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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...
This code computes the analytical solution for the damping of sinusoidal infiltration in variably saturated soils described by Bakker and Neiber (2009) and implemented by Dickinson et al. (2014). The usage of the code is documented in the appendix of Dickinson et al. (2014). Bakker, M., Nieber, J.L., 2009. Damping of sinusoidal surface flux fluctuations with soil depth. Vadose Zone J. 8, 119–126,http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2008.0084. Dickinson, J.E., Ferré, T.P.A., Bakker, M., Crompton, B., 2014. A screening tool for delineating subregions of steady recharge within groundwater models.Vadose Zone J. 13, 15, http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2013.10.0184. The code can be obtained at http://az.water.usgs.gov/software/damp.html
Our objective was to quantitatively characterize the landscape of climate-relevant resource decisions in the southwestern United States. We worked with stakeholders to determine actual uses of climate-relevant information used in natural resource decisions. We used content analysis of federal register records of decisions and stakeholder consultative groups to develop a survey of decision makers querying the use of climate information in decisions. We sought to create a classification of decisions attributes, information needs, and decision processes that rely on climate science. We sought to engage stakeholder consultative groups to define mechanisms for best filtering, delivering and interpreting what has become...
Abstract (from AGU 100): This study investigates snowmelt and streamflow responses to cloudiness variability across the mountainous parts of the western United States. Twenty years (1996–2015) of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite‐derived cloud cover indices (CC) with 4‐km spatial and daily temporal resolutions are used as a proxy for cloudiness. The primary driver of nonseasonal fluctuations in daily mean solar insolation is the fluctuating cloudiness. We find that CC fluctuations are related to snowmelt and snow‐fed streamflow fluctuations, to some extent (correlations of <0.5). Multivariate linear regression models of daily snowmelt (MELT) and streamflow (ΔQ) variations are constructed for each...
Exposure (vulnerability) index for the future time period (2061-2080) representing projected climate conditions from the Meteorological Research Institute's Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model, version 3, and the rcp85 emissions scenario. The exposure model uses LANDFIRE vegetation data and Worldclim climate data .The raster values represent exposure scores for the corresponding vegetation type. The modeled vegetation types can be spatially associated with the exposure values by overlaying them with the "landfire_veg_sw_300m.tif" raster.Exposure values represent where the location falls in climate space relative to its recent historical distribution:5 (core 5% of historical climate space); 10 (5 -...
Future changes in the number of dry days per year can either reinforce or counteract projected increases in daily precipitation intensity as the climate warms. We analyze climate model projected changes in the number of dry days using 28 coupled global climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, version 5 (CMIP5). We find that the Mediterranean Sea region, parts of Central and South America, and western Indonesia could experience up to 30 more dry days per year by the end of this century. We illustrate how changes in the number of dry days and the precipitation intensity on precipitating days combine to produce changes in annual precipitation, and show that over much of the subtropics the change...
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To assess the current topography of the tidal marshes we conducted survey-grade elevation surveys at all sites between 2009 and 2013 using a Leica RX1200 Real Time Kinematic (RTK)Global Positioning System (GPS) rover (±1 cm horizontal, ±2 cm vertical accuracy; Leica Geosystems Inc., Norcross, GA; Figure 4). At sites with RTK network coverage (San Pablo, Petaluma, Pt. Mugu, and Newport), rover positions were received in real time from the Leica Smartnet system via a CDMA modem (www.lecia-geosystems.com). At sites without network coverage (Humboldt, Bolinas, Morro and Tijuana), rover positions were received in real time from a Leica GS10 antenna base station via radio link. When using the base station, we adjusted...
A new method for automatic detection of atmospheric rivers (ARs) is developed and applied to an atmospheric reanalysis, yielding an extensive catalog of ARs land-falling along the west coast of North America during 1948–2017. This catalog provides a large array of variables that can be used to examine AR cases and their climate-scale variability in exceptional detail. The new record of AR activity, as presented, validated and examined here, provides a perspective on the seasonal cycle and the interannual-interdecadal variability of AR activity affecting the hydroclimate of western North America. Importantly, AR intensity does not exactly follow the climatological pattern of AR frequency. Strong links to hydroclimate...
