Research community

Also collaborating on these NE CSC projects

Climate change impacts on erosion, mass wasting, and the supply of sediment to tidal wetlands in the Northeast

Climate change is likely to impact erosion rates, the magnitude and frequency of extreme rainfall/mass wasting events, and the accumulation of sediment in coastal areas. However, long-term rates of erosion and sediment delivery to coastal systems are poorly constrained and there is limited understanding of the relative effects of climate change versus land-use change on these processes.

Massachusetts Climate Change Projections

The Massachusetts Climate Change Projections - Statewide and for Major Drainage Basins:  Temperature, Precipitation, and Sea Level Rise Projections project was developed by NE CASC with funding by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In Sept. 2016 Governor Baker signed a Comprehensive Executive Order committing the administration to work across the state to plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The goal of this project was to develop down scaled projections for changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Bringing Together Cooperative Extension and NE CASC for Climate Adaptation

As more NE CASC projects come to completion, the opportunity to share research-based outputs to an expanded audience of end users has increased. The translation and application of climate science data and products are paramount to effective on-the-ground adaptation.  Extension staff at land-grant universities have a translational role in providing guidance to municipalities, private landowners, farmers, and other practitioners making natural resource management decisions. They work closely with academics, nonprofits, and state agencies to deliver research-based information and approaches.

Assisting Tribal Nations with Climate Change Adaptation

Native communities are among the most vulnerable to climate change due to their small size and limited resources, as well limited voice in American government policy making and our culture.  DOI has declared it a mandatory goal that the agency works to assist tribes with their climate change adaptation needs.  Doing so requires considerable time developing relationships and trust. In addition to engagement through site visits, this project entails providing localized climate summaries (data tables, maps, time series) for tribal communities in the NE CASC footprint as well as engaging them i

Evaluation of Downscaled Climate Modeling Techniques for the Northeast U.S.

Downscaling is the process of making a coarse-scale global climate model into a finer resolution in order to capture some of the localized detail that the coarse global models cannot resolve.  There are two general approaches of downscaling:  dynamical and statistical.  Within those, many dynamical models have been developed by different institutions, and there are a number of statistical algorithms that have been developed over the years.

Adapting the Management of our National Parks for Climate Change

Our National Parks are vulnerable to climate change in a number of ways, requiring changes in the way we manage our parks.  This project uses decision support tools (e.g., scenario planning, vulnerability assessments) and climate science to help park managers adapt their management practices to climate change. Park managers are asking what changes they can expect that uniquely affect their park and to what degree.

Relocating Plants for Conservation and Restoration: Developing a Risk Assessment Framework

There is growing interest in the facilitated movement of plants as a means of conserving or restoring species and habitats, as climate conditions and management goals change. For example, plants might be relocated to support pollinator conservation or the restoration of prairies. Some land managers, in an effort to be proactive in the face of changing environmental conditions, are also considering relocating plants to sites that are considered more similar to anticipated future conditions. However, moving plants can be ecologically and economically risky.

Development of the Wildlife Adaptation Menu for Resource Managers

 The Climate Change Response Framework is an example of a collaborative, cross-boundary approach to create a set of tools, partnerships, and actions to support climate-informed conservation and land management. Historically, this effort has focused on the needs of forest managers and forestry professionals. In recent years, however, there has been increasing demand for science and tools to address climate change adaptation in wildlife management and conservation.

Brook Floater Conservation

The Brook Floater (Alasmidonta varicosa) is a stream-dwelling freshwater mussel native to the Atlantic Slope of the United States and Canada that has experienced large population declines over the last 50 years and is at high risk of extinction. This project will focus on strategies for achieving conservation for Brook Floater through multiple objectives:

1. We will develop standardized surveys that will be conducted throughout partnering states to estimate abundances and predict occupancy of Brook Floater.

Indigenous Planning Summer Institute

The purpose of the Indigenous Planning Summer Institute (IPSI) is to introduce concepts of Indigenous planning; Examine the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) theoretical model of sustainability as a guide for Indigenous Planning; Visit the Menominee community and forest and surrounding tribal communities to see different examples of Indigenous Planning in practice.

