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Environmental Sciences - Global Change - Climate Change | Climate Change in the Northwest - Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities

Climate Change in the Northwest

Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities

Dalton, Meghan M., Mote, Philip W., Snover, Amy K. (Eds.)

2013, XXXVIII, 230 p.

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  • An essential guidance for decision-makers seeking to better understand how climate variability and change impact the northwest region and its communities
  • Rich in science and case studies, this report sets the stage for making the necessary preparations for climate change
  • The definitive input report on climate change in northwest region of the 2013 National Climate Assessment Critical, state-of-the-art information from a broad range of climate change experts in academia, private industry, state and local governments, NGOs, professional societies, and impacted communities

Prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage, Climate Change in the Northwest is the result of collaboration among numerous local, state, federal, and nongovernmental agencies to develop a comprehensive, state of the art look at the effects of climate change on Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

The Northeast is already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, and will likely continue to experience warming temperatures, more extreme precipitation events, reduced snow and ice cover and rising relative sea levels. The book presents a review of the historic, current, and the projected future climate of the region; describes interactions with important sectors of the Northeast and examines cross-sectoral issues, namely climate change mitigation, adaptation, and education and outreach.

Rich in science and case studies, it examines the latest climate change impacts, scenarios, vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacity and offers decision makers and stakeholders a substantial basis from which to make informed choices that will affect the well-being of the region’s inhabitants in the decades to come.

Content Level » Upper undergraduate

Keywords » Climate change impacts - Historic, current, future climate - Pacific Northwest - Rising sea level - U.S. National Climate Assessment

Related subjects » Aquatic Sciences - Climate Change Impact - Climate Change Management and Policy - Global Change - Climate Change

Table of contents 

Executive Summary

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: THE CHANGING NORTHWEST

1.1 Regional Introduction: The Physical, Ecological, and Social Template

1.1.1 Landscape and Climate

1.1.2 Ecosystems, Species, and Habitats

1.1.3 Population and Economy

Box 1.1 Assessing the Economic Impacts of Climate Change: A Commentary and Challenge

1.1.4 Northwest Tribed

1.1.5 A Region Shaped by Water

1.2 A Focus on Risk

1.3 Looking Toward the Future

1.3.1 Common Themes in a Changing Climate

1.3.2 Climate Change Adaptation in the Northwest

1.4 Conclusion

References

CHAPTER 2 CLIMATE: VARIABILITY AND CHANGE IN THE PAST AND THE FUTURE

2.1 Understanding Global and Regional Climate Change

2.2 Past Changes in Northwest Climate: Means

2.3 Past Changes in Northwest Climate: Extremes

2.4 Projected Future Changes in the Northwest

2.4.1 Mean Temperature and Precipitation

2.4.2 Extreme Temperature and Precipitation

References

CHAPTER 3 WATER RESOURCES: IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGES IN TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Key Impacts

3.2.1 Snowpack, Stream Flow, and Reservoir Operations

3.2.2 Water Quality

3.3 Consequences for Specific Sectors

3.3.1 Irrigated Agriculture

3.3.2 Hydropower

3.3.3 Floodplain Infrastructure

3.3.4 Municipal Drinking Water Supplies

3.3.5 Freshwater Aquatic Ecosystems

Box 3.1 A Salmon Runs Through It

3.3.6 Recreation

3.4 Adaptation

3.5 Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs

References

CHAPTER 4 COASTS: COMPLEX CHANGES AFFECTING THE NORTHWEST'S DIVERSE SHORELINES

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Sea Level Rise

4.2.1 Effects of Tectonic Motion and Other Local and Regional Factors

4.2.2 Combined Impacts of Sea Level Rise, Coastal Storms, and ENSO Events

4.3 Ocean Acidification

4.4 Ocean Temperature

4.5 Consequences for Coastal and Marine Natural Systems

4.5.1 Habitat Loss

4.5.2 Changes in Species’ Ranges and Abundances

4.5.3 Altered Ecological Processes and Changes in the Marine Food Web

4.6 Consequences for Coastal Communities and the Built Environment

4.6.1 Coastal Transportation Infrastructure

4.6.2 Coastal Communities

Box 4.1 Coping with Sea Level Rise Risks Today and Tomorrow in Olympia, Washington

