USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics: Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation Science

Assessing Climate Variability and Change

Science on climate variability and change at PSW focuses on understanding historic and ongoing climate and climate mechanisms through proxies such as tree-rings pollen in lake sediments, and forest structural analysis, and on determining short-term climate and weather in relation to wildfire.

Ongoing Research:
  • Climate and Landscape Change Contact: Connie Millar
  • Climate has a profound influence in shaping the environment, natural resources, the economy, and other aspects of life throughout the world. How present climate changes will effect the environment is of central concern. In order to assess present climate changes it is necessary to have an idea of the historic patterns of climate. Research at PSW's Sierra Nevada Research Center is focused on determining historic climate patterns by looking at tree-ring records of living and ancient wood. Present climate can be compared to these historic patterns to show present climate changes. By looking at past climate variability and the resulting changes in vegetation patterns on the landscape, a picture of how ecosystems have been influenced by past climate emerges.

  • Models for Forecasting Climate Effects

    • Fire Weather Forecasts
    • Fire and resource managers today must attempt to consider an array of resource, environmental, social, political, economic, and fire behavior parameters when making fire management decisions. Through the use of technology such as geographic information systems, expert systems, risk analysis, and modeling, we will look at ways to improve the availability and usefulness of complex data to decision makers.

  • Forest Disturbance Forecasts Contact: Haiganoush Preisler

    We are developing statistical models to quantify, assess and forecast effects of climate change variables on wildland fires, insects, and diseases.

  • Disturbance Processes
  • Our research goal is to provide managers with flexible fuel management guidelines to protect forest health and enhance sustainability both under existing conditions and in the event of climate change. Relationships of climate, past fires, and forest dynamics are developed from tree rings, lake sediments, and written historical records. Fuel treatment effectiveness and fire effects on ecosystem components are studied through carefully designed experiments that compare a suite of treatment options.

Research conducted by: