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The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences. The report can be explored interactively at http://nca2014.globalchange.gov.
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As part of the State Wildlife Grant Fund, states are required to submit State Wildlife Plans (SWAPs) every 10 years detailing threats to habitats and species and conservation plans. However, incorporating climate change in SWAPs is voluntary, and capacity/expertise limitations at state agencies have resulted in varied and often only partial consideration of climate change impacts. In response, the MW CASC will conduct literature reviews to assess climate stressors and impacts to habitats and key species and to identify relevant adaptation actions for 13 different Level 2/3 EPA Ecoregions contained within the MW CASC area states. This work will provide a foundation for future habitat vulnerability assessments. ...
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Tribal resource managers in the southwest U.S. are facing a host of challenges related to environmental change, including increasing temperatures, longer periods of drought, and invasive species. These threats are exacerbating the existing challenges of managing complex ecosystems. In a rapidly changing environment, resource managers need powerful tools and the most complete information to make the most effective decisions possible. Traditional Ecological Knowledge has enabled Indigenous peoples to adaptively manage and thrive in diverse environments for thousands of years, yet it is generally underutilized and undervalued, particularly in the context of western scientific approaches. Traditional Ecological...
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Natural and cultural resource managers across the country have begun to use a tool known as "scenario planning" to help prepare for climate change effects that may unfold in the future. In this process, scientific projections are used to identify different plausible, relevant, and divergent climate conditions for a particular area, and then through a participatory process, scientists and resource managers develop "scenarios" which describe the implications of these different conditions for resources and management. The North Central CASC has been working with the National Park Service (NPS) Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) to encourage and support national parks in incorporating climate science and scenario...
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The NC CASC works to communicate the science conducted at the center out to the North Central region through a variety of communication resources such as state specific fact sheets, newsletters, social media and webinars. These communication products aim to connect researchers, managers, and practitioners to usable science, success stories, and solutions for natural and cultural resource management and adaptation under a changing climate. More specifically, the webinar series focuses on ongoing research and practices from the NC CASC network, and feature topics of critical importance to natural resource managers and other stakeholders within the region. To learn more about NC CASC communications, please visit the...
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Future climate conditions in the Upper Mississippi River Basin are projected to include many more extreme precipitation events. These intense periods of rain can lead to flooding of the Mississippi River itself, as well the small streams and rivers that feed it. This flooding presents a challenge for local communities, farmers, small businesses, river users, and the ecosystems and wildlife in the area. To reduce the damage done by these extreme rainfall events, ‘natural solutions’ are often helpful. This might include preserving forests and grasslands to absorb rainwater before it arrives at streams or restoring wetlands to slow and clean runoff water. For river and natural resource managers to adapt to future climate...
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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...
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.
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...
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The Northwest Climate Conference (formerly called the Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference) is the premier climate science event for the region, providing a forum for researchers and practitioners to share scientific results and discuss challenges and solutions related to the impacts of climate change on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Northwest. Conference participants include policy- and decision-makers, resource managers, and scientists from academia, public agencies, sovereign tribal nations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. More information can be found at the conference website: http://pnwclimateconference.org. The Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference...
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The Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (NW CASC) organizes an annual Deep Dive into an emerging climate risk. The NW CASC convenes researchers, practitioners and students to assess the state of knowledge and practice associated with managing that risk. Each Deep Dive aims to facilitate community development of an Actionable Science Agenda that outlines knowledge gaps and research needs and identifies opportunities to advance adaptation by linking science and practice. Deep Dive topics include managing western Washington wildfire risk in a changing climate, managing climate-driven post-fire vegetation transitions, and managing climate change effects on stream drying in the Northwest. To learn more about...
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The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth, supporting salmon fisheries that alone provide nearly $1 billion per year in economic benefits to Southeast Alaska. Glaciers are central to many of the area’s natural processes and economic activities, but the rates of glacier loss in Alaska are among the highest on Earth, with a 26-36 percent reduction in total volume expected by the end of the century. This project brought together scientists and managers at a workshop to synthesize the impacts of glacier change on the region’s coastal ecosystems and to determine related research and monitoring needs. Collected knowledge shows that melting glaciers are expected to have cascading effects...
The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative and the Southeast Climate Science Center developed a new resource - Keeping Pace: A short guide to navigating sea-level rise models! This quick four pager covers the importance of model selection, helpful concepts, model categories, and an example of how to utilize these models to address coastal issues. This resource was largely informed by the Sea-Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists, which resulted from a Southeast CSC funded project.
