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Water, Coasts and Ice

Warming temperatures and shifting weather patterns are causing major changes in water and ice availability, sea levels, and aquatic nutrient cycles across the country. CASC-supported scientists are examining how water, ice, and coastal ecosystems and communities across the United States are being affected by climate change. Browse our projects below or use our Project Explorer database to explore our science on this topic.

Filter Total Items: 218

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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Effect of Extreme Tidal Events on Future Sea-Level Rise Scenarios for He‘eia Fish Communities undergoing Ahupua‘a Restoration

For the past few years, “king tides,” or the highest tides of the year, have been occurring more frequently and significantly affecting coastal environments across Hawaiʻi. Now, disappearing beaches and waves crashing over roadways are seemingly the “new normal.” In response, the state of Hawaiʻi is implementing adaptation strategies to combat tidal flooding in coastal areas. While flood managemen...
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Effect of Extreme Tidal Events on Future Sea-Level Rise Scenarios for He‘eia Fish Communities undergoing Ahupua‘a Restoration

For the past few years, “king tides,” or the highest tides of the year, have been occurring more frequently and significantly affecting coastal environments across Hawaiʻi. Now, disappearing beaches and waves crashing over roadways are seemingly the “new normal.” In response, the state of Hawaiʻi is implementing adaptation strategies to combat tidal flooding in coastal areas. While flood managemen...
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Planning for a Fresher Future: Implications of River Management Practices on Salt Marsh Restoration Projects in Coastal Louisiana

The combined effects of climate change (e.g. increased freshwater supply, sea level rise, etc.), leveeing of the Mississippi River, and the gradual settling of soil have led to a land loss crisis in coastal Louisiana. Coastal wetlands provide various ecosystem services to local coastal communities, such as storm protection, flood control, and habitat for economically and ecologically important pla
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Planning for a Fresher Future: Implications of River Management Practices on Salt Marsh Restoration Projects in Coastal Louisiana

The combined effects of climate change (e.g. increased freshwater supply, sea level rise, etc.), leveeing of the Mississippi River, and the gradual settling of soil have led to a land loss crisis in coastal Louisiana. Coastal wetlands provide various ecosystem services to local coastal communities, such as storm protection, flood control, and habitat for economically and ecologically important pla
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Ecological and Socio-Cultural Responses to Transplanting Corals to Enhance Reef Resilience Near Oʻahu

Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to a combination of stressors, but climate induced ocean warming is the biggest threat. Warming oceans lead to ‘coral bleaching’ and frequent death, compromising the structure and function of reefs. The increasing frequency and severity of bleaching means that human intervention is needed to support the adaptive capacity of reefs. Most proposed interventions...
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Ecological and Socio-Cultural Responses to Transplanting Corals to Enhance Reef Resilience Near Oʻahu

Coral reefs are declining worldwide due to a combination of stressors, but climate induced ocean warming is the biggest threat. Warming oceans lead to ‘coral bleaching’ and frequent death, compromising the structure and function of reefs. The increasing frequency and severity of bleaching means that human intervention is needed to support the adaptive capacity of reefs. Most proposed interventions...
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Framework for Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in the Northeast Under Changing Climates

Aquatic ecosystems provide habitat and migration corridors to a myriad of species, including plants, fishes, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects. These ecosystems typically contain relatively higher biodiversity than their terrestrial counterparts; yet, aquatic biodiversity loss in North America is occurring at a rate five times faster than in terrestrial ecosystems. One of the major causes of
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Framework for Protecting Aquatic Biodiversity in the Northeast Under Changing Climates

Aquatic ecosystems provide habitat and migration corridors to a myriad of species, including plants, fishes, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects. These ecosystems typically contain relatively higher biodiversity than their terrestrial counterparts; yet, aquatic biodiversity loss in North America is occurring at a rate five times faster than in terrestrial ecosystems. One of the major causes of
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Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Assess Coral Reef Bleaching Events and Recovery Rates in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Coral reef ecosystems serve as natural coastal defenses, support local island economies, and are important sources of food for coastal communities. However, an increase in coral bleaching events, and the associated declines of coral cover and diversity, are highly likely as sea surface temperatures continue to rise. Multiple coral bleaching events between 2013 and 2017 have already impacted the re
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Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Assess Coral Reef Bleaching Events and Recovery Rates in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Coral reef ecosystems serve as natural coastal defenses, support local island economies, and are important sources of food for coastal communities. However, an increase in coral bleaching events, and the associated declines of coral cover and diversity, are highly likely as sea surface temperatures continue to rise. Multiple coral bleaching events between 2013 and 2017 have already impacted the re
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Increasing Tribal Climate Adaptive Capacity for Coastal Resources in the Northeast

Fish that migrate between fresh and salt waters, called diadromous fishes, are integral to coastal Tribal cultures as subsistence foods. Throughout their Northeast range, diadromous fish populations have shown strong declines over recent decades due to the combined impacts of habitat loss, pollution, overfishing, and climate change. These changes have led to decreasing access to traditional subsis
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Increasing Tribal Climate Adaptive Capacity for Coastal Resources in the Northeast

Fish that migrate between fresh and salt waters, called diadromous fishes, are integral to coastal Tribal cultures as subsistence foods. Throughout their Northeast range, diadromous fish populations have shown strong declines over recent decades due to the combined impacts of habitat loss, pollution, overfishing, and climate change. These changes have led to decreasing access to traditional subsis
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Assessing Future Climate Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Groundwater Dependent Species in the Edwards Aquifer Region Using a Novel Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Framework

The Edwards Aquifer in south-central Texas provides water resources to more than 2 million people and is home to eight federally listed threatened and endangered species that are dependent on spring flow from the aquifer for survival. Recent results from global climate models indicate that over the next several decades increases in annual average temperatures and evapotranspiration are likely in
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Assessing Future Climate Impacts on Threatened and Endangered Groundwater Dependent Species in the Edwards Aquifer Region Using a Novel Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Framework

The Edwards Aquifer in south-central Texas provides water resources to more than 2 million people and is home to eight federally listed threatened and endangered species that are dependent on spring flow from the aquifer for survival. Recent results from global climate models indicate that over the next several decades increases in annual average temperatures and evapotranspiration are likely in
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Evaluating the Impacts of Potential Wastewater Reuse on Streams in the Red River Basin of Oklahoma

Increasing water usage and demands, combined with potentially less source water as a result of climate change impacts, are causing water resource managers to evaluate and implement alternative solutions for reducing water shortages, maximizing water availability, and reducing costs. The capture and reuse of wastewater is a promising strategy for increasing available water, but the costs and benef
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Evaluating the Impacts of Potential Wastewater Reuse on Streams in the Red River Basin of Oklahoma

Increasing water usage and demands, combined with potentially less source water as a result of climate change impacts, are causing water resource managers to evaluate and implement alternative solutions for reducing water shortages, maximizing water availability, and reducing costs. The capture and reuse of wastewater is a promising strategy for increasing available water, but the costs and benef
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Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessments in the Marshall Islands

As a low-lying coastal nation, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is at the forefront of exposure to climate change impacts. The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a strong dependence on natural resources and biodiversity not only for food and income but also for culture and livelihood. However, these resources are threatened by rising sea levels and associated coastal hazards (storm surges, s
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Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessments in the Marshall Islands

As a low-lying coastal nation, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is at the forefront of exposure to climate change impacts. The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a strong dependence on natural resources and biodiversity not only for food and income but also for culture and livelihood. However, these resources are threatened by rising sea levels and associated coastal hazards (storm surges, s
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Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns

Small lakes are important to local economies as sources of water supply and places of recreation. Commonly, lakes are considered more desirable for recreation if they are free of the thick weedy vegetation, often comprised of invasive species, that grows around the lake edge. This vegetation makes it difficult to launch boats and swim. In order to reduce this vegetation, a common technique in the
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Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns

Small lakes are important to local economies as sources of water supply and places of recreation. Commonly, lakes are considered more desirable for recreation if they are free of the thick weedy vegetation, often comprised of invasive species, that grows around the lake edge. This vegetation makes it difficult to launch boats and swim. In order to reduce this vegetation, a common technique in the
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Sea-Level Rise Viewer for American Samoa: A Co-Developed Visualization and Planning Tool

American Samoa is vulnerable to sea-level rise in part due to the steep terrain of its islands. This terrain requires the majority of the islands’ villages and infrastructure to be located along thin strips of coastal land. The situation is worsened by the recently recognized rapid sinking of the islands, which was triggered by the 2009 Samoa earthquake and is predicted to last for decades. This s...
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Sea-Level Rise Viewer for American Samoa: A Co-Developed Visualization and Planning Tool

American Samoa is vulnerable to sea-level rise in part due to the steep terrain of its islands. This terrain requires the majority of the islands’ villages and infrastructure to be located along thin strips of coastal land. The situation is worsened by the recently recognized rapid sinking of the islands, which was triggered by the 2009 Samoa earthquake and is predicted to last for decades. This s...
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