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Individual Highlight

Mapping Coincidence of Landscape Exposure to Multiple Stressors Including Climate Change

Photo of The anticipated arrival of average annual temperatures that are outside historical ranges within the conterminous Unites States if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century. Becky Kerns, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.The anticipated arrival of average annual temperatures that are outside historical ranges within the conterminous Unites States if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century. Becky Kerns, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : New maps factor in climate change and illustrate landscape exposure to additional stressors (wildfire potential, insects and disease risk, urban and exurban development) for the conterminous United States. This approach can be used in vulnerability assessments, informing where and why biodiversity and ecosystem services may be at risk, and where additional resources and research may be focused to examine to inform efficient management actions.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Kerns, Becky K.  
Research Location : National
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1187

Summary

Key landscape exposure to multiple stressors (wildfire, insects and disease, urban and exurban development, and climate change) can pose risks to human health, biodiversity and ecosystem services. New maps reveal that much of the conterminous United States (CONUS) will be exposed to these stressors and unprecedented climate change by the middle of the century. The arrival of record setting temperatures will most likely be both rapid and widespread within the CONUS if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century. By 2060, 91 percent of the CONUS could depart from the prevailing climate of the last century. Although much of the CONUS (37 percent) could be impacted by at least one of the landscape stressors examined, multiple coinciding stressors are likely to affect less than 9 percent of the CONUS. The two most prevalent coinciding stressors are (1) wildfire potential combined with insect disease risk, and (2) climate departure combined with urban and exurban development. Combined exposure to three or more stressors was rare, but are likely to affect several localized high-population areas.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Oregon State University