Climate Change:
Our Challenge for the 21st Century
Dr. Susan S. Kilham
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and
Environmental...
Sources of Information
From the Partnership for the Delaware
Estuary:
2007: Estuary News: Climate Change Hits
Home
2010: C...
Local Impacts of Climate Change in this
Century


Increased temperatures (up to 4°C
(7.2°F)by 2100-A2)

Increased precipi...
But, Also Consider
Population growth
 Urbanization and other
land cover changes
 Pollution of water bodies


These coul...
Consequences of Changes:
Temperature
Increased temperatures cause decreased
oxygen concentrations.
 Additionally, increas...
Consequences of Change:
Precipitation
General increase in precipitation
in the last 30 years
 Increased seasonal variabil...
Consequences of Change:
Evapotranspiration
Precipitation during growing season is
returned nearly completely to the
atmosp...
Consequences of Change:
Soil Moisture
Soil moisture droughts will increase because of
higher T and lower precipitation dur...
Consequences of Change:
Increased Salinity
Drinking water for 15 million people (DRBC: Na <
50ppm; AHA Na < 20 ppm). Chlor...
A Few Particular Concerns
Adjusting the traditional paradigm of restoration
to past conditions to the reality of climate c...
Considerations
What are our goals?
 How do we measure and monitor to evaluate
whether or not we are accomplishing our goa...
PDE Climate Case Studies
3 case
studies

How will climate change in the Delaware Estuary?
How will changes impact key reso...
In the Watershed
Water Quality
Improvement
 Forest Protection
 Stormater
Management
 Green Infrastructure
 Flow Manage...
In the Marshes
25% Loss
of tidal
wetlands!

2000

2100
Mid Atlantic Coastal Wetland
Assessment

• Assessed condition of 268
points since 2010
• Comparative data analyses
and man...
Living Shorelines
“Marsh Futures”
Coastal Wetlands for Shoreline Defense

Hybrid LS
Bio LS
Sediment

2035
2050
2025

2020

Elevation Capital...
In the River and Bay
Shell planting for Oysters

Propagate Mussels
Monitoring &
Research
In Communities
In Communities

Out of Harm’s Way Forum – August 2012
BaySIPP
The Bayshore Sustainable Infrastructure Planning Project

Areas of Opportunity for
the Community and
Conservation
...
THANKS!

For More Info…

http://www.delawareestuary.org/Wetlands

http://www.delawareestuary.org/Climate-preparedness-0
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Climate Change - Our Challenge for the 21st Century by Jennifer Adkins, Director, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

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Climate Change - Our Challenge for the 21st Century by Jennifer Adkins, Director, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

  1. 1. Climate Change: Our Challenge for the 21st Century Dr. Susan S. Kilham Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science Drexel University Jennifer Adkins Executive Director Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
  2. 2. Sources of Information From the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary: 2007: Estuary News: Climate Change Hits Home 2010: Climate Change and the Delaware Estuary 2011: Weathering Change 2012: Technical Report for the Delaware Estuary and Basin  From Pennsylvania State University: 2013: Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment Update 
  3. 3. Local Impacts of Climate Change in this Century  Increased temperatures (up to 4°C (7.2°F)by 2100-A2) Increased precipitation  Increased evapotranspiration  Decreased soil moisture (except in spring)  Increased stream temperatures  Increased salinity ( sea levels + stream flow) 
  4. 4. But, Also Consider Population growth  Urbanization and other land cover changes  Pollution of water bodies  These could be equal or even greater stressors than climate change, especially in the near future
  5. 5. Consequences of Changes: Temperature Increased temperatures cause decreased oxygen concentrations.  Additionally, increased N-oxygen demand from increased NH4 loading  Consequences for sensitive fish species, especially YOY sturgeon and cold water species  Increased NH4 loading also affects FW mussels  Changes in growing season, phenology misfits 
  6. 6. Consequences of Change: Precipitation General increase in precipitation in the last 30 years  Increased seasonal variability in precipitation: greater in winter/spring and less in summer  Less snow, shorter snow cover duration  Increased frequency of heavy precipitation events  (changes in channel morphology, flushing of contaminants, erosion of stream banks, higher sediment loads)  Decreased survival and reproductive success for fish and macroinvertebrates.
  7. 7. Consequences of Change: Evapotranspiration Precipitation during growing season is returned nearly completely to the atmosphere via evapotranspiration  Lengthening of growing season increases evapotranspiration  Water levels in streams in summer/fall will decline  Low flows and higher temperatures are likely to decrease habitat suitability for aquatic organisms (low O2, increased flow variability, timing of peak flows and changes in stream T) 
  8. 8. Consequences of Change: Soil Moisture Soil moisture droughts will increase because of higher T and lower precipitation during summers. This trend is already apparent.  Wetter winters over frozen soils leads to greater runoff, even floods.  Groundwater recharge occurs mostly in spring, but increased precipitation is unlikely to compensate for excessive withdrawals. 
  9. 9. Consequences of Change: Increased Salinity Drinking water for 15 million people (DRBC: Na < 50ppm; AHA Na < 20 ppm). Chloride is expected to increase 4X in Philadelphia by 2100  Sea level increase (globally up to 1.4 m , but regionally higher by 2100)  Severe impacts to wetlands with critical problems for wetland species  Oyster growth and survival will be impacted 
  10. 10. A Few Particular Concerns Adjusting the traditional paradigm of restoration to past conditions to the reality of climate change  Protecting source water quantity and quality  Wetland/salt marsh issues  Species disconnects in phenology  Barriers to species migrations; assisted migration  Mussell/shad hatcheries  Tipping points 
  11. 11. Considerations What are our goals?  How do we measure and monitor to evaluate whether or not we are accomplishing our goals?  What inputs are needed to build better models for predicting anticipated changes?  What are the barriers to accomplishing goals? 
  12. 12. PDE Climate Case Studies 3 case studies How will climate change in the Delaware Estuary? How will changes impact key resources? What are our options for making them more resilient? What actions are recommended to protect them? What if we don’t take action?
  13. 13. In the Watershed Water Quality Improvement  Forest Protection  Stormater Management  Green Infrastructure  Flow Management  Infrastructure Updates 
  14. 14. In the Marshes 25% Loss of tidal wetlands! 2000 2100
  15. 15. Mid Atlantic Coastal Wetland Assessment • Assessed condition of 268 points since 2010 • Comparative data analyses and management recommendations • Studying ecosystem services associated with salt marshes • Long-term monitoring stations (right) • Devising new tactics to boost coastal wetland resilience
  16. 16. Living Shorelines
  17. 17. “Marsh Futures” Coastal Wetlands for Shoreline Defense Hybrid LS Bio LS Sediment 2035 2050 2025 2020 Elevation Capital Layer Strategic BMP Layer
  18. 18. In the River and Bay Shell planting for Oysters Propagate Mussels Monitoring & Research
  19. 19. In Communities
  20. 20. In Communities Out of Harm’s Way Forum – August 2012
  21. 21. BaySIPP The Bayshore Sustainable Infrastructure Planning Project Areas of Opportunity for the Community and Conservation Organizations to Work Together to Improve Resilience with Green Infrastructure
  22. 22. THANKS! For More Info… http://www.delawareestuary.org/Wetlands http://www.delawareestuary.org/Climate-preparedness-0

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