P1 - Natural Resource Decision-Makers’ Reflections on What Constitutes "Useful" Regional Climate Information
Elizabeth Allen, School of the Environment, Washington State University; Georgine Yorgey, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University; Chad Kruger, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University; Jennie C. Stephens, International Development, Community and Environment, Clark University
Although large quantities of high-quality climate data and climate science information are now publicly available, the usability of this information for non-academic and non-scientific stakeholders is limited (Lemos et al. 2012, Weaver et al. 2013). As impacts of climate instability continue to intensify in the Pacific Northwest, environmental scientists and earth system modelers are rapidly advancing understanding of the complex dynamics of climate change. Increasingly, scientists in the region seek meaningful collaboration with stakeholders who may be able to apply information from models in their decision-making processes. Novel approaches to increasing the “usability” of climate science information and enhancing its influence in decision-making are emerging. BioEarth is a 5-year integrated earth system modeling project addressing nutrient cycling, water and land surface changes in the Columbia River Basin with an emphasis on engaging directly with regional stakeholders who may use model results throughout the model development process (Adam et al. In Press). Drawing on participants' feedback gathered from BioEarth Regional Earth System Modeling Initiative stakeholder advisory workshops in 2013 and 2014 we present recommendations for developing regional environmental models and communicating climate science information to stakeholders in federal, state, local and tribal government, industry, and non-governmental organizations.
P2 - Impacts of Increased Over-Winter Precipitation on Dryland Cereal Production Systems in the Pacific Northwest
Nicole Ward, University of Idaho; Fidel Maureira, Washington State University; Ryan Boylan, University of Idaho; Erin Brooks, University of Idaho; Matt Yourek, University of Idaho; Austin Wardall, Embrey Riddle Aeronautical University; Claudio Stockle, Washington State University
Most climate models suggest that the Pacific Northwest will experience increased temperatures and a slight increase in annual precipitation. Seasonally, models suggest a slight decline in summer precipitation and an increase in winter precipitation. The effects of this enhanced seasonality of precipitation will vary across the cereal grain production region of the inland Pacific Northwest, referred to here as the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) region, the focus area of a large interdisciplinary USDA-funded project. The increase in winter precipitation in the crop-fallow transition zone (300-500 mm/yr precipitation) may allow growers to convert to annual cropping, while growers in wetter regions (> 500 mm/yr) may need to rely on more fall-seeded crops to avoid delayed spring planting. In Pullman WA, located in the high precipitation annual cropping zone, climate models predict an increase in winter precipitation of 75 mm and a decline of 7 mm during summer months by the latter half of the 21st century. The predicted change in seasonal precipitation may have widespread implications on the future management of cropping systems, greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion, nitrate export, and socio-economics of the region. Using cropping system models we examine the impact of future climate scenarios on off-season soil water storage, potential nitrate leaching, runoff, erosion and spring plant dates in the high precipitation zone of the REACCH region. We will highlight the potential adaptations which may occur in the region to minimize the environmental impacts of these wetter, warmer, future climates.
P3 - Impacts of Local Meteorology And Management Practices on Carbon and Water Budgets at Multiple Agricultural Sites in the Inland Pacific Northwest
Jinshu Chi, Washington State University; Sarah Waldo; Shelley Pressley; Patrick O’Keeffe; and Brian Lamb
Local meteorology, management practices and site characteristics have various impacts on carbon and water budgets at different cropping systems. Associated with the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) program, this study aims to understand the carbon and water dynamics at multiple agricultural sites within the Inland Pacific Northwest (IPNW) region using eddy covariance (EC) techniques. However, the variability of the meteorology and management practices within the IPNW region can influence the carbon and water budgets in the agricultural ecosystem. This paper addresses this topic by analyzing carbon and water flux data collected from four representative EC flux towers in the IPNW region, including two sites (one no-till and one conventional tillage site) located in the high-rainfall, continuous-cropping area, a third site situated in low-rainfall, crop-fallow area, and a fourth site located in an irrigated continuous-cropping area. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to better understand the impact of every single management practice (no-till, conventional tillage, irrigation, fallow and crop rotations) or meteorological variable (air temperature, precipitation, soil temperature and soil water content) on the carbon and water fluxes, especially when there are two or more influencing variables existing at each site.
P4 - Changes in Soil Erosion Rates in Inland Pacific Northwest Agricultural Lands Under Climate Change
Paige Farrell, University of Idaho; John Abatzoglou, University of Idaho; Erin Brooks
Climate change and its impact on precipitation regimes could result in significant impacts on land used for agriculture in the Pacific Northwest as the region becomes more susceptible to soil erosion due to hydrological extremes that can be detrimental to the landscape and the overall production of crucial crops such as winter wheat in the region. Climate projections suggest an increase in the magnitude of mid-winter precipitation extremes across the Pacific Northwest in an enhanced greenhouse planet with a shift toward more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model is used to examine the potential impacts of climate change on soil erosion. WEPP uses parameters such as cropping practices, soil profiles, and geomorphology to develop predictions of soil erosion rates in chosen watersheds and/or hill slopes. We perform several sensitivity experiments by changing temperature, precipitation and precipitation intensity, in addition to land use practices to examine their impact on erosion rates. In addition to these sensitivity experiments, we applied downscaled data from climate projections to WEPP modeling and examine the projected impacts across the inland Pacific Northwest. These experiments will assist land management by identifying future erosion risks in a changing climate and potential efforts to mitigate detrimental impacts by modifying agriculture and land use practices.
P5 - Exploring the Influence Of Meteorological and Climatological Factors on Heterogeneity in Winter Wheat Yields in Pacific Northwest through Remote Sensing
Wenlong Feng, University of Idaho, Department of Geography; John Abatzolgou, University of Idaho, Department of Geography
Winter wheat is an important commercial crop in Pacific Northwest comprising approximately 3.25 million acres of land in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. The wheat product from this region supplies both domestic and abroad food market. Monitoring and assessing winter wheat yield is important for regional rural economies and more broadly for global economics and food security. Typically, yield data is available at the county level; however, we explore the possibility of resolving higher spatial resolution information on yields using the bi-weekly accumulative value of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in the period between heading and phenological maturity. Exploratory data analysis is used to examine the influence of environmental factors including weather and climate on heterogeneous variations in local wheat yield across both space and time from 2007-2013 . Non-environmental factors such as land management practices are also considered.
P6 - A Field-Scale Sensor Network for Monitoring and Modeling the Spatial and Temporal Variation of Soil Moisture Content
Caley Gasch, Washington State University; David Brown, Washington State University; Erin Brooks, University of Idaho; David Huggins, USDA-ARS; Colin Campbell, Washington State University & Decagon Devices; Doug Cobos, Washington State University & Decagon Devices; Maninder Chahal, Washington State University
Precision management for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields requires an understanding of the spatio-temporal variability of factors influencing C and N processes, such as soil moisture content. Comprehension of soil moisture dynamics at the field scale requires measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution. We installed a soil moisture sensor network on a dryland Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research farm stationed on complex terrain in the Palouse region, which hosts variable soils, microclimates, and landscape positions. At 42 geo-referenced locations distributed across the 37 ha farm, sensors were installed at five depths (30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 cm). Volumetric soil moisture content was recorded each hour by buried data loggers and downloaded via radio transmission. This network has effectively captured the spatial and temporal variation of soil moisture content for five years and will be maintained for long term data collection. From this data, we are able to observe seasonal fluctuations of soil moisture at each depth, and how it is influenced by crop type (e.g. legume, grain, winter/spring rotation), soil properties (depth to clay layer), and landscape position. Spatio-temporal modeling will further assist in understanding the hydrologic function of the field and in refining precision management for minimal N loss and maximum crop yield.
P7 - Impacts of Irrigation Management on Water and Energy Fluxes over the Yakima River Basin
Keyvan Malek, Washington State University; Jennifer Adam; Claudio Stockle; Roger Nelson; Kirin Chinnayakanahalli
The economy of Yakima River Basin (YRB) is closely related to agricultural productivity. Nearly 60% of this basin is irrigated through gravitational or inefficient sprinkler systems. As a result of changes in cropping patterns and their new established irrigation systems and impacts of projected climate change, this current low efficiency is expected to be improved. Different irrigation systems alters water and energy fluxes through a change in the partitioning between evaporative, runoff and deep percolation (irrigation) losses, therefore with potential impacts on weather, water and energy balances, and crop functioning. To assess the impacts of change in irrigation management on irrigation losses, local weather and climate, and agricultural water availability two process-based models were dynamically coupled: a spatially-explicit macroscale hydrologic model, the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model, and a cropping system model, CropSyst. The VIC model simulates hydrological phenomena including evaporation, infiltration, runoff, snowpack processes, while CropSyst simulates transpiration from vegetation and crop growth and phenology. An irrigation module has been developed and added to the coupled framework. This module simulates irrigation losses and impact of irrigation evaporative losses on local temperature and humidity. Results suggest a sensitivity of local weather and climate to different irrigation practices and significant changes in the YRB water and energy balance as a result of change in irrigation management.
P8 - Food for Thought: Crop Yields in the Columbia River Basin in an Altered Future.
Kirti Rajagopalan, Washington State University; Kiran Chinnayakanahalli, Air Wordwide; Roger Nelson, Washington State University; Claudio Stockle, Washington State University; Chad Kruger, Washington State University; Micheal Brady, Washington State University; Jennifer Adam, Washington State University
Global population and food consumption growth in the next 40 years is expected to result in a doubling of the agricultural demand in the 2050s leading to a food security challenge. Understanding the factors that affect crop yield potential as well as yield gap (difference between potential and actual yields) is central to meeting the food security challenge. Factors affecting crop yields are not independent of each other, and the relationships can be non-linear, non-monotonic, competing and crop specific with regional differences. This leads to potential for a change in the sign of the net crop yield response over time. In terms of adaptation this becomes important because it makes a system with a positive outlook in the near term more vulnerable to insufficient adaptation times further in the future.
The objective of this work is to characterize how the net response of crop yield potential to temperature and CO2 level increases in the Columbia River basin changes at multiple future time-scales. We look for potential for a shift in the sign of the net response over time and how this varies by crop type and location. We also explore how changes in planting dates and crop type/variety can help farmers to adapt.
Results indicate that the yield response to temperature and CO2 changes varies by crop and is non-linear with more rapid responses early on. In the case of winter wheat and potatoes, both of which are economically important crops in the region, the net crop response has potential to switch signs over time. With winter wheat, early on, the positive CO2 effect dominates the negative temperature effects, but at a threshold of about 750 ppm CO2 and 5oC temperature increase, the negative temperature effects becomes more dominant and the net crop response switches signs from positive to negative. For alfalfa, the temperature effect on yields is non-monotonic, but the CO2 effect dominates the temperature effect and the combined effect is monotonic. Adaptation to a corn cultivar that has a longer time to maturity was explored as a way to address the negative temperature effects on corn yields. By increasing the time to maturity by about 4 weeks, yield reductions could be brought down from about -30% to about -10%. Regional differences also exist and are discussed.
P9 - Agricultural Water Dynamics in the Willamette Basin – 2010-2100
Cynthia Schwartz, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University; John Bolte, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University; Kellie Vache, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State Univeristy; James Sulzman, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University; William Jaeger, Applied Economics, Oregon State University
The Willamette Water 2100 project is evaluating how climate change, population growth and economic growth will alter the availability and use of water in the Willamette River Basin on decadal to centennial timescales. Envision is a GIS-based model integration platform combining biophysical, social and economic models of landscape change. Envision is designed to explore impacts of alternative policy and management choices on landscape changes and productions by integrating spatially-explicit models of landscape change processes and production. In this work, we use Envision to model crop dynamics in the Willamette Basin from 2010 to 2100. Crop dynamics are simulated through the coupling of economic models for crop choice and irrigation decisions, with a hydrologic model that includes dynamic evapotranspiration calculations followed by a water rights component. Evapotranspiration is determined daily for each crop as a dynamic function of climate, land cover, and soil water. Reference evapotranspiration was calculated with the Penman-Monteith FAO56 Method, using daily input values of air temperature, solar radiation, humidity, and wind speed. Agricultural water use in Oregon and the Western United States is legally constrained by water law and the idea of ‘first in time, first in right’ which has guided water use since settlement and is codified as water rights. The water rights component captures agricultural water supply and use by directly querying the Oregon water rights database. Using the water rights data base directly, the model realistically captures a key constraint on when and where irrigation occurs. We are using this dynamic approach to evaluate how potentially emerging water scarcities may express themselves across the agricultural landscape. This integrated model approach is unique in its ability to determine daily crop water demand, and to satisfy that demand accounting for both legal and climate related constraints. The interaction of the integration of the economic, hydrologic, biophysical process based and legal models and the effect on the results with three different climate change scenarios will be presented.
P10 - Assessing the Value and Use of Data Repositories for Integrated Research Efforts
Erich Seamon, REACCH Environmental Data Manager, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho; Paul Gessler, Professor, Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho; Von Walden, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University; Edward Flathers, Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho; Stephen Fricke, REACCH Programmer, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho
Data management repositories are an important component of most diverse, large scale data-intensive projects. With the increased exploration of large datasets in varied ways - several strategies and methodologies for data access, storage, and interrogation have come to the forefront (Downs, 2010, Kollen et al, 2013). Yet with differing levels of use, data sizing, user location, and analytical expectations, finding a methodology and approach that fits best with a particular team may be difficult and costly (Wright, 2011). The Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH PNA) is a five-year USDA/NIFA-funded coordinated agriculture project to examine the sustainability of cereal crop production systems in the Pacific Northwest, in relationship to ongoing climate change. As part of this effort, we developed an overarching process model to assess data management methodologies with differing scenarios, and used this process model to create a unique, hybridized data management methodology that would fit with our data storage and analysis needs.
From the process model output, a technology framework was developed and initiated. The developed system is structured in a virtual multi-server environment (data, applications, web, development) that includes geospatial database/geospatial web servers for web mapping services (ArcGIS Server), use of ESRI’s Geoportal Server for data discovery and metadata management (under the ISO 19115-2 standard), The University Consortium for Atmospheric Research’s (UCAR) Thematic Realtime Environmental Distributed Data Services (THREDDS) for data cataloging, and Interactive Python notebook server (iPython) technology for data analysis (Perez and Granger, 2007). Initial project data harvesting and meta-tagging efforts have resulted in the interrogation and loading of over 10 terabytes of climate model output, regional entomological data, agricultural and atmospheric information, as well as imagery, publications, videos, and other soft content.
