To better understand and predict effects of climate change on wetlands, invertebrates and shorebirds, the 'CEWISH' group,
composed of Cryohydrology, Invertebrate, Shorebird Food Use, and Shorebird/Population Modeling teams, collected field
data at Barrow, Alaska, between May and September 2014–2015. The Cryohydrology team measured end-of-winter
snow accumulation, snowmelt at the landscape scale, pond water levels, and pond water and sediment temperatures. The
LCCs have produced a wealth of informational documents, reports, fact sheets, webinars and more to help support resource managers in designing and delivering conservation at landscape scales.
To better understand and predict effects of climate change on wetlands, invertebrates and shorebirds, the 'CEWISH' group,
The Pacific Loon is the most common breeding loon in Arctic Alaska, nesting throughout much
of the state (Russell 2002). This species typically breeds on lakes that are ≥1 ha in size in both
boreal and tundra habitats. They are primarily piscivorous although they are known to commonly
feed chicks invertebrates (D. Rizzolo and J. Schmutz, unpublished data). Many Pacific Loons
spend their winters in offshore waters of the west coast of Canada and the U.S. (Russell 2002).
Baseline (1961-1990) average annual temperature in and projected change in temperature for for the northern portion of Alaska. The Alaska portion of the Arctic LCC's terrestrial boundary is depicted by the black line. Baseline results for 1961-1990 are derived from Climate Research Unit (CRU) TS3.1 data and downscaled to 2km grids; results for the other time periods (2010-2039, 2040-2069, 2070-2099) are based on the SNAP 5-GCM composite using the AR5-RCP 6.0, downscaled to 2km grids.
This map was created by Arctic LCC staff and depicts the general boundaries of the Arctic LCC overlayed onto a satellite image. This map is in JPG format, suitable for presentations.
This map was created by Arctic LCC staff and depicts the general boundaries of the Arctic LCC overlayed onto a satellite image. This map is in PDF format, suitable for printing.
Baseline (1961-1990) average total precipitation (inches) for Alaska and Western Canada. This zip file contains three GeoTIFF rasters. The file names identifies whether a file represents an annual mean or a seasonal mean (i.e., summer or winter). Summer is defined as June - August; winter is defined as December - February. Baseline data are derived from Climate Research Unit
(CRU) TS 3.1.01 data. CRU data courtesy of Scenarios Network for Alaska and
An ecological land classification is essential to evaluating land resources and refining
management strategies for various areas. More specifically, a landscape-level stratification can
be used to more efficiently allocate inventory and monitoring efforts, to improve land cover
classifications developed from remote sensing, to partition ecological information for analysis of
ecological relationships and develop of predictive models, and to improve recommendations for
Permafrost is a unique characteristic of polar regions and high mountains and is fundamental
to geomorphic processes and ecological development in permafrost-affected environments.
Because permafrost impedes drainage and ice-rich permafrost settles upon thawing, degradation
of permafrost in response to climate change will have large consequences for tundra and boreal
ecosystems (Osterkamp 2005, Jorgenson and Osterkamp 2005, Shur and Osterkamp 2007,
Jorgenson et al. 2010, 2013). Thawing permafrost affects surface hydrology by impounding
Average historical annual total precipitation, projected total precipitation (mm), and relative change in total precipitation (% change from baseline) for Northern Alaska. GIF formatted animation and PNG images. Maps created using the SNAP 5-GCM composite (AR5-RCP 6.0) and CRU TS3.1.01 datasets.
Results indicate that the regions most vulnerable
to ecological shifts under the influence of climate
change are likely to be the interior and northern
mountainous portions of Alaska; the northern
Yukon; and much of the Northwest Territories.
Although the A1B and A2 emissions scenarios predict
more cliome shift overall, as compared to the
more conservative B1 scenario, the patterns hold
true across all three. Notably, there are no areas of
the NWT predicted to retain their current cliomes.
The Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska is an important region for millions of migrating and nesting shorebirds. However, this region is threatened by climate change and increased human development (e.g., oil and gas production) that have the potential to greatly impact shorebird populations and breeding habitat in the near future. Because historic data on shorebird distributions in the ACP are very coarse and incomplete, we sought to develop detailed, contemporary distribution maps so that the potential impacts of climate-mediated changes and development could be ascertained.
ire-induced permafrost degradation is well documented in boreal forests, but the role of fires in initiating thermokarst development in Arctic tundra is less well understood. Here we show that Arctic tundra fires may induce widespread thaw subsidence of permafrost terrain in the first seven years following the disturbance. Quantitative analysis of airborne LiDAR data acquired two and seven years post-fire, detected permafrost thaw subsidence across 34% of the burned tundra area studied, compared to less than 1% in similar undisturbed, ice-rich tundra terrain units.
Researchers from the Manomet Center for Conservation
Sciences combined field observations of shorebirds with
mapped physical and ecological parameters to develop a series of
spatially dependent habitat selection models that predict the
contemporary distribution of shorebird species across the Arctic
Coastal Plain of Alaska.
Stream physical parameter time series files for six or more beaded streams on the North Slope of Alaska in the Fish Creek Watershed near Nuiqsut. These include time series of water temperature (pool bed and surface and channel runs) and pool stage and correspond stream discharge developed from a rating curve.
Water availability, distribution, quality and quantity are critical habitat elements for fish and other water-dependent species. Furthermore, the availability of water is also a pre-requisite for a number of human activities. The density of weather and hydrology observation sites on the North Slope is orders of magnitude less than in other parts of the U.S., making it difficult to document hydrologic trends and develop accurate predictive models where water is a key input. The information that does exist is scattered among many entities, and varies in format.
Throughout the Arctic most pregnant polar bears (Ursus maritimus) construct maternity dens in seasonal snowdrifts that form in wind-shadowed areas. We developed and verified a spatial snowdrift polar bearden habitat model (SnowDens-3D) that predicts snowdrift locations and depths along Alaska’s Beaufort Sea coast. SnowDens-3D integrated snow physics, weather data, and a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) to produce predictions of the timing, distribution, and growth of snowdrifts suitable for polar bear dens.
The purpose of this Traditional Knowledge (TK) research is to document important habitat characteristics of the selected focal fish and wildlife species based on the observations of traditional land users. The information may be used to develop habitat models to show where these specific fish and wildlife habitats occur across the Yukon North Slope. The Traditional Knowledge may also be used to validate other types of habitat mapping or to identify specialized habitats such as movement corridors, denning areas, wintering areas.
Appendices excerpted from the "Predicting Future Potential Climate-Biomes for the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska" report.
Temperatures are warming fastest at high latitudes and annual temperatures have increased by 2-3˚ C in the Arctic over the second half of the 20th century. Shorebirds respond to cues on their overwintering grounds to initiate long migrations to nesting sites throughout the Arctic. Climate-driven changes in snowmelt and temperature, which drive invertebrate emergence, may lead to a lack of synchrony between the timing of shorebird nesting and the availability of invertebrate prey essential for egg formation and subsequent chick survival.
Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) have a life-history strategy specifically adapted to the extreme climate of the North. These fish migrate to spawning grounds just after breakup in the spring, then migrate to feeding sites in early summer, and finally in the fall migrate back to their overwintering sites. The Kuparuk River is a perennial stream originating in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska. Sections of the Kuparuk are periodically intermittent in that, during low flows in the system, these channel reaches appear dry.
Climate models project the rapid warming of boreal and arctic regions of North
America. This has led to predictions that boreal forest vegetation and fauna will track these changes and
shift northward into the arctic over the next century. We used a comprehensive dataset of avian pointcount
surveys from across boreal Canada and Alaska, combined with the best-available interpolated
climate data, to develop bioclimatic niche models of current avian distribution and density for 102 native
Average historical annual total precipitation (mm) and projected relative change in total precipitation (% change from baseline) for Northern Alaska. 30-year averages. Handout format. Maps created using the SNAP 5-GCM composite (AR5-RCP 8.5) and CRU TS3.1.01 datasets.
