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Mawdsley monitoring climate change


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  • 1. Monitoring a changing climate: An overview for State Wildlife Planners Jonathan Mawdsley The Heinz Center
  • 2. Why Monitor Climate Change? • Tells you what is happening on the ground • Provides data for testing model projections • Provides data for additional modeling • Provides feedback on effectiveness of your conservation actions • Allows course corrections to your management activities
  • 3. Questions Monitoring Can Answer • How is the climate actually changing? • How is climate change affecting the biophysical environment? • How is climate change affecting species and ecosystems? • How effective are our climate-change mitigation and adaptation activities?
  • 4. Monitoring Climate Change Elements of a monitoring program: • Direct measures of climate change • Secondary effects of climate change • Ecological effects of climate change • Effectiveness monitoring of mitigation and adaptation activities
  • 5. Good News! • Many existing monitoring programs • Much data already available • Synthetic studies of data published – Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change – U. S. Global Change Research Program – National Climate Assessment • Translational products available on Web, some even user-friendly!
  • 6. Direct Measures Meteorological measures – Temperature, precipitation, weather events, storm frequency… Records maintained and synthesized by: – National Climatic Data Center (NOAA) • – Regional Climate Centers Recommend working with local meteorologists (local university) to obtain and interpret data
  • 7. Secondary Effects of Climate Change • Sea Level Rise – NOAA Tides and Currents, Sea Level Rise Viewer • Fire frequency, intensity – Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center LANDFIRE • Floods – USGS Floods and Droughts – FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer • Droughts – USGS Floods and Droughts – National Drought Monitor (USDA, NOAA) • Extreme Storm Events – National Climatic Data Center
  • 8. Ecological Effects • Changes in phenology – USA National Phenology Network, Nature’s Notebook – Extensive literature on phenological shifts • Changes in distribution – 2012 analysis of Breeding Bird Survey data – Many reports in literature • Changes in population size/extent – Again, Breeding Bird Survey analyses – Increasing number of reports in literature
  • 9. Monitoring Species Different approaches: • Identify species that are of interest to management authorities, determine areas of vulnerability, and monitor those • Identify species at greatest risk from climate change and monitor changes in those species • Depends on the management approach of your department/agency
  • 10. Climate Change and Western Lands • Workshops in four states (AZ, NV, UT, WY) • Identify conservation targets for management • Identify threats, stressors, conserva tion actions • Develop conceptual model • Identify key rates, states, processes for monitoring • Identify existing monitoring programs that provide relevant data • Establish priorities for new data collection
  • 11. • Strategic planning effort paralleling State Wildlife Plan • Identified focal species of cultural, ecological, economic importance • For focal species, identify movement corridors, refugia • Manage habitat along corridors to promote connections • Judicious translocations to suitable future habitats • Monitor habitat, population responses Helping Desert Bighorns Adapt
  • 12. What you monitor depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your management activities Many proposed measures are straightforward: • Mitigation: plant trees; measure tree growth and carbon uptake • Mitigation: protect forest lands; measure carbon sequestered in forest & not released to atmosphere • Adaptation: restore corridors; measure wildlife movements along restored corridors • Adaptation: species translocation; measure survival and recruitment at new site(s) Effectiveness Measures
  • 13. Take-home Messages • You can incorporate climate monitoring information into your State Wildlife Plan • Climate monitoring programs, data already available • Many of our existing monitoring programs can yield data about climate change and its effects on wildlife and ecosystems