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Indicators of Climate Change in Idaho: An Assessment Framework for Coupling Biophysical Change and Social Perception

John Abatzoglou, P. Zion Klos, John Abatzoglou, Alycia Bean, Jarod Blades, Melissa A. Clark, Megan Dodd, Troy E. Hall, Amanda Haruch, Philip E. Higuera, Joseph D. Holbrook, Vincent S. Jansen, Kerry Kemp, Amber Lankford, Timothy E. Link, Troy Magney, and et al.
Created: 10/09/2015 - Updated: 8/08/2019

Abstract

Climate change is well documented at the global scale, but local and regional changes are not as well understood. Finer, local- to regional-scale information is needed for creating specific, place-based planning and adaption efforts. Here the development of an indicator-focused climate change assessment in Idaho is described. This interdisciplinary framework couples end users’ data needs with observed, biophysical changes at local to regional scales. An online statewide survey of natural resource professionals was conducted to assess the perceived impacts from climate change and determine the biophysical data needed to measure those impacts. Changes to water resources and wildfire risk were the highest areas of concern among resource professionals. Guided by the survey results, 15 biophysical indicator datasets were summarized that included direct climate metrics (e.g., air temperature) and indicators only partially influenced by climate (e.g., wildfire). Quantitative changes in indicators were determined using time series analysis from 1975 to 2010. Indicators displayed trends of varying likelihood over the analysis period, including increasing growingseason length, increasing annual temperature, increasing forest area burned, changing mountain bluebird and lilac phenology, increasing precipitation intensity, earlier center of timing of streamflow, and decreased 1 April snowpack; changes in volumetric streamflow, salmon migration dates, and stream temperature displayed the least likelihood. A final conceptual framework derived from the social and biophysical data provides an interdisciplinary case example useful for consideration by others when choosing indicators at local to regional scales for climate change assessments.

Published On

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Keywords

Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Biodiversity
Fire
Precipitation
Snowpack
Water temperature
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Monitor climate change impacts and adaptation efficacy
Sociopolitical Setting: 
Urban
Rural
Suburban

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