The Alaska Climate-Biome Shift Project (AK Cliomes) and the Yukon (YT) and Northwest
Territories (NWT) Climate-Biome Shift Project (Ca Cliomes) were collaborative efforts that
used progressive clustering methodology, existing land cover classifications, and historical
and projected climate data to identify areas of Alaska, the Yukon, and NWT that are likely to
undergo the greatest or least ecological pressure, given climate change. Project results and data
presented in this report are intended to serve as a framework for research and planning by
Researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) will
develop a model that examines the relationship between
measured steam flow and surface water connectivity between
summer feeding and overwintering habitats for fish on the
Many Arctic shorebird populations are declining, and quantifying adult survival and the effects of anthropogenic factors
is a crucial step toward a better understanding of population dynamics. We used a recently developed, spatially explicit
Cormack–Jolly–Seber model in a Bayesian framework to obtain broad-scale estimates of true annual survival rates for 6
species of shorebirds at 9 breeding sites across the North American Arctic in 2010–2014. We tested for effects of
This dataset consists of a polygon vector file representing 767 plots surveyed as part of the Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring (PRISM). For each plot, information pertaining to shorebird abundance, occupancy, and species richness is provided. This dataset was derived from single-visit rapid area shorebird surveys in which 1-2 surveyors recorded all suspected breeding shorebirds within the plot boundary. These data were acquired over the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska during nine years between 1998 and 2008 (surveys not conducted in 2003 and 2005).
Average historical annual temperature, projected air temperature, and change in air temperature (degree F) for Northern Alaska. GIF formatted animation and PNG images. Maps created using the SNAP 5-GCM composite (AR5-RCP 6.0) and CRU TS3.1 datasets.
The Alaska ShoreZone program has been able to document Arctic coastal biology
and dynamic processes through high resolution aerial imagery, videography, and
ground assessments: a snapshot in time of the ever changing Arctic coast. Some of
the most spectacular of these images have been collected in this volume, Coastal
Impressions: A Photographic Journey along Alaska’s Arctic Coast. Glance through
these pages, study and ponder over them , then close your eyes and imagine.
Wipe away your preconceived notions of the Arctic and learn about the gem that
The Common Eider, a large sea duck, is more closely tied to marine environments than are many
other sea ducks. On the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska this species nests primarily on barrier
islands and peninsulas of the Arctic Coastal Plain (a small proportion of the total area) while in
other parts of its range they select quite varied nesting sites (Goudie et al. 2000). Common eiders
depend on a marine prey base, eating invertebrates (primarily mollusks and crustaceans) by
The Arctic, including Alaska, has warmed significantly over the last five decades, with
widespread changes in every region, particularly in Alaska’s Arctic slope, north of the Brooks
Range. Prominent changes include changes of ocean temperature, increase in permafrost
temperature in many regions, warmer winter seasons, with longer and warmer snow-free
seasons, warmer freshwater temperatures, movement of plant and wildlife species previously
found in more southern regions of Alaska into the Arctic slope region, changes in summer and
This map was created by Arctic LCC staff and depicts the general boundaries of the Arctic LCC. This map is in PNG format, suitable for presentations.
The Baird’s Sandpiper is an uncommon breeding bird in Arctic Alaska using both coastal and
montane regions. This species typically nests in upland, well-drained, exposed tundra, generally
avoiding wet tundra although will sometimes nest in wet prairie meadows near lakes (Marconi &
Salvadori 2008). Like other sandpipers, Baird’s Sandpipers feed almost entirely on insects during
the breeding season adjusting to seasonal shifts in primary prey items (Moskoff and
The Geographic Information Network for Alaska will complete uniform and consistent ecological mapping of the North Slope region and provide a summary of existing field site ecological descriptions (including photos) in a web based environment. Existing automated field information and photos that have reliable geolocation information will be compiled and entered in a web based geographic display based on the ecological mapping.
This data set represents an updated Ecological Subsection Map for Northern Alaska. This 2012 revision focused on completing the incompletely mapped portion of the southern NPRA, improving mapping of glacial and outwash deposits within the Brooks Foothills, and improving consistency with existing surficial and bedrock geology maps in northern Alaska. The revisions resulted in 525 ecological subsections, nested within 55 ecosections and 12 ecoregions covering 411,781 km2.