Fire history from lake sediments, & future fire vulnerability scenarios

Major forest fires are relatively uncommon in the northeastern United States, but due to the high population density of the region, if they became more common, the potential consequences for the region would be profound.  This project has several goals: first, to assess the history of large fires (before measured records) using sedimentary records from lakes; second, to compare the different measures (indices) of fire vulnerability used by various management agencies; third, to determine how well models simulate past fire vulnerability based on these indices; fourth, to assess fire vulnerab

Slowing the Flow for Climate Resilience (SFCR): Reducing Vulnerability to Extreme Flows and Providing Multiple Ecological Benefits in a Non-Stationary Climate

Current and future hydrologic variability is a major driver underlying large-scale management and modification of inland waters and river systems. In a climate-altered future, identifying and implementing management actions that mitigate anticipated flow regime extremes will be an important component of climate adaptation strategies. These concerns will be particularly focused on extreme flows (floods and droughts) that have ecological, social, and economic importance, and whose impacts are inversely proportion to their frequency.

One Hundred Parks and Counting: Biodiversity Findings and Outreach Impacts from a Nationwide BioBlitz

Connecting people, nature, and science is at the core of the mission of the US Department of the Interior. The National Park Service is playing a leading role in that mission in 2016 by hosting a national BioBlitz on May 20-21 that will have people nationwide recording observations of plants and animals in over 100 national parks.

Coupled physical-chemical-biological models to predict losses of cold-water fish from inland lakes under climate warming

Cold-water fish are disappearing from many Midwestern lakes as they warm. This loss is due to a combination of de-oxygenation of the deep waters with heating of the surface waters. Together, these climate-driven changes squeeze the depth distribution of fish that require cold, well-oxygenated water, sometimes eliminating their habitat entirely. We will investigate where this combination of factors has likely caused extirpation of cold-water fishes, and where future warming is most likely to eliminate more populations. In addition to hydrodynamic modeling, we are partnering with genomics exp

WICCI: Second report on Climate Change Impacts in Wisconsin

WICCI is a grassroots effort to consolidate information about climate change impacts in Wisconsin.  Its first report, released in 2010, has played a critical role in elevating climate change within dialogue about environmental management across the state, and serves as the go-to resource for agencies, NGOs, and the public.  We are now working to update that document, focusing on new research in aquatic and other ecosystems, as well as case studies of impacts on Wisconsin's ecosystem services.

Quantifying shifting fish migration phenology across the Great Lakes

The timing of major life cycle events (reproduction, flowering, feeding) is set by seasonal environmental cues in many organisms.  Migratory fish in the Great Lakes are largely spring spawners, and they move into tributary rivers as the water warms in March-June.  There is growing evidence that the timing of these migrations is shifting under climate change, creating ever earlier migrations.  These changes in timing may profoundly change which species are present in rivers at a given time, potentially unraveling critical ecological linkages during the dynamic spring warming period.  We are

Effects of arctic ground squirrel abundance and distribution on carbon cycling and ecosystem dynamics

Increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases have caused global warming, resulting in considerable shifts in ecosystem function and structure, particularly in sensitive cold climates like the Arctic. As the Arctic continues to warm, the ground thaws and permafrost degrades, resulting in  changes to shrub communities. These changes can cause northern tundra soils, which have twice as much below-ground carbon (C) as atmospheric carbon, to shift from sinks to sources of C.

Conservation of Climate Change Refugia

The field of climate adaptation is still getting established, and guidelines and examples for how to manage for climate change on-the-ground are still rare. The concept of climate change refugia, areas buffered from climate change that enable persistence of valued resources, is being discussed as a potential adaptation option in the face of anthropogenic climate change. This project seeks to provide practical guidance for how to operationalize this concept and to work with stakeholders to help prioritize actions to conserve climate change refugia.

Air Quality Impacts of Climate-Induced Changes on Forest Composition

Forests play a role in air quality by supplying the atmosphere with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), precursors to ozone and aerosols. Different tree types emit different VOCs, each with different capacity to form ozone and aerosols. Therefore, shifts in forest composition may impact ozone and aerosol yields. Climate change is one of the expected drivers of forest change. In particular, the current range boundaries of a variety of species are expected to shift northward.

Reconnecting Floodplains and Restoring Green Space as a Management Strategy to Minimize Risk and Increase Resilience in the Context of Climate and Landscape Change

This research seeks to identify opportunities to manage flows, connections, and landscapes in a way that increases the resilience of human communities and ecosystems. Our research will identify dynamic and adaptive solutions to managing river flows that allow continued provision of valuable infrastructure services such as flood control, hydropower, and water supply, while also supporting thriving river ecosystems - both today and into the future.

Does Variation in Life History and Evolutionary Response Affect Species Vulnerability to Climate Change? Implications for Management

Climate change poses a variety of threats to biodiversity. Most efforts to assess the likely impacts of climate change on biodiversity try to rank species based on their vulnerability under changed environmental conditions. These efforts have generally not considered the ability of organisms to adjust their phenotype to the changing environment. Organisms can do this by one of two ways. First, they can undergo adaptive evolutionary change. Second, they can adjust their phenotype via non-evolutionary pathways.

Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple trees collected in the late winter and early spring. Native American tribes have collected and boiled down sap for centuries, and the tapping of maple trees is a cultural touchstone for many people in the northeast and Midwest. Because the tapping season is dependent on weather conditions, there is concern about the sustainability of maple sugaring as climate changes throughout the region. In spite of this, maple syrup production is increasing rapidly, with demand rising as more people appreciate this natural sweetener. 

An Integrated Assessment of Lake and Stream Thermal Habitat Under Climate Change

Water temperatures are warming in lakes and streams, resulting in the loss of many native fish. Given clear passage, coldwater stream fishes can take refuge upstream when larger streams become too warm. Likewise, many Midwestern lakes “thermally stratify” resulting in warmer waters on top of deeper, cooler waters. Many of these lakes are connected to threatened streams. To date, assessments of the effects of climate change on fish have mostly ignored lakes, and focused instead on streams.

Characterizing Local and Rangewide Variation in Demography and Adaptive Capacity of a Forest Indicator Species

Climate change will have sweeping impacts across the northeast, yet there are key gaps in our understanding about whether species will be able to adapt to this changing environment. This project illuminates local and region-wide changes in forest ecosystems by studying the red-backed salamander, a species that is a strong indicator of forest conditions. This study identified habitat and forest characteristics that improve the resiliency of forest dwelling amphibians and other wildlife to climate change.

Supporting Collaborative Relationships between Tribes and Climate Science in the Northeast Region to Address Climate Impacts

All peoples have a right to make meaningful plans for their future. For many Tribes in the northeast region of the United States, trends in the environment such as shifting lake levels, patterns of precipitation and other seasonal cycles pose potential problems. This includes financial burdens on Tribal governments and stresses on Tribal cultural practices such as harvesting medicinal plants and food staples such as wild rice. Consistent with the U.S.

Tribal Colleges and Universities: TCU Engagement with Tribal Communities on Climate Change Issues

This project is focused on the specific actions of CMNSDI as part of the CMN Campus and Menominee community to engage in climate change initiatives, as a means to provide demonstration and products that can be provided to other TCU's to consider and follow as they engage with their own communities on climate change and its predicted impacts to community life. This project will cover the development of educational materials for use in existing courses at CMN; an assessment and summary of existing TCU led or affiliated projects and any available results; creation o

Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Climate Action Tool

The Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool is designed to inform and inspire local action to protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources in a changing climate. This Tool focuses on providing information for a range of local decision-makers, including conservation practitioners, landowners, municipal agencies, and community leaders, seeking to conduct on-the-ground climate change adaptation efforts.

With this tool, users can:

Scaling phenological patterns of canopy carbon cycling: Integrating physiology, canopy imagery, and net ecosystem exchange

Changing climate is predicted to shift the phenology of plant processes, with implications for ecosystem functions, such as carbon assimilation and storage. This project examines leaf-level parameters of carbon cycling and links them to canopy-scale measures of ecosystem exchange and near-remotely-sensed color indicies.

Using agent-based models to identify conservation solutions to large scale environmental variation and climate change

Effective migratory bird management and conservation requires an integrate approach at multiple spatial and temporal scales.  We are developing a spatially explicit agent-based model for dabbling ducks during spring migration. We are modeling foraging and resting behavior at prominent spring migration stopover sites throughout the midcontinent region.  Emergent properties of the working model include spring migration stopover duration, movement distances and survival.

Integrating climate change into the state wildlife action plans

Fish and Wildlife agencies across the United States are currently revising their State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs). These documents are important planning documents over 10 year timescales.  SWAP Coordinators have been challenged to incorporate climate change impacts and species responses as part of their strategic approaches to managing vulnerable fish and wildlife resources.

Climate Assessments and Scenario Planning (CLASP)

This project aims to compile, synthesize, and communicate tailored climate change information to NE CSC stakeholders, including Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC), state and federal agencies, and tribal communities. Our mission is to make climate science actionable by getting to know our stakeholders and the decisions they face, and delivering climate information that is directly relevant to their decisions and priorities.

