Forest Effects on Snow in the Pacific Northwest

Across the Northwest, melt-off from mountain snowpack is an important source of summer water, supporting irrigation, native fish and hydropower. A new paper in the journal Hydrological Processesexamines how alpine forest cover influences snowpack, providing insights that will help managers protect regional sources of summer water. The study was funded by the Northwest Climate Science Center and was undertaken as a collaborative effort between researchers at University of Washington, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Seattle Public Utilities. Susan Dickerson-Lange, lead author on the paper will present the results at the 2017 Salmon Recovery Conference next month.


New paper about carbon cycling in Pacific coastal wetlands

A group of scientists led by Karen Thorne of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and funded by the Northwest Climate Science Center recently published a paper from their study of coastal wetlands in the journal Ecosystems. The paper describes the results of their experiments across a
 latitudinal and climate gradient of tidal marshes in the Northeast Pacific to evaluate how climate change may affect the ability of coastal wetlands to cycle and sequester carbon. Results could help land managers build climate resilience into coastal wetlands. For more information contact Christopher Janousek at


NW CSC hosts workshops on ecological drought

This week the Northwest Climate Science Center is hosting workshops in Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho on the topic of ecological drought. Ecological drought is generally defined as a prolonged and widespread deficit in soil moisture, or biologically available water, that imposes multiple stresses in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The workshops are part of a national effort organized by the Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers and their managing organization, the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey. All the workshops in this national series are aimed at collating our existing knowledge of the ecological impacts, resistance, and recovery from drought. See a photo album of the event here.


NW CSC Fellow Co-Authors Paper on NW Forest Response to Climate Change

NW CSC Fellow, Ian Breckheimer, is second author on a study recently published in the General Technical Reports of the United States Forest Service. He and his team used 32 years of forest monitoring data from mature and old-growth stands of forests in Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park to characterize the joint effects of climate and competition on tree diameter growth. Overall the group found that individual growth was sensitive to climate in less dense stands where competition among trees was low, but was not sensitive to climate under higher levels of competition. The full technical report is available here.