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Natural Climate Variability

New information from climate sciences and paleoecology increasingly challenges our ability to grasp dynamic nature. Key concepts for restoration include regular natural (without human influence) climate oscillating at multiple and nested temporal scales, including interannual, decadal, century, millennial, and multimillennial scales.

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A Changing Climate in the West

Multiple observation sources document widespread warming of the Earth in the last century. Although this trend is evident global, year-to-year variability makes detecting this trend problematic and interpreting climate records at fine spatial and temporal scales should be done very carefully.

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The Impacts of Climate Change on Water in the Northwest

In the Pacific Northwest, average temperatures have been warming over the past century, somewhat more than the global average increase. The frequency of cold spells has decreased markedly.

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Climate and Stress Interactions in Western Forest Ecosystems

A warmer climate in western North America will affect forests directly through soil moisture stress and indirectly through increased extent and severity of disturbances.

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Downscaled Models

Forecasts of future climates for the purpose of projecting possible impacts of climate change on ecosystems are considerably more consistent than one is led to believe by the popular press

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Vulnerability of Tropical Forests of the Asian Pacific to Global Climate Change

Tropical forests are critical ecosystems affecting the Earth’s climate, hydrological cycles and human cultures. Although they only cover about 10 percent of the Earth’s land surface, they store about 40 percent of the Carbon residing in terrestrial vegetation.

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What Is the Role of Forests in the U.S. Carbon Balance?

Forests matter in the global and U.S. carbon cycle because they store much carbon in wood, dead wood, and soil and because this storage can be easily changed. Currently, forests and long-lived wood products annually store 313 million metric tons of carbon per year...

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Observed Ecological Changes

Climate, the long-term description of weather, is the variation of temperature, wind, cloudiness, precipitation, and humidity. Plants and animals are adapted to local climates and drivers of ecosystem change such as fire and insect outbreaks.

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Strategies for Public Land Management for Adaptation to Climate Change

Rather than treating climate change as one of many management challenges, it is essential to consider the effects of climate change in all plans and activities.

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A Line Officer’s Perspective

The issue of climate change in managing National Forest System lands has roared into the already cluttered schedules of today's line officers. Concepts, theories and elaborate climate models have further confused natural resource planning at the field level.

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Alder Springs Project

It is intuitively obvious to many that wildfires produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs). But as climate change mitigation strategies, including legislation and policy, focus on ways to reduce and sequester GHGs where possible, many are beginning to investigate whether forest management has a measurable effect on GHGs.

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Adaptation Case Studies: Olympic and Tahoe National Forests

We established science-management partnerships on the Olympic National Forest (Washington) and Tahoe National Forest (California) in the first effort to develop adaptation options for specific national forests.

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USFS Large-Scale Natural Resource Assessments and Climate Change

The Forest Service Renewable Resource Assessment is legally mandated to analyze the impacts of climate change on forest and rangelands and to identify urban and rural forestry opportunities for mitigation.

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Managing for Climate and Climate Impacts

We offer a conceptual framework for managing forested ecosystems under an assumption that future environments will be different from present but that we cannot be certain about the specifics of change. We encourage flexible approaches...

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Climate Change and Western Fishes

One of the most important long-term threats to western fishes is climate change. Some of the major effects of climate warming in western North America include (1) Higher temperatures will result in more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow. (2) Snowpack will diminish...

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