Interactions between climate change and beavers in coastal streams

We are investigating the effects of climate on multiple aspects of river hydrology, including the interaction with expanding beaver populations in the Northeast. Our findings suggest that beavers increase water retentions, and sometimes flooding, in rivers which increases nitrogen removal.   Information from this project will allow managers and citizen groups to understand how the expansion of beavers will intersect with a changing climate to influence river flooding and freshwater quantity and

Incorporating social drivers to optimize conservation practices that address Gulf Hypoxia and declining wildlife populations impacted by extreme climate events

USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) throughout the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) have identified high nutrient runoff, a major contributor to Gulf hypoxia, and declines in wildlife populations (especially grassland and riparian birds), as conservation challenges requiring collaborative action. This project developed a spatial decision support system (DSS) to address these issues.

Early career climate communications and networking

The Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey have made it a priority to train the next generation of scientists and resource managers. The Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) and consortium institutions are working to contribute to this initiative by supporting and building a network of students across the U.S. interested in the climate sciences and climate adaptation.

Ecological and management implications of climate change induced shifts in phenology of coastal fish and wildlife species in the NE CASC region

Climate change is causing species to shift their phenology, or the timing of recurring life events such as migration and reproduction, in variable and complex ways. This can potentially result in mismatches or asynchronies in food and habitat resources that negatively impact individual fitness, population dynamics, and ecosystem function. Numerous studies have evaluated phenological shifts in terrestrial species, particularly birds and plants, yet far fewer evaluations have been conducted for marine animals.

Science to inform management of floodplain conservation lands under non-stationary conditions

Recent extreme floods on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have motivated expansion of floodplain conservation lands. Within Missouri there are more than 85,000 acres of public conservation lands in large-river floodplains. Floodplain lands are highly dynamic and challenging to manage, particularly as future climatic conditions may be highly variable.

Development of Dynamically-Based 21st Century Projections of Snow, Lake Ice, and Winter Severity for the Great Lakes Basin to Guide Wildlife-Based Adaptation Planning, with Emphasis on Deer and Waterfowl

Our project focused on anticipated effects of 21st century climate change on winter severity, snowpack, and lake ice across the Great Lakes Basin and the response of wildlife populations, namely white-tailed deer and dabbling ducks. Winter conditions have changed substantially since the mid-20th century, with rising temperatures, declining lake ice cover, and increased lake-effect snowfall. Nonetheless, due coarse resolution, poor lake representation, and insufficient treatment of lake-effect processes in global climate models, basinwide climate change projections remain uncertain.

Assessment of paleoclimate resources for studies of climate extremes

This project is focused on compiling existing paleo-limnological data from lakes throughout the Northeast. The goal of this project is to create an editable database of existing chronologies and proxy data. This resource can then be accessed and added to by any paleo-limnologists working in the region. Based on the existing information, researchers will be able to identify "high-reward" lakes that may be targeted for future high-resolution paleoclimate analysis and also pinpoint regions of the Northeast that may be currently lacking sufficient paleo-limnological data.

Great Lakes Silviculture Prescription Library

This project is developing an on-line platform to enable rapid sharing and cataloging of silviculture case studies documenting adaptive forest management approaches across MI, MN, Ontario, and WI.  The goal of this project is to create a clearinghouse of information for forest managers across the region to disseminate ideas on addressing emerging issues and tracking effectiveness of a given approach.  The Prescription Library will serve as the basis for regional continuing education offerings for natural resource professionals throughout Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin.

Developing historically-consistent and broadly-applicable monitoring, reporting, and verification system for quantifying forest change

Given the increasing impacts of climate change and natural disturbances on forest ecosystems across the US, there is a need for monitoring systems that allow for accurate and rapid detection of historic and future changes in forest area and carbon stocks.  This collaborative project between UMN, USFS, and NASA is piloting a Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) accounting system that could be used within the context of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory baseline reporting to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Understanding Conservation Management Decisions in the Face of Sea-Level Rise Along the U.S. Atlantic Coast

This project addresses a complex local scale conservation problem: managing the impacts associated with sea level rise and coastal flooding on migratory waterbirds and their habitat.  Decisions made by a conservation manager are complicated by three elements that can be expected to occur in almost any of these management situations.  Interactions among dynamic physical and biological processes affect both waterbirds and their habitat and food resources; these processes operate at local to flyway scales and are challenging to represent and analyze.

NorEaST – Stream Temperature Web Portal Demonstration and Application

Climate change is expected to alter stream temperature and flow regimes over the coming decades, and in turn influence distributions of aquatic species in those freshwater ecosystems. To better anticipate these changes, there is a need to compile both short- and long-term stream temperature data for managers to gain an understanding of baseline conditions, historic trends, and future projections. Unfortunately, many agencies lack sufficient resources to compile, QA/QC, and make accessible stream temperature data collected through routine monitoring.