Post development meta-results showed that while the proposed hybridized data management methodology had a strong dependence on minimum levels of technology acceptance and training for success, engagement levels were low at the initial stages of deployment, with only slight increases over time. In addition, the diversity of dataset types created challenges regarding data interaction analytics, as well as metadata. Proposed alterations to the process model for future implementations might include greater sensitivity to the user profile types and user interface interaction.
P11 - Characterizing Regional Nitrous Oxide Emissions in the Inland Pacific Northwest Using Multi-scale Monitoring.
Sarah Waldo, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University; Kirill Kostyanovsky, Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University; Jinshu Chi, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University; Patrick O'Keeffe, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University; Shelley Pressley, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University; Brian Lamb, Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas (GHG) with 300 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. Agricultural soils are the largest anthropogenic source of N2O, which is emitted as a byproduct of soil microbial processes. Emissions of this GHG are challenging to characterize because they are subject to a high degree of spatial and temporal variability. Agriculture is one of the main economic activities and main land usages in the Inland Pacific Northwest (IPNW) region (Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, and Northern Idaho). The research presented here analyzes results from coupled chamber-tower measurements of N2O emissions at two agricultural sites in the IPNW. This coupled system is advantageous because soil chambers have continuous temporal coverage but are limited spatially, while tower-based flux measurements integrate over the field-scale but are subject to large data gaps due to non-ideal conditions. The next step to scale up understanding of N2O emissions is to use the on the ground measurements to and parameterize regional scale air quality models. Preliminary research on the details of the last step is also presented here.
P12 - Environmental and Climatic Thresholds Controlling Earthworm Distribution
Chelsea Walsh, University of Idaho; Jodi Johnson-Maynard, University of Idaho
Earthworm activity has been associated with increased crop production, nutrient cycling and water infiltration and may contribute to resiliency in agroecosystems, given expected changes in climate. However, climate related thresholds limit the distribution of earthworms and the period of the growing season during which they remain active. This research seeks to determine what role soil texture, organic matter and pH play in determining earthworm distribution and density both between and within agroclimatic classes in the Inland Pacific Northwest wheat production region. Crop fields across the region were surveyed for earthworms during the springs of 2012 and 2013. Soil moisture and temperature were recorded at the time of collection and soil samples were collected in 10 cm increments from 0-30cm and analyzed for texture, organic matter and pH. The regional survey found the main species in wheat fields to be an invasive European species, Aporrectodea trapezoides. Earthworm densities varied through out the region (0 to 460 individuals m-2) with earthworms present at 23 of the 36 sites sampled. A threshold for earthworm presence was observed between 350 and 400 mm mean annual precipitation, no sites with less than 350 mm of mean annual precipitation were found to have earthworms. Preliminary results show that most samples fall into the silt loam textural class, soil organic matter ranges from 1.3-9.3% and pH ranges from 4.5 to 8.5. Data on soil texture, soil pH, soil organic matter, mean annual precipitation, and mean annual temperature and their effect on earthworm distribution and density will be presented. Earthworms are sensitive to soil moisture and temperature and become inactive or die when soil moisture levels become to low or soil temperature rises too high. Because of this, changing climate has the potential to significantly impact earthworms and their effect on nutrient cycling. An improved understanding of the factors affecting the current distribution of earthworms will contribute to estimates of their effect on inland Pacific Northwest agriculture under current and future climates.
P13 - AgToolsTM: An Evaluation Tool for Agricultural Producers Facing Climate Change
Laurie Houston, Oregon State University; Jenna Way, Oregon State University; Clark Seavert, Oregon State University
Climate change research indicates that fall and winter rainfall will increase in the Pacific Northwest, having implications on management decisions for agricultural producers. The general trend toward increased winter precipitation could increase the probability of successfully planting on an annual basis within the 12-18 inch precipitation zone, known as a transitional zone between winter wheat-fallow and annual cropping areas. Some farmers within this zone successfully plant on an annual basis and are interested in adding diversity to their operations by adding peas or biofuel crops such as canola and camelina to their rotation. Experiments with such crop rotations have shown potential for increased wheat yields and net returns.
A case study approach was used to demonstrate how AgToolsTM software can be used to evaluate the profitability and feasibility at the farm level of future changes in crop rotations. The software is designed to analyze a farm’s liquidity, solvency, profitability, and repayment capacity. The case study is representative of a farm in the 12-18 inch precipitation zone of Eastern Oregon, which receives an average of 16 inches of rainfall. University research and Extension faculty, industry representatives, and agricultural lenders were consulted to obtain current loan and balance sheet information, along with future yields and prices for winter wheat, spring dry peas, winter canola and camelina, over a 10 year period. This information was inputted into the AgToolsTM software to conduct an economic assessment of the various options in cropping rotations to determine how changes in input and output costs and changes in projected debt-to-asset ratios would impact the financial position of this representative farm in the future. Three alternative crop rotations were considered; winter wheat followed by dry peas, winter wheat followed by canola, and winter wheat followed by camelina. The cash flow was estimated for each of the owned and leased fields on the farm to project net income on the farm.
The output from this evaluation determined that the additional investment in machinery to switch to a continuous cropping system of winter wheat and canola would generate higher profits for this farm then their current practices. As shown by this example, AgToolsTM provides a useful decision tool for growers. It allows them to better understand financial and planting options, as well as associated impacts to farm profitability under uncertain future climates, technologies, and prices.
P14 - Farmer to Farmer: Multi-Media Case Studies Build Adaptive Capacity Among Cereal-Based Farmers in the Pacific Northwest
Georgine Yorgey, Washington State University; Sylvia Kantor; Kathleen Painter; Leigh Bernacchi; Hilary Donlon; Chad Kruger
Although producers are experienced in responding to a variety of risks – market related, weather-related, and environmental – climate change poses unprecedented risks. Adaptation to these risks will require the development and use of new knowledge and a capacity for collective learning and innovation. To support farmer to farmer learning for adaptation to climate change, we have developed a set of multimedia producer case studies for cereal-based cropping systems in the Pacific Northwest as part of the Regional Approaches to Climate Change in Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH-PNA) project. Four case studies highlight innovative strategies farmers are implementing that enhance resiliency of their farming systems – including cropping intensification, precision nitrogen application, flex cropping, and irrigated cover cropping.
These case studies span a range of cropping regions, from irrigated to dryland production, including land that lies fallow to conserve moisture one year in two, one year in three, and land that produces a crop each year. In-depth interviews with each producer were used to produce a video segment and a detailed written document. Participants explain the processes behind successful adaptation of these various risk-reducing practices, their perspectives on benefits and challenges, and their thoughts on risk and climate change. The case studies incorporate written and video components into a single digital document for access through smart phones, tablets and computers.
P15 - Vulnerability of Major Wastewater Facilities during a 100-Year Storm Event
Crystal Bach, King County Wastewater Treatment Division
King County's Wastewater Treatment Division's mission is to protect public health and the environment. The effects of climate change on the potential for flooding at WTD facilities during a 100 year storm event was assessed, with specific focus surrounding the floodplain coverage and wetland areas of this region. This study identifies which facilities are vulnerable during a 100 year storm event, as well as recommendations for future studies.
P16 - Eroding Coastlines: Seeking Balance at the Oregon Coast in the Face of a Changing Climate
Meg Gardner, Oregon Coastal Management Program & Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
The Oregon coast is a beautiful and dynamic environment that draws people to the area to live, recreate, work, and enjoy. However, the high energy wave and wind environment of the coast can create a challenging setting for development and human life. Stronger winter storms and increasing erosion due to climate change have already led to loss of beach and property in many areas. Various adaptation strategies have been employed or discussed for how to both protect property and the public beach, from shoreline armoring to managed retreat. These strategies can be controversial depending on the stakeholder group, but are important to explore collaboratively. The Oregon Coastal Management Program and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, in coordination with local, state and federal partners, are integrating current public policy regarding coastal erosion and shoreline armoring with the latest natural and social sciences (including predicted impacts of climate change), to better inform these adaptation discussions and provide a foundation toward more resilient communities. The partnership will provide new online spatial information about shoreline armoring, erosion, flooding, sea level rise, and other coastal hazards as a decision-support tool for local planners, beachfront homeowners, and coastal managers. Anticipated outcomes of this analysis include an understanding of the most vulnerable coastal areas, a review of armoring options and alternatives, and policy recommendations regarding new and existing coastal development with the goal of moving towards resiliency. Many public policies regarding land-use do not currently integrate climate change impacts and adaptation strategies; this analysis will provide some insights into how these policies could be better integrated. This talk will be beneficial for coastal managers seeking to better prepare their communities for climate change adaptation, providing a road map from the Oregon coast.
P17 - Evaluating the Role of Increasing Spatial Resolution in Climate Projections and the Effect on Climate Impacts Assessments for Highway Infrastructure in British Columbia
Stephen Sobie, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium; Trevor Murdock, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium; Alex Cannon, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium
Demand for projections of climate extremes has arisen out of local infrastructure vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning. An important component of this future planning requires detailed knowledge of how extreme climate events are likely to change in the future. Global climate models (GCMs) are often too coarse in resolution to provide information specific to region and local communities. To obtain the local data needed, statistical downscaling methods are frequently used to generate high resolution projections for individual assessments or areas. What is rarely considered when applying downscaling methods is their effect on projected changes in extreme events. A key assumption in downscaling is that the statistical relationship established in the past between large and small scales remains constant in a future, changing climate. The failure of this assumption can lead to differences between GCM and downscaled projected anomalies.To investigate this effect we test whether statistical downscaling preserves or changes the large-scale projected anomalies of extreme precipitation produced by GCMs. Downscaled precipitation fields are aggregated to GCM resolution and the results compared. We examine whether the downscaling process preserves the large-scale GCM spatial patterns and extreme precipitation distributions, and how it affects the uncertainty of the large-scale results. Finally, we compare the results of a climate impacts assessment for three highway regions in B.C. to determine if the differences between modelled and downscaled projections would alter the conclusions of a previously completed assessment.
P18 - Robust Changes and Sources of Uncertainty in the Projected Hydrological Regimes of Mid-Latitude Catchments
Nans Addor, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland; Ole Rössler, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research & Department of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland; Nina Köplin, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research & Department of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland; Matthias Huss, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; Rolf Weingartner, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research & Department of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland; Jan Seibert, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Projections of discharge are key for future water resources management. These projections are subject to uncertainties, which are difficult to handle in the decision process on adaptation strategies. Uncertainties arise from different sources such as the emission scenarios, the climate models and their post-processing, the hydrological models and natural variability. Here we present a detailed and quantitative uncertainty assessment, based on a range of catchments in Switzerland representative for mid-latitude alpine catchments. The uncertainties captured by our setup originate mainly from the climate models and natural climate variability, but the choice of emission scenario plays a large role by the end of the century. The respective contribution of the different sources of uncertainty varied strongly among the catchments. The discharge changes were compared to the estimated natural decadal variability, which revealed that a climate change signal emerges even under the lowest emission scenario (RCP2.6) by the end of the century. Limiting emissions to RCP2.6 levels would nevertheless reduce the largest regime changes at the end of the century by approximately a factor of two in comparison to impacts projected for the high emission scenario SRES A2. We finally show that robust regime changes emerge despite the projection uncertainty. These changes are significant and are consistent across a wide range of scenarios and catchments. We propose their identification as a way to aid decision-making under uncertainty, in Switzerland and in other areas of the world.
P19 - High-Resolution Modeling of Freshwater Discharge into the Gulf of Alaska
Jordan Beamer, Water Resources Graduate Program, Oregon State University; David Hill, Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University
A detailed study of freshwater discharge (FWD) into the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) has been carried out in order to improve understanding of the FWD magnitudes, the spatial distribution of FWD in the GOA, and changes through time (1979-2011). Sources of FWD from the GOA drainage area include streamflow derived from rainfall, snow- and glacier melt, and long term changes in glacier storage. Because the drainage contains the third largest ice field in the world which is undergoing rapid volume loss and retreat, glacier melt water significantly augments FWD and forms the single largest glaciological contribution to rising sea level yet measured. The vast majority of the GOA drainage is ungaged, requiring a modeling approach to predict discharge in the ungaged portions. Previous modeling approaches provided estimates of the overall FWD but have been unsatisfactory in their temporal resolution, spatial resolution, and model physics. The present study advances the state of knowledge of the GOA freshwater discharge by adapting and validating an integrated modeling suite of physically-based, distributed weather, energy-balance snow/ice melt, and runoff-routing models to the GOA drainage. SnowModel outputs of grid-cell runoff were coupled with HydroFlow, a runoff-routing model which routed rainfall and snow-and glacier-melt to the land-ocean interface. The end result of this series of models is a complete runoff hydrograph at any model cell, and by summing the runoff from all coastal cells, or for cell of interest (stream gaging station), the freshwater discharge for the whole GOA or local site of interested is determined. Simulations forced with North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) data were found to underestimate precipitation and runoff. Simulations forced with NARR data bias-corrected with monthly PRISM maps yielded more accurate runoff values as compared with observations and previous studies.
P20 - Predicting the Hydrologic Response of the Columbia River System to Climate Change: Initial Stages
Bart Nijssen, University of Washington; Joseph Hamman, University of Washington; Ishottama, University of Washington; Oriana Chegwidden, University of Washington; Matt Stumbaugh, University of Washington; Dennis P. Lettenmaier, University of Washington
Effects of anthropogenic climate change already manifest themselves in the Pacific Northwest through reduced snow accumulation at lower elevations and earlier spring melt. The Columbia River, whose flow regime is heavily dependent on seasonal snow melt, may experience significant changes in the timing of its seasonal hydrograph and possibly in total flow volume. The potential effects of climate change on the river are of particular interest because it is intensely managed for hydropower generation, irrigation, flood control, ecosystem services (particularly salmonids), navigation, and recreation. We will report on a new study co-funded by the Bonneville Power Administration to update and enhance the existing climate change streamflow data set developed by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (CIG) in 2009-2010. Results of the new study will be used by the Columbia River Basin Management Joint Operating Committee (RMJOC) and will be based on climate projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Version 5 (CMIP5), which formed the basis for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Of particular interest are the effects of methodological choices, such as the choice of hydrological model and downscaling method, on the predicted climate change impacts. The new study will use three hydrologic models, the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model, the Unified Land Model (ULM) and the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS), implemented at 1/16th degree (~6 km) resolution for the entire domain, and multiple downscaling methods. We will discuss the implementation and calibration of the three models, as well as an evaluation of multimodel results using streamflow and snow observations.
