Information and Tools for Land Managers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that synthesizes the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for U.S. forests. The report, Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the U.S. Forest Sector , was created as an input to the National Climate Assessment, which has been released as a draft.> Read More
Due to an editorial oversight we originally posted this special issue without the accompanying letters. Please see the original special report, plus the critique and rebuttal posted below for additional considerations on assessing the carbon outcomes of using bioenergy from forests.
Coordinated by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center this report provides an update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations.
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finalized the summary report for policymakers for Working Group 1, which covers the science of climate change. View the report and see when others are scheduled for release.
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National Forest System watersheds supply water for people, economies, and ecosystems. For this assessment, eleven National Forests identified important water resources, assessed climate change exposure and watershed sensitivity, and evaluated the relative vulnerabilities of watersheds to climate change.
Three short videos from the Wildlife Conservation Society offer examples of land management measures that may help ecosystems respond to climate change. These videos were presented at the first National Adaptation Forum in April, 2013.
The authors quantified carbon storage and sequestration by urban trees in the United States to assess the magnitude and role of urban forests in relation to climate change.
This report provides a broad approach for reducing the negative impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend. Many land management agencies provided input to the report.
Find information on new tools for managing natural resources under climate change. The NorWeST stream temperature database and models can help enable climate vulnerability assessments for aquatic species of interest in the Northwestern U.S. EcoSmart Landscapes allows users to estimate the carbon and energy impacts of trees, See the CCRC Tools section for more.
As a part of the National Climate Assessment process, a Draft Climate Assessment Report was open for public comment earlier this spring. Over 4000 comments are now being addressed by the authors.
Natural resource management is ultimately about human decision-making. This paper outlines a structured decision making process and provides several examples of how this approach can be applied to the management of National Forest lands.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that synthesizes the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for U.S. forests. This synthesis was created as an input to the National Climate Assessment, which has been released as a draft for public comment. ~Posted February 2013
This overview of results from long-term research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest outlines some of the complex interactions that ultimately determine the effects of climate change on ecosystems. ~Posted January 2013
Read about the impact of warmer winters, reduced snowfall, and shorter snow seasons on the approximately $12.2 billion dollar U.S. winter tourism industry, in this recent report. ~Posted January 2013
Read an overview of terrestrial biological carbon sequestration and the potential for forestry, agriculture, and use of biomass-based fuels to augment natural carbon sinks. ~Posted January 2013
Released in March of 2012, this special report of the IPCC discusses the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events, what these events might mean for societies, and options for managing the risks posed by impacts and disasters. ~Posted October 2012
Hawaiian climate is projected to become warmer and drier, meaning less water in streams. Richard McKenzie of the Pacific Southwest Research Station talks about the potential effects on native stream- dwellers and how management of the surrounding landscape might alleviate some of these effects. ~Posted October 2012
A recent report outlines the effects of climate change on forests in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, and concludes with recommendations on adaptive and mitigating strategies for dealing with future effects. ~Posted October 2012
This risk assessment projects the effects of eight forest diseases under two climate-change scenarios (warmer and drier, warmer and wetter). ~Posted May 2012
This 2011 symposium featured research on the projected impacts of climatic changes on vegetation, with an emphasis on practical assessment and management. ~Posted May 2012
The CCRC has updated its Climate Change Basics section. ~Posted April 2012
This special issue of Forest Science features articles on forest carbon cycles, disturbance and climate effects on carbon, carbon quantification, bioenergy, and management interaction with carbon. ~Posted April 2012
A new map from the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP) provides climate data projections for Alaska and western Canada for each decade through 2100. . ~Posted March 2012
This Climate Change Response Framework represents a collaborative approach among researchers, managers, and landowners to incorporate climate change considerations into forest management. A new website allows for collaboration on three framework projects taking place in the eastern United States.. ~Posted March 2012
This guidebook contains science-based principles, processes, and tools necessary to assist with developing adaptation options for national forest lands. The adaptation process is based on partnerships between local resource managers and scientists who work collaboratively to understand potential climate change effects, identify important resource issues, and develop management options that can capitalize on new opportunities and reduce deleterious effects. ~Posted January 2012
The Global Carbon Project recently published its annual update of the global carbon budget and carbon trends, which include data for the year 2010. The website includes a number of resources for sharing and communicating data in the report, such as downloadable summary highlights, powerpoint presentations, figures and datasets. ~Posted January 2012
