Forest [FAR1]

Legacy FAR1 strategy/approaches.

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Mid-Atlantic Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Response Framework

Forest ecosystems will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the 21st century. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of 11 forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Maryland, and southern New York) under a range of future climates. We synthesized and summarized information on the contemporary landscape, provided information on past climate trends, and described a range of projected future climates.

New England and Northern New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework Project

This region contains about 40 million acres of forest, which provide numerous cultural, economic, and environmental benefits. Climate change is already having an impact on the region’s forests, increasing damage from extreme precipitation events and insect pests. Future changes could dramatically alter the landscape that characterizes the region.

Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate change tools and approaches for land managers, 2nd Edition

This document provides a suite of materials to help land managers to consider climate change and to develop adaptation actions. It does not provide specific recommendations, but rather serves as a decision-support tool for incorporating adaptation considerations into current management objectives.

Longer growing seasons, warmer temperatures, and greater water demand for agriculture may reduce available water for natural ecosystems in the Southern Plains.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:24

Water is central to the region’s productivity. Projected increases in winter and spring precipitation in the Southern Plains may benefit productivity by increasing water availability through soil moisture reserves during the early growing season. The Southern Plains will remain vulnerable to periodic drought because much of the projected increase in precipitation is expected to occur in the cooler months while increasing temperatures will result in additional evapotranspiration.

The freeze-free season is expected to increase by 18 to 30 days in the Southern Great Plains by the middle of the century.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:18

The freeze-free season is defined as the period of time between the last spring frost (daily minimum temperature below 32 degrees F) and the first fall frost. The length of the annual freeze-free season has been increasing since the 1980s, and all climate models agree that it will continue to increase in the future. The largest increases are projected for southeastern Texas, where the freeze-free season could be 30 days longer.

Average annual precipitation projections suggest small changes in the Southern Plains region, with slightly wetter winters, particularly in the north of the region, and drier summers.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:16

By mid-century, summer precipitation is expected to decrease by 5-15% for much of Kansas, Oklahoma, and northern Texas, and increase by as much as 15% in central Texas. The means of several climate models indicate that winter and spring precipitation may increase by up to 10% percent by mid-century across most of the region, although southwest Texas may see decreases during these seasons. Under mild climate scenarios, changes are generally smaller than in more extreme climate scenarios.

The number of days per year with more than 1 inch of precipitation will increase across the Southern Great Plains by the middle of the century.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:15

The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events are anticipated to continue to increase, particularly under higher scenarios and later in the century. Most of the Southern Great Plains region is projected to experience 0 to 30% more days each year with more than an inch of precipitation by the middle of the century. Days with more than 2 inches, 3 inches, and 4 inches of precipitation are also expected to occur more regularly. Rare events, such as 100-year floods, may also become more common.

Average annual precipitation projections suggest small changes overall, with slight decreases expected across much of the region by mid-century.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:15

There is uncertainty between different climate scenarios for future precipitation projections in the Southern Great Plains. Overall annual changes in precipitation are expected to be small through mid-century, with slight decreases projected from Texas to Kansas. The largest decreases in annual precipitation are expected in Texas, which may see 6-12% less annual rainfall by late-century.

The risk of wildfire is projected to increase across the region, espeically in the summer, and the duration of the fire season is expected to increase.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:14

Different modeling approaches generally conclude that future climate conditions will increase the risk of wildfire across the Great Plains. In the Southern Great Plains, increased wildfire activity is linked to periods of abundant precipitation followed by high temperatures and drought. Annual fire probability, calculated solely with climate data and physical principles, is projected to increase by 20% to 1200% across the region by the end of the century. Fire probability may decrease in Texas, however.

Droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe across the Southern Plains region.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 14:13

The Southern Great Plains region can expect increased dryness and aridity in the future, as hotter temperatures increase evapotranspiration and deplete soil moisture. Some of the negative effects of drying may be offset by the increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, which can stimulate plant growth and increase water-use efficiency. Decreases in available surface water may lead to an increased demand for groundwater. Model simulations predict conditions to possibly become drier than at any time during at least the last 1,000 years.