P21 - Trends in Total Water Storage over the Eastern U.S., 2003-2012
Elizabeth A. Clark, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington; Yixin Mao, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington; Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington
GRACE (the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) is a pair of earth-orbiting satellites that monitor changes in total water storage, which includes soil moisture, snow water equivalent, groundwater storage and surface water storage (and glaciers and ice sheets, which are not relevant to our study). Previous work has argued that between 2003 and 2012, total water storage from GRACE has increased by 1-3 cm/year in the Midwestern U.S. and decreased by 1-3 cm/year in the southeastern U.S. Both of these are very large numbers – for comparison purposes, total dynamic subsurface (mostly soil moisture) storage capacity on average globally has been argued to be around 15 cm. The changes inferred from GRACE in the Southeast have been attributed, in part, to groundwater depletion associated with ongoing drought conditions. However, an independent analysis of groundwater storage trends derived from annual low streamflow observations suggests that trends in groundwater storage were on the order of 1 mm/year in both regions over the 2003-2012 decade. While the spatial patterns are roughly similar to those from GRACE, the order of magnitude difference between the two estimates suggests that groundwater storage may in fact be a minor contributor to the total water storage trends. We show that soil moisture from the average of 5 hydrologic model simulations, which do not account for groundwater, reproduce the spatial signature of the GRACE changes, but with trend magnitudes about half those of the GRACE data. We also show that while the standard deviation of groundwater storage residuals from the trend line was on the order of 1 mm/year, the standard deviations in both GRACE storage residual and simulated soil moisture residuals were on the order of 1 cm/year. This suggests that soil moisture, rather than groundwater storage, is likely the major contributor to both the trend in GRACE storage and the interannual variability in GRACE storage.
P22 - Impacts of Climate Change on the Seasonality of Extremes in the Columbia River Basin
Mehmet C. Demirel, Portland State University; Hamid Moradkhani
The impacts of climate change on the seasonality of extremes i.e., both high and low flows in the Columbia River basin were analyzed using three seasonality indices, namely the seasonality ratio (SR), weighted mean occurrence day (WMOD) and weighted persistence (WP). These indices reflect the streamflow regime, timing and variability in timing of extreme events respectively. The three indices were estimated from: (1) observed streamflow; (2) simulated streamflow by the VIC model driven by ten best downscaled CMIP5 climate scenarios obtained from a multi-criteria approach for the historical period (1979–2005); (3) projected streamflow for the best ten downscaled CMIP5 product for the future period (2040–2080) including two different pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). These three cases are compared to assess the effects of different climate forcings and different concentration pathways. The preliminary results showed significant differences between three cases indicating a shift in streamflow regime and timing of extreme events over the Columbia River Basin. The results will help understand the effects of climate change on three important seasonality properties: regime, timing and persistence and associated errors.
P23 - Testing an Empirical Model of Snowpack Duration Using Citizen Science Field Observations from the Mountains of the Pacific Northwest
Susan E. Dickerson-Lange, University of Washington; Jessica D. Lundquist, University of Washington; Rolf Gersonde, Seattle Public Utilities; Timothy E. Link, University of Idaho; James A. Lutz, University of Washington; Steve Malloch, American Rivers; Anne W. Nolin, Oregon State University; Amy K. Snover, Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington
Forest cover has a complex influence on snowpack duration because trees reduce snow accumulation and delay or accelerate melting depending on climate, topographic position, and forest canopy density. Since snowmelt timing contributes to the timing of warm season streamflows, predicting whether the net effect of forest cover is to retain snow on the landscape, or to contribute to earlier disappearance, is relevant to land management decisions. We present an empirical model to spatially predict where snow will last more than 1 week longer in the forest versus the open, or vice versa, across the Pacific Northwest. Previous synthesis of global studies indicates that temperature is a key control on the role of forest in determining snow duration, which suggests that forest management strategies will need to adapt to a warming climate. We therefore use 800 m climate averages for mean winter temperature as the base of the model, as well as a 2°C warming scenario to explore shifts in the spatial pattern of model predictions under projected future climate conditions. Additional factors including solar loading and wind exposure due to topographic position, and atmospheric conditions that vary by region are examined as potential ways to refine the model. We test our present-day model based on average climate using several years of intensive snow observations at research sites, and from citizen science data collection. In the spring and summer of 2014 we solicited public participation in a campaign to take geo-tagged photos of snow (or no snow) in forests and adjacent open areas, and utilized the photos and their metadata as spatially distributed snow presence data. Future work will further leverage these observations to improve model predictions, and will include high resolution hydrological modeling of different forest management strategies in climate-contrasting basins on the east and west slopes of the Cascade Mountains.
P24 - Scale refinements of Nutrient Export from Watersheds: Shifting Orientation from Global Applications to the Columbia River Basin
Will Forney, Washington State University
Relying predominantly on empirical relationships, mass balance approaches and some mechanistic processes, the Nutrient Export from Watersheds (NEWS) models characterize nutrient transport and processing of different elements and forms from landscapes to coastal estuaries. NEWS models are unique in that they are one of the first global scale applications to estimate budgets of and fluxes in dissolved/particulate, organic/inorganic nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon for watersheds across the globe. Models are derived from spatially-explicit data such as nutrient concentrations, land use, stream networks, basin delineations, runoff, discharge, population and density, water diversions, reservoir retention properties, manure and fertilizer application, biological N2 fixation, atmospheric N deposition, geologic weathering, crop export and sewage point sources. Some constituent models are more developed than others for global applications, and thus are more suitable for scale refinement. For the Columbia River Basin (CRB), particular constituents are currently being downscaled, namely dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved inorganic phosphorous (DIP). DIN and DIP are biologically available, and are important contributors to ecological stressors such as eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia (fresh and coastal waters), ocean acidification, human and wildlife health, multiple ecosystem services, and greenhouse gas emissions. This effort is part of the interdisciplinary BioEarth regional earth system modeling research project led by Washington State University, which considers future global and climate change in the Pacific Northwest. The NEWS refinements emphasize: 1) inclusion of finer scales of input data and associated recalibration and validation, 2) comparison to a finer-resolution, process-based, hydrodynamic river transport model, and 3) the downscaling of coherent and consistent Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) scenarios to estimate potential future impacts on water quality. The intent of these refinements is to provide robust estimates of projected nutrient dynamics to help inform policy making and management alternatives for natural and agricultural resource management in the CRB. In addition to covering general NEWS modeling frameworks, this presentation will provide updates on the latest developments and results from the three scale refinements. Some preliminary results include: model performance for over 20 watersheds of the CRB to be greater than 0.5 as tested with the Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency coefficient; watersheds exporting the most DIN yield (kg/area) include the Willamette, followed by the Cowlitz, Yakima and Henry’s Fork; and watersheds exporting the most DIN load (kg/yr) include the Columbia, followed by Willamette, Snake, Pend Oreille.
P25 - Watershed-Scale Hydrologic Implications of the Post-Fire Snow Albedo Effect
Kelly E. Gleason, Oregon State University; Anne W. Nolin; Travis R. Roth; Matt G. Cooper
Mountain snowpack serves as an important natural reservoir of water: recharging aquifers, sustaining streams, and providing important ecosystem services. Reduced snowpack and earlier snowmelt have been shown to affect fire size, frequency, and severity in the western United States. In turn, wildfire disturbance affects patterns of snow accumulation and ablation by reducing canopy interception, increasing turbulent fluxes, and modifying the surface radiation balance. Recent work shows that after a high severity forest fire, approximately 60% more solar radiation reaches the snow surface due to the reduction in canopy density. Also, significant amounts of black carbon (BC) particles and larger burned woody debris (BWD) are shed from standing charred trees, which concentrate on the snowpack, darken its surface, and reduce snow albedo by 50% during ablation. Although the post-fire forest environment drives a substantial increase in net shortwave radiation at the snowpack surface, driving earlier and more rapid melt, hydrologic models do not explicitly incorporate forest fire disturbance effects to snowpack dynamics. The objective of this study was to characterize, parameterize, and validate the post-fire snow albedo effect due to BC and BWD deposition on snow to better represent forest fire disturbance in modeling of snow-dominated hydrologic regimes. We used empirical results from winter experiments, in-situ snow and meteorologic monitoring, and remote sensing data from a recent forest fire in the Oregon High Cascades to characterize the magnitude and duration of the post-fire snow albedo effect. From these data we developed a parameterization of snowpack albedo decay in the post-fire forest environment, which was calibrated using a microphysics-based snow model (Snowpack). We isolated the radiative forcing due to the deposition of BWD on the snowpack surface, which occurs in addition to changes in snow albedo due to snow aging and grain metamorphosis. Our parameterization quantified the changes to snow albedo decay rates due BWD deposition and related these burned forest disturbance effects to radiative heating and snow melt rates. We validated our parameterization of the post-fire snow albedo effect at the watershed scale using a physically-based, spatially-distributed snow accumulation and melt model (Snowmodel), and in-situ eddy covariance and snow monitoring data. This research quantified wildfire impacts to snow dynamics in the Oregon High Cascades, and provided a new parameterization of post-fire drivers to changes and variability in high elevation winter water storage.
P26 - Incorporating Climate Change into a CWA Temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and ESA Salmon Habitat Restoration Planning in the South Fork Nooksack River, Washington
Oliver Grah, Nooksack Indian Tribe; Steve Klein, EPA
Evidence is growing that climate change will have significant ramifications for salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest. The effects of climate change could be particularly profound for Pacific salmon habitat and populations because these systems often lack resilience and are strongly dependent on temperature and stream flow regimes that are already impacted by excessive temperatures caused by past and present land uses. It is critical that watershed management, habitat restoration planning, and regulatory approaches incorporate climate change science and understanding to preserve and restore the natural habitat of sensitive and endangered species. The South Fork Nooksack River (SFNR) is one of three forks of the mainstem Nooksack River located in northwest Washington State. The river supports nine species of salmonids including three species that are federally listed as endangered under the endangered species act. Substantial effort has been expended to recover drastically reduced populations of returning salmon. The SFNR is listed as a Category 5 water body on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list of impaired waters for excessive temperatures. This designation requires that a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) evaluation be conducted that identifies baseline or natural temperature loading, sources of temperature loading due to humans, and methods to bring the river back into compliance with State water quality standards and numeric criteria based on salmonid core summer, spawning, incubation, and migration habitats. The temperature TMDL primarily addresses numeric water temperature standards without directly addressing salmon life requisites, recovery, restoration planning, and climate change. EPA Region 10, EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington Department of Ecology, and the Nooksack Indian Tribe initiated a pilot research project in 2012 that addresses climate change in the temperature TMDL project for the South Fork Nooksack River. The project includes two components: 1) a quantitative assessment that simulates the effect of climate change on temperature, including riparian shading and 2) a qualitative assessment that evaluates existing stressors and limiting factors that relate to excessive temperatures, reviews and develops salmon habitat restoration plans that facilitate salmon resilience in the face of climate change. This presentation will summarize the methods and results of the quantitative and qualitative assessment components of the project that specifically addresses salmon survival and habitat restoration efforts in the face of climate change and informs the TMDL regulatory process and related ESA Recovery Plan.
P27 - An Analytical Method for Deriving Reservoir Rule Curves to Maximize Social Benefits from Multiple Uses of Water in the Willamette River Basin, Oregon
Kathleen Moore, CEOAS, Oregon State University; William Jaeger, Applied Economics, Oregon State University; Julia Jones, CEOAS, Oregon State University
The proposed research pursues a novel, analytical approach for adapting reservoir management to anticipated climatic and social change in the Willamette River Basin, Oregon. A central characteristic of large river basins in the Pacific Northwest is the spatial and temporal disjunction between the supply of and demand for water. Water sources are typically concentrated in forested, mountain regions that are distant from municipal and agricultural water users, while precipitation is super-abundant in winter and deficient in summer. To cope with these disparities reservoir systems are managed to serve two main competing purposes: to reduce flooding during winter and spring, and to store spring runoff for multiple summertime uses including irrigated agriculture, environmental flows, hydropower, recreation, and municipal water supply. Since the storage capacity of the reservoirs cannot be used for both flood control and storage at the same time, these competing uses are traded-off during spring as the reservoirs are allowed to fill. This tradeoff is expressed in the operations rule curve, which specifies the target water elevation for a reservoir throughout the year. These rule curves were often established at the time a reservoir was built. However, climate and land cover change are expected to alter the timing and magnitude of flood events and water scarcity may intensify given the anticipated changes in water supply and demand. These changes imply that reservoir management using current rule curves may not match future societal values for the diverse uses of water from reservoirs. Optimal management of the reservoirs to maximize society’s net benefits implies balancing the marginal benefits from storage against the marginal benefits from flood control. The choice of reservoir fill levels on any given date can be seen as weighing the expected benefits based on the probability distributions of anticipated future streamflows. This research will assess the social benefits of the respective reservoir uses and analytically derive the resulting optimal rule curves under future trajectories of change. The findings of this analysis will be used to address the following research questions: 1) How do the derived rule curves compare to the current rule curves? 2) How does the shape of the derived rule curves change under different future scenarios? 3) What is the change in net social benefits resulting from the use of these derived rule curves as compared to the existing rule curves? 4) What distributional implications are associated with changing the rule curves?
P28 - Impacts of Future Changes on Groundwater Recharge and Low Flow in Highly-Connected River-Aquifer Systems: A Case Study of the Spokane River and the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer
Tung Nguyen, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University; Heather Baxter, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University; Michael Barber, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Utah; Akram Hossain, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University; Jennifer Adam, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University
The Spokane, Washington-Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Corridor is well-known for its Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie (SVRP) Aquifer which is a sole source of drinking water for more than 500,000 people. The aquifer is one of the most productive aquifers in the United States and is highly connected to the Spokane River. This system is, therefore, relatively vulnerable to climate and anthropogenic changes in future decades. Recent studies have found a decline in minimum daily flow in the Spokane River in the last 100 years which raises a concern to the sustainability of human and ecosystem water usages in the next decades. In this research, we investigated the potential impacts of future changes both in terms of climate and human activities on groundwater recharge and low flow in the Spokane River – SVRP system. A distributed, physically-based hydrological model, the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS), was coupled with a Modular three-dimensional finite-difference ground-water model (MODFLOW) to have better estimates of recharge into the SVRP as well as the interaction of surface water and groundwater. A Surface-Water Routing (SWR1) package is also included in the MODFLOW model to simulate the impacts of control structures on river flow. The couple model was calibrated and validated at a daily time-step using 16 years of both observed streamflow and observed well data from 1990 to 2005). To assess future climate change impacts, statistically downscaled climate projections of temperature and precipitation between 2010 and 2050 from four general circulation models were used. The results from the coupled model provide insight on the interplay between climate and human activities on groundwater recharge and low flow discharge in such a highly-connected system. These results can be used as good references for long term water resources management and planning in the region.
P29 - Future Change in Low Streamflows of Skagit River Lowland Subbasins
Matt Stumbaugh, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington; Alan Hamlet, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Notre Dame; Larry Wasserman, Skagit Climate Science Consortium & Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Low streamflows present a fundamental water resource management challenge, demanding that trade-offs between water extraction for human use (e.g. for irrigation and municipal water supply) be balanced against the need for in-stream flows to protect aquatic ecosystems. In the context of protecting ecosystems, extreme low-flows are one of the most important aspects of a river’s flow regime. In this study, we quantify projected changes in low-flow magnitude and timing for several lowland tributaries of the Skagit River basin in response to regional climate change. Ten hydrologic simulations of mid-21st century (2030-2059) streamflows are compared against a historical period (1917-2005). Each of the hydrologic simulations are forced by atmospheric variables developed from respective CMIP3 global climate model (GCM) output downscaled to 1/16th degree resolution using the Hybrid-Delta downscaling and bias-correction method. Baseline historical simulations are forced by historical gridded meteorological datasets of temperature and precipitation, and additional meteorological variables reconstructed using the MTCLIM weather preprocessor. Hydrologic simulations were performed using the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) implemented at 30-m resolution. Our analysis of DHSVM simulated streamflows projects that future low-flows in Skagit lowland tributaries will generally decrease by 5-20% and low-flow conditions will likely persist on the order of a week longer into the early fall. For the Samish and Nookachamps basins, the projected changes in future low-flow regimes are larger than for the smaller basins included in the study. Projected changes in near-average low-flows are also larger than for the most extreme low-flow events.
P30 - The Increasing Thirst for Groundwater in the Yakima River Basin: Insights from Stable Isotope Studies
Carey Gazis, Central Washington University; Travis Hammond, Central Washington University; Renee Holt, Central Washington University; and Sarah Taylor, Central Washington University
The Yakima River basin in central Washington State is one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the west with a variety of crops including hops, hay/silage, orchards, and vineyards. All of this agriculture is irrigated, predominantly with surface water supplied through a complex network of reservoirs, canals, and laterals that were established in the basin between the late 1800s and the mid 1900s. Because of this extensive irrigation usage, surface waters in the basin are entirely allocated. Therefore, during dry years, junior water rights holders do not receive their full allotment of water. Water users have turned increasingly to groundwater to meet their needs. Permits for agricultural water use were issued until the 1990s, when groundwater management debates heightened, leading to a major study of the hydrogeology of the Yakima River Basin by the USGS. More recently, there have been restrictions on permit-exempt wells for domestic use in one headwater region of the basin. In this research, stable isotope compositions of precipitation, snowmelt, and soil water were monitored at sites along a climate gradient within the upper Yakima River basin (annual precipitation from 266 to 23 cm). These data are compared to stable isotope compositions of streams, irrigation waters, and groundwaters. Comparison of isotopic trends in these different water types can help trace water movement, describe how water evolves isotopically as it passes into the subsurface, and quantify fluxes within the water budget. Results indicate that precipitation and surface waters become progressively depleted in heavy isotopes moving eastward (downwind) in the climate gradient as might be expected due to rainout from moist air masses. However, the Yakima River is isotopically similar to precipitation and snowmelt from near the crest of the Cascades. For soil water, a significant component of immobile soil water, which is isotopically heavy due to evaporation, resides in the shallow soil, particularly at the driest sites. Mass balance calculations were used to estimate what proportion of soil water is lost due to evaporation versus non-fractionating losses (transpiration and downward percolation) at different sites. Isotope compositions of groundwaters reveal subsurface regions that have received significant recharge from the Yakima River and/or irrigation waters at one extreme versus ancient waters with little modern recharge at another. With this data, we can predict how changing climate and land use patterns will affect soil water budget and groundwater availability in the basin.
P31 - Integrated Snow and Hydrology Modeling for Climate Change Impact Assessment in Oregon Cascades
Mohammad Safeeq, Oregon State University; Gordon Grant, USFS, PNW Research Station; Sarah Lewis, Oregon State University; Anne Nolin, Oregon State University; Laura Hempel, Oregon State University; Matt Cooper, Oregon State University; Christina Tague, University of California
In the Pacific Northwest, increasing temperatures are expected to alter the hydrologic regimes of streams by shifting precipitation from snow to rain and forcing earlier snowmelt. One of the unknown effects of climate warming on streams is the influence on peak flows, which may vary across the region and pose a very different set of risks and concerns to land managers. However, this subject has received little attention despite potentially great economic and environmental disturbance. In this study, we address this issue with a detailed representation of snowpack and streamflow evolution under varying climate scenarios using a cascade-modeling approach. The overarching goals of this research are to answer following questions: 1) How will peak flows change in response to the patterns of diminishing snowpack and more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow?; and 2) What is the importance of landscape scale controls, such as geologically-mediated drainage efficiencies, in mediating peak flow response to climate change? We have identified paired watersheds located on the east (Metolius River) and west (McKenzie River) sides of the Cascades, representing dry and wet climatic regimes, respectively. The tributaries of these two rivers are comprised of contrasting hydrologic regimes: surface-runoff dominated western cascades (Lookout Creek, Boulder Creek, and Canyon Creek) and deep-groundwater dominated high-cascades (Anderson Creek, McKenzie River at Clear Lake, and Shitike Creek) systems. We use a detailed hydro-ecological model (RHESSys) in conjunction with a spatially distributed snowpack evolution model (SnowModel) to characterize the peak flow behavior of the watersheds under present day and future climate. We first calibrated and validated the SnowModel using observed temperature, precipitation, snow water equivalent, and manual snow survey data sets. We then employ a multi-objective calibration strategy for RHESSys using the simulated snow accumulation and melt from SnowModel and observed streamflow. The Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) between observed and simulated streamflow varies between 0.5 in groundwater and 0.71 in surface-runoff dominated systems. The initial results indicate enhanced peak flow under future climate across all basins, but the magnitude of increase varies by the level of snowpack and deep-groundwater contribution in the watershed.
P32 - Where Does the Mismatch between Climate Model Simulations and Observations Come From? Differentiating between Natural Variability, Interpolation Errors and Model Biases
Nans Addor, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Erich M. Fischer, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Climate model simulations are routinely compared to observational datasets over a past reference period for evaluation purposes. The differences between the simulated and observed time series are then usually interpreted as an indicator of the performance of the evaluated model under present climate. These differences can be large and induce artifacts if propagated through impact models, which has led to an increasing use of bias-correction methods in the impact community. In this study, we explore the reasons behind the mismatch between climate model simulations and observations. Although these differences are usually termed model biases, suggesting that they exclusively stem from systematic errors in the models, we explore and quantify the contribution of two other factors, interpolation errors and natural variability. This analysis was carried out for Switzerland, which enabled the assessment of the influence of topography on the respective contribution of these three factors. Precipitation and temperature from simulations of the regional climate model COSMO-CLM were compared to three different observational datasets and the interpolation errors in these datasets were quantified. Natural variability on the decadal time scale was estimated using three approaches relying on detrended homogenized time series going back to 1900, on multiple runs of the same climate model started from different initial conditions and on bootstrapping of 30-year meteorological records. We find that although these three methods agree on the order of magnitude of the decadal variability, they deliver different pictures of its spatial and seasonal variations. We discuss the reasons behind this outcome and its consequences for the interpretation of climate simulations, in particular for the estimation of the time of emergence of the climate change signal. We also demonstrate that interpolation errors, involved in the creation of gridded observational datasets or in the downscaling of simulations to station locations, are the dominant factor explaining the mismatch between the simulations and observations in some regions. In those cases, we argue that the model biases can hardly be distinguished from interpolation errors, making bias-correction particularly delicate. In contrast, in other regions, there is a clear emergence of the climate model biases from the natural variability and from the interpolation errors, enabling bias characterization and robust model evaluation.
P33 - Statistical Multi-Criteria Analysis of CMIP5 GCMs for Climate Change Impact Analysis over the Columbia River Basin
Ali Ahmadalipour, Portland State University; Arun Rana, Portland State University; Hamid Moradkhani, Portland State University
Climate change is expected to have severe impacts on global hydrological cycle along with food-water-energy nexus. Changes in global climate are modelled and studied by multiple institutions across the world (CMIP Project). There have been significant improvements on the knowledge of same and modern climate models have successfully resolved many of the problems faced by their former counterparts. Now-a-days there are multiple number of climate model present which are involved in predicting important climatic variables for impact analysis in the future. Though there have been advances in the field, there are still many problems to be resolved related to reliability, uncertainty and computing needs, among many others. An important aspect in consideration, when dealing with local/smaller region, of these global models is resolution (simulate) of climatic parameters at regional scales. In the present work, we have analyzed the performance of 20 different climate models from CMIP5 GCM dataset in Pacific North-West (PNW). Analysis is performed using various statistical techniques for comparison of precipitation and temperature for historical period of 1979-2005 in regard to reanalysis data in the same historical period. Here we demonstrate a statistical multi-criteria approach for selecting the best GCMs to be use d over the Columbia River Basin. Rankings of GCMs are conducted for each statistical criterion in comparison to performance with reanalysis data. The varied statistical measures have helped in robust analysis of the dataset and consequently in analyzing the usefulness of particular models. The analysis is performed on Raw GCM data for all the 20 models i.e. before bias correction to capture the reliability and nature of particular model at the regional scale. Results have provided the insight into each of the method and various statistical properties addressed by the methods employed in ranking them in accordance with the reanalysis data.
P34 - WA Windstorms: Seasonality and Relationship to ENSO
Karin Bumbaco, University of Washington; Alexandra Caruthers, Valparaiso University; Nicholas Bond, University of Washington
Conventional wisdom indicates that the strongest windstorms in western WA usually occur during years in which El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is in a neutral state. A comprehensive study on this topic, however, is lacking. This poster will feature a preliminary analysis of the relationship between windstorms and ENSO in WA State. Hourly wind data across WA is used, and the state is divided into 3 different zones for analysis – the coastal region, Puget Sound, and eastern WA. Windstorms for each of the 3 regions are defined based on climatology of the weather stations included, and the seasonality of these windstorms will be examined. The relationship between windstorm occurrence and the state of ENSO will also be presented.
P35 - The Northern Oscillation Index as a Predictor of Precipitation and Storm Surge in the Southern Coastal Pacific Northwest
Mariza Costa-Cabral, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Inc.; John Rath, Tetra Tech, Inc.; William B. Mills, Tetra Tech, Inc.; Peter D. Bromirski, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Robert N. Coats, Hydroikos, Ltd.; Cristina Milesi, NASA Ames Research Center; Sujoy B. Roy, Tetra Tech, Inc.; Max Loewenstein, NASA Ames Research Center
We show that at the southern end of the Pacific Northwest region, the Northern Oscillation Index (NOI) is a reliable predictor of storm likelihood, and therefore a predictor of a) seasonal precipitation totals, b) likelihood of extremely intense precipitation, and c) likelihood of extreme storm surge height. The extent of the zone of strong NOI influence on these climate parameters to the north within the Pacific Northwest and/or to the south into central California, is still under study. In our presentation, we will focus on the San Francisco Bay region. The NOI is a climate variability index less widely known than the indices more directly associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, such as the ENSO indices, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and the MEI. While teleconnections cause associations of NOI with those indices, as reflected by their strong correlation with NOI, additional information pertaining to the North Pacific branch of the Hadley-Walker circulation is also included. We show that NOI variability can be used to characterize this region’s water resources and flooding risk. We use monthly NOI together with daily specific humidity at 850 hPa level (HUS) as predictors of precipitation in two separate statistical models: i) a statistical model of precipitation totals for the wet season (Nov.-Mar.); and ii) a statistical model of extreme daily precipitation for the location of NASA Ames Research Center in South San Francisco Bay (the Moffett Field rain gage); and we use NOI and SOI as predictors in iii) a statistical model of extreme storm surge height in South San Francisco Bay. Each of these models is trained with values of NOI, SOI and HUS from Reanalysis datasets. Using projected values of NOI, SOI and HUS from several CMIP5 global climate models, the three models give projections of future distributions of seasonal precipitation totals, extreme daily precipitation, and extreme water height in South San Francisco Bay. These projections are useful in planning of water resources and flood protection infrastructure, including levees.
P36 - Analysis of Multi-Modeling of Climate Scenarios on Precipitation
Mehmet C. Demirel, Portland State University; Arun Rana; Hamid Moradkhani
The rainfall seasonality index is the measure of precipitation distribution throughout the seasonal cycle. The aim of this study is to compare the effect of different multi-model averaging methods on the rainfall seasonality at 1/16˚ spatial resolution covering the Columbia River Basin. In accordance with the same, ten different climate scenarios are selected from 45 available climate models from CMIP5 dataset. The inverse variance method and a newly developed multi-criteria approach were used to estimate the weights for each climate model output. The precipitation amounts from the climate model outputs were then averaged using the above objective multi-modeling. The results show large differences in rainfall seasonality index for each climate model averaging. Moreover, the multi-modelling of climate models results in relative improvements in the performance of the rainfall seasonality over the study region. The estimated model weights for the current climate can be useful to combine the model outputs for the future climate.
P37 - Multivariate Probabilistic Assessment of Meteorological Drought under Climate Change Using Copula Based Regional Frequency Approach
Md Rubayet Mortuza, Washington State University; Yonas Demissie
This study will present frequency of meteorological droughts and associated uncertainty in the Yakima River Basin (YRB) under changing climate using multivariate regional frequency analysis. The basin is the most productive and driest agricultural region in Washington State, with crop productions worth about $1 billion annually and with records of frequent droughts historically. Unlike to earlier studies where meteorological drought frequencies are analyzed independently based on marginal distributions of drought characteristics (e.g., severity, duration and peak); in this study we will consider the drought characteristics as correlated and joint distribution and analyze their combined frequency of occurrences in the future. This will be accomplished by apply trivariate copulas to effectively model the joint distribution and dependence structure of drought severity, duration and peak. For the climate change scenarios, we will consider two future representative pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) from University of Idaho’s Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) database. Conditional probabilities and joint return periods of the drought characteristics will be evaluated using the joint distribution obtained from the trivariate copula distribution. The results from the study are expected to provide useful information towards drought risk management in YRB under anticipated climate changes.