In 1969, researchers developed the first global circulation model (Ruttiman 2006); however, it was not until 2014 that modelers first attempted a global ecosystem and biodiversity model that included human pressures (i.e., the Madingley Model) (Harfoot et al. 2014). Other large-scale models of biodiversity exist, such as GLOBIO (Alkemade et al. 2009), but to date there are no well accepted global biodiversity models similar to global circulation models that can help guide global biodiversity policy development and targets. The lack of global biodiversity models compared to the extensive array of general circulation models provides a unique opportunity for climate, ecosystem, and biodiversity modeling experts to...
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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 2017 fire season in California was highly unusual with its late seasonal timing, the areal extent it burned, and its devastation to communities. These fires were associated with extreme winds and were potentially also influenced by unusually dry conditions during several years leading up to the 2017 events. This fire season brought additional attention and emphasized the vital need for managers in the western U.S. to have access to scientific information on when and where to expect dangerous fire events. Understanding the multiple factors that cause extreme wildfire events is critical to short and long-term forecasting and planning. Seasonal climate measures such as temperature and precipitation are commonly...
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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
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Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this project, researchers will bring together land managers who have experienced various degrees of ecosystem transformation (from not yet experiencing any changes to seeing large changes across the lands they manage) to share their perspectives on how to mitigate large-scale changes in land condition. The team will conduct surveys...
This project links climate, hydrological, and ecological changes over the next 30 years in a Great Basin watershed. In recent years, climate variability on annual and decadal time scales has been recognized as greater than commonly perceived with increasing impacts on ecosystems and available water resources. Changes in vegetation distribution, composition and productivity resulting from climate change affect plant water use, which in turn can alter stream flow, groundwater and eventually available water resources. To better understand these links, project researchers implemented two computer-based numeric models in the Cleve Creek watershed in the Schell Creek Range, east of Ely, Nevada. The application of the...
Abstract (from http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JHM-D-14-0236.1): Global climate model (GCM) output typically needs to be bias corrected before it can be used for climate change impact studies. Three existing bias correction methods, and a new one developed here, are applied to daily maximum temperature and precipitation from 21 GCMs to investigate how different methods alter the climate change signal of the GCM. The quantile mapping (QM) and cumulative distribution function transform (CDF-t) bias correction methods can significantly alter the GCM’s mean climate change signal, with differences of up to 2°C and 30% points for monthly mean temperature and precipitation, respectively. Equidistant quantile...
This survey was used in a study on the use of scientific information in public natural resource management planning and decision-making. This survey was intended to help staff at the Southwest Climate Science Center (SWCSC), and others in the research community, gain a more specific understanding of the kinds of decisions made by public natural resource officials and to identify how scientific information, and in particular climate information, is obtained and applied in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) natural resource decision-making processes. Aside from questions and associated information, the survey document contains page logic describing actions taken in a web-based environment.
Abstract (from http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JHM-D-16-0194.1): This study investigates the spatial and temporal variability of cloudiness across mountain zones in the western United States. Daily average cloud albedo is derived from a 19-yr series (1996–2014) of half-hourly Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) images. During springtime when incident radiation is active in driving snowmelt–runoff processes, the magnitude of daily cloud variations can exceed 50% of long-term averages. Even when aggregated over 3-month periods, cloud albedo varies by ±10% of long-term averages in many locations. Rotated empirical orthogonal functions (REOFs) of daily cloud albedo anomalies over high-elevation...
The impacts of different emission levels and climate change conditions to landscape-scale natural vegetation could have large repercussions for ecosystem services and environmental health. We forecast the risk-reduction benefits to natural landscapes of lowering business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions by comparing the extent and spatial patterns of climate exposure to dominant vegetation under current emissions trajectories (Representative Concentration Pathway, RCP8.5) and envisioned Paris Accord target emissions (RCP4.5). This comparison allows us to assess the ecosystem value of reaching targets to keep global temperature warming under 2°C. Using 350,719 km2 of natural lands in California, USA, and the mapped...


map background search result map search result map Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Relations Among Cheatgrass, Fire, Climate, and Sensitive-Status Birds across the Great Basin Tijuana: Tidal Marsh Digital Elevation Model Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire Tijuana: Tidal Marsh Digital Elevation Model Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Relations Among Cheatgrass, Fire, Climate, and Sensitive-Status Birds across the Great Basin Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire