NE CSC Newsletter

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

News and upcoming events related to the Northeast Climate Science Center.

NE CSC participates in United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) meeting   USET held the 2013 Impact Week meeting February 4-6, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. USET, which is a non-profit, inter-tribal organization that collectively represents its members tribes at the regional and national level, provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information amongst Tribes, agencies and governments.  

The Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) took the opportunity to attend the meeting and provide a presentation on its history and activities to the USET Natural Resources Committee. Mary Ratnaswamy (USGS Director, Northeast Climate Science Center), Andrew Miliken (North Atlantic LLC Coordinator), and Chris Caldwell (Consortium Member -CMN/ SDI Director) gave a presentation of the NE CSC history and activities as part of continued outreach efforts to tribes in the northeastern region. After the presentations, the Committee had several questions, with one of the recurring and strongest comments about communication both between the federal government agencies, and as the government agencies communicate with tribal leadership. The concern was that tribes, with already limited staff, are not always able to assess all of the different communications that come in from the different agencies. At this specific meeting alone the USDA Forest Service and the Department of Interior/ USGS led Climate Science Center were providing climate change information to USET about separate initiatives and how they are looking to include tribes or tribal feedback in those efforts. The NECSC presenters took this feedback and will use it to further refine their approach to communicating with federal and tribal partners as NE CSC continues to move forward in fulfilling its mission.  Read more...

NE CSC Investigator featured in Scientific American: The Not-So-Mysterious Loss of Salt Marshes and Ecosystem Services     Salt marshes are among the most ecologically productive and diverse ecosystems in the United States. They provide important services such as floodwater storage and storm protection for coastal cities such as New Orleans. Healthy marshes also serve essential roles in carbon sequestration, a service of primary concern at current emission rates of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, nutrient removal and water purification.  However, global climate change and sea level rise, agricultural and industrial development and loss of sediment supply are contributing to dramatic rates of wetland loss worldwide.   MBL Ecosystems Center scientist Linda Deegan and colleagues report that nutrients—such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic and sewer systems and lawn fertilizers—can cause salt-marsh loss.   Read more…

NE CSC Stakeholder featured in article, "Great Lakes community defined by ice ponders life without it"   For decades, winter visitors to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Wisconsin's rugged Lake Superior coast have marveled at the artistry that happens when water, waves and subfreezing temperatures converge, creating natural ice sculptures as artful as glassworks.   Read more…



------ NE CSC WEBINAR: ------------------------------------------------------

Monday, March 25, 4:00 PM ET
Northeast Climate Science Center presents,
“Assessing regional connectivity in current and future landscapes”
Brad Compton, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst

To join, visit: http://necsc.umass.edu/webinars/assessing-regional-connectivity-current-...
Or join us in person, 134 Morrill Science Center, UMass Amherst

Connectivity among conservation reserves has long been recognized as necessary for long-term persistence of populations and continued evolution in anthropogenically-dominated landscapes.  Long-distance connectivity becomes increasingly important in the face of climate change, to allow species to shift their ranges in response to changing conditions.  In the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project, we are modeling landscape response to climate change and urban growth in the Northeast over the next 70 years.  We model response both by representative species and in a coarse-filter assessment of ecological integrity.  In this talk, I’ll focus on how we assess connectivity at both local and regional scales, with the goal of assisting practitioners in protecting and restoring important connections among reserves.



------ FEATURED RESOURCE: ------------------------------------------------------

NatureServe Vista: Decision Support for Better Planning   NatureServe Vista is a powerful, flexible, and free decision-support system that helps users integrate conservation with land use and resource planning of all types. Planners, resource managers, scientists, and conservationists can use NatureServe Vista to: conduct conservation planning and assessments; integrate conservation values with other planning and assessment activities, such as land use, transportation, energy, natural resource, and ecosystem-based management; and evaluate, create, implement, and monitor land use and resource management scenarios designed to achieve conservation goals within existing economic, social, and political contexts. The newest version of NatureServe Vista is compatible with ArcMap 10.  Read more...



------ OTHER WEBINARS: -------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, March 26 at 3:00 PM EST
NCCWSC Spring 2013 Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series
"Breaking Traditional Barriers to Model Climate Change and Land Use Impacts on Freshwater Mussels"
Thomas Kwak, USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
To register, visit:  https://nccwsc.usgs.gov/webinars?q=webinar/180

--

Wednesday, March 27, 2013; 12:00-12:30 Eastern Time
OneNOAA Science Seminar Series presents,
"Climate Communication: Tools and Tips"
Susan Joy Hassol, Director of Climate Communication
To join this webinar, visit:  http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/2013/03-mar.html#OneNOAAScienceSeminar...

--

Wednesday, March 27, 2013; 2:00-3:00 Eastern Time
OneNOAA Science Seminar Series presents,
"A New Local Climate Analysis Tool"
Dr. Marina Timofeyeva (NOAA/NWS/Climate Services Division)
To join this webinar, visit: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/2013/03-mar.html#OneNOAAScienceSeminar...

--

Thursday, March 28, 2013; 12:00-13:00 Eastern Time
OneNOAA Science Seminar Series presents,
"Heat Stress Reduces Labor Capacity Under Climate Warming"
John Dunne, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
To join this webinar, visit: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/2013/03-mar.html#OneNOAAScienceSeminar...

--

Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
Bard National Climate Seminar presents,
"Between God and Green"
Katharine Wilkinson , Author, Between God and Green
To join this webinar, visit:  http://www.bard.edu/cep/ncs/schedule.php

--

Thursday, April 4, 2013; 11:00-12:00 Pacific Time
OneNOAA Science Seminar Series presents,
"Environmental Variability in Acidification Stress, and Mechanisms for Biological Response"
Dr. Burke Hale, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
To join this webinar, visit:  http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/2013/04-apr.html#OneNOAAScienceSeminar...



------ OTHER NEWS: -----------------------------------------------------

Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Strategic Plan now available for stakeholder input!   The draft goals, objectives and preliminary strategies in the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC Strategic Plan are based on continuous input from the steering committee and stakeholders. Over the next several months, this section will remain dynamically updated based on dialogue with stakeholders. Read more…

Challenges and Opportunities for Communities of Color and Tribal Nations    The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, and the Franciscan Action Network held a briefing on the disparate impact climate change has upon communities of color and tribal nations in congressional districts around the country. The speakers talked about steps and initiatives they are taking to sustain and strengthen their communities, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Read more...

Our Changing Planet: The Fiscal Year 2013 U.S. Global Change Research Program    Since 1990, the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has developed and submitted an annual report, Our Changing Planet, to Congress describing the current state of the USGCRP and ongoing Federal research activities focused on global change. This Fiscal Year 2013 edition summarizes the Program’s achievements, progress made, future priorities, and budgetary information. It thereby responds to the requirements of the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 (GCRA; Section 102, P.L. 101-606) for an annual report on “Federal global change research priorities, policies, and programs.  Read more...

New Study: Current Temperatures Warmest in 4,000 Years    A new study published March 15 in the journal Science finds that temperatures are rising at a faster rate than they have for the past 11,300 years, and that current global temperatures are at their warmest in the past 4,000 years. The researchers, led by Oregon State University climate scientist Shaun Marcott, compiled data from ice cores and sediment from lake bottoms and sea floors to make the most complete reconstruction of climate trends over the current geological Holocene period. The data show that temperatures began to warm around 10,000 years ago before reaching a 5,000-year plateau. Temperatures dropped to a low point in the beginning of the twentieth century and have since begun accelerating towards the warmest temperatures since the last ice age.  Read more…

Report connects climate change and economics in the Upper Peninsula    A new report released by Headwaters Economics describes several economic sectors that may be vulnerable to a changing climate and extreme weather events in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This report looks at the timber economy, travel and tourism, rural health care, and other socioeconomic factors. An interactive map also helps readers visualize the main results. This project designed to complement a recent study of climate change vulnerability and adaptation across the Lake Superior Watershed in the U.P., led by the Superior Watershed Partnership.  Read more...

Climate change impacts in the Lake Superior Basin     The Lake Superior Bi-National forum recently launched a new outreach website to offer information about physical, biological, social, and economic impacts of climate change in the Northwoods.  The site also compiles links to climate change news, research projects, planning guides, and educational resources. There are also specific resources for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario.  View website…

WI-DNR Climate Workshops Identify Vulnerabilities and Adaptation Strategies     A series of workshops for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources supervisors and program mangers has moved climate change to the forefront of natural resource management in Wisconsin. Supported by UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Initiative for Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) the workshops brought together ninety DNR staff to learn about historic and projected changes to Wisconsin’s climate, and discuss impacts on resource management.  The workshop report, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Workshops Summary. 2012. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin, identifies climate impacts and adaptation strategies in the areas of: Forestry; Fisheries and Wildlife; Water Resources; and Air, Waste, Wastewater and Stormwater.  Read more…

Minnesota Legislature Focuses on Climate Change    In January 2013, state legislators from Minnesota convened a joint meeting of the House Capital Investment and Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance committees to discuss extreme weather. Climate change is intensifying many kinds of weather events in the Gopher State, including heavy rainfall and heat waves. State agency representatives, including staff from the Dept. of Natural Resources, talked about the management challenges posed by these kinds of events and the need for proactive adaptation.  Read more…

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Structured Decison Making Webinar Series     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a series of web conferences to engage practitioners in the process of structured decision making using a variety of case studies. Structured Decision Making (SDM) is a decision analysis framework that we can apply to conservation problems to integrate strong science with values, laws, and policies. Conservation issues often involve multiple goals and actions, levels of uncertainty, and a complex understanding of systems. SDM helps conservation professionals develop a process to determine objectives, alternatives, and optimal solutions for environmental issues. Read more...

Wisconsin Communities Prepare For Climate Change    About a dozen communities in Wisconsin have created task forces to address regional symptoms of climate change — specifically, higher temperatures, more winter precipitation, and more droughts.  Read more...

Climate Change Leading to More Snow?    What impact is climate change having on the Great Lakes region? It’s a broad question and one that is most likely to be answered in pieces.  One such piece may be lake-effect snow, according to David Wright, a doctoral student in the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (AOSS) program at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Wright teamed up with Dr. Derek Posselt, assistant professor, and Dr. Allison Steiner, associate professor, also of AOSS. They built climate scenarios and produced a paper on their lake-effect snow findings.  Read more...



------ RESOURCES: ------------------------------------------------------

New climate outreach website, “G-WOW” Initiative    The “Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G-WOW” Initiative is a unique approach to increasing awareness of how climate change is affecting Lake Superior’s coastal environment, people, cultures, and economies by:  1) Integrating scientific climate change research with place-based evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe lifeways and people of all cultures. 2) Bringing Native perspectives and involvement to addressing issues of climate change by directly engaging Native communities, educators, and students. 3) Providing learners with knowledge about what they can do to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate.  Read more...

Midwestern Regional Climate Center Last Spring Freeze Maps     The last spring freeze starts the growing season each year and is monitored by NWS personnel, farmers, and gardeners.  The MRCC spring freeze maps document the timing of the last spring freeze (32°F and 28°F thresholds) at several hundred stations across the Midwest and High Plains.  The maps are updated each day.  Stations with sufficient data are noted by dots indicating the amount of time that has passed since the last freeze.  When the dots are shaded completely, that indicates that the minimum temperature has been greater than the threshold (either 32°F or 28°F) for at least the past 14 days.  Additional maps show the median date for the last spring freeze for 1981-2010 for comparison with the current year.  State maps can also be viewed by clicking on a state in any of the regional maps.  View maps…

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Announces Tool that Helps Forecast Water Woes, Provides Insights for Adapting      To measure future changes on water resources, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have enhanced their global model to include a new tool that assesses the risks of water stress.  The MIT researchers take population, GDP, and other socio-economic factors and combine them with hydro-climatic information such as precipitation and runoff from their earth system model.  They then use this information to estimate changes in demand across sectors such as public and private water use, agricultural use, and thermoelectric cooling used in energy production.  The result is an expanded model that can forecast if and where there could be stresses within water basins, along with the risks surrounding those changes.  Read more...