P38 - Statistically Downscaled Climate Data Using the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs Approach
Katherine Hegewisch, University of Idaho; John T. Abatzoglou, University of Idaho; David E. Rupp, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute; Phil W. Mote, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute
A total of 20 state of the art climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) considering two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) have been statistically downscaled using the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) method for a suite of meteorological variables over the contiguous US and the Canadian Columbia River basin. The downscaling produced daily minimum/maximum temperature, precipitation, downward solar radiation, specific humidity and wind speed from 1950-2100 and can be accessed through the Northwest Knowledge Network (http://maca.northwestknowledge.net).
Refinements to the MACA method that better correct for biases inherent in climate models are presented and compared to alternative downscaling methods. We illustrate the ability of MACA to translate signals of change from climate models and retain statistical properties of the training dataset. MACA is shown to have several advantages over other downscaling methods in its ability to utilize the spatial detail of observed meteorological patterns in complex terrain, to correct for model biases in the joint distribution of temperature and precipitation and to directly use daily output from climate models. These datasets have been used to drive both hydrologic and ecologic models as part of the NW Climate Science center funded Integrated Scenarios of the Future Northwest Environment and crop models in the USDA-NIFA funded Regional Approaches to Climate Change.
P39 - Applications of the NorWeST Regional Stream Temperature Database and Model for Climate Change Analysis, Biological Vulnerability Assessments, and Interagency Coordination
Dan Isaak, U.S. Forest Service; Seth Wenger, University of Georgia; Erin Peterson, CSIRO; Jay Ver Hoef, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Charlie Luce, U.S. Forest Service; Dave Nagel, U.S. Forest Service; Steve Hostetler, US Geological Survey; Jason Dunham, US Geological Survey; Jeff Kershner, US Geological Survey; Brett Roper, U.S. Forest Service; Dona Horan, U.S. Forest Service; Gwynne Chandler, U.S. Forest Service; Sharon Parkes, U.S. Forest Service; Sherry Wollrab, US Forest Service; Collete Breshears, US Forest Service; Neil Bernklau, US Forest Service; Sam Chandler, US Forest Service
Anthropogenic climate change is warming rivers and streams across the Northwest U.S. and threatens some of the investments made to conserve the region’s valuable cold-water fish species. Efficient threat response will require prioritization of limited conservation resources and coordinated interagency efforts guided by accurate information about climate, and climate change, at scales relevant to the distributions of species across landscapes. Here, we describe applications of the NorWeST (i.e., NorthWest Stream Temperature) regional stream temperature database and modeled scenarios for climate change assessments, coordination of interagency efforts, and biological vulnerability assessments. The NorWeST database consists of stream temperature data contributed by >70 state, federal, tribal, and private resource agencies from >15,000 unique stream sites across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. At present, daily summaries (min/max/mean) for >40,000,000 hourly stream temperature recordings have been organized into a functional database and posted to the project website (http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/boise/AWAE/projects/NorWeST.shtml). Those data are also used to calibrate a series of accurate spatial statistical network models (r2 ~ 90%; RMSE < 1.0˚C) that are then used to downscale global climate model predictions to all perennially flowing reaches within river networks at 1-kilometer resolution. Stream temperature climate scenarios are based on changes in summer air temperatures and flows during a historical period and two future periods (2040s and 2080s) associated with the A1B warming trajectory. Reconstructions of historical trends suggest that August mean stream temperatures warmed at the rate of 0.1˚C/decade from 1968-2011. Rates of warming are projected to increase this century, but will vary within and among river basins—resulting in average summer stream temperature increases of 0.5˚C - 1.5˚C by the 2040s and 1.0˚C - 2.5˚C by the 2080s. At present, stream temperature scenarios and GIS data maps have been developed and posted to the project website for 400,000 stream kilometers across Idaho, Oregon, and western Montana. The scenario maps and open access to the temperature database are facilitating a variety of related projects, including: 1) a regional climate vulnerability assessment for bull trout, 2) national forest plan revisions that address sensitive aquatic species, 3) new research to develop regionally consistent temperature criteria for numerous species, 4) development of decision support tools for aquatic species that can be applied consistently anywhere within the region, and 5) more efficient temperature monitoring networks coordinated among multiple agencies. Additional project details are contained in this Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative newsletter (http://greatnorthernlcc.org/features/streamtemp-database).
P40 - Decrease in Acid Rain over 24-Year Study at Paradise, Mt.Rainier National Park
Naomi Beebe, Central Washington University; James Agren, Central Washington University; Sara Stoermer, Central Washington University; Rebecca Lofgren, Mt. Rainier National Park; Barbara Samora, Mt. Rainier National Park; Anne M. Johansen, Central Washington University
Weekly wet precipitation samples from Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park, WA, were analyzed for major anions and cations, conductivity and pH. Volume weighted 3-month averages were tested for significant trends throughout the 24-year monitoring period starting in 1988 and compared with analogous data collected at established National Atmospheric Deposition Program sites throughout the state. Proton concentrations decreased by a significant amount of 59% resulting in a pH increase of wet precipitation from 5.1 to 5.5 (P=0.001). Similar trends were observed for the acidic sulfate and nitrate species. These results indicate that air pollution standards contribute significantly to the decrease in acid rain deposition to this pristine and vulnerable high elevation location, and that trans-Pacific transport of pollution is not detected in the form of acid rain and associated anions.
P41 - Time of Emergence for Climate Extremes in the Pacific Northwest US
Cary Lynch, Climate Impacts Group; Eric Salathe, University of Washington; Amy Snover, Climate Impacts Group; Rita Yu, Climate Impacts Group
Adapting to projected climate change of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) poses a challenge for regional stakeholders. An analysis of spatial and temporal trends is not adequate for use in policy development and implementation as annual variability, arising from natural and anthropogenic forcings, can distort the detection of regional changes. Time of emergence (ToE) is a way of expressing the rate of climate change over time as compared to the range of variability. The climate change signal is said to “emerge” when it becomes large compared to variability. We believe that an analysis of TOE will help guide a new approach to climate change decision support in management-relevant measures of the climate and environment for the PNW. To this end, we present our initial results, which highlight our threshold-based methodology using extreme climate indices developed by the CCl/CLIVAR/JCOMM Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI) from an ensemble of 20 climate models from the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). We also show our treatment of various types of uncertainty through statistical assessments. Our research suggests that for the PNW, the ToE for temperature-based extremes are highly likely to occur by 2050. Our confidence in the PNW late 21st Century ToE estimates of precipitation-based extremes are lower due to the high level annual variability and model disagreement in the strength and direction of the climate signal. These findings have important implications for climate adaptation and mitigation policy in the PNW as they give spatial and temporal estimates of changes in climate.
P42 - Spatial Coherence of Extreme Precipitation across the Northwestern United States
Lauren E. Parker, Department of Geography, University of Idaho; John T. Abatzoglou, Department of Geography, University of Idaho
Extreme precipitation events across the Northwest, although rare, impact the region by causing increased runoff, flooding, damages to infrastructure, and loss of life and property. These impacts may be enhanced if an extreme event is synchronous across a basin or region as opposed to being a localized occurrence. Understanding the degree to which precipitation extremes are spatial synchronized may provide additional insight into their potential impacts and the atmospheric processes that promote localized versus widespread precipitation extremes. Using data from the National Weather Service Cooperative (COOP) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) stations, 3-day extreme precipitation events are examined over the past two decades. Extreme precipitation events are defined as 3-day accumulations exceeding the 95th percentile over the period of record. The probability of coincident extreme events between stations is calculated for all station pairs, showing the variability in the spatial coherence of these events. Case studies of localized versus widespread precipitation extremes observed during 2013 are examined in further detail. Initial results suggest that the variability in the spatial correlation of extreme events is not strictly distance dependent, and that the patterns of correlation can vary seasonally.
P43 - Climate change Impact Assessment in Pacific North-West using multi downscaled-Scenario Analysis
Arun Rana, Portland State University; Yueyue Qin, Portland State University; Hamid Moradkhani, Portland State University
Uncertainties in climate modelling are well documented in literature. Global Climate Models (GCMs) are often used to downscale the climatic parameters on regional scale for analysis. In the present work, we have analyzed the changes in precipitation and temperature for three future scenario periods 2010-40, 2040-70 and 2070-99 with respect to historical period of 1980-2010 from statistically downscaled GCM projections. Analysis is performed using 4 different statistically downscaled climate projections (with 10 GCM downscaled products each from CMIP5 daily dataset) namely, those from the Bias Correction and Spatial Downscaling (BCSD) technique generated at Portland State University and from the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) technique, generated at University of Idaho, totaling to 40 different scenarios for robust analysis in Pacific North-West (PNW) for each of the future scenario periods. The two datasets for BCSD and MACA are downscaled from two different reanalysis data sources with 10 models each for both techniques. Analysis is performed using spatial delta change in the future period from the historical period reanalysis data, respectively, at a scale of 1/16th of degree for entire PNW region. Finally, 2 multi model climate scenarios (20 scenarios contribution for each) are constructed from downscaled products for each reanalysis data. Results have indicated in varied degree of spatial change pattern for all the scenarios under consideration. Multi-model climate dataset have captured various properties of the climate projections for handy analysis. Considerate changes have been observed for both precipitation and temperature in the study area demanding attention from policy makers.
P44 - Exploring the Time of Emergence of Detectable Climate Change in Management-Relevant Variables across the Pacific Northwest
Rita Man Sze Yu, University of Washington, Climate Impacts Group; Amy K. Snover, University of Washington, Climate Impacts Group
An increasing number of communities and government agencies are seeking to integrate climate change data and information with their regular decision-making processes in order to develop climate change response actions. Because natural and human systems tend to be somewhat adapted to the local background levels of climate variability, ecological and societal disruptions may occur when climate change causes local conditions to move beyond what was experienced historically. A key input to deciding when, and where, to prioritize action on climate change, therefore, is information about when, and where, the distinctive trend due to climate change is projected to emerge from the noise of natural climate variability. Although this information can be gleaned from existing climate change scenarios, it has not been explicitly characterized, making it difficult to identify when and where the effects of climate change are likely to become distinctively different from historical conditions, in ways that matter to management choices. The existence of multiple local climate change projections, based on different emission scenarios, global climate models and downscaling methods, exacerbates this difficulty.
This study, “Time of Emergence of Climate Change Signals in the Puget Sound Basin”, aims to develop, implement and deliver a new approach to supporting climate change risk assessment, planning and decision making by identifying the “time of emergence” (ToE) of the climate change signal for a range of hydro-climatic variables. ToE analyses have been developed using previously published projections of future Pacific Northwest climate and hydrology from CMIP3 and CMIP5 climate datasets, combined with dynamical and statistical downscaling, and hydrologic modeling. Consultations with federal, state, local and tribal government agencies have been used to identify the local management-relevant variables of interest and desired characteristics of information delivery. The analytical method and global and regional results are described in a separate submission (Lynch and Salathé, “Time of Emergence of Climate Extremes for the Pacific Northwest.”). Here we introduce an interactive, web-based system designed to enable user exploration of the current state of scientific knowledge regarding the spatial variations of projected time of emergence in climate change signals for a suite of management-relevant variables throughout the Pacific Northwest. This tool enables users to visually explore the uncertainties in the time of emergence for different variables projected by different methodologies (e.g., the effects of different emission scenarios, climate models, downscaling approaches) for different locations across the region. Both the tool and this poster are designed to solicit user feedback, including ideas for enhancing tool performance and relevance.
P45 - Coastal Ecosystem Response to Climate Change: Salt Marsh Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise along the Pacific Coast
John Takekawa, USGS; Karen Thorne, USGS; Bruce Dugger, Oregon State University; Glen McDonald, University of California Los Angeles; Rich Ambrose, University of California Los Angeles; Roy Lowe, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Glenn Guntenspergan, USGS; Katherine Powelson, USGS; Chase Freeman, USGS; Katharine Lovett, USGS; Lauren Brown, University of California Los Angeles; James Holmquist, University of California Los Angeles
Salt marshes along the Pacific coast will be affected by climate change through increasing sea levels and increasing frequency and magnitude of storms. There is substantial variation across estuaries in geographic setting, surrounding land use, and relative composition of salt marsh, mud flats and upland habitats. In addition, differences in elevation, tidal range, sediment availability, and plant composition suggests estuaries will differ in their response to climate change and sea-level rise. To assess the relative vulnerability of estuaries to climate change, the Coastal Ecosystem Response to Climate Change (CERCC) program was formed through support from the Northwest and Southwest Climate Science Centers and the North Pacific and California Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. CERCC has established monitoring sites across 18 estuaries in California, Oregon and Washington collecting baseline ecological datasets including extensive Real-Time Kinematic GPS surveys, vegetation surveys, water level and salinity monitoring, and long-term accretion monitoring. To project salt marsh elevations through 2100 under sea-level rise scenarios, we collected sediment cores and used results from radioisotope dating to calibrate the Wetland Accretion Response Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER). Results from WARMER show salt marshes across the Pacific coast face differential risk from sea-level rise. In addition to the sea-level rise model results for each site, land managers received baseline datasets including a digital elevation model of the marsh and adjacent mudflat, site-specific tidal datums, and a spatial inventory of marsh vegetation.
P46 - Crabs in Crisis: Biogeographic Distributions, Abundances, and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change of Crabs from the Gulf of California to the Beaufort Sea
Christina Folger, US Environmental Protection Agency; Henry Lee II, US Environmental Protection Agency; Deborah Reusser, USGS Western Fisheries Research Center; Katie Marko, US Environmental Protection Agency; Rene Graham, Dynamac Corporation
To predict the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to climate change we analyzed the biogeographic and abundance patterns of the brachyuran or ‘True’ crabs (n=368) and lithodid or ‘King’ crabs (n=20) that are found in the twelve MEOW (“Marine Ecosystems of the World”) ecoregions between the Gulf of California (GOC) and Beaufort Sea at depths < 200 m. To assess the vulnerability of each species we used species trait data queried from the “Coastal Biogeographic Risk Analysis Tool” (CBRAT), a web-based ecoinformatics tool created jointly by the USGS and EPA. Species richness per ecoregion increases steadily from the Beaufort (n=3) to Southern California (n=138) and more than doubles between the Magdalena and the GOC ecoregions (138 and 298 species respectively). We calculated population relative abundance values by analyzing extensive data sets augmented by qualitative data from expert taxonomists. This allowed us to assign 78% of crab species to at least a Rare, Moderate or Abundant classification. Distribution (wide, restricted, endemic, etc.) and abundance patterns (rare everywhere, abundant somewhere, population decline, etc), specialization (habitat, trophic or symbiont), and depth distribution (intertidal or bathyal) were examined for each species to predict the potential for stress or resilience to climate change. The degree of relative climate vulnerably generally follows a south to north pattern with more species rated ‘highly vulnerable’ in the southern warm temperate ecoregions and ‘None Known/Low’ in the northern Arctic ecoregions. Out of the 388 total crab species, 170 were assigned a ‘high’ ranking for climate vulnerability in one or more ecoregions. Traits such as commensalism, intertidal habitat, and endemicity were the three most determinant factors contributing to a high vulnerability rating. The pinnotherid crabs are the family at greatest risk largely because of their symbiotic strategy and generally rare abundances.