Fitting the Climate Lens to Grassland Bird Conservation: Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability Using Demographically-Informed Species Distribution Models

To develop the framework to identify demographic sensitivities and assess the vulnerability of grassland bird species to future climate change. Objectives are to (1) Develop a strong partnership among managers and researchers to understand how climate change could be accounted for in conservation and management planning for grassland birds throughout the NE CASC region. (2) Develop spatially-explicit and temporally dynamic species distribution models for a select group of grassland birds.

A Decisions Support Mapper for Conserving Stream Fish Habitats of the NE CASC Region

To integrate results of a current condition habitat assessment of stream habitats that accounts for fish response to human land use, water quality impairment, and fragmentation by dams with estimates of future stream habitats that may change with climate.  This was accomplished by 1) Characterization of the current condition of stream fish habitats throughout the NE CSC region based on responses of target fish species to a diverse set of landscape-scale disturbances; 2) Identification of stream reaches predicted to change with climate and likely to change distributions of target fish specie

Ecological and hydrological impacts of the emerald ash borer on black ash forests

This project examines the ecological and hydrological impacts of emerald ash borer on black ash-dominated wetlands throughout the Lake States using large-scale experimental studies documenting impacts of black ash mortality on ecosystem processes, wildlife communities, and evaluating potential mitigation and adaptation strategies under future climate and invasion scenarios.

Modeling effects of climate change on spruce-fir forest ecosystems and associated priority bird populations

Eastern spruce-fir forest ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to climate change within the continuous US. The goal of this project was to develop tools to identify refugia sites most likely to support spruce-fir forest and its associated high-priority obligate spruce-fir bird species over the long-term under projected climate change scenarios.

Collaboration in Action: Using the Menominee Model of Sustainability to Assess, Plan, and Build Capacity for Tribal Communities to Address Climate Change in the Northeast Climate Science Center Region

This project seeks to implement the recommendations included in Science Theme 6: "Impacts of climate variability and change on cultural resources" of the NECSC Strategic Science Agenda as a baseline for future efforts in the Northeast region. Tribal nations (Tribes) in the Northeast region face different challenges and opportunities regarding climate change impacts. Each Tribe is unique in terms of its cultural, economic, geographic, jurisdictional, social, and political situation.

Evaluating trends in streamflow extremes in the Northeast USA

The goal of this project is to identify statistical trends in observed and simulated maximum, minimum and base (mostly groundwater contribution during low flow months) flows in the Northeast Climate Science Center domain during the 20th and 21st century, assess the temporal (annual and seasonal) and spatial distribution of the trends, and evaluate the impact of warmer climates on the statistical properties of streamflows (mean and variance).

Impacts of sea level rise on ecosystems

A reconnaissance study distinguishes coastal areas of the northeastern U.S. (approx. Virginia to Maine) that will experience an inundation-dominated response to sea-level rise from those that will respond dynamically due to physical and bio-physical sedimentation and erosion processes. Areas that will be dominated by inundation include urban regions of intense development and/or coastal engineering, as well as bedrock coasts. Areas that will respond dynamically include beaches, unconsolidated cliffs, barrier islands, and wetlands.

Assessing climate change projections over the Northeast

Using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and CMIP3 data, we are developing a range of projections for the Eastern U.S.  We are also developing extreme event projections for stakeholder-relevant metrics (e.g., days over 90 °F, days below 32 °F, and days with over 1 inch of precipitation) based on CMIP5 models and North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) dynamical downscaling.

Effects of climate on wildlife demographics and population viability

We are investigating the effects of climate on multiple aspects of bird demography, including nest success, per nest productivity, juvenile survival, adult survival, and species viability.  We are using a long term data set on bird nesting success and new and existing data on juvenile and adult survival to discover climate effects on productivity and we are developing modeling approaches to predict regional species viability.

Predicting fire frequency with chemistry and climate

We are developing a predictive model for estimating fire frequency based on theories and data in physical chemistry, ecosystem ecology, and climatology.  We are applying this model to produce maps of fire frequency under current climate and several climate warming scenarios across the United States.  Results of the project will provide information on fire frequency under alternative climate scenarios, information needed to parameterize forest landscape change models.