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Northeastern boreal forests are an important habitat type for many wildlife species, including migratory birds and moose. These animals play vital roles in the boreal forest ecosystem, are a source of pleasure for bird and wildlife watchers, and contribute to tourism revenue for many communities. However, moose and migratory birds are thought to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. For example, in New York’s Adirondack Park system, five species of boreal birds have shown occupancy declines of 15% or more. Meanwhile, moose are threatened by winter ticks that thrive in warmer climates and spread disease. A 2018 New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) report found that there...
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Loko iʻa (Hawaiian fishponds) are an advanced, extensive form of aquaculture found nowhere else in the world. Loko iʻa practices are the result of over a thousand years of intergenerational knowledge, experimentation, and adaptation, and once produced over 2 million pounds of fish per year throughout the Hawaiian Islands. These fishponds provided a consistent and diverse supply of fish when ocean fishing was not possible or did not yield enough supply. In many ways, loko iʻa are foundational to traditional aquaculture in Hawai‘i and have the potential to provide food security that contributes to greater coastal community resilience and economic autonomy. Today, changes in coastal and hydrological processes, including...
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.
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Inland fish populations are a crucial resource to humans and communities around the world. Recreational fishing throughout the United States, for example, provides important revenue to local and state economies; globally, inland fisheries are a vital food source for billions of people. Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, however, are already causing significant changes to fish communities worldwide. Since the mid-1980s, scientists have projected the effects of climate change on inland fish, and in more recent years, documentation of impacts has increased. However, the number of documented impacts of climate change on inland fish remains low. A comprehensive understanding of how climate change...
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Modeling interactions between human and ecological systems is needed to identify pathways to meet multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly important is the relationship between biodiversity, ecological processes, and ecosystem services. However, current models tend to ignore impacts of biodiversity on ecological processes. Existing models capture impacts of socio-economic activities on biodiversity or ecosystem services, but critically, links between biodiversity and ecosystem services are only weakly incorporated in most projections and hence in policy design. Knowledge of these relationships has improved, but is scattered across the literature, as are models addressing each component....
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Multicultural representation is a stated goal of many global scientific assessment processes. These processes aim to mobilize a broader, more diverse knowledge base and increase legitimacy and inclusiveness of these assessment processes. Often, enhancing cultural diversity is encouraged through involvement of diverse expert teams and sources of knowledge in different languages. This project examines linguistic diversity, as one representation of cultural diversity, in the eight published assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
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Assessing the impact of flow alteration on aquatic ecosystems has been identified as a critical area of research nationally and in the Southeast U.S. This project aimed to address the Ecohydrology Priority Science Need of the SE CSC FY2012 Annual Science Work Plan by developing an inventory and evaluation of current efforts and knowledge gaps in hydrological modeling for flow-­‐ecology science in global change impact studies across the Southeast. To accomplish this goal, we completed a thorough synthesis and evaluation of hydrologic modeling efforts in the Southeast region (including all states of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,...


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 Evaluating the Use of Models for Projecting Future Water Flow in the Southeast From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Integrating Climate Change Research and Planning to Inform Wildlife Conservation in the Boreal Forests of the Northeastern U.S. Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning Examining Linguistic Diversity Metrics in Intergovernmental Ecosystem Assessments Developing Products to Increase Climate Science Communication NW CASC Deep Dives: Actionable Science Agendas for Emerging Climate Risks Workshop: Natural Solutions to Ecological and Economic Problems Caused by Extreme Precipitation Events in the Upper Mississippi River Basin State Wildlife Action Planning in the Midwest Integrating Climate Change Research and Planning to Inform Wildlife Conservation in the Boreal Forests of the Northeastern U.S. NW CASC Deep Dives: Actionable Science Agendas for Emerging Climate Risks Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Workshop: Natural Solutions to Ecological and Economic Problems Caused by Extreme Precipitation Events in the Upper Mississippi River Basin Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community Building Capacity within the CSC Network to Effectively Deliver and Communicate Science to Resource Managers and Planners State Wildlife Action Planning in the Midwest Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning Developing Products to Increase Climate Science Communication From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems Evaluating the Use of Models for Projecting Future Water Flow in the Southeast Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services Examining Linguistic Diversity Metrics in Intergovernmental Ecosystem Assessments