P47 - Adaptive Capacity And Transgressive Migration Opportunities for Current and Future Tidal Wetlands under the Influence of Climate Change in Puget Sound: Variable Implications for Strategic Conservation and Restoration
Brittany R. Jones, University of Washington; Charles A. Simenstad, University of Washington
The future distribution and resilience of tidal wetlands in Puget Sound will be influenced by a variety of processes, including climate change impacts such as accelerated sea level rise, changes in river hydrology, and alterations in sediment delivery to the coastal zone. Even under the broad influence of climate change across Puget Sound, there is spatial and temporal variability in tidal wetlands submergence, adaptive capacity to maintain current distributions, and transgressive migration into newly inundated upland. The spatial and temporal variability is a function of differences in vertical land movement, sediment delivery, wind and wave erosion, and other controlling processes. The overall aim of this research is to conduct a spatially-explicit assessment of the adaptive capacity of and transgressive migration opportunities for tidal wetlands under future climate change in order to plan for strategic conservation and restoration of tidal wetlands in Puget Sound. We use the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project’s (PSNERP) geodatabase as the baseline for existing tidal wetland distributions. We then parameterize the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) for variable conditions affecting local sea level change and sediment accretion across Puget Sound. The SLAMM analysis is then used to assess the adaptive capacity of tidal wetlands to increase in surface elevation at a rate comparable to sea level rise. The analysis is also used to assess opportunities for tidal wetlands to transgressively migrate naturally into newly inundated upland under future climate change and with restoration practices, such as dike removal. We use a portfolio approach to capture potential changes in tidal wetland distributions at multiple time steps into the future, under a range of climate scenarios, and under different social and cultural infrastructure considerations and adaptations. The products of these projections highlight areas in Puget Sound where tidal wetlands have potential to persist in current distributions and where there are opportunities for tidal wetlands to transgressively migrate, both of which can inform strategic conservation and restoration of current and future tidal wetlands.
P48 - Boundary-spanning Approaches to Ocean Acidification in Washington State
Terrie Klinger, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, University of Washington; Jan Newton, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington
Through establishment of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center, the state legislature created the opportunity to develop innovation networks that span the boundaries between scientific research, public process, and political action on ocean acidification. The Ocean Acidification Center connects the research community with external entities and sources of information, creating conditions favorable for forward motion on mitigation of and adaptation to ocean acidification. The model pioneered by Washington state is replicable and scalable and holds promise for application in other regions. In this presentation, we describe the structure and operations of the Center, summarize progress in the scientific and policy realms, and generalize the model for other applications.
P49 - Co-Developing Adaptive Capacity in the Face of Evolving Coastal Vulnerability due to Climate Change Uncertainty
Eva Lipiec, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; Peter Ruggiero, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; Katy Serafin, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State; Alexis K. Mills, Biological and Ecological Engineering Department, Oregon State University; John P. Bolte, Biological and Ecological Engineering Department, Oregon State University; Patrick E. Corcoran, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; John Stevenson, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; Denise H. Lach, School of Public Policy, Oregon State University; Chad M. Zanocco, School of Public Policy, Oregon State University
Within the Pacific Northwest, the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and possible increases in storminess and the frequency of major El Niños, present a challenge to sustaining socially and economically viable coastal communities. Stakeholders (e.g. land use planners, private citizens, and local community groups) are struggling to formulate appropriate responses to these changes in light of significant uncertainties. In an effort to develop the information and tools necessary to enable coastal stakeholders to initiate practical policies to manage these changes, we incorporate coastal flooding and erosion probabilities, possible climate change scenarios, and co-developed coastal adaptation strategies in our model. The model, Envision, is a multi-agent modeling framework for scenario-based community and regional planning and alternative future analysis. Here we present a practical approach designed to integrate stakeholder generated adaptation policies in response to physical climate change probabilities and coastal hazard impacts.
To generate adaptation strategies to include within Envision, researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) joined a diverse group of stakeholders from Tillamook County, OR in a series of brainstorming sessions. Discussions identified stakeholder desired endpoints (e.g. reduction in flooded structures per year and full beach access) and creative strategies to reach those goals. Additional adaptation options were obtained through an extensive literature review. In order to model these policies efficiently within Envision, they were grouped into “scenario narratives” that bracket the range of possible approaches to coastal development, including the current status quo and varying levels of management to retreat from, or protect, the shoreline. Frequent communication and interaction between stakeholders and researchers has further refined the scenarios for use within Envision. Future analysis of policy alternatives will assess their effectiveness in generating coastal landscapes that reflect stakeholder suggested endpoints, and help create a final “preferred” scenario to eventually integrate into existing and new management decisions. This iterative and integrated co-developed process between OSU researchers and Tillamook County stakeholders is seen as key to determining the most appropriate adaptation responses to changing climate conditions.
P50 - Stressed Sebastes: A Trait-Based Evaluation of Climate Risks to Rockfishes of the Northeastern Pacific Using the Coastal Biogeographic Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT)
Katharine Marko, US EPA Western Ecology Division; Deborah Reusser, USGS Western Fisheries Research Center; Henry Lee II, US EPA Western Ecology Division; Christina Folger, US EPA Western Ecology Division; Rene Graham, Dynamac Corporation
The EPA and USGS have developed a framework to evaluate the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to impacts of climate change. This framework was implemented in a web-based tool, the Coastal Biogeographic Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT). We evaluated the vulnerability of the 74 rockfish (Sebastes spp.) that are currently known to occur in 12 MEOW (Marine Ecoregions of the World) northeastern Pacific ecoregions from the Beaufort Sea down to the Gulf of California. Using traits such as relative abundance at an ecoregion scale, growth, productivity, and habitat preferences, we assigned a high vulnerability score to 39 of the 74 species of northeast Pacific Sebastes in one or more ecoregions. Sixteen of the 30 (53%) rockfish species occurring within the Puget Sound ecoregion were given a high vulnerability, and 20 of the 52 (38%) rockfish species were given a high vulnerability in the Oregon, Washington Outer Coast ecoregion. Current population decline (largely from over fishing coupled with projected additional stresses from climate change) was the single most important trait, accounting for 38% of the high vulnerability classifications. The second most important trait, accounting for 31% of the high vulnerability classifications, was rarity in the southernmost ecoregion of a species’ range, which presumably reflects a vulnerability to climate warming. Greater detail regarding the process of assigning vulnerability scores, as well as an analysis of vulnerability by ecoregion will be presented.
P51 - New Thoughts on Envisioning Climate Change Impacts To Coastal Communities: Providing Usable Metrics for Adaptation Planning
Katherine A. Serafin, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; Alexis K. Mills, Biological & Ecological Engineering Department, Oregon State University; Eva Lipiec, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; Peter Ruggiero, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; John P. Bolte, Biological & Ecological Engineering Department, Oregon State University; Chad M. Zanocco, School of Public Policy, Oregon State University; Patrick E. Corcoran, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; John Stevenson, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University; Denise H. Lach, School of Public Policy, Oregon State University
Several coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) are currently at risk of erosion and flooding driven by extreme total water levels (TWLs). These communities may face increased risk, while communities previously protected may face emerging risk, in light of the uncertain forecasts for sea-level rise (SLR), changes in storminess, and changes in the frequency of major El Ninos. This begs the question, “How do we begin to explore the range of uncertainty in future extreme TWLs and their impact on the coast in metrics usable to stakeholders such as emergency managers and coastal planners?” Through Envision, a multiagent-based framework for policy assessment and alternative futuring, we relate future climate change scenarios to measurable parameters of concern to stakeholders.
We derive a suite of climate change scenarios covering a range of variability in changes to SLR, wave climate, storm-induced water levels, and the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). These climate change scenarios are then applied to Tillamook County, OR to project the evolving probabilities of coastal flooding and erosion for early-century (~2040), mid-century (~2060), and late-century (~2100) time scales relating to a variety of planning horizons. The probability of coastal flooding and erosion is then related to metrics, derived through an iterative process with stakeholders, important to decision-making and community adaptation. Examples of these metrics include the impact to public and private infrastructure, limits to beach access, and the costs related to structural damage. Understanding and communicating the uncertainty of climate change in a framework relevant to society will increase the adaptive capacity of coastal communities, reducing their vulnerability to future hazards.
P52 - Biotic Interactions Need to be Incorporated into Species Distribution Models during A Biological Invasion
Sheel Bansal, USDA Forest Service; Roger L. Sheley
Species distribution models (SDM) are typically based on climate variables, and changes in species distributions are predicted to follow changes in climate. Biotic interactions (e.g., competition) are increasingly recognized as important drivers of species distributions at micro and macroecological scales, but are rarely incorporated into SDMs. During a biological invasion, differences among native and invasive species in their relationships to climate may intensify competitive interactions and accelerate the rate of invasion faster than expected from traditional SDMs. To assess the relative importance of biotic interactions over climate variables during a biological invasion, we compared the relative correlative strength (r values) of the abundances of eight functional groups (annual and perennial grasses and forbs, shrubs, trees, biological soil crusts, soil microbes) to each other and to over 100 climate, geographic, soil and disturbance variables across a sagebrush steppe landscape in eastern Oregon. In addition, we used structural equation modeling (SEM) to integrate multiple species-climate-soil relationships into a comprehensive model which included biotic interactions. The abundance (cover, biomass, density) of invasive annual grasses was negatively correlated to native perennial grass abundance (r = -0.64), which was the strongest relationship for grasses to any of the measured abiotic or biotic variables. Abundance of annual grasses was positively correlated with minimum soil temperatures (r = 0.59), while perennial grass abundance and native species diversity were negatively correlated with mean soil (r = -0.54) and maximum air temperatures (r = -0.81), respectively. The abundances of other functional groups, such as annual forbs, shrubs and soil microbes had relatively weak or no relationships to any climate variables. SEM confirmed that the negative effect of warmer temperatures on native plants would indirectly favor the spread of annual grasses. Our findings indicate that biotic relationships are relatively strong in invaded sagebrush steppe habitat, and therefore SDMs based solely on climate variables may underestimate changes in invasive and native species’ ranges that are expected to occur with climate change.
P54 - Modeling Effects of Climate Change on a Vertebrate Headwater Stream Indicator Species
Gwendolynn W Bury, Department of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University
Rhyacotriton variegatus are a headwater stream obligate salamander endemic to the Pacific Northwest. R. variegatus have been used as an indicator species, and are extremely sensitive to elevated temperature. These small salamanders have the lowest critical thermal maxima, a measure of absolute temperature tolerance, of any amphibian in North America. I used multiple modeling approaches to predict the future possible range of R. variegatus. These approaches included an initial assessment with DIVA-GIS, a MAXENT model, and a causative model. The initial two models were based on the known localities of R. variegatus, and used a climate envelope approach. The last modeling effort was based on laboratory studies of the physiological limits of R. variegatus and also on maximum summer stream temperature data collected from the southern and eastern edge of the range of R. variegatus. I used a variety of projected climate scenarios for each modeling effort. The results of the modeling vary, depending on the climate scenario input. Many of the results indicate that this indicator of stream ecosystem function will not be able to persist at the southern and eastern edge of the current range.
P55 - Climate change and Bioenergy Harvesting in the Oregon Coast Range
Megan K. Creutzburg, Portland State University; Robert M. Scheller, Portland State University; Melissa S. Lucash, Portland State University; Stephen D. LeDuc, Environmental Protection Agency; Mark G. Johnson, Environmental Protection Agency
The highly productive forests of the Oregon Coast Range Mountains have been intensively harvested for many decades, and recent interest has emerged in the potential for using harvest residue as a source of renewable woody bioenergy. However, the long-term consequences of such intensive harvest are unknown, particularly as coastal forests face novel conditions resulting from climate change. We used the LANDIS-II forest simulation model to project the long-term (90 year) impacts of climate change and management on forest productivity and carbon storage in the Panther Creek watershed in the Oregon Coast Range. We explored several climate change scenarios, including current climate and six scenarios of climate change; and multiple management scenarios, including two harvest rotation periods, two harvest intensities (including biomass energy harvest), and no harvest. Simulations suggest that climate change may have little impact on forest productivity and carbon storage in the watershed over the next century. Climate models varied in their effects on seasonal net primary production patterns, but annual forest production varied only slightly among climate scenarios. In high impact climate scenarios, increased conifer growth with warmer temperatures in winter and spring was offset by declining growth in summer months due to heat and drought stress. Soil and detrital carbon declined slightly under climate change due to increased respiration and decomposition, but climate change had little impact on total ecosystem carbon storage. Continuing current harvest rotations maintained ecosystem carbon storage at current levels, and harvesting residual material for biomass energy had little impact on tree and soil carbon. Soil carbon showed little variation among management scenarios, indicating that soils are relatively resilient to management impacts. Ongoing work will expand the study to the entire Oregon Coast Range, where we will incorporate landscape-scale disturbances and management scenarios across a diverse range of land ownerships.
P56 - Potential Climate Change Impacts on Fire Danger Indices in Washington and Oregon
Meghan M. Dalton, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute; Louisa Evers, Bureau of Land Management; Katherine Hegewisch, University of Idaho; John T. Abatzoglou, University of Idaho
Wildland fire managers use the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) to measure seasonal fire danger and severity. In the western United States, Energy Release Component (ERC), used to track seasonal dryness, is the most widely used NFDRS fire danger index. Energy Release Component calculations use observations from Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) of temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation amount and duration to estimate live and dead fuel moisture values. The potential for large fires and large fire growth events increases once the ERC exceeds the 90th percentile value and uncontrollable fires are expected once ERC exceeds the 97th percentile value using historical ERC data. Fire managers desire to have a better understanding of how seasonal ERC values may change into the 21st century so that they can better plan the allocation of firefighting resources. We investigated three questions: 1) what are the long-term average values for the 90th and 97th percentile ERC values, 2) how has the occurrence of days exceeding the 90th and 97th percentile values of ERC changed; and 3) how might these values change in the future.
