July 2022 Newsletter
July 2022 Newsletter
Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s July 2022 Newsletter.
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Science Climate Adaptation Science Center News
Please join us for the 2022 SE CASC Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Symposium, Sept. 19-21, 2022 in Gulf Shores, AL. If you’d like to present a poster or demonstrate a tool in the Poster/Tools Networking session, submit an abstract by July 25. Learn more and register for the symposium.
Join our next SE CASC Science Seminar, co-sponsored with SECAS as part of their Third Thursday Web Forum. Wesley Boone, NCSU, presents Brooding Over Climate Change: Implications for Eastern Wild Turkey Reproduction on July 21, 10AM ET. Learn more and register.
Global Change Fellow, Lauren D. Pharr authored The Effects of Antibiotics on Urban Stream Ecology.
Global Change Fellow, Melody Hunter-Pillion made the cover of Sea Grant’s Coastwatch for her article, From Hurricane Hazel to the Morning Light: Coastal Carolina Through a Shrimper’s Eyes.
SE CASC Researchers, Katie Warnell, Lydia Olander (Duke Consortium PI), and Carolyn Currin co-authored Sea level rise drives carbon and habitat loss in the U.S. mid-Atlantic coastal zone. View a map of the study results, Mid-Atlantic coastal habitat changes with sea level rise.
SE CASC researcher, Wesley Boone (NC State) is co-author to Climate change likely to increase co-occurrence of island endemic and invasive wildlife.
Univ. of TN Consortium PI, Paul Armsworth is co-author to Variation in preferences describing how to value the future among conservation practitioners and its implications for today’s protection priorities.
Univ. of TN Consortium PI, Paul Armsworth is co-author to Co-benefits for terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services available from contrasting land protection policies in the contiguous United States. Check out a blog, written by co-author Jon Fisher, summarizing the results here.
Conservation Corridor: How does habitat configuration impact range expansion?
Informing Management of Waterfowl Harvest in a Changing Climate
The complex relationship between human actions and impacts on the natural environment continues to inform management strategies for important species in the United States. Therefore, current management techniques are based on studying population status and ecological relationships over time to make predictions for the future. However, when it comes to regulation of waterfowl in North America, predictions often do not account for changes in environmental conditions caused by climate change, including changes in population dynamics. Climate change is causing more uncertainty in the status of wildlife populations, making predictions of future populations extremely difficult. This project focuses on addressing this essential issue by creating a theoretical framework that incorporates climate change projections into current adaptive harvest management frameworks that are used to set U.S. hunting regulations for North American Waterfowl. The final product will be a guidance document that summarizes current knowledge on the impacts of climate change on waterfowl populations, a synthesis of the components of resource management policies that account for climate change, and the necessary steps needed to implement those policies. The project is being led by SE CASC principal investigator Michael Runge and is projected to be completed by June 2023. Learn more.
Application Guide for the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report. As part of the Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States: Updated Mean Projections and Extreme Water Level Probabilities Along U.S. Coastlines, this guide provides a resource for decision makers to apply and integrate the information from the technical report into planning and adaptation decisions. Learn more.
Building Alliances for Climate Action. FEMA and NASA released a second installment of the ‘Building Alliances’ series called “Building Alliances for Climate Action” which can help communities learn how they can address climate change. The resource provides information about how individuals, businesses, non-profits, and local governments can act on climate change collectively. Learn more.
Regional Reflections on Green Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions: Gulf Coast and Southeast. The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, and the White House hosted a webinar on implementing green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in the Gulf Coast and Southeast. Learn more.
Faces of Resiliency. Georgia Sea Grant & University of Georgia Marine Extension created this six-part video series that explores coastal resilience success stories in Georgia, documenting the experiences of coastal residents and researchers with community engagement and adaptation initiatives. Learn more.
In the Media
Rising seas, salt water threaten coastal farms, so farmers adapt | WFAE
Habitat Protections for Florida’s Threatened Manatees Get an Overdue Update | Inside Climate News
Latest July 2022 outlook shows warmer and wetter conditions than normal expected | Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast
Methane much more sensitive to global heating than previously thought – study | The Guardian
Georgia coastal wetlands need room to move, report says | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Government protects rare mussel after decade-long campaign | AP News
Towards more effective visualizations in climate services: good practices and recommendations.
