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Regional Assessments

SERCH will draw on existing regional studies to deliver science-based adaptive management options to land managers facing climate change challenges. These tools tools and information should answer your questions about climate variability and land management as well as improve the connections between research and technology transfer.

Southeast Regional Climate Hub's Assessment of Climate Change and Vulnerability, led by Dr. Steve McNulty, is the documentation of a process whereby the Regional Climate Hubs are providing land managers and agency partners with an introduction to the region, regional sensitivities and adaptation strategies for working lands. In addition, each vulnerability assessment includes a regional greenhouse gas emissions profile with mitigation opportunities, and an overview of how partner USDA agencies are being affected by a changing climate.

A climate change vulnerabilily assessment for Georgia has just been published by Binita KC, Marshall Shepherd, and Cassandra Johnson Gaither. It addresses long-term indicators of climate change along with extreme weather events such as drought, flooding, and heat waves. The assessment includes an integrated index of climatic, social, and geographic vulnerability to gauge how severely communities may be affected by climate-related events.

Climate of the Southeast United States: Variability, Change, Impacts, and Vulnerability, published in 2013 and edited by Keith Ingram, Kirstin Dow, Lynne Carter, and Julie Anderson, includes several chapters on climate change and agriculture, forestry, natural ecosystems, and aquaculture. Changes in precipitation and temperature extremes, tropical storm strength, and insects are all summarized, along with adaptive management strategies and needs for monitoring or additional research.

The Southeast Region section of the National Climate Assessment, published in 2014, highlights key climate change messages and selected adaptation efforts. Documents include regional reports, highlight summaries, and the full national report. Start here and see how climate change is already affecting American lives and livelihoods: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/regions/southeast.

The Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Management Options project (or CCAMMO for short) is an interdisciplinary effort to guide natural resource managers in the face of climate change and variability. Threats such as insects, disease, and wildfire are evaluated and options to reduce these threats and manage for sustainable forest ecosystem values – such as timber, fiber, wildlife, and recreation – are summarized. CCAMMO brought together science experts and land managers from across the southern region to combine models and on-the-ground experience and produce information that can be used in workshops, webinars, and for tech transfer. The CCAMMO book was published in December 2013 and is available here: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466572751. Relevant content from CCAMMO has been added to the Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options and is highlighted here: http://taccimo.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/ccammosffp/.

The Southern Forest Futures Project, led by David Wear of the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station and John Greis of the USDA Forest Service Southern Region State & Private Forestry, examined changes in southern forestlands from 2010 to 2060 under various population growth, climate change, and timber market scenarios. Management challenges such as invasive species, water availability, and extended wildfire season were considered and reviewed. There are Summary and Technical reports available here: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/futures/index.html.

Photo credit: Sarah Wiener, SERCH