The 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire was an order of magnitude larger than the average fire size
in the historic record for northern Alaska and indices of severity were substantially higher
than for other recorded tundra burns. An interdisciplinary team assessed fire effects
including burn severity, potential plant community shifts, and effects on permafrost and
active layers. Observers monumented, photographed, and measured 24 burned and 17
unburned reference transects, starting the year after the fire, and spanning the range of
Projected stand age for the years 2050-2059.
Watersheds draining the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska are dominated by permafrost
and snowmelt runoff that create abundant surface storage in the form of lakes, wetlands, and beaded streams. These surface water elements compose complex drainage networks that affect aquatic ecosystem connectivity and hydrologic behavior. The 4676 km2 Fish
and Creek drainage basin is composed of three watersheds that represent a gradient of the
The Database was built to enable data integration across sources, as well as to support program planning and observational network design. The Imiq Data Portal provides a snapshot of available hydroclimate data – a map-based view of where , what , and when data have been obtained. Users can submit a custom data query, specifying variable of interest, geographic bounds, and time step. Imiq will aggregate and export data records from multiple sources in a common format, with full metadata records that provide information about the source data.
This dataset contains rasters that represent mapped habitat suitability indices for 8 shorebird species, a raster that represents mean habitat suitability indices for all 8 species, and a raster that represents the number of species in which the habitat suitability index exceeded the selected threshold value for each pixel.
The Putuligayuk catchment is wholly contained within the coastal plain and is one of the few rivers on the North Slope with a long-term record of water discharge. These long-term datasets are invaluable to modeling efforts that will provide insight on stream flows under scenarios of changing climate.
Deanne DiPietro, CA LCC Data Manager, provided a tour of the California LCC's Climate Commons (http://climate.calcommons.org), a new online resource that provides a starting point for discovery of climate change data and related resources, information about the science that produced it, and guidance for applying climate change science to conservation in California.
An advanced workshop to help riparian restoration practitioners incorporate anticiapted cilmate change to help improve their riparian restoration projects.
Increase riparian restoration practitioners’ skills and knowledge in applying tools to improve riparian restoration to account for anticipated climate change.
This workshop aimed to broaden knowledge and skills around designing riparian restoration projects in the Central Coast Region, using the principles of climate-smart restoration.
The project used species distribution modeling to assess the risk to habitat change under various climate change scenarios for rare plants.
Two great resources for restoration practitioners interested in designing their projects in a way that prepares them for climate change – climate-smart restoration:
1) Restoration Checklist: A check-list (Microsoft Word) that can be used to plan and describe climate-smart restoration projects.
2) Climate-Smart Restoration Design packets:
- San Francisco and San Pablo bays, California: A Microsoft Excel workbook and associated "How To" guide (pdf) for marsh-upland transition zone habitat
We assessed the ‘vulnerability’ of roughly 10% of California’s rare plant species (156 of 1625 total rare plants) representing a range of species characteristics. The project used species distribution modeling to assess the risk to habitat change under various climate change scenarios for rare plants.
Empirical evidence supports wild birds as playing a role in the interhemispheric exchange of bacteria
and viruses; however, data supporting the redistribution of parasites among continents are limited. In
this study, the hypothesis that migratory birds contribute to the redistribution of parasites between continents
was tested by sampling northern pintails (Anas acuta) at locations throughout the North Pacific
Basin in North America and East Asia for haemosporidian infections and assessing the genetic evidence
We assessed climate change vulnerability of 156 rare plant species of California. Our work can
Efforts to prioritize conservation areas have typically relied on indices that include levels of endemism, species richness, and degree of threat 1 . However, it has long been recognized that measures of species richne ss alone may fail to capture essential evolutionary processes that promote and sustain diversity 2 - 8 . To avoid extinction in the face of climate change, populations may either move to more favorable habitat, or adaptively respond to changing conditions. Wit h increasing fragmentation of formerly continuous habitat, dispersal to new areas may be severely limited.
Birds of the order Anseriformes, commonly referred to as waterfowl, are frequently infected by Haemosporidia of the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon via dipteran vectors. We analyzed nucleotide sequences of the Cytochrome b (Cytb) gene from parasites of these genera detected in six species of ducks from Alaska and California, USA to characterize the genetic diversity of Haemosporidia infecting waterfowl at two ends of the Pacific Americas Flyway.
The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats.