NE CSC Newsletter

Thursday, April 18, 2013

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


------ NE CSC NEWS: ----------------------------------------------------

NE CSC will host the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Team April 18th   "Massachusetts Climate Solutions: Turning research into action for the future" - presentation from the MA Global Warming Solutions Team and Climate & Energy poster session on research from UMass and Five College students and post-docs at UMass Amherst on April 18th, 2013.  Read more...

NE CSC Consortium Institutions Celebrate Earth Day   Northeast Climate Science Center Consortium Institutions are holding a variety of events in honor of Earth Day 2013.  Check out an event in your area.  Read more...

NE CSC Investigator participates in 2013 Climate Science Day   Jonathan Winter, an NECSC researcher working at Columbia University, participated in Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill this past February as part of the Tri-Societies (Agronomy, Crop Science, Soil Science) and New York State groups.  He spoke with staffers from congressional districts throughout New York, focusing on a range a potential climate change impacts from heat stress on dairy cattle in Central New York to wine grape production in the Finger Lakes to sea level rise around Staten Island.  Jonathan also met with staffers from the House Agriculture Committee and Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry to discuss future climate and US agriculture, including drought, heat waves, irrigation, and soils.  Jonathan has had follow-ups with several staffers, and is happy to forward any NECSC findings you have that may be of interest to New York State or agriculture policymakers.  Read more...

NE CSC Program Manager presents at Northeast Natural History Conference   Toni Lyn Morelli presented initial findings from projects and talked to local educators and researchers about the NE CSC at the Northeast Natural History Conference THIS WEEK in Springfield, MA.  "Researchers are developing techniques to monitor tree-range dynamics as affected by natural disturbances which can enable adaptation of projected climate impacts; conducting a Sustainable Landscapes project to assess the capability of current and potential future landscapes in the Northeast to provide integral ecosystems and suitable habitat for a suite of representative species and provide guidance for strategic habitat conservation; studying the effects of changes in the frequency and magnitude of drought on Brook Trout habitats, spatial distribution, and population persistence; and conducting assessments of northeastern regional climate projections and high-resolution downscaling."  Read more...

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Monday, April 22, 4:00 PM ET

Northeast Climate Science Center presents, 

"Characterizing the sensitivity of tree species and forest types to past weather variability using tree ring data"

Jane Foster, Postdoctoral Associate, University of Minnesota


To join, visit:


Many tree species in North American are experiencing increased stress from changing climatic conditions, with uncertain effects on forest productivity. Tree ring data provide valuable information on past growth responses to climate variability. We used tree-ring reconstructions of biomass growth to ask (a.) how tree, stand, and weather interact to predict forest biomass growth, and (b.) whether the variance in growth due to climatic variability is as important as other factors.


We reconstructed tree, species and stand biomass growth using a census dataset of tree-rings from eight forest communities covering the temperate and boreal forests in northern Minnesota. We used mixed models to predict annual biomass growth from tree size and age, stand density and aggregate growth trends, species and local site characteristics, and variations in annual precipitation, temperature and summer moisture deficit using PRISM climate data (1895-2009).


We found that mean tree biomass growth depended most strongly (and positively) on tree size, age, and competitive status, while weather variability typically explained less than 5% of total variance in growth. Growth relationships varied significantly by species. Variations in biomass growth around the mean were significantly related to the summer ratio of precipitation to PET. While weather fluctuations significantly affect growth, our results suggest that changes in forest composition and structure may be more important to predict short-term productivity responses to climate change.




Friday, April 26, 2013, 10:00am  ET

Northeast Climate Science Center presents, 


"The Impact of Airborne Particulate Matter on Human Health: Current Scientific Evidence and Remaining Challenges"

Michelle L. Bell, Professor of Environmental Health, Yale University


To join, visit:

Join us in person:  Auditorium 119, Engineering Lab II, UMass Amherst


Particulate matter (PM) is estimated to cause over 3.7 million deaths/year worldwide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that benefits of the Clean Air Act were over 30 times higher than costs, with a large portion of those benefits from averted mortalities due to decreased PM levels. Still over 74 million people in the U.S. live in areas exceeding health-based PM regulations. While there is strong and consistent evidence that PM affects health, many questions remain, such as which types of particles and sources of particles are most harmful; which populations are most susceptible or vulnerable; and how these health impacts will be affected by climate change. This seminar will present recent scientific evidence on how particles impact human health from epidemiological studies using national datasets on weather, air pollution, and health. Implications for decision makers and remaining challenges will be discussed.




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


Collaboratory for Adaptation to Climate Change,        This website is a resource for research, education, and collaboration in the area of adaptation and climate change. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Notre Dame. "Our team at Notre Dame, and our outreach partners at The Nature Conservancy’s Great Lakes Project, invite you to share your information needs, ideas, tools, and experiences in climate change adaptation."  Check it out!



