We are developing climate adaptation case studies to explain how including future climate change considerations in our project planning strengthens and advances our overall conservation investments. We broadly define climate change adaptation as the process of designing, updating and implementing strategies to account for the impacts of climate change to ensure the highest return on our conservation actions.
Typical steps in creating “climate-smart” projects involve evaluating current and projected changes in climate factors, linking those changes to sensitive species, systems or processes, and ranking vulnerability. These vulnerabilities, when integrated with other stressors on the system, may lead us to change some aspect of our work to make sure highest priority threats are being addressed, and to ensure that we are investing in conservation actions with a high likelihood of providing benefits to nature and people over the long term.
Climate Adaptation Case Studies
How are water levels projected to change and how should coastal communities plan for it? Access tools and information to help think about what rise or decline in lake levels could mean to community assets through 2 climate-adapted examples that consider water levels and their context within bigger-picture planning. Watch the accompanying video!
Many coastal community decision makers still lack access to climate resources, despite regional outreach efforts. Read about a successful climate adaptation community engagement process and supporting survey findings that relay the emerging continuum of climate adaptation knowledge gain, skill development and behavior change taking place.
Learn to be a savvy consumer of climate change projection data using Climate Wizard! We wanted to understand how projected changes in precipitation, across 4 watersheds in Saginaw Bay, MI, would change the estimated amount and intensity of agricultural best management practices (BMPs) needed to achieve water quality goals measured by fish health.
Scientists in Illinois assessed the climate vulnerability of 163 “Species in Greatest Need of Conservation” designated in Illinois’ Wildlife Action Plan. We provide a summary of findings and a list of considerations for managers to help jump-start national 2015 Wildlife Action Plan update discussions.
Including climate change as a factor in forest management planning allows us to make more informed ecological and financial investments. Linking changes in climate to likely changes in forest tree species, and to possible management responses, is helping to inform coordinated forest management efforts across ownership and political boundaries.
This case study relays our climate adaptation decision-making process using examples from established, on-the-ground projects from New York, Minnesota and North and South Dakota. Lessons learned suggest we can and should be adapting our work now using more peer review from partners.