4.7 Economic Consequences of Coastal Impacts

4.7.1 Marine Fisheries

4.7.2 Other Economic Impacts

4.8 Adaptation

4.8.1 Nisqually Delta Case Study: Restoring Salmon and Wildlife Habitat in Puget Sound

4.8.2 Neskowin, Oregon, Case Study: Organizing to Cope with an Eroding Coastline

4.9 Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs

References

CHAPTER 5 FORESTS ECOSYSTEMS: VEGETATION, DISTURBANCE, AND ECONOMICS

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Direct Climate Sensitivities: Changes in Distribution, Abundance, and Function of Plant Communities and Species

Box 5.1 Changes in Non-forest Systems: High-Elevation Habitats, Grasslands, and Shrublands

5.3 Indirect Effects of Climate Change through Forest Disturbances

5.3.1 Wildfires

5.3.1.1 Climate Influence

5.3.1.2 Past and Projected Future Fire Activity

5.3.2 Forest Insects

5.3.2.1 Climate Influence

5.3.2.2 Past and Projected Future Insect Outbreaks

5.3.3 Forest Diseases

5.3.3.1 Climate Influence

5.3.3.2 Past and Projected Future Disease Outbreaks

5.3.4 Disturbance Interactions and Cumulative Effects

5.4 Implications for Economics and Natural Systems

5.4.1 Economic Consequences

5.4.1.1 Timber Market Effects

5.4.1.2 Economic Effects of Disturbance

5.4.1.3 Non-Timber Market Effects

5.4.1.4 Valuing Ecosystem Services

5.4.2 Consequences for Natural Systems

5.5 Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs

5.6 Adaptive Capacity and Implications for Vulnerability

References

CHAPTER 6 AGRICULTURE: IMPACTS, ADAPTATION, AND MITIGATION

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Environmental, Economic, and Social Importance

6.3 Vulnerabilities to Projected Climate Change

6.4 Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Selected Subsectors

6.4.1 Annual Crops

6.4.1.1 Dryland Cereal Cropping Systems

6.4.1.2 Irrigated Annual Cropping Systems

6.4.2 Perennial Crops

6.4.2.1 Tree Fruit and Small Fruit

6.4.2.2 Wine Grapes and Wines

6.4.3 Animal Production Systems

6.4.3.1 Rangeland

6.4.3.2 Pasture and Forage<

6.4.3.3 Dairy and Other Confined Animal Operations

6.4.4 Other Northwest Agriculture Subsectors

6.5 Potential to Adapt to Changing Climates

Box 6.1 Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Systems

6.6 Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs

References

CHAPTER 7 HUMAN HEALTH: IMPACTS AND ADAPTATION
7.1 Introduction

7.2 Key Impacts of Climate Changes on Human Health

7.2.1 Temperature

7.2.2 Extreme Weather Events

7.2.2.1 Storms and Flooding

7.2.2.2 Drought

7.2.2.3 Wildfires

7.2.3 Aerobiological Allergens and Air Pollution

7.2.3.1 Aerobiological Allergens

7.2.3.2 Air Pollution

7.2.4 Infectious Diseases

7.2.4.1 Vector-Borne Diseases

7.2.4.2 Water-Borne Diseases

7.2.4.3 Fungal Diseases

7.2.5 Harmful Algal Blooms

7.2.6 Mental Health

7.2.7 Potential Health Costs

7.3 Northwest Adaptation Activities

7.4 Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs

References

CHAPTER 8 NORTHWEST TRIBES: CULTURAL IMPACTS AND ADAPTATION RESPONSES

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Tribal Culture and Sovereignty

8.3 Climatic Changes and Effects: Implications for Tribes in the Northwest

8.3.1 Water Resources and Availability

8.3.2 Water Temperature and Chemistry

Box 8.1 Case Study: The Effect of Climate Change on Baseflow Support in the Nooksack River Basin and Implications on Pacific Salmon Species Protection and Recovery

8.3.3 Sea Level Rise

8.3.4 Forests and Wildfire

8.4 Tribal Initiatives in the Northwest

8.4.1 Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability Assessments

8.4.2 Climate Change Adaptation Plans

8.4.3 Ecosystem-Based Approaches to Addressing Climate Change

8.4.4 Research and Education

8.4.5 Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

8.5 Tribal Research and Capacity Needs and Considerations for the Future

8.5.1 Tribal Research and Capacity Needs

8.5.2 Considerations for the Future

References

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