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Drought, Fire and Extreme Weather

CASC-supported scientists throughout the country are working to understand how drought, fire and extreme weather are changing under climate change and how they are impacting important natural and cultural resources. Browse our science on these topics below.

Filter Total Items: 234

Uniting Western Restoration Strategies and Traditional Knowledge to Build Community Capacity and Climate Resilience on the Navajo Nation

Across the Navajo Nation, the negative effects of climate change are impacting soil and vegetation management practices to the detriment of ecosystem function, human health, cultural resiliency, and economic well-being. Conducting ecosystem restoration and shifting land management practices are critical elements of climate adaptation and dust mitigation strategies for the Navajo Nation. However, b
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Uniting Western Restoration Strategies and Traditional Knowledge to Build Community Capacity and Climate Resilience on the Navajo Nation

Across the Navajo Nation, the negative effects of climate change are impacting soil and vegetation management practices to the detriment of ecosystem function, human health, cultural resiliency, and economic well-being. Conducting ecosystem restoration and shifting land management practices are critical elements of climate adaptation and dust mitigation strategies for the Navajo Nation. However, b
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Cycles of Renewal: Returning Good Fire to the Chumash Homelands

Fire has always been a part of life in southern California. Climate change and current fire management practices have led to catastrophic losses and impacts to human health, infrastructure and ecosystems, as seen, for example, in the 2018 Montecito debris flow. Indigenous wisdom instructs that rather than suppressing fire, we should seek to be in good relationship with fire. This project centers t
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Cycles of Renewal: Returning Good Fire to the Chumash Homelands

Fire has always been a part of life in southern California. Climate change and current fire management practices have led to catastrophic losses and impacts to human health, infrastructure and ecosystems, as seen, for example, in the 2018 Montecito debris flow. Indigenous wisdom instructs that rather than suppressing fire, we should seek to be in good relationship with fire. This project centers t
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The Implications of Stream Fragmentation for Climate Change Resilience of Northern Prairie Fishes

Dry stream sections are characteristic of most prairie streams. Native fish are highly adapted to variable environments, using refuge habitats (e.g., remaining wet stream fragments) to recolonize areas after seasonal drying. However, dams and other barriers can prevent recolonization of seasonally-dry stream sections habitats known to be critical spawning and rearing areas for many species. This p
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The Implications of Stream Fragmentation for Climate Change Resilience of Northern Prairie Fishes

Dry stream sections are characteristic of most prairie streams. Native fish are highly adapted to variable environments, using refuge habitats (e.g., remaining wet stream fragments) to recolonize areas after seasonal drying. However, dams and other barriers can prevent recolonization of seasonally-dry stream sections habitats known to be critical spawning and rearing areas for many species. This p
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Trajectories of Change: How Climate, Wildfire, and Management Drive Shrubland Ecosystem Transitions

A change in wildfire regimes and the expansion of invasive grasses are degrading sagebrush ecosystems, altering wildlife habitats, and threatening property and human livelihoods. In response, land managers often treat large areas of land with fuel reduction or post-fire seeding treatments in an attempt to reduce these risks. However, the trajectories of ecosystem change following treatment are inc
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Trajectories of Change: How Climate, Wildfire, and Management Drive Shrubland Ecosystem Transitions

A change in wildfire regimes and the expansion of invasive grasses are degrading sagebrush ecosystems, altering wildlife habitats, and threatening property and human livelihoods. In response, land managers often treat large areas of land with fuel reduction or post-fire seeding treatments in an attempt to reduce these risks. However, the trajectories of ecosystem change following treatment are inc
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State of the Science in Streamflow Modeling in the North Central Region to Address Partner Needs for Water Availability Under Drought Conditions

Land and water managers often rely on hydrological models to make informed management decisions. Understanding water availability in streams, rivers, and reservoirs during high demand periods that coincide with seasonal low flows can affect how water managers plan for its distribution for human consumption while sustaining aquatic ecosystems. Substantial advancement in hydrological modeling has oc
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State of the Science in Streamflow Modeling in the North Central Region to Address Partner Needs for Water Availability Under Drought Conditions

Land and water managers often rely on hydrological models to make informed management decisions. Understanding water availability in streams, rivers, and reservoirs during high demand periods that coincide with seasonal low flows can affect how water managers plan for its distribution for human consumption while sustaining aquatic ecosystems. Substantial advancement in hydrological modeling has oc
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Characterizing Climate-Driven Changes to Flood Events and Floodplain Forests in the Upper Mississippi River to Inform Management

Floodplain forests along the Upper Mississippi River are heavily managed but understudied systems that provide critical ecosystem services, including habitat for endangered species. Impacts of a changing climate, such as warmer winters and wetter summers with extreme precipitation events, are already influencing hydrologic patterns in these ecosystems, including altering the duration, frequency, a
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Characterizing Climate-Driven Changes to Flood Events and Floodplain Forests in the Upper Mississippi River to Inform Management