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Tuesday April 23 at 1:00 PM ET

US Forest Services Landscape Science Webinar series presents,

"When the past cannot predict the future: Using process-based landscape models to predict forest dynamics in a changing world"

Dr. Eric Gustafson, Research Landscape Ecologist, USFS Northern Research Station

To join, visit:




Wednesday April 24 at 1:15 PM ET

Security and Sustainability Forum

"The Long-Term Vision: Developing a 'Sustained Climate Assessment'"

Jim Buizer

To join, visit:




Wednesday April 24, 11:00 AM Mountain Time

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Tribal Energy Program, and the Western Area Power Administration present,

"Tribal Renewable Energy Series Webinar: How Power Marketing Administrations Market Power and Work with Tribes"

To register, visit:




Thursday, April 25 at 3:30 PM ET

NCCWSC Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series presents,

"From Icefield to Ocean: Impacts of Glacier Change in Alaska"

Shad O'Neel, USGS Alaska Science Center, and Eran Hood, University of Alaska Southeast

To register, visit:




Tuesday, April 30, 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

OSU Changing Climate Webinar Series presents, 

"A Study in Collaboration: Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI)"

Dan Vimont, David S. Liebl

To register, visit:




Wednesday May 1 at 12:00 PM ET

Bard National Climate Seminar

"Co-benefits and Climate Justice"

Manuel Pastor & James Boyce

To join, visit:




Wednesday, May 1, 1:00 PM ET


EPA State and Local Climate Energy Program presents, 

"Attracting Funding for Adaptation"


To register, visit:





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


Coastal Wetland Vulnerability to Accelerated Sea-level Rise  USGS Climate and Land Use Change R&D scientists Ken Krauss, Don Cahoon and Glenn Guntenspergen are coauthors along with Edward Webb, Daniel Friess, and Jacob Phelps of the National University of Singapore of the paper “A global standard for monitoring coastal wetland vulnerability to accelerated sea-level rise” will be published in the May issue of Nature Climate Change.  In the manuscript, they describe the implementation of a low-cost direct measurement of wetland surface and shallow subsurface processes that can support assessments of local, regional and global coastal wetland vulnerability to accelerated sea level rise and guide directed remediation measures.


Michigan Society of American Foresters and Canadian Institute of Forestry spring meeting- Changing Forests in a New Climate:  What Can A Forest Manager Do? - April 30 and May 1, 2013. Sault Ste. Marie, MI.  Read more...


Towns, ecologists seek climate-friendly culverts    AU SABLE FORKS, N.Y. — The humble highway culvert — cheaper than a bridge and unseen by drivers tooling through stream-laced mountains — has become a focal point in efforts to help communities and wildlife adapt to climate change.  The critical role of the structures — essentially big pipes or concrete boxes carrying streams beneath roads — was demonstrated dramatically in a series of extreme weather events hitting the Northeast in recent years. In 2011, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee washed out roads throughout mountains of New York and New England as culverts not designed for such enormous volumes of water were overwhelmed.  Read more...


EPA to Host Conference on Water Sector Impacts from Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change - May 9-10, 2013 in Laurel, Maryland     EPA Region 3 will convene a free conference with an emphasis on water and wastewater utility extreme weather adaptation and climate change mitigation case studies.  Funding for these types of projects will also be discussed.  This conference will touch on a variety of topics of interest to drinking water and wastewater utilities including: the relationship between extreme weather and climate change; preparing for water-sector impacts related to extreme weather and climate change; adaptation and mitigation measures; funding opportunities for utility adaptation and mitigation activities; and utility perspectives on implementing adaptation/mitigation measures (e.g., case studies). Read more...


NCTC Course Offerings: Scenario Planning and Vulnerability Assessment    The National Conservation Training Center is offering two great climate change classes: Scenario Planning (July 15-19,2013) and Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (August 27, 29, 2013). Scenario planning is a valuable decision support method for integrating irreducible and uncontrollable uncertainties into climate change adaptation and other planning in natural resource management. This overview course will introduce the core elements of scenario planning and expose participants to a diversity of approaches and specific scenario development techniques that incorporate both qualitative and quantitative components. The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment course is based on January 2011 publication "Scanning the Conservation Horizon - A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment". This course is designed to guide conservation and resource management practitioners in two essential elements in the design of climate adaptation plans. Specifically, it will provide guidance in identifying which species or habitats are likely to be most strongly affected by projected changes; and understanding why these resources are likely to be vulnerable.  Read more…


Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment Recorded Webinar Series  The Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA) Steering Committee held a series of webinars for project team members from Jan. 17th to Feb. 27th. The purpose of these webinars was to share information about several ongoing projects that support the goal of the GCVA to provide a better understanding of the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and land use change on Gulf Coast ecosystems and their species.  Read more...