Using key RAWS data from 1981-2010, we calculated ERC for the twelve Predictive Service Areas (PSAs) in Oregon and Washington using fuel model G, which best reflects the seasonal dynamics of the fire season regardless of vegetation differences between PSAs. Average and 90th and 97th percentile ERC values during the fire season (June-October) were typically lower in the wetter regions west of the Cascade Mountains and higher in the semi-arid eastern parts of the region. For most PSAs, mean fire season ERC increased with the fastest increases in northeastern Washington and the Blue Mountains. The number of fire season days exceeding the 90th percentile threshold increased for almost all PSAs. For six PSAs east of the Cascade Mountains, the number of fire season days above the 97th percentile threshold also increased. Such fire season changes tended to occur during the peak of the fire season. To investigate future changes in ERC, we statistically downscaled climate projections from twenty global climate models using the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) method with an additional bias-correction step at each key RAWS location using quality controlled RAWS data. We then calculated ERC and investigated changes through mid-21st century for each PSA.
P57 - Growth Patterns across Tree Species Elevational Ranges at Mount Rainier National Park Suggest Complex Impacts of Climate Change
Kevin R. Ford, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station; Ian K. Breckheimer, Department of Biology, University of Washington; Jerry F. Franklin, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington; James A. Freund, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington; Steve J. Kroiss, Department of Biology, University of Washington; Andrew J. Larson, Department of Forest Management, University of Montana; Elinore J. Theobald, Department of Biology, University of Washington; Janneke HilleRisLambers, Department of Biology, University of Washington
Pacific Northwest forests provide important ecosystem services, such as harboring biodiversity, maintaining water quality and sequestering carbon. The functioning of forest ecosystems and the population dynamics of tree species are strongly influenced by tree growth. Thus, to anticipate how these forests will respond to future climate change, it is critical to understand how climate influences tree growth. Trees can differ greatly in their responses to climate based on their size, making it important to also understand how climate-growth relationships vary with individual size. We addressed these issues by studying size-growth relationships across a large elevational/climatic gradient for four dominant Pacific Northwest tree species (Pacific silver fir, western hemlock, Douglas-fir and western redcedar). Our data were drawn from a large forest inventory dataset, with 6,783 individuals tracked from 1976-2008 in fifteen 1 ha plots spanning 900 m of elevation at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington State, USA. Mean growth of three of the four focal species declined from low to high elevations, implying that growth is generally constrained by cool and short growing seasons at higher elevations. The other species, Douglas-fir, showed no trend in growth across elevation, possibly because it is a shade-intolerant pioneer species and thus more responsive to fine-scale differences in light environment in these closed-canopy forests than coarse-scale differences in climate across its elevational range. For the species that did exhibit a growth trend across elevation, species differed in the size class most responsible for growth reductions at high elevations. For Pacific silver fir and western hemlock, small trees exhibited greater declines in growth with increasing elevation than large trees, while the opposite was true for western redcedar. Our results suggest that at upper range margins, warming will relieve constraints on growth and lead to higher productivity and population density for many, but not all, tree species. Additionally, the rate and extent to which warming-induced increases in individual growth translate to increased population-wide density and productivity may vary among species, because growth and the sensitivity of population and ecosystem dynamics to growth depend on individual size. These species- and size-specific patterns in growth across elevation imply that species will respond to climate change individualistically, potentially leading to forest communities different than ones observed today.
P58 - Creating a Climate-Informed U.S. Forest Service
Jessi Kershner, EcoAdapt; Whitney Reynier, EcoAdapt; Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt; Eric Mielbrecht, EcoAdapt
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has demonstrated interest in addressing climate change through the recently enacted National Forest System 2012 Planning Rule and the Climate Change Performance Scorecard. The revised 2012 Planning Rule highlights the need to consider climate change impacts, including vulnerability and adaptation, as forests and grasslands revise their land management plans. Similarly, the Scorecard is designed to evaluate the organizational capacity to assess vulnerability to climate change and take action to reduce the vulnerability of key resources. EcoAdapt is working to provide support to USFS regions and their partners as they evaluate and modify management to meet the challenges of climate change by (1) improving understanding of potential vulnerabilities of key forest resources, including ecosystems, species, and ecosystem services, to changing climate conditions; and (2) developing adaptation strategies to help prepare for and respond to these challenges. EcoAdapt is currently engaged in creating a climate-informed USFS in the following areas:
P59 - Adapting Natural Resource Management to Climate Change: The Blue Mountains Adaptation Partnership
Jessica E. Halofsky, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences; David L. Peterson, U.S. Forest Service; John Stevenson, PNW Climate Impacts Research Consortium
Concrete ways to adapt to climate change are needed to help natural resource managers take the first steps to incorporate climate change into management and take advantage of opportunities to balance the negative effects of climate change. We initiated a science-management climate change adaptation partnership with three national forests and other key stakeholders in the Blue Mountains region of northeastern Oregon. Goals of the Blue Mountains Adaptation Partnership were to: (1) synthesize published information and data to assess the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of key resource areas – water use, infrastructure, fisheries, and vegetation and disturbance; (2) develop science-based adaptation strategies and tactics that will help to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and assist the transition of biological systems and management to a warmer climate; (3) ensure adaptation strategies and tactics are incorporated into relevant planning documents; and (4) foster an enduring partnership to facilitate ongoing dialogue and activities related to climate change in the Blue Mountains region. After an initial vulnerability assessment by U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University scientists and local resource specialists, adaptation strategies and tactics were developed in a two-day scientist-manager workshop. The final vulnerability assessment and adaptation actions are incorporated in a technical report. The partnership produced concrete adaptation options for national forest and other natural resource managers and illustrated the utility of place-based vulnerability assessments and scientist-manager workshops in adapting to climate change.
P60 - Reproducing Reproduction—How Does Climate Affect How Plants Reproduce?
Constance Harrington USDA Pacific Northwest Research Station; Leslie Brodie USDA Pacific Nothwest Research Station
Plants have evolved over millions of years to be efficient at reproducing themselves. That’s great but why should we care about how plants reproduce? Plants don’t live forever so we need to understand the process by which they reproduce themselves. In addition, we are interested in the products of reproduction – the seeds, nuts and fruits we and other animals consume. To the casual observer, warmer weather appears to trigger the emergence of both flowers and leaves, but there are actually many more factors at play. Woody plants have developed several strategies for reproduction with different arrangements of reproductive structures and responses to environmental cues. Male and female reproductive structures can be in the same or separate buds, combined with leaf buds, on the same tree, or even on separate trees. Some plants develop mature seeds in 1 year and others take 2 years. In addition, flowering can occur over a wide range in time from late winter (such as Indian plum, California hazel or western redcedar) to late spring or early summer (Douglas-fir, oak, pine or salal). This diversity in strategies among species results in varying levels of resilience and vulnerability to short-term weather events as well as long-term changes in climate. Climate change presents us with many unanswered questions pertaining to plant reproduction. Leaf buds of many species require an accumulation of winter ‘chilling hours’ before opening in the spring—is the same true for reproductive buds? What combination of environmental triggers affects flowering for a species and do they differ for flower opening and pollen shed? What is the range in these events for different populations of the same species? Will climate change affect flowers and pollinators in the same way? Which environmental factors influence what happens between flower fertilization and production of fruit, nuts, or cones with ripe seed? Major factors influencing flowering are likely to be: environmental conditions the previous and current years as well as extreme events such as freezing temperatures, high winds, and drought. If we understand these environmental triggers, we can do a better job in predicting what will happen under the potentially different climate regimes of the future. We will present data from historical and current studies for several northwestern tree and shrub species and indicate the ways in which the various reproductive strategies are likely to influence how successfully these plant species will reproduce in the future.
P61 - A Thermal Map for all Oregon Streams
Dan Isaak, U.S. Forest Service; Seth Wenger, University of Georgia; Erin Peterson, CSIRO; Jay Ver Hoef, NOAA; Charlie Luce, U.S. Forest Service; Dave Nagel, U.S. Forest Service; Steve Hostetler, U.S. Geological Survey; Jason Dunham, U.S. Geological Survey; Jeff Kershner, U.S. Geological Survey; Brett Roper, U.S. Forest Service; Dona Horan, U.S. Forest Service; Gwynne Chandler, U.S. Forest Service; Sharon Parkes, U.S. Forest Service; Sherry Wollrab, U.S. Forest Service; Colette Breshears, U.S. Forest Service; Neal Bernklau, U.S. Forest Service; Sam Chandler, U.S. Forest Service
The diverse topography of Oregon, where elevations range from 0 – 11,200 feet, creates an equally diverse stream thermalscape. It is now possible to accurately describe that thermalscape for all Oregon streams using the significant amounts of stream temperature data the aquatics community within the state has amassed in past decades. As part of a larger regional effort, the NorWeST project funded by the Northern Pacific and Great Northern LCCs has developed a comprehensive, interagency stream temperature database for Oregon that consists of data from >7,000 unique sites and >23,000 summers of monitoring effort. Those data were used with spatial statistical network models to develop an accurate (r2 ~ 90%; RMSE < 1 ˚C), high-resolution (1 kilometer) stream temperature model, which was then used to predict consistent sets of historical and future climate scenarios for the 100,000 kilometers of stream in Oregon. This poster depicts a historical composite scenario that represents average August temperatures from 1993-2011. The data for stream climate scenarios are available as ArcGIS shapefiles for download from the NorWeST website (www.fs.fed.us/rm/boise/AWAE/projects/NorWeST.html). Daily summaries (min/max/mean) of the temperature data used to develop the temperature model are also available through the website if permission was given for their distribution. All data distributed through the website are attributed to the original source agency and contributing biologists/hydrologists in metadata files. Similar stream temperature maps and databases have been developed for Idaho and western Montana, or are in development for Washington and Wyoming. More details regarding the NorWeST project are described here www.greatnorthernlcc.org/features/streamtemp-database.
P62 - Forecasting of Fire Season Severity for the State of Oregon
Heather Lintz, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon State University; John Saltenberger, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Andrew Yost, Oregon Department of Forestry; Philip Mote, Director and Professor, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute
Accurate prediction of fire season severity can help reduce the number of stand replacing fires and related economic losses. We demonstrate that objective prediction of fire season severity in Oregon is possible and promising. The causes of fire season severity are various but seasonal climate plays a dominant role in the Pacific Northwest. Seasonal climate prediction has been gaining momentum in recent decades, and skillful forecasting occurs when perturbed boundary conditions like sea surface temperatures alter weather regimes regionally. Regimes most conducive to fire season severity in Oregon are anomalously warm, dry seasons with pronounced lightning activity. For this demonstration we used Non-Parametric Multiplicative Regression, a forecasting algorithm well suited to automatically accommodate complex interactions, to predict fire season severity as a function of snowmelt timing, sea surface temperature anomalies, and atmospheric modes. We find the severity of a fire season (or number of acres burned) can be forecast several months ahead of time in March with a cross-validated R-squared of 0.65. A cross-validated R-squared is more conservative than an R-squared as it is a measure of model fit to previously unseen data. The model we developed predicts fire season severity as the result of a complex interaction between the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Pacific North American Pattern.
P63 - Soil Depth Affects Simulated Carbon and Water in the Mc2 Dynamic Global Vegetation Model
Wendy Peterman, Conservation Biology Institute; Dominique Bachelet; Ken Ferschweiler; Tim Sheehan
Climate change has significant effects on critical ecosystem services such as carbon and water. Vegetation and especially forest ecosystems play an important role in the carbon and hydrological cycle. Vegetation models that include detailed belowground processes require accurate soil data to decrease uncertainty and increase realism the in their simulations. The MC2 DGVM uses three modules to simulate biogeography, biogeochemistry and fire effects, all three of which use soil data either directly or indirectly. This study includes a sensitivity analysis of the MC2 model to soil depth by comparing a subset of the model’s carbon and hydrological outputs using soil depth data of different scales and qualities. The results showed that the model is very sensitive to soil depth in simulating carbon and hydrological variables, but competing algorithms make the fire module less sensitive to changes in soil depth. Simulated historic actual evapotranspiration and net primary productivity showed the strongest positive correlations (both had correlation coefficients of 0.82). The strongest negative correlation was streamflow (-0.82). Ecosystem carbon, vegetation carbon and forest carbon showed the next strongest correlations (0.78, 0.74 and 0.74 respectively). Carbon consumed by forest fires and the part of each grid cell burned showed only weak negative correlations (-0.24 and -0.0013 respectively). Surface runoff showed no correlation, suggesting an improvement that could be made to the model. This study shows that the biogeochemistry module of MC2 is highly sensitive to changes in soil depth data, but that the fire module is not very sensitive to changes in soil depth.
P64 - Adapting Natural Resource Management to Climate Change: The Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnership
David L. Peterson, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station; Jessica E. Halofsky, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences; Linh Hoang, U.S. Forest Service; S. Karen Dante, U.S. Forest Service
Concrete ways to adapt to climate change are needed to help natural resource managers take the first steps to incorporate climate change into management and take advantage of opportunities to balance the negative effects of climate change. We initiated a science-management partnership with 16 national forests, 3 national parks, and other key stakeholders in the Rocky Mountains region of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Goals of the Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnership (NRAP) are to: (1) synthesize published information and data to assess exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of key resource areas – hydrology and infrastructure, fisheries, vegetation and disturbance, wildlife, recreation, and ecosystem services; (2) develop science-based adaptation strategies and tactics that will help mitigate the negative effects of climate change and assist the transition of biophysical systems and management to a warmer climate; (3) ensure that adaptation strategies and tactics are incorporated into relevant planning documents; and (4) foster an enduring partnership to facilitate ongoing dialogue and activities related to climate change in the Northern Rockies. Following an initial vulnerability assessment by U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University scientists and local resource specialists, adaptation strategies and tactics will be developed in two-day workshops. The final vulnerability assessment and adaptation actions will be incorporated in a technical report. The partnership will produce concrete adaptation options for federal resource managers, illustrating the utility of place-based vulnerability assessments and scientist-manager partnerships in adapting to climate change.
