Responses to Climate Change Program
Like coastal storms, there is less consensus of opinion about climate change impacts on ecosystems compared to other USACE mission areas, and the depth of investigation and knowledge of impacts and adaptation varies for different aspects of ecosystems. However, the U.S. water resources science agencies (NOAA and USGS), along with other agencies contributing to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) have researched ecosystem climate impacts and responses in sufficient depth to begin adaptation activities. This team will compile an interagency report on ecosystem-related climate impacts and responses, which will drive a climate change and ecosystem gap analysis pertinent to USACE projects and regulatory actions. The results will be used to develop and test a framework for ecosystem climate vulnerability assessment, including policy, processes and methods. Critical variables and parameters for coastal ecosystems will be incorporated in the coastal vulnerabilities tool described by the Sea-Level Change Adaptation team. Critical variables and parameters for riverine ecosystems and those with significant cryospheric components will be incorporated in the vulnerability analyses conducted by the Hydrology Adaptation and Snow, Glacial and Ice impacts and Adaptation teams. This team will work closely with other teams to speed knowledge transfer between these closely related activities. Guidance in the form of an ecosystem climate impacts and responses ETL will be produced and will be incorporated into the Climate Change Engineer Manual and other policies and regulations as appropriate.
In December 2011, USACE hosted a workshop on Climate Change Considerations in Ecosystem Restoration Projects. This workshop brought together 45 climate change experts and planners from across a wide range of federal and non-federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to investigate ways to improve the planning process to enable design of restoration projects that are resilient to climate change impacts. A workshop summary report is in preparation.
Reviewed 20 June 2016
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