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Mapping Land Facets for Climate Adaptation Planning

December 18, 2016

A new research article out in PLOS ONE, advanced detailed classifications and high-resolution maps of landforms and physiography to inform current strategies for climate change adaptation. By using only relatively static abiotic variables where ecological systems unfold, these datasets provide key implications of climate and land use change on biodiversity and natural resources. The paper, Ecologically-Relevant Maps of Landforms and Physiographic Diversity for Climate Adaptation Planning, is publicly available as are the datasets.

Tribal Adaptation Initiative

November 12, 2015

Native Americans' livelihoods, cultural identity, and spiritual practices are deeply connected to the natural environment. Therefore, changes to ecosystems and landscapes due to a changing climate uniquely impact tribal communities. In the Southwest, tribes are already experiencing impacts of climate change including water supply and quality issues stemming from long-term drought, reduced ability to grow or collect important crops, and health impacts from heat waves and dust storms.

The Southwest Climate Science Center (SW CSC) recently funded and will partner in a new Tribal Adaptation Initiative to build regional coordination and to assess tribal capacity for adaptation across the Southwest. The initiative is being lead by the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) at the University of Arizona and additionally supported by the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

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2015 Southwest Climate Summit Highlights

November 5, 2015

The 2015 Southwest Climate Summit held in Sacramento, CA on November 2 - 3, 2015 engaged over 250 participants from over 50 agencies and organizations across the Southwest in conversations about enabling bold decisions in the face of climate change, decision support for adaptation management, and how to navigate the complexity of climate science. 

The Summit highlighted the key principles for successful climate adaptation as:

  • Focus on future conditions and plan for change
  • Design actions in watershed or ecosystem context 
  • Prioritize actions for multiple benefits to nature and people
  • Collaborate and communicate across sectors

Summit participants were able to take back many lessons learned about how to better catalyze effective climate adaptation. Those lessons include:

  • If we take action, it will have a positive impact for adaptation!
  • Need to shift towards co-production of science between managers and scientists
  • Listen and include to the expertise of Tribal members in adaptation partnerships and projects
  • There are many successful climate adaptation projects ongoing all of which we can build upon and champion