Conference on "Understanding Sea Level Rise in the Face of Extreme Events and an Uncertain Economy" to be Held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 18-20, 2013  The inaugural Rising Seas Summit will bring professionals from national and local government, industry, academic institutions and environmental NGOs together to highlight the interrelationships between sea level rise, climate change, and extreme events.  Understanding, anticipating and adapting to water related threats is critical to national security and a stable economy.  Sea level rise will continue to damage coastal ecosystems and inland water systems, and the recent catastrophic impacts of Hurricane Sandy have demonstrated the risks faced by all coastal communities on the U.S. eastern seaboard.  These new environmental challenges require that stakeholders share knowledge and work together to reduce and mitigate environmental and social degradation induced by climate change.  Read more...




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GCPO Conservation Planning Atlas is released   The Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative released its new Conservation Planning Atlas.  "The place to find and share GCPO-relevant, regional, or multi-jurisdictional conservation and science information."  Use the atlas to explore and organize data & information, create custom visualizations, drawings, & analyses, and use collaborative tools in groups.  Read more...


Northeast Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Fallen 12 Percent Since 2000    Environment Northeast (ENE) released ClimateVision 2020, which concludes that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 12 percent since 2000 in eight Northeast states. The report finds that the reductions were driven by state policies encouraging energy efficiency and reduced reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources. Other factors, including the recession, population growth, and temperature fluctuations, have had only minor impacts. ENE recommends focusing on energy efficiency and switching to cleaner fuels to reduce emissions going forward.  View Report…


Polling the American Public on Climate Change   A fact sheet from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute provides information on climate change polling in the United States over the last year from a variety of sources. Overall the studies show:  The American public's concern about climate change, while still below 2007 levels, is on the rise nationwide.  This trend holds across party lines, with greater numbers of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans viewing this as a serious issue that will affect them in their lifetimes.  Additionally, more are convinced that global warming is caused by human activities rather than natural causes.  Higher percentages of minorities say climate change is happening and support the president taking steps to address the issue.  While a majority of Americans support the increased deployment of clean and renewable energy and regulation of power plant emissions, support remains weak for a carbon tax or cap-and-trade measures.  View fact sheet… 


EPA Releases Wildlife Scenario Builder and User Guide   The Wildlife Scenario Builder (WSB) was developed to improve the quality of wildlife risk assessments. It is a Windows application that helps risk assessors estimate air, water, and dietary intake rates for a variety of North American Wildlife species.  The WSB is designed to make wildlife exposure estimates more consistent, transparent and efficient. The wildlife and life history databases supplied with the WSB contain information on 49 North American species of wildlife, including 24 species of birds, 17 species of mammals, 3 species of amphibians, and 5 species of reptiles. Read more…


Massachusetts' Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) 2012 Annual Report available    This annual report highlights a special working relationship with the cities and towns of Massachusetts. Major 2012 Milestones Include:  9 dams removed to improve the condition of rivers and streams, an accomplishment which ranked Massachusetts 2nd in the nation in dams removed; technical assistance and guidance provided to people from over 245 Massachusetts communities in all 27 major watersheds; 3 wetland restoration projects completed spanning 91 acres; 465 volunteers working in 235 communities devoted over $182,000 worth of labor toward protecting and restoring the Commonwealth's rivers and wetlands.  View report...


NOAA Releases Activity Book: "Discover Your Changing World with NOAA"- Ten Activities to Introduce You to the Essential Principles of Climate Science   Are you ready to discover your changing world?  This free activity book will introduce you to the essential principles of climate science, help you learn about Earth's climate system, the factors that drive and change it, the impacts of those changes, and what you can do to explore, understand, and protect our Earth.  Read more…


EPA Survey Finds More than Half of the Nation's River and Stream Miles in Poor Condition    EPA recently released the results of the first comprehensive survey looking at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, finding that more than half - 55 percent - are in poor condition for aquatic life.  The 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment reflects the most recent data available, and is part of EPA's expanded effort to monitor waterways in the U.S. and gather scientific data on the condition of the Nation's water resources.  Read more...




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



EPA Science for Sustainable and Healthy Tribes    EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing research to develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems that affect tribes. The objectives of the awards to be made under this solicitation are to improve understanding of: 1) the health impacts of climate change on tribal populations; and 2) the health impacts of indoor air pollution exposures that derive from or are directly affecting traditional tribal life-ways and cultural practices. In both cases, projects should focus on impacts to vulnerable sub-populations of the Tribal communities. Proposals should also consider sustainable, culturally appropriate and acceptable pollution prevention, and adaptation/mitigation strategies. Application Due: June 25, 2013  Read more...


USDA 2014 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program   The USDA National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council seeks grant proposals to address the following priority issues: 1) Making Urban Trees and Forests More Resilient to the Impacts of Natural Disasters and the long-term Impacts of Climate Change; 2) Green Infrastructure Jobs Analysis; 3) Utilizing Green Infrastructure to Manage and Mitigate Stormwater to Improve Water Quality. Potential grantees should work collaboratively with other organizations and entities not traditionally involved in urban and community forestry. Application Due: July 15, 2013   Read more...