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Temperature and Precipitation Extremes in Central Texas


A collaboration with the Cities of Austin and Killeen, Texas and A Nurtured World

austin lake travis boat

Reports and Online Presentations:

Austin and Killeen, Texas have experienced many temperature and precipitation extremes in the last decade. As climate change accelerates, we can expect more days of extreme heat, fewer overnight freezes, and more frequent periods of drought than there have been historically. Many of the long-term impacts can be avoided if emissions are reduced, creating a more positive future for residents of Central Texas.

Most people experience climate through the extremes. Crops are affected when temperatures drop below freezing, and we change our behavior when the day’s high is over 100° F. Thus, we assessed recent and future change in the extremes for the communities of Fort Hood/Killeen and Austin, Texas. We provide information on extreme heat, low temperatures, extended drought, and wildfire.

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Planning for Water Resources in the Southern Sierra of California

southern sierra forestReports and Handouts:

The Geos Institute is working with Provost and Pritchard Consulting, Bobby Kamansky Ecological Consulting, and many others to develop a water management plan for the Southern Sierra that is resilient to climate change.

The state of California has committed to an integrated approach to managing its water resources. This approach, called Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning, brings together water-related interests to plan for sustainable water use, reliable supply, improved water quality, ecologically sound management, low use development, protection of agriculture, and a strong local economy.

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Climate Adaptation Planning in Fort Collins, Colorado

fort collins bikes

Report and Workbook:

The Front Range of Colorado has experienced much change over the last few decades. Future change may be even more striking. In addition to population growth, continued development, and economic diversification, the Front Range is expected to experience substantial impacts brought on by climate change.

Climate change has already been well documented throughout the western U.S. Average temperatures have risen 2-4 degrees F. over the last century. Rising temperatures have caused more precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow. Spring snowpack is lower throughout the western U.S., and the moisture content of the snowpack is also lower. 

The last two years have emphasized the vulnerability the Fort Collins community and its regional neighbors can experience due to extreme weather events. Because of events such as the High Park fire, the hottest year on record, and recent flooding, there has been substantial devastation to the region. To be proactive and prepared to protect and maintain our quality of life, Fort Collins must prepare for such future events and the potential for increases in severity and frequency due to a changing climate.

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Future Climate, Wildfire, Hydrology, and Vegetation Projections for the Sierra Nevada, California

sierra nevada riverReport:

The Geos Institute worked with state and federal agencies, along with NGOs led by EcoAdapt, to develop a work plan for conducting vulnerability assessments and developing adaptation strategies for Forest Services lands in the Sierra Nevada Range of California.

The Vulnerability Assessment Adaptation Strategies (VAAS) extends this project to all lands, rather than just Forest Service, in order to develop a large-scale vulnerability assessment and associated adaptation strategies for focal resources of the Sierra Nevada. Geos Institute provided spatial analysis of existing climate models is part of the science synthesis that provides a review of the relevant model projections and ecological research for the region. A series of workshops were conducted to provide training, resources, support, and tools for participants to apply similar efforts at locally relevant scales.

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Managing Coast Redwoods for Resilience in a Changing Climate

coast redwoods national park in fogReports:

The North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, California Landscape Cooperative, Geos Institute, Society for Conservation Biology (Humboldt State Chapter), and the Environmental Protection Information Center hosted a workshop and field trip entitled: "Managing Coast Redwoods for Resilience in a Changing Climate," which took place on September 6 and 7, 2013 at Humboldt State University and Redwood National Park.

The Friday workshop was held at Humboldt State University, and Saturday's all-day field trip toured forest restoration sites in Redwood National Park, arranged by the National Park Service.

Workshop participants came from a variety of different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Most were associated with state and federal land management agencies, city government, university research institutions, private forestry, Native American tribes, and non-governmental organizations. This workshop is intended to be one of many to develop sound adaptation strategies for the coast redwood ecoregion, with a strong basis in stakeholder engagement.

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