We hope this new annual publication, the Northwest Climate Magazine, will help share our stories about climate research and improve coordination and collaboration among federal, state, tribal, university, and non-governmental groups across the Northwest. Collaboration is central to our shared goal of building resilience to climate change for our region’s natural and human communities.
Climate change threatens our way of life in the Northwest on many fronts. The best scientific understanding indicates that climate change will impact everything from the region’s ecology and agriculture to its basic infrastructure, culture, economy, and community health. We still have time to avert the worst effects, but some change is inevitable. To successfully adapt to these changes, we must coordinate our efforts and work across the institutional boundaries that divide government agencies, Tribes, universities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
The Northwest benefits from strong institutional and scientific alignment of the federal regional climate organizations: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Regional Integrated Science and Assessment, known as the Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC); the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC); and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Climate Hub. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides primary support for two Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) in the Northwest—the North Pacific LCC (NPLCC) and the Great Northern LCC—while the Bureau of Land Management provides primary support for the Great Basin LCC.
Despite strong alignment, each federal regional climate organization maintains a distinct mission, funding structure, system of governance, target audience, method of setting priorities, and set of deliverables—many of which are described in the profiles in this issue. In part because of our differences, our respective federal organizations have done an excellent job collaborating effectively to build synergies and avoid redundancies. We developed this magazine as one of the many ways to share our work and continue to advance a common cause around climate change adaptation.
The Northwest has a rich history of regional climate change research and stakeholder engagement that gives us the capacity to use new data in ways that are mutually beneficial and relevant to our shared concerns. The stories included in this first issue are examples of some of those successes—from using stream temperature data to help plan protection for native salmonids to safeguarding coastal communities from intensifying storm surges.
Gustavo Bisbal (NW CSC), John Mankowski (NPLCC), Philip W. Mote (CIRC/NW CSC), & Eric P. Salathé Jr. (NW CSC)