A special report published in the Journal of Forestry is intended to help land managers make decisions about how forests are best managed to help offset carbon emissions. Major topics include climate-forest interactions, forest carbon policy, and the use of forest biomass for energy. Many US Forest Service scientists contributed to the report. ~Posted November 2011
More than a decade ago, the first U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan was developed due to a need for improved understanding of the global carbon cycle and better research coordination. This new 2011 plan outlines a strategy for refocusing U.S. carbon cycle research based on the current state of the science. ~Posted November 2011
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has recently developed The Climate Data Guide, a website devoted to the ins and outs of obtaining and analyzing various existing climatic data sets. It is envisioned as a focal point for users to find not only data, but also expert-user guidance, commentary, and questions and advice on appropriate data applications. ~Posted November 2011
The CCRC is continually adding to it's list of climate change and carbon tools. See some of the most recent updates. ~Posted November 2011
A newly published general technical report (GTR) highlights a climate change adaptation case study at Olympic National Forest in partnership with Olympic National Park. The case study process involved science-based sensitivity assessments, review of management activities and constraints, and adaptation workshops in each of four focus areas (hydrology and roads, fish, vegetation, and wildlife). ~Posted October 2011
A recent edition of Park Science, a research and resource management bulletin of the U.S. National Park Service, is focused on the topic of climate change adaptation and communication. ~Posted September 2011
This recently-finalized assessment looks at northern Wisconsin's vulnerability to climate change, and incorporates information and expertise from a variety of scientists and land managers. It is part of a larger effort in northern Wisconsin called the Climate Change Response Framework project, which uses the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest as a pilot landscape to examine climate impacts and potential responses. ~Posted August 2011
In this science journal for elementary school students, you will find research that focuses on the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The scientists in this region have been studying how climate change may be affecting different animals, plants, and ecosystems. In this journal, you will read about four topics. ~Posted July 2011
The latest quarterly science magazine from the Southern Research Station is focused on climate change. ~Posted July 2011
Released during the International Year of the Forest (2011), this report describes conditions and trends of forests in the United States. A similar report was published in 2004, and the release of the current document represents an opportunity to evaluate the progress recently made by U.S. forest land owners and managers toward the goal of sustainable forests in this country. Climate change, carbon sequestration, and bioenergy all represent prominent issues within the report. ~Posted July 2011
This paper highlights a workshop that was held to explore silvicultural strategies for addressing the uncertainties surrounding climate change and forest response in the northeastern and north-central United States. Outcomes of this workshop included identification of broad management strategies and approaches for creating forests that can adapt to rapidly changing conditions. ~Posted July 2011
Developing strategies to address climate change on National Forests requires the involvement of both researchers and managers. This paper describes a workshop which allowed for the quick interchange of ideas and strategies for climate change adaptation in resource management. One of the workshop outcomes was the development of the product 'Adapting to Climate Change: A short course for land managers'. ~Posted July 2011
Decision-support tools are meant to make life easier, but sometimes even choosing the right tool can be tricky! This is especially true for carbon estimation tools. ~Posted June 2011
Designed for managers, SAVS is an easily applied tool that uses a questionnaire of 22 predictive criteria to create climate change vulnerability scores. The user scores species' attributes relating to potential vulnerability or resilience associated with climate change projections for their region. ~Posted June 2011
The CCRC is undergoing a major expansion from its original western focus to a national resource. ~Posted June 2011
The papers in this issue are a selection of the presentations made at the second International Conference on Forests and Water in a Changing Environment. This special issue covers topics regarding the effects of forest, land use and climate changes on ecohydrological processes across forest stand, watershed and regional spatial scales. ~Posted June 2011
FCCS quantifies and classifies the structural and geographical diversity of wildland fuels in the United States and predicts their relative fire hazard. Current versions also predict surface fire behavior and quantify carbon stores for each calculated fuelbed. ~Posted May 2011
Salmon and other cold-water fishes face many challenges to their continued survival and reproduction, and climate change is expected to exacerbate many of these challenges. Maintaining high-elevation salmon habitat may become more important as temperatures warm and lead to changes in stream flows and the timing of runnoff. A recent program on Idaho Public Television discusses the issue of salmon recovery in the western United States, with detail on climate change impacts available in the extra web-broadcast segment. ~Posted April 2011
Forests have biophysical effects (e.g. changing land surface albedo, altering evapotranspiration) that can enhance or counteract their potential for carbon sequestration to reduce climate warming. This paper outlines research that suggests ways in which forestry projects can take biophysical interactions into account to maximize climate benefits. ~Posted April 2011
This report examines the strategies for responding to climate change from 3 major federal land management agencies (the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service). It compares and contrasts the goals, objectives and actions proposed by these plans in an effort to offer guidance to other organizations developing strategies, and to foster cooperation between agencies. ~Posted April 2011