Traditional ways of displaying climate data, including box plots, bar charts, and scatter plots, are biased towards expert audiences and often exclude important adaptation planners and broader audiences who want to use and understand the data. This study wanted to understand how to enhance user understanding, use, and relevance of climate visualizations but currently there is not a standardized approach for developing climate visuals. To fill this knowledge gap, the authors held a workshop among climate service providers to compile common practices and challenges to creating climate visualizations. Six key challenges were identified and a literature review was conducted to understand what the climate services community could learn from other disciplines to address these challenges. The disciplines studied in this review were user experience, data visualization design, graphic design, and psychology. Once this review was complete the authors compiled a list of recommendations including: taking into account user needs, including interactive elements, adding elements that users are familiar with, using appropriate design techniques for the information displayed, providing no more than the necessary information, among many others. These recommendations can be used by climate services providers to better communicate their data in a more inclusive and visually appealing way which will help essential stakeholders better implement and understand the climate information presented. Link to article.
Migration and transformation of coastal wetlands in response to rising seas.
The potential for coastal transformation within the United States due to increased sea level rise is an important area of study especially when trying to understand impacts to ecologically important wetlands. This study wanted to understand whether landward migration of wetlands (both tidal saline wetlands and freshwater wetlands) can compensate for seaward wetland losses due to sea level rise and climate change. Inward migration, historically, has been one way that wetlands have adapted to rising sea levels along with vertical accretion. There is a critical knowledge gap, however, in how inland migration may impact coastal freshwater wetlands and coastal uplands. The researchers classified the potential for wetland migration into four categories: terrestrial forests, grasslands, agricultural croplands, and pastures along with two freshwater wetland categories: freshwater forested wetlands and freshwater marshes. Using the intermediate-high global mean sea level rise scenario (under high emissions and high ice sheet loss scenarios) the authors found that biogeomorphic feedbacks or natural adaptation techniques could not compensate for sea level rise in part due to lack of accommodation space. They also found that this migration would occur at the expense of coastal freshwater wetlands and coastal uplands. Link to article.
Global decline in ocean memory over the 21st century.
Ocean memory is due to the ocean’s large specific heat relative to the atmosphere, which results in slowly varying sea surface temperatures. This phenomenon has allowed researchers to better understand and predict changes in the earth’s climate system. Model predictions and observations over the past few years, however, have shown a reduction in the depth of the upper-ocean mixed layer due to increased global warming. The authors hypothesize that the decreased depth of the upper-ocean mixed layer will contribute to reduced ocean memory along with changes in air-sea feedbacks, mixing, and dynamical processes. They further believe that these variations will also lead to changes in the intensity of sea surface temperature fluctuations. The study uses Earth System Models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 and a simple stochastic model of sea surface temperature variability to understand the processes contributing to the ocean memory decline. The researchers concluded that, regionally, both sea surface temperature heat flux feedbacks and ocean mixing dynamics contribute to ocean memory decline along with the decreased depth of the upper-ocean mixed layer. They also found that this decrease in depth has increased the effectiveness of noise variance resulting in more frequent changes in sea surface temperature. Ocean memory decline provides uncertain implications for fisheries management and other biological considerations but does pose an important avenue for future research to understand how populations may be negatively or positively impacted by ocean memory changes. Link to article.
Surface elevation change dynamics in coastal marshes along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico: Anticipating effects of rising sea-level and intensifying hurricanes.
Accelerated sea level rise and intensifying hurricanes due to climate change is an increasingly growing concern for coastal wetland ecosystems, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. The authors of this study wanted to understand surface elevation change in coastal wetlands and the impacts of hurricanes on wetland surface elevation dynamics. Fourteen coastal marshes along the Northwest Gulf of Mexico, within 5 National Wildlife Refuges, were chosen to measure surface elevation changes, accounting for relative current and future sea level rise scenarios, from NOAA tide gauge stations within the wildlife refuges. The researchers identified conditions that impact the vertical accretion of wetlands in Texas that would help them adapt to climate change. These include altered hydrology, reduced sediment delivery, high rates of erosion, high subsidence, and sea level rise. The study found that vertical accretion did offset subsurface losses due to small levels of subsistence but net elevation gains did not account for relative sea level rise rates especially when estimating for future sea level rise. In their analysis of the impacts from Hurricane Harvey (2017) on these wetlands, the authors found that Harvey did have an impact on surface elevation dynamics with the results varying by region. Therefore, the authors emphasize the importance of restoration and conservation initiatives to maintain the long-term health of wetland marshes. Link to article.
Declining tropical cyclone frequency under global warming.