P65 - Evaluating the Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystem Response to Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition in Subalpine Meadows of the Cascades
Justin Poinsatte, Washington State University; Julian J. Reyes, Washington State University; Christina Tague, University of California, Santa Barbara; R. Dave, Washington State University
The Cascade Range is projected to experience winter warming between 0.2 to 0.6 oC per decade, reducing high-elevation snowpack to less than half of current amounts by 2050. Additionally, continued increases in anthropogenic N emissions may cause elevated atmospheric N deposition rates (5 to 15 kg N/ha/yr) across the Cascades that are 10 to 30 times greater than background levels. In the Cascades, most annual N deposition is stored in the snow until it is released in spring by snowmelt. Climate-induced decreases in snowpack may cause more sudden fluxes of N deposition into the ecosystem, impacting plant and microbial N storage and increasing losses as nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and N leaching. Thus, the combined impacts of elevated N deposition and climate change are challenging for land managers attempting to mitigate emissions of N2O, a potent greenhouse gas, and reduce N leaching into montane watersheds, which can impair recreational and municipal water use.
We evaluated the impacts of warming and N deposition on ecosystem N partitioning through a combination of field manipulations and ecosystem modeling using the Regional Eco-Hydrologic Simulation System (RHESSys). RHESSys simulations captured the magnitude and trends of plant N uptake, N leaching, and soil N2O emissions throughout the growing season with ambient conditions. Simulations of ecosystem response to N deposition under warming conditions for 2020 and 2050 (1.5 and 2.8 oC, respectively) indicated that winter snowpack was severely decreased, with modeled snow release occurring 40 days earlier than observed in 2013. This change in date of snow release led to increased leaching of inorganic N, decreased growing season soil moisture and plant N uptake, and higher emissions of N2O through nitrification and denitrification. Thus, our results suggest that climate change may limit N uptake and exacerbate N loss in Cascade subalpine ecosystems under ambient rates of N deposition. Ultimately, this study aims to provide insight to land managers on how elevated rates of N deposition affect ecosystem services in wilderness areas and how climate change may impact ecosystem responses to N deposition.
P66 - Eco-Hydrologic Modeling of Rangelands: Evaluating a New Carbon Allocation Approach and Incorporating Grazing Impacts on Ecosystem Processes
J.J. Reyes, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University; C.L. Tague, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara; J.S. Choate, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara; K. A. Johnson, Animal Sciences, Washington State University; R.D. Evans, Biological Sciences, Washington State University; M. Liu, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University; J.C. Adam, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University
Understanding the complex interactions of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) represents a grand challenge in environmental science. Capturing the interactions among water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles within the context of regional scale patterns of climate and management is important to understand responses and feedbacks between ecosystems and humans, as well as provide relevant information to stakeholders and policymakers. Rangelands comprise at least one-third of the Earth's surface and provide ecological support for birds, insects, wildlife and agricultural animals including grazing lands for livestock. Rangelands in the western United States face complex problems due to shifts in climate regimes and continued invasion by exotic species like cheatgrass. The overarching objective of this research is to understand the feedbacks of CHANS in rangelands through process-based modeling. In this study, we evaluate our model using a new carbon allocation scheme and introduce mechanisms that capture feedbacks related to grazing impacts on ecosystem processes. The Regional Hydro-ecologic Simulation System (RHESSys) is a process-based, watershed-scale model that simulates hydrology and biogeochemical cycling with dynamic soil and vegetation modules. Climate, soil, vegetation, and management effects within the watershed are represented in a unique, nested landscape hierarchy to account for heterogeneity and the lateral movement of water and nutrients. We developed a new carbon allocation algorithm for partitioning net primary productivity (NPP) between roots and leaves for grasses. The ‘hybrid’ approach incorporates both resource-based limitation and growth-based allocation. We evaluated this new allocation scheme at the point-scale at a variety of rangeland sites in the shortgrass steppe, tallgrass prairie, desert grassland, mixed prairie, and cold desert biomes. Aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, and leaf area index were metrics for evaluation. The hybrid approach was compared against existing allocation schemes currently used in RHESSys. We found that the hybrid approach best approximates the high root:shoot ratios observed in grasses. As a next step, we have incorporated grazing impacts on the landscape such as biomass removal and soil structure changes. We found that parameters governing the daily to annual allocation of NPP and fractional storage of carbohydrates dictate recovery of grasses to defoliation. In addition, soil drainage properties were able to mimic changes in infiltration due to grazing.
P67 - Including Land Management in Landscape-scale Simulation of Climate Change Impacts on Forests
David Turner, Oregon State University; David Conklin, Common Futures; Kellie Vache, Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University; John Bolte, Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University
Forest resource managers increasingly rely on spatially-explicit scenarios of vegetation dynamics for landscape to regional scale planning exercises. Notable impacts of climate change on forests will include alteration of the disturbance regime and shifts in the geographic distribution of potential vegetation types. In this study, we integrated an agent-based landscape simulation model (Envision) that accounts for harvesting, thinning, fire, insects, and land use change, with results from a dynamic global vegetation model (MC2), driven by climate scenarios developed for the 5th IPCC report. Our domain was the Willamette River Basin in western Oregon. Simulations were run for 3 GCMs, with downscaling to 4 km resolution using the MACA (Multivariate Adapted Constructed Analogue) approach. There were extensive changes in potential vegetation type in the climate warming scenarios, with most of the original forest area remaining forest but having a change in potential forest type by the 2090s. The change in the actual vegetation type significantly lagged the change in potential vegetation type. The simulated forest area burned in the 20th century was on the order of 0.2 %/yr but in the projections the area burned per year increased by a factor of 2 to 10 over the course of the 21st Century. An equilibrium level of forest harvest was achieved on private land in the scenario with relatively low fire, but in the other cases a greater area burned led to a lower level of harvest by the end of the scenario. These climate change driven shifts in the forest age class distribution will have associated impacts on ecosystems services including provision of water, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat.
P68 - Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Inland Pacific Northwest Cereal Production Systems
Sanford D. Eigenbrode, University of Idaho; John T. Abatzoglou, University of Idaho; John Antle, Oregon State University; Kristy Borelli, University of Idaho; Ian C. Burke, Washington State University; Susan Capalbo, Oregon State University; Paul Gessler, University of Idaho; David R. Huggins, USDA; Jodi Johnson-Maynard, University of Idaho; Chad Kruger, Washington State University; Brian K. Lamb, Washington State University; Stephen Machado, Oregon State University; Philip Mote, Oregon State University; Kate Painter, University of Idaho; William Pan, Washington State University; Timothy C. Paulitz, Washington State University; Claudio Stöckle, Washington State University; Von Walden, University of Idaho; Jeffry D. Wulfhorst, University of Idaho; Kattlyn J. Wolf, University of Idaho
The long-term environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture in the Inland Pacific Northwest (northern Idaho, north central Oregon, and eastern Washington) depends upon improving agricultural management, technology, and policy to enable adaptation to climate change and to help realize agriculture’s potential to contribute to climate change mitigation. To address this challenge, three land-grant institutions (Oregon State University, the University of Idaho and Washington State University) (OSU, UI, WSU) and USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) units are partners in a collaborative project - Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH-PNA). The overarching goal of REACCH is to enhance the sustainability of Inland Pacific Northwest (IPNW) cereal production systems under ongoing and projected climate change while contributing to climate change mitigation. To address this complex issue, REACCH is organized into objective teams with cross-cutting, integrative activities. Objective teams come together to share knowledge, design experiments and solve problems as needed and integration is encouraged through multiple avenues including monthly meetings focused on opportunities for collaboration. Tools utilized in the development of meaningful, integrative products include climate, cropping systems and economic models, and life cycle assessment. In addition to their disciplinary work, REACCH graduate students are producing interdisciplinary products aimed at either K-12 educators or other project stakeholders. In this presentation we will outline the integrative nature or REACCH, discuss the tools we are using to bring together and manage multiple data sets, and training of graduate students to work across disciplines.
P69 - Meeting Federal Managers Needs in Addressing Climate Change by Using the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU)
Chris Lauver, National Park Service; Gordon Bradley, University of Washington; Teresa Bresee, University of Washington
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESUs) are working partnerships among leading academic institutions, federal, state, and non-governmental organizations, formed to address common natural and cultural resource management issues. The Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU) encompasses an area across five states (Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington). Federal agency members provide funding to academic members to conduct research, technical assistance, and educational projects spread across the country on numerous topics including landscape and river restoration, natural resource inventory and monitoring, archeology, cultural resource documentation and preservation, and more recently, climate change. In the last two years alone (FY12 and FY13), federal agencies allocated nearly $17 million through the PNW CESU to initiate more than 100 new projects and contribute additional funding to existing projects. The PNW CESU is hosted by the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. Current members include 11 federal agencies, 17 colleges and universities, and one state agency. Several CESU projects addressing climate change will be highlighted, including: Applying Vulnerability Assessment Tools to Plan for Climate Adaptation: Case Studies in the Great Northern LCC; the National Park Service George Melendez Wright Climate Change Fellowship Program; Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Badlands National Park; Pikas in Peril: Multi-Regional Vulnerability Assessment of a Climate-Sensitive Sentinel Species; and Climate Change and Archaeology in Northwest Alaska.
P70 - The Use of Vulnerability Assessments in the Boise River Basin: A Policy Network Approach
Eric Lindquist, Boise State University; Katherine Gibble, Boise State University
The availability and use of climate science for decision making involves a complex dynamic between science provider and user. Significant research has been conducted on the use of science in decision making, in general, and more recently on the use of such tools as vulnerability assessments (VAs), integrated assessments, and ecological and ecosystems assessments, in decision making. Resource managers in the Northwest and beyond frequently use a variety of vulnerability assessments, yet there is little work assessing the acceptance and utility of these tools.
The development and implementation of VAs and similar tools is a complex process. Integrated landscape, ecosystem, species and human dimension decision making in response to climate change impacts are not made solely at one level of decision making, but are intergovernmental and are subject to resource constraints, regulation, and policy at multiple levels. In order to address this complexity we apply a policy network approach as a structuring mechanism. A policy network includes all relevant stakeholders engaged in any one policy issue or area. This poster will present the research design and preliminary findings from an ongoing study of VA use in the Great Basin. The geographic focus will be on the Boise River Basin (BRB), and the multiple and often conflictual resource management and policy network stakeholders and their efforts in the region. Situated in Southwest Idaho, dividing the northern edge of the Great Basin and the southeast edge of the Pacific Northwest, the Boise River Basin represents a complex and dynamic environment for the initial assessment of VAs. The BRB is a highly managed basin, and a highly desirable amenity and ecosystem service provider for the region. It is also a very polarizing construct in that the diverse interests engaged in decision making in regard to the Basin do not share the same values, perceptions, and constituents. It is estimated that up to 300 different interests and groups are engaged in using, supporting, and influencing the decisions associated with the Boise River and its myriad uses. This represents a unique situation for developing an understanding of the use of VAs in a dynamic decision context, in particular on how competing interests use science, and VAs, to support their diverse positions. The poster will include an inventory of regional resource managers and preliminary findings from engagement with a sample of these individuals as a means of scoping and refining the broader Great Basin project.
P71 - The North Pacific LCC Conservation Planning Atlas: A Resource for Landscape Scale Conservation and Climate Vulnerability Assessment
Tom Miewald, North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative; Mary Mahaffy, North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative; John Mankowski, North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative; Madeline Steele, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Erin Butts, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Brendan Ward, Conservation Biology Institute; Tosha Comendant, Conservation Biology Institute
The North Pacific LCC Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA) is a data discovery, visualization, and analytical platform for stakeholders throughout the NPLCC area. The CPA is built from the DataBasin framework developed by the Conservation Biology Institute. It is an on-line resource designed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of people engaged in landscape scale conservation and management within the North Pacific region.
On this portal, you will find data and information on projects that the NPLCC has funded since 2011 as well as landscape-scale data on aquatic and terrestrial resources, climate models, and land use information from a broad array of sources. There are a series of “galleries” for different topics relevant for the North Pacific geography that contain a curated selection of data layers. The CPA also includes mapping tools to visualize and overlay the various layers within the CPA, and the DataBasin archive are also available. Users also have the ability to browse and search our GIS Data Inventory with over 800 different data layers identified. The CPA provides tools for collaboration. Projects focused around a particular geography or conservation issue can develop “groups”. Groups can be used to upload and share data, set permissions on data sets, and collaboratively visualize map products.
This presentation will give an overview of this portal, with an emphasis on tools and data related to climate change in the North Pacific geography. Key components and functionality of the site will be demonstrated.
P72 - Detecting and Attributing Change in Puget Sound Marine Waters: A Coordinated, Interdisciplinary, Multi-Agency Monitoring Network
Stephanie K. Moore, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Kimberle Stark, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks; Ken Dzinbal, Puget Sound Partnership; Jan Newton, UW Applied Physics Laboratory; Julia Bos, Washington State Department of Ecology; Paul Williams, Suquamish Tribe
The Marine Waters Work Group (MWWG) of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) is a collaboration of monitoring professionals, researchers, and data users from federal, tribal, state, and local government agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, watershed groups, businesses, and private and volunteer groups. The primary objective of the MWWG is to create and support a collaborative, inclusive, and transparent approach to regional monitoring and assessment that builds upon and facilitates communication and data sharing among the many monitoring efforts operating in Puget Sound. Based on mandate, need, opportunity, and expertise, these efforts employ different approaches and tools that cover various temporal and spatial scales. For example, moored oceanographic sensors yield high temporal resolution data to describe shorter term dynamics but lack the horizontal spatial coverage offered by surface surveys conducted from seaplane or ship. However, collectively, the information representing various temporal and spatial scales can be used to connect the status, trends, and drivers of ecological variability in Puget Sound marine waters. Since 2011, the MWWG has synthesized the findings of these efforts, by identifying and connecting trends, anomalies, and processes, in an annual report. The collective view of Puget Sound marine waters conditions is presented in the context of factors that drive variation and change, such as large-scale climate variability and change and regional weather. With these variations in mind, the MWWG is better able to attribute human effects versus natural variations and change. Looking forward, the development of strategies to recover Puget Sound and to mitigate and/or adapt to ocean acidification and climate change impacts hinges on our ability to detect changes in water conditions. By coordinating monitoring efforts, identifying gaps, and prioritizing monitoring needs, the MWWG is working to build a foundational dataset to detect and attribute change.
Questions? Contact Lara Whitely Binder, Climate Impacts Group, firstname.lastname@example.org