Floodplain forests along the Upper Mississippi River are heavily managed but understudied systems that provide critical ecosystem services, including habitat for endangered species. Impacts of a changing climate, such as warmer winters and wetter summers with extreme precipitation events, are already influencing hydrologic patterns in these ecosystems, including altering the duration, frequency, a
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Next Generation Fire Modeling to Inform the Management of Climate and Fire Driven Ecological Transformations in the Rio Grande Basin

The warming climate combined with a century of fuel build up (i.e. burnable plant materials found in the forest) due to fire suppression are driving megafires that threaten life and property and are severely altering ecosystems. Many of these fires are converting large areas of forest to shrub fields or grasslands, termed “ecological transformations.” Although uncharacteristically severe fires are...
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Next Generation Fire Modeling to Inform the Management of Climate and Fire Driven Ecological Transformations in the Rio Grande Basin

The warming climate combined with a century of fuel build up (i.e. burnable plant materials found in the forest) due to fire suppression are driving megafires that threaten life and property and are severely altering ecosystems. Many of these fires are converting large areas of forest to shrub fields or grasslands, termed “ecological transformations.” Although uncharacteristically severe fires are...
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The Combined Effects of Seasonal Climate and Extreme Precipitation on Flood Hazard in the Midwest

The Midwest has experienced some of the costliest flooding events in U.S. history, including many billions of dollars during the past decade alone. The Midwest’s susceptibility to flooding has been exacerbated by a long-term increase in total precipitation and extreme rainfalls, with the 2010s being the region’s wettest decade on record Climate models strongly indicate that these recent trends w
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The Combined Effects of Seasonal Climate and Extreme Precipitation on Flood Hazard in the Midwest

The Midwest has experienced some of the costliest flooding events in U.S. history, including many billions of dollars during the past decade alone. The Midwest’s susceptibility to flooding has been exacerbated by a long-term increase in total precipitation and extreme rainfalls, with the 2010s being the region’s wettest decade on record Climate models strongly indicate that these recent trends w
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"Climate-smart" fisheries and aquaculture to support resilient aquatic ecosystems in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has committed to mitigation and adaption in support of the Paris Agreement. Implementation of Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to adaptation involves “prioritized adaptation actions for the period 2021-2030” to address “institutional, policy, financial, and human resource and technology gaps.” Of particular relevance, the NDC highlight the need for focus...
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"Climate-smart" fisheries and aquaculture to support resilient aquatic ecosystems in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has committed to mitigation and adaption in support of the Paris Agreement. Implementation of Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to adaptation involves “prioritized adaptation actions for the period 2021-2030” to address “institutional, policy, financial, and human resource and technology gaps.” Of particular relevance, the NDC highlight the need for focus...
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Development of a Surface Water Index of Permanence (SWIPe) Database to Assess Surface Water Availability for Ecohydrological Refugia

Surface-water availability has been identified as one of the biggest issues facing society in the 21st century. Where and when water is on the landscape can have profound impacts on the economy, wildlife behavior, recreational use, industrial practices, energy development, and many other aspects of life, society, and the environment. Projections indicate that surface-water availability will be gen
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Development of a Surface Water Index of Permanence (SWIPe) Database to Assess Surface Water Availability for Ecohydrological Refugia

Surface-water availability has been identified as one of the biggest issues facing society in the 21st century. Where and when water is on the landscape can have profound impacts on the economy, wildlife behavior, recreational use, industrial practices, energy development, and many other aspects of life, society, and the environment. Projections indicate that surface-water availability will be gen
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California Reforestation Management Toolshed: A Web-Based Dashboard of Integrating Existing Resources

Millions of acres of California’s forest cover have been lost due to severe wildfire and drought mediatedinsect outbreaks. These acres may not grow back as forests without management action, which could negatively impact carbon sequestration, access to clean drinking water, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities. Various factors, including limited regeneration potential, hotter and more ext...
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California Reforestation Management Toolshed: A Web-Based Dashboard of Integrating Existing Resources

Millions of acres of California’s forest cover have been lost due to severe wildfire and drought mediatedinsect outbreaks. These acres may not grow back as forests without management action, which could negatively impact carbon sequestration, access to clean drinking water, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities. Various factors, including limited regeneration potential, hotter and more ext...
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A Multi-Scale Decision Support Platform for Adaptive Management of Post-Fire Landscapes in the Inland Northwest

Climate change is contributing to an increase in wildfire activity in the western United States, including the Blue Mountains and Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills of the Inland Northwest. Some forest ecosystems are changing from forest to non-forest because of severe fires, a hot and dry climate, and/or the absence of a viable seed source. On sites impacted by wildfire, managers are tasked wi
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A Multi-Scale Decision Support Platform for Adaptive Management of Post-Fire Landscapes in the Inland Northwest

Climate change is contributing to an increase in wildfire activity in the western United States, including the Blue Mountains and Eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills of the Inland Northwest. Some forest ecosystems are changing from forest to non-forest because of severe fires, a hot and dry climate, and/or the absence of a viable seed source. On sites impacted by wildfire, managers are tasked wi
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