Assessing the role of anthropogenic forcing on tropical cyclone (TC) trends is extremely difficult when taking into account natural variability. Warming due to climate change can cause changes in convection, wind shear, and middle tropospheric humidity, creating more hostile conditions for TC formation globally. This study uses the Twentieth Century Reanalysis (20CR) dataset to account for the lack of reliable historic TC observations, allowing researchers to make objective assessments of changes in TC numbers since 1850. In addition, two climate model experiments from recent projects were used to understand the role of anthropogenic warming on the observed changes in TC numbers derived from the 20CR. The results from the 20CR dataset show a downward trend in global TC numbers from 1900-2012. This shows that TC frequency has decreased in the twentieth century compared to the pre-industrial baseline of 1850-1900, while accounting for anthropogenic forcing. The research further shows that trends vary regionally due to natural variability. This downward trend is likely due to the twentieth century weakening of the major tropical circulations, creating more hostile conditions for TC formation. This study provides new insights into future understandings of TC frequency and studies focused on attribution and detection between TC numbers and anthropogenic forcing. Link to article.
Visit USET Climate Change Headlines for updates on information regarding climate science events, funding opportunities, best practices, and highlights from across the USET region.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking proposals for the Restoring Tribal Priority Fish Passage through Barrier Removal Grants. Applications are due by Aug. 29. More information.
Registration is open for Institute for Tribal Environmental Professional’s National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference, Aug. 29 – Sep. 1, in St. Paul, MN and in hybrid format. Learn more and register.
NOAA announced the availability of a grant for Tribal Engagement in Regional Ocean Partnership Priorities through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The grant is for Tribal Governments interested in coastal and ocean activities. Applications are due by Sept. 13. More information.
Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences received the NSF Large Scale CoPe funding award for their Rising Voices, Changing Coasts: The National Indigenous and Earth Sciences Convergence Hub. SE CASC will provide technical support and expertise along with the Alaska and South Central CASCs. Learn more.
Regional Partner News
North Carolina State Climate Office: Our Curious Coast: Geography and Coastal Climate
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: CyANWeb Tool Helps Monitor Water Quality to Detect Early Warning Signs of Harmful Algal Blooms
Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy: Progress update on addressing Blueprint workshop comments
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Announces $503 Million to Improve Outdoor Recreation and Conservation on National Forests
Southeastern Grasslands Initiative: Help Us Identify Georgia’s Grassland Remnants
Find more upcoming events in our calendar.
July 20 | 12pm-1pm | Global marine biodiversity monitoring through partnership and innovation
July 20 | 2pm-4pm | White House and GSA Open Innovation Forum: Building Equitable Partnerships
July 21 | 10am-11am | Southeast CASC / SECAS webinar – Wes Boone, NCSU
July 26 | 10am-11am | Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
July 27 | 4pm-5pm | Indigenous Views of Nature and Rebuilding Biodiversity: Back to the Future
August 4 | 9am-10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee
August 16 | 1pm-2pm | Climate Adaptation for Forest-Dependent Wildlife Webinar Series
August 18 | 10am-11am | South Atlantic Third Thursday Web Forum
Sep. 19-21 | SE CASC Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Symposium | Gulf Shores, AL
Oct. 6-8 | Annual Advancing Indigenous People in STEM National Conference | Palm Springs, CA
Native American Fish and Wildlife Society is looking for Alaska Native and Native American Undergraduate and Graduate students for the 2022 Alaska Tribal Climate Resilience Internship. Open until filled. More information.
SE CASC PI Erin Seekamp is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at NC State University to work on a climate adaptation planning project with the National Park Service. The study site for this newly initiated SE CASC project is Cape Lookout National Seashore. Open until filled. More information.
The U.S. Department of the Interior is looking to fill a USGS Fellowship on Climate Change and Invasive Species Research Prioritization. Apply by Aug. 1. More information.
Western Colorado University is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate in fire ecology. The position is funded by the Southwest CASC and the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station. Open until filled. More information.
Thriving Earth Exchange is hiring a Director who would be responsible for a variety of activities aimed at achieving Thriving Earth Exchange goals. Learn more and apply.
Sustainable Northwest is looking for a Forest Program Director focused on forest health, resilience, and rural economic development. Apply by July 28. More information.
NOAA Fisheries is looking for proposals for the Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal Grants. Applications are due by Aug. 15. More information.
The Climate Resilience Fund released its 2022 competition for awards through the Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem Program. Applications are due by July 22. More information.