinator Restoration Estimating the Future Effects of Forest Disturbance on Snow Water Resources in a Changing Environment Predicting Sky Island Forest Vulnerability to Climate Change: Fine Scale Climate Variability, Drought Tolerance, and Fire Response Dropped-edge analysis of terrestrial connectivity of grassland and forest networks in the South Central United States based on the National Land Cover Database from 2006 Building Capacity within the CSC Network to Effectively Deliver and Communicate Science to Resource Managers and Planners Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Community Resilience to Drought Hazard: An Analysis of Drought Exposure, Impacts, and Adaptation in the South Central U.S. Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Combined county-level drought incidence, damage, and census data Time to Restore: Using a Community Based Approach to Identify Key Plant Species for Pollinator Restoration Developing Effective Drought Monitoring Tools for Farmers and Ranchers in the South Central U.S.