The National Wildlife Federation has released a new guide that offers conservationists and resource managers a way to understand the impact of climate change on species and ecosystems and is intended to support efforts to safeguard these valuable natural resources. ~Posted March 2011
Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, has announced the Google Earth Engine, which makes current and historical LANDSAT satellite imagery available via the Internet. This will facilitate monitoring of how land cover and forests are changing over time and provide a wealth of data and opportunities for research about the effects of climate change. ~Posted March 2011
Climate change is projected to alter the flow regimes of streams and rivers, with consequences for aquatic ecosystems. An inter-agency team of researchers has developed a database of modeled stream flows for historical and future climate conditions for four major river basins in the Western US. . ~Posted March 2011
U.S. Forest Service scientists are putting the wonders of climate change into the hands of middle school students through the latest edition of the Natural Inquirer, a science education journal that showcases in-depth scientific research in a format for young people. ~Posted February 2011
Forests are important for carbon sequestration and how they are manipulated either through natural or human induced disturbances can have an effect on CO2 emissions and carbon sequestration. ~Posted January 2011
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Section 712, mandates the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop a methodology and conduct an assessment of the Nation's ecosystems, focusing on carbon stocks, carbon sequestration, and emissions of three greenhouse gases (GHGs): carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. ~Posted January 2011
A step-by-step guide on how to develop adaptation initiatives in developing countries by the United Nations Development Programme. ~Posted December 2010
This report addresses: (1) What is changing in climate and related physical/hydrological processes that may influence aquatic species and their habitats? (2) What are the implications for fish populations, aquatic communities, and related conservation values? (3) What can we do about it? ~Posted December 2010
How are different Federal organizations approaching climate change adaptation? A new report from the non-partisan Pew Center on Global Climate Change highlights current strategies, programs, and resources for climate change adaptation across a range of Federal agencies. The USDA Forest Service is featured prominently in this report. ~Posted November 2010
The USDA Forest Service recently released new estimates of the total carbon storage of U.S. forests, highlighting the important role America's forests play in the fight against climate change. On average, the amount of carbon stored in forestland has increased over the past two decades. ~Posted November 2010
This report is targeted at policy-makers, particularly those responsible for developing climate mitigation and adaption strategies that address issues like conservation, ecosystem services, agriculture and sustainable livelihoods. It focuses on the primary linkages between invasive species and climate change, as well as the secondary and tertiary interactions of their corresponding impacts. Finally, the enclosed recommendations are intended to provide guidance on the best ways to integrate invasive species prevention and management into the consideration of climate change responses across a range of sectors.. ~Posted October 2010
Warming during the 20th century drove a series of environmental trends that have profound implications for many aspects of salmonid habitat including disturbance regimes, such as wildfire, and unfavorable changes to thermal and hydrologic properties of aquatic systems. ~Posted October 2010
See our one page summaries for a selection of climate change tools. ~September 2010
May 16-18, 2011, Flagstaff, Arizona
As appearing in the June 2010 issue (Vol. 91) of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). ~August 2010
Based on regional guidance, individual units can put this roadmap to use, using a scorecard system to track local implementation. ~July 2010
Water from forested watersheds provides irreplaceable habitat for aquatic and riparian species and supports our homes, farms, industries, and energy production. Secure, high-quality water from forests is fundamental to our prosperity and our stewardship responsibility. ~July 2010
An overview of different management strategies for increasing forest carbon storage and their costs, benefits and tradeoffs. ~July 2010
Scientists are still debating whether or not the Sun's activity increased during the latter half of the 20th century, but even the highest estimates of activity can't account for the warming observed since about 1950. NASA is the world expert on the sun, and you can read NASA's analysis by following the links. ~July 2010
We have done our best here to select tools that explain their appropriate applications and that openly disclose their strengths and weaknesses. ~June 2010
The purpose of this study was to quantify the decadal-scale time trends in air temperature, precipitation phase and intensity, spring snowmelt timing, and lake temperature in the Tahoe basin, and to relate the trends to large-scale regional climatic trends in the western USA. ~April 2010
Short Subjects from Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.4 National Forests ~March 2010
Recent publication concerning new discoveries on climate change and the American Pika. ~March 2010
This covers a wide range of subjects and activities that address global change in mountain regions around the world. See previous issues of this newsletter here. ~October 2009
Dedicated to mountain climate sciences and effects of climate variability on ecosystems, natural resources, and conservation in western North American mountains. ~June 2009
Strategy to increase understanding of forest, woodland, and grassland ecosystems so that they can be managed in a way that sustains and provides ecosystem services for future generations. ~June 2009
A concise review of climate change adaptation options in the United States containing some practical information for resource managers to help them adapt their forest management goals and practices. ~March 2009
Managing forests for carbon benefits is a consideration for climate change, bioenergy, sustainability, and ecosystem services. ~Feb 2009