Changes in forested landscapes of the eastern United States under alternative climate scenarios

Forests in the Eastern United States are in the early- and mid-successional stages recovering from historical land use. Succession, harvest, and climate are potentially important factors affecting forest composition and structure in the region. The goal of this project was to predict the distribution and abundance of dominant tree species across portions of the Eastern U.S. under alternative climate scenarios from present to the end of the century.

Stream temperatures in the Driftless Area

The Driftless Region is blessed with an exceptional coldwater fishery (native brook trout and non-native brown trout).  Based on statistical modeling, it has been predicted that over the next 50 years brook trout will virtually disappear from the region and areal extent of brown trout will decrease significantly.  However, these predictions do not account for potentially significant increases in groundwater recharge and hence in baseflow as a result of likely increases in fall through spring precipitation and potential decreases in winter frost.  Nor do they account for the fact that basefl

Climate and disturbance factors affecting shifts between grassland and forest biomes over the past century within the upper Midwest

This project aims to quantify the range in variability in forest dynamics and climate responses for range-margin populations of Pinus banksiana and Picea mariana so as to generate management guidelines for conserving these forests on the landscape in an uncertain climatic future.  These species are the cornerstone for several upland and lowland habitat types on the western edge of the Northeast CSC and are particularly vulnerable to future changes in climate and disturbance regimes.

Effects of climate, disturbance, and management on the growth and dynamics of temperate and sub-boreal forest ecosystems within the Lake States and New England

This project is using a combination of long-term data records and recently established large-scale adaptive management studies in managed forests across the Lake States, New England, Intermountain West, and Black Hills to identify forest management strategies and forest conditions that confer the greatest levels of resistance and resilience to past and emerging stressors and their relevance in addressing future global change.  This work represents a broad partnership between scientists from the USFS Northern Research Station, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, USGS, University of MN,  Un

Downscaling of GCM output; studies of climate extremes

A statistical downscaling method (bias-correction and spatial disaggregation: BCSD) is applied to general circulation models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) to generate high-resolution downscaled precipitation, maximum temperature, and minimum temperature estimates under historical and three future emission scenarios over the Northeastern United States.

Assessment of regional climate model simulation estimates over the northeast United States

We used outputs from an ensemble of regional climate models (RCMs) participating in the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) to investigate potential changes in seasonal air temperature and precipitation between present (1971–2000) and future (2041–2070) time periods across the northeast United States (New England and adjacent states).

Evaluating the impacts of climate change in the Connecticut River Basin

For the past four years, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have funded a study at UMass to evaluate the impacts of climate change on the biological resources in river and to investigate how the negative impacts of reservoir regulation could be ameliorated in the face of climate change.  It is fortuitous that this study provides an excellent basis for future “watershed” type studies that may be performed by the NECSC.

A research and decision support framework to evaluate sea-level rise impacts in the northeastern U.S.

Previous approaches to quantify coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise have had major shortcomings, including the possibility that their underlying assumptions are not uniformly valid. This project conducted a study to distinguish the differing ways that coastal areas of the northeastern U.S. will respond to sea-level rise. This information will be used to develop a scientific research and decision-support program that addresses the cross-cutting and unique problems in these areas related to climate change and sea-level rise.

A stream temperature inventory network and decision support metadata mapper - evaluating the resources to understanding climate change effects on streams in New england and the Great Lake's states

Stream data for the northeastern U.S. are needed to enable managers to understand baseline conditions, historic trends, and future projections of the impacts of climate change on stream temperature and flow, and in turn on aquatic species in freshwater ecosystems. This project developed a coordinated, multi-agency regional stream temperature framework and database for New England (ME, VT, NH, CT, RI, MA) and the Great Lakes States (MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH, PA, NY) by building a community around the efforts of this study.

Extending the northeast terrestrial habitat map to Atlantic Canada

Consistent and accurate landscape datasets are important foundational products for ecological analyses and for understanding and anticipating the effects of climate change on forested, agricultural, and freshwater systems across the U.S. and Canada. The objective of this project was to extend an existing terrestrial habitat map of the north Atlantic U.S. to Atlantic Canada and southern Quebec, using and modeling field-collected data combined with national and provincial datasets.

Characterization of spatial and temporal variability in fishes in response to climate change

The number of fish collected in routine monitoring surveys often varies from year to year, from lake to lake, and from location to location within a lake.  Although some variability in fish catches is expected across factors such as location and season, we know less about how large-scale disturbances like climate change will influence population variability.  The Laurentian Great Lakes in North America are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world, and they have experienced major changes due to fluctuations in pollution and nutrient loadings, exploitation of natural resources, intr

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