Mapping Future Climate Change in Alaska’s National Parks

Location

United States
61° 13' 13.2384" N, 149° 53' 42.7488" W
US
Organization: 
Summary: 

Alaska is experiencing warming temperatures and increases in fire frequency and intensity among other effects of global climate change. The Wilderness Society has created maps of Alaska highlighting expected changes in temperature, precipitation, and water availability to help inform land managers and to prioritize restoration and protection activities that enhance ecosystem resilience.

Future Climate and Water Availability in Alaska

Location

United States
62° 13' 37.1856" N, 145° 53' 54.3768" W
US
Summary: 

Climate change is evidenced in Alaska by shrinking glaciers, warming temperatures, and increases in fire frequency and intensity. The Wilderness Society has created maps of Alaska highlighting expected changes in temperature, precipitation, and water availability to help inform land managers and to prioritize restoration and protection activities that enhance ecosystem resilience.

The wilderness society was established in 1935 with a founding mission to “protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care about our wild places.” To date notable accomplishments include writing and passing the Wilderness Act and protecting 109 million acres of land as designated Wilderness, over half of which is in Alaska. Projects are completed using the best available science and in collaboration with communities and conservation groups. Their key issues include: wilderness, global warming, energy, roadless forests, and stewardship.

Plan for a Coordinated, Science-based Response to Climate Change Impacts on Our Land, Water, and Wildlife Resources

As the primary land, water and wildlife manager for the nation, the U.S. Department of the Interior has an obligation to address the impacts that climate change is having on America’s resources by developing integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies. In recognition of this responsibility, Secretary Salazar signed a Secretarial Order (No. 3289) on September 14, 2009, entitled, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources.” That Order established a Climate Change Response Council, chaired by the Secretary, which is coordinating activities within and across the bureaus to develop and implement an integrated strategy for climate change response by the Department. Working at the landscape, regional, and national scales through the establishment of DOI Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), the Department is defining and implementing a vision that integrates DOI science and management expertise with that of our partners, providing information and best management practices available to support strategic adaptation and mitigation efforts on both public and private lands across the U.S. and internationally.

Adapting to Sea Level Rise: Delaware's Planning Process

From the Introduction:

Sea level rise has the potential to significantly impact Delaware’s economy, coastal resources and communities over the next several decades. As a result of rising sea levels, low lying coastal areas could be inundated, storm events may become more frequent and more intense, and coastal erosion may be more severe than previously experienced. Rising sea levels can also contribute to salt water contamination of groundwater and surface water resources.  To address these concerns, a Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan will be developed for the State of Delaware. This statewide plan will provide a framework that will allow Delawareans to proactively consider the potential effects of sea level rise when making long-term infrastructure investments and public policy decisions.

EcoAdapt is at the center of climate change adaptation innovation. We provide support, training, and assistance to make conservation and management less vulnerable and more Climate Savvy. Over the past 200 years, great strides have been made in the world of conservation and now all of that is at risk because of climate change. EcoAdapt is working to ensure the success of these past efforts by delivering a framework for climate adaptation.

Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: A Natural Response To Climate Change

Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) integrates the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy to help people adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. It includes the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to provide services that help people adapt to both current climate variability, and climate change. Ecosystem-based Adaptation contributes to reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience to both climate and non-climate risks and provides multiple benefits to society and the environment.

Many recent climate change adaptation initiatives have focused on the use of technologies and the design of climateresilient infrastructure. However, there is growing recognition of the role healthy ecosystems can play in helping people adapt to climate change. Healthy ecosystems provide drinking water, habitat, shelter, food, raw materials, genetic materials, a barrier against disasters, a source of natural resources, and many other ecosystem services on which people depend for their livelihoods. As natural buffers, ecosystems are often cheaper to maintain, and often more effective, than physical engineering structures, such as dykes or concrete walls. Ecosystem-based Adaptation, therefore, offers a means of adaptation that is readily available to the rural poor; it can be readily integrated into community-based adaptation and addresses many of the concerns and priorities identified by the most vulnerable countries and people. In addition, healthy ecosystems, such as forests, wetlands, mangroves, and coral reefs, have a greater potential to adapt to climate change themselves, and recover more easily from extreme weather events.

Ecosystem-based Adaptation involves a wide range of ecosystem management activities to increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of people and the environment to climate change. These activities include:

  • Sustainable water management, where river basins, aquifers, flood plains, and their associated vegetation are managed to provide water storage and flood regulation services;
  • Disaster risk reduction, where restoration of coastal habitats such as mangroves can be a particularly effective measure against storm-surges, saline intrusion and coastal erosion;
  • Sustainable management of grasslands and rangelands, to enhance pastoral livelihoods and increase resilience to drought and flooding;
  • Establishment of diverse agricultural systems, where using indigenous knowledge of specific crop and livestock varieties, maintaining genetic diversity of crops and livestock, and conserving diverse agricultural landscapes secures food provision in changing local climatic conditions;
  • Strategic management of shrublands and forests to limit the frequency and size of uncontrolled forest fires; and
  • Establishing and effectively managing protected area systems to ensure the continued delivery of ecosystem services that increase resilience to climate change.

This report presents 10 examples of Ecosystem-based Adaptation taking place in both developing and developed countries, at national, regional, and local scales, and in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater environments. The case studies demonstrate how Ecosystem-based Adaptation is being implemented at project and programmatic levels.

Vulnerability of British Columbia Landscapes

Location

United States
50° 45' 51.3324" N, 125° 56' 50.1576" W
US
Summary: 

To help survey and assess the vulnerability of British Columbia lands to climate change, the BC Ministry of Environment has used GIS technology to create sensitivity maps of the Province. These projects have been conducted in collaboration with students at the Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC under the mentorship of Ministry of Environment staff.

Shoreline Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise in British Columbia

Location

V8W 9M9 Victoria , BC
Canada
48° 25' 30.4104" N, 123° 21' 53.172" W
British Columbia CA
Summary: 

To help survey and assess the vulnerability of British Columbia lands to climate change, the BC Ministry of Environment has used GIS technology to create sensitivity maps of the Province. These projects have been conducted in collaboration with students at the Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC under the mentorship of BC Ministry of Environment staff.

The BC Ministry of Environment is tasked to foster and enhance a clean, healthy and naturally diverse environment. In 2009, the Environmental Stewardship and Parks and Protected Areas Divisions of the BC Ministry of Environment distributed Common Statements of Understanding and Working Principles related to climate change adaptation. These principles should be taken into consideration in all future projects and planning. The Ministry recognizes that it must prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts rising greenhouse gas concentrations will cause throughout the Province.