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Drought, Fire and Extreme Weather

 

Droughts, fires, and extreme weather events like hurricanes have become more common and more devastating in recent years. CASC-supported scientists are working to understand how these phenomenon are affecting important natural and cultural resources and how they will continue to change over time. Browse our projects below or use our Project Explorer database to explore more science on this topic.

Filter Total Items: 123

Assessing Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate on Wild Turkeys Across the Southeastern U.S.

Wild turkey is a culturally and economically important game species that has shown dramatic population declines throughout much of the southeastern U.S. A possible explanation for these declines is that the timing of nesting has shifted to earlier in the year while hunting seasons have remained the same. Wild turkeys are the only gamebird in the contiguous United States that are hunted during the
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Assessing Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate on Wild Turkeys Across the Southeastern U.S.

Wild turkey is a culturally and economically important game species that has shown dramatic population declines throughout much of the southeastern U.S. A possible explanation for these declines is that the timing of nesting has shifted to earlier in the year while hunting seasons have remained the same. Wild turkeys are the only gamebird in the contiguous United States that are hunted during the
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Landscape Management Practices on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso

The Pueblo de San Ildefonso is facing increased wildfire risk under climate change. Recent fires have not only burned culturally significant sites, but they have also resulted in a loss of watershed runoff retention, which has increased erosion and the transport of contaminated sediments and soils on Pueblo lands from the adjacent Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). A priority for the Pueblo is
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Landscape Management Practices on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso

The Pueblo de San Ildefonso is facing increased wildfire risk under climate change. Recent fires have not only burned culturally significant sites, but they have also resulted in a loss of watershed runoff retention, which has increased erosion and the transport of contaminated sediments and soils on Pueblo lands from the adjacent Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). A priority for the Pueblo is
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Estimating the Future Effects of Forest Disturbance on Snow Water Resources in a Changing Environment

In the Western U.S., approximately 65% of the water supply comes from forested regions with most of the water that feeds local rivers coming from snowmelt that originates in mountain forests. The Rio Grande headwaters (I.e. the primary water generating region of the Rio Grande river) is experiencing large changes to the landscape primarily from forest fires and bark beetle infestations. Already, 8
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Estimating the Future Effects of Forest Disturbance on Snow Water Resources in a Changing Environment

In the Western U.S., approximately 65% of the water supply comes from forested regions with most of the water that feeds local rivers coming from snowmelt that originates in mountain forests. The Rio Grande headwaters (I.e. the primary water generating region of the Rio Grande river) is experiencing large changes to the landscape primarily from forest fires and bark beetle infestations. Already, 8
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The Fire Within Us: Documenting Indigenous Relationships with Fire in Southern California/San Diego County

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples across California have maintained a relationship with fire to protect and care for the land. Utilizing burning practices passed down across generations fire was intentionally implemented to steward the landscape, cultivate food, fiber, and medicine, and reduce fuel loads that can set the stage for extreme fire events. Suppressive western fire management pr
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The Fire Within Us: Documenting Indigenous Relationships with Fire in Southern California/San Diego County

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples across California have maintained a relationship with fire to protect and care for the land. Utilizing burning practices passed down across generations fire was intentionally implemented to steward the landscape, cultivate food, fiber, and medicine, and reduce fuel loads that can set the stage for extreme fire events. Suppressive western fire management pr
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Tracking Forest and Hydrological Resilience to Compound Stressors in Burned Forests Under a Changing Climate

In the Northern Rockies, the annual area burned by wildfires has risen sharply in recent decades and is expected to continue growing. As a result, burned forests increasingly comprise a significant portion of the land base. However, burned areas represent a difficult paradox for land managers, especially in the context of other climate-linked disturbances (e.g., droughts, bark beetle outbreaks) th
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Tracking Forest and Hydrological Resilience to Compound Stressors in Burned Forests Under a Changing Climate

In the Northern Rockies, the annual area burned by wildfires has risen sharply in recent decades and is expected to continue growing. As a result, burned forests increasingly comprise a significant portion of the land base. However, burned areas represent a difficult paradox for land managers, especially in the context of other climate-linked disturbances (e.g., droughts, bark beetle outbreaks) th
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Cultural Burning as a Climate Adaptation Strategy

There is increasing and broad recognition of the importance of Indigenous and local knowledge in leading climate change adaptation. Indigenous peoples and nations are on the front lines of climate change impacts, yet they are also leading the way in many innovative adaptation actions, such as traditional or cultural burning practices - a form of low-intensity understory-burning that promotes ecosy
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Cultural Burning as a Climate Adaptation Strategy

There is increasing and broad recognition of the importance of Indigenous and local knowledge in leading climate change adaptation. Indigenous peoples and nations are on the front lines of climate change impacts, yet they are also leading the way in many innovative adaptation actions, such as traditional or cultural burning practices - a form of low-intensity understory-burning that promotes ecosy
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A Decision Support System for Estimating Changes in Extreme Floods and Droughts in the Northeast U.S.

Floods and droughts are forecasted to occur with greater frequency and to be more extreme because of climate change. These changes will increase stresses on both cities and natural systems. Increased flooding can harm infrastructure designed to support human needs and natural systems that support fish and wildlife. Increased drought can have direct impacts on fish and wildlife by increasing river
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A Decision Support System for Estimating Changes in Extreme Floods and Droughts in the Northeast U.S.

Floods and droughts are forecasted to occur with greater frequency and to be more extreme because of climate change. These changes will increase stresses on both cities and natural systems. Increased flooding can harm infrastructure designed to support human needs and natural systems that support fish and wildlife. Increased drought can have direct impacts on fish and wildlife by increasing river
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Generating a Shoreline Inventory for Hawai‘i Island to Increase Resilience in the Face of Rising Sea Levels

Globally, shorelines provide a vital defense system against extreme weather and erosion events and are a critical public and cultural resource. Within the state of Hawaiʻi, coastal vulnerability and historic change has been well documented and studied on the Islands of Oʻahu, Maui, and Kauaʻi, but this has not been done for the Island of Hawaiʻi, the largest and most diverse island in the Hawaiian...
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Generating a Shoreline Inventory for Hawai‘i Island to Increase Resilience in the Face of Rising Sea Levels

Globally, shorelines provide a vital defense system against extreme weather and erosion events and are a critical public and cultural resource. Within the state of Hawaiʻi, coastal vulnerability and historic change has been well documented and studied on the Islands of Oʻahu, Maui, and Kauaʻi, but this has not been done for the Island of Hawaiʻi, the largest and most diverse island in the Hawaiian...
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Preliminary Investigation of Machine Learning Approaches to Improve Projections of Future Climate in Hawai‘i

Detailed, reliable projections of future changes in climate are needed by Hawai‘i’s resource managers, such as water utilities managers, land managers, conservation organizations, and decision makers. However, global climate models (or “general circulation models”), which are currently the most commonly used tool for projecting future climate variations, are known for representing large-scale clim...
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Preliminary Investigation of Machine Learning Approaches to Improve Projections of Future Climate in Hawai‘i

Detailed, reliable projections of future changes in climate are needed by Hawai‘i’s resource managers, such as water utilities managers, land managers, conservation organizations, and decision makers. However, global climate models (or “general circulation models”), which are currently the most commonly used tool for projecting future climate variations, are known for representing large-scale clim...
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Dynamic Climate Adaptation for Wetland Restoration and Coastal Communities on Lake Ontario

Residents living along the coast of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have experienced two record-setting floods, one in 2017 and another in 2019. These floods caused tremendous property damage and disruptions to the regional economy. The water levels on Lake Ontario are influenced by the operations of the Moses Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River. These operations are determined by the I
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Dynamic Climate Adaptation for Wetland Restoration and Coastal Communities on Lake Ontario

Residents living along the coast of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have experienced two record-setting floods, one in 2017 and another in 2019. These floods caused tremendous property damage and disruptions to the regional economy. The water levels on Lake Ontario are influenced by the operations of the Moses Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River. These operations are determined by the I
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Creating a North Central Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (NC RISCC) Management Network

Natural resource managers consistently identify invasive species as one of the biggest challenges for ecological adaptation to climate change. Yet climate change is often not considered during their management decision making. Given the many ways that invasive species and climate change will interact, such as changing fire regimes and facilitating the migration of high priority species, it is more
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Creating a North Central Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (NC RISCC) Management Network

Natural resource managers consistently identify invasive species as one of the biggest challenges for ecological adaptation to climate change. Yet climate change is often not considered during their management decision making. Given the many ways that invasive species and climate change will interact, such as changing fire regimes and facilitating the migration of high priority species, it is more
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A Climate Risk Management Screening and Assessment Review for Madagascar’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy

Madagascar, a country rich in natural capital and biodiversity but with high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and population growth, faces a number of development challenges, including obtaining sustained financial support from external sources and building internal capacity to address the poor environmental, health, and socio-economic conditions. Climate change poses an increasing threat to ac
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A Climate Risk Management Screening and Assessment Review for Madagascar’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy

Madagascar, a country rich in natural capital and biodiversity but with high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and population growth, faces a number of development challenges, including obtaining sustained financial support from external sources and building internal capacity to address the poor environmental, health, and socio-economic conditions. Climate change poses an increasing threat to ac
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