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Drought

Droughts of the future will be hotter, longer-lasting, and larger than droughts of the past. CASC researchers are working to understand how these droughts will impact important natural resources across the country. Learn more about this work below.

Filter Total Items: 76

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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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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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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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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Drought and Disturbances as Drivers of Long-Term Ecological Transformation and Risk

Forested areas in the Western U.S. that are impacted by disturbances such as fire and drought have increased in recent decades. This trend is likely to continue, with the increase in frequency and extent of wildfire activity being especially concerning. Resource managers need reliable scientific information to better understand wildfire occurrence, which can vary substantially across landscapes an
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Drought and Disturbances as Drivers of Long-Term Ecological Transformation and Risk

Forested areas in the Western U.S. that are impacted by disturbances such as fire and drought have increased in recent decades. This trend is likely to continue, with the increase in frequency and extent of wildfire activity being especially concerning. Resource managers need reliable scientific information to better understand wildfire occurrence, which can vary substantially across landscapes an
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Designing Climate-Resilient Habitat for At-Risk Species in the Southern Sierra Nevada Forest

Climate change adaptation research has made major advances over the last decade. For example, much is known about the impacts of climate change, many novel adaptation planning approaches have been developed, decision tools have become ubiquitous, and many novel adaptation options have been proposed. However, additional research is needed to demonstrate how these adaptation planning schemes can tra
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Designing Climate-Resilient Habitat for At-Risk Species in the Southern Sierra Nevada Forest

Climate change adaptation research has made major advances over the last decade. For example, much is known about the impacts of climate change, many novel adaptation planning approaches have been developed, decision tools have become ubiquitous, and many novel adaptation options have been proposed. However, additional research is needed to demonstrate how these adaptation planning schemes can tra
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Malo‘o ka lani, wela ka honua (When the sky is dry, the earth is parched): Investigating the Cultural Dimensions of Indigenous Local Knowledge Responses to Changing Climate Conditions

Hawai‘i’s isolation, paired with limited water resources, make the archipelago sensitive to reductions in water availability. Drought can take different forms, varying across Island geographies with respect to frequency, intensity, duration, and extent. A drought event can exert hydrological, agricultural, ecological, and socio-economic impacts – and these impacts have been growing over the past c...
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Malo‘o ka lani, wela ka honua (When the sky is dry, the earth is parched): Investigating the Cultural Dimensions of Indigenous Local Knowledge Responses to Changing Climate Conditions

Hawai‘i’s isolation, paired with limited water resources, make the archipelago sensitive to reductions in water availability. Drought can take different forms, varying across Island geographies with respect to frequency, intensity, duration, and extent. A drought event can exert hydrological, agricultural, ecological, and socio-economic impacts – and these impacts have been growing over the past c...
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Scaling up the Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange: Expanding Stakeholder Reach and Capacity to Address Climate Change, Variability, and Drought

The Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange project has been successfully piloting three sets of formal collaborative knowledge exchanges between researchers and managers to co-produce customized, site specific drought data products to meet the needs of their partners. Through these pilots, knowledge co-production has demonstrated how active collaboration between researchers and managers in the design
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Scaling up the Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange: Expanding Stakeholder Reach and Capacity to Address Climate Change, Variability, and Drought

The Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange project has been successfully piloting three sets of formal collaborative knowledge exchanges between researchers and managers to co-produce customized, site specific drought data products to meet the needs of their partners. Through these pilots, knowledge co-production has demonstrated how active collaboration between researchers and managers in the design
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Vulnerability of Lower-Elevation Aspen Forests to Altered Fire and Climate Dynamics: Assessing Risks and Developing Actionable Science

Aspen forests are considered keystone ecosystems, meaning that loss of aspen habitat would result in negative impacts to numerous plant and animal species. Aspen also provide important economic and social benefits, including drawing tourists, serving as potential fire breaks, improving local economies, and providing forage for wildlife and livestock. Ecologically-valuable aspen forests are conside
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Vulnerability of Lower-Elevation Aspen Forests to Altered Fire and Climate Dynamics: Assessing Risks and Developing Actionable Science

Aspen forests are considered keystone ecosystems, meaning that loss of aspen habitat would result in negative impacts to numerous plant and animal species. Aspen also provide important economic and social benefits, including drawing tourists, serving as potential fire breaks, improving local economies, and providing forage for wildlife and livestock. Ecologically-valuable aspen forests are conside
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Building Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Canadian River Basin

Several times during the severe drought of 2010-2015, communities within the jurisdictional territories of the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma were precariously close to running out of water. According to previous studies, temperatures are expected to continue to rise throughout the southern states, and droughts are predicted to be longer and more severe. Even small changes to
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Building Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Canadian River Basin

Several times during the severe drought of 2010-2015, communities within the jurisdictional territories of the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma were precariously close to running out of water. According to previous studies, temperatures are expected to continue to rise throughout the southern states, and droughts are predicted to be longer and more severe. Even small changes to
Learn More

Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire

Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this p
link

Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire

Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this p
Learn More

A Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy for Southern California’s Montane Forests

California is a world biodiversity hotspot, and also home to hundreds of sensitive, threatened, and endangered species. One of the most vulnerable ecosystems in California is the “sky island” montane forests of southern California, forests of conifers and hardwoods located only in high-elevation mountain regions. Montane forests serve many important ecosystem functions, including protecting the up...
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A Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy for Southern California’s Montane Forests

California is a world biodiversity hotspot, and also home to hundreds of sensitive, threatened, and endangered species. One of the most vulnerable ecosystems in California is the “sky island” montane forests of southern California, forests of conifers and hardwoods located only in high-elevation mountain regions. Montane forests serve many important ecosystem functions, including protecting the up...
Learn More