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces the Availability of Federal Support Toolbox for Integrated Water Resources Management Website   The USACE recently announced the availability of a unique online Federal Support Toolbox to provide Integrated Water Resources Management information across the nation and internationally.  The Federal Support Toolbox is a centralized web portal that will allow federal agencies, states, interstate organizations, Tribes, non-governmental agencies, and international entities to access and share water resources information for planning and management.  The capabilities that result from sharing information and forming partnerships for joint initiatives have the potential to consolidate and conserve resources, and connect the world for a better water future.  Visit Toolbox...

U.S. EPA Webcast: Tribal Approaches to Address the Changing Climate    On December 11, 2012, U.S. EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs hosted a webcast, “Tribal Approaches to Address the Changing Climate,” to showcase tribes that are implementing energy conservation, materials recycling, and adaptation programs. View files posted on EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program website to:  1) Learn how Gila River Indian Community and Choctaw Nation are reducing greenhouse gas emissions through recycling and energy efficiency audits.  2) Learn how the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin is integrating climate change considerations into its decision-making and water management programs.  3)Learn about resources and funding ideas to design and implement climate change programs that may be right for your tribe.  Read more…

EPA Releases Draft Report "Watershed Modeling to Assess the Sensitivity of Streamflow, Nutrient, and Sediment Loads to Potential Climate Change and Urban Development in 20 U.S. Watersheds"    EPA recently released a draft report for independent external peer review and public comment that characterizes the sensitivity of streamflow, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and sediment loading in different regions of the nation to a range of mid-21st century climate change and urban development scenarios.  Watershed modeling was conducted in 20 large, U.S. watersheds for this purpose.  This draft report provides a summary of the simulation results that characterize the sensitivity of streamflow, nutrients, and sediment loading to the scenarios on climate change and urban development.  The results provide an improved understanding of methodological challenges associated with integrating existing tools and datasets to address these scientific questions.  This provides guidance for improving how existing models and datasets can be used for assessing climate change impacts on watersheds.  Read more...

AMJV Partners Release Cerulean Warbler Best Management Practice Guide     Cerulean Warbler management guidelines for enhancing breeding habitat in Appalachian forests have been released.  Titled "Cerulean Warbler Management Guidelines for Appalachian Hardwood Forests", this document provides land managers in the Appalachian Region with recommendations for retaining and enhancing habitat for Cerulean Warblers and a diverse bird community based on the best available science. Recommendations are intended for use by federal, state, and private foresters, biologists, and other land managers. Read more...

Planning for Climate Change in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin -- A NOAA Needs Assessment - Final Report    This report summarizes the results of a regional assessment to gauge the knowledge, skills, interest, attitudes, and abilities of Great Lakes coastal community planners, stormwater managers, and natural resource managers, in order to design effective training that increases the ability of these groups to confront and adapt to the impacts of climate change. View Report…




------ OPPORTUNITIES: ------------------------------------------------------

Appalachian LCC 2013 Funding Opportunity    Proposals are due by April 10th.  The Appalachian LCC Steering Committee has released two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for expenditure of FY13 project funds: 1) Classification and Mapping of Cave/Karst Habitats 2) Preliminary Assessment and Inventory of Ecosystem Services and Environmental Threats across the Appalachian Landscape.  These two RFPs are based on Top Science Needs as determined by our expert communities of practice during the first annual review of the Science Needs Portfolio, as well as priority goals of the LCC’s 5-Year Work Plan.  Read more…

Summer Internship Program at Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC)    MRCC Summer InternshipsFor over a decade, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) has offered paid summer internships to undergraduate students, most often majoring in an atmospheric science discipline.  These internships have provided students with an opportunity to work directly with historical atmospheric data and realize the diverse applications and needs of acquiring and maintaining this data.  From serving the public’s need for climate information, to participating in applied climate research, to contributing to the development of tools and resources for accessing and interpreting climate data, summer interns gain an appreciation for the field of climate sciences.  Intership announcements are posted on MRCC's news page.  Read more…