finding 24.2 : key-message-24-2

Climate change and extreme events are already endangering the well-being of a wide range of wildlife, fish, and plants (high confidence), which are intimately tied to tribal subsistence culture (very high confidence) and popular outdoor recreation activities (high confidence). Climate change is projected to continue to have adverse impacts on the regional environment (very likely), with implications for the values, identity, heritage, cultures, and quality of life of the region’s diverse population (high confidence). Adaptation and informed management, especially culturally appropriate strategies, will likely increase the resilience of the region’s natural capital (medium confidence).



This finding is from chapter 24 of Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II.

Process for developing key messages:

This assessment focuses on different aspects of the interaction between humans, the natural environment, and climate change, including reliance on natural resources for livelihoods, the less tangible values of nature, the built environment, health, and frontline communities. Therefore, the author team required a depth and breadth of expertise that went beyond climate change science and included social science, economics, health, tribes and Indigenous people, frontline communities, and climate adaptation, as well as expertise in agriculture, forestry, hydrology, coastal and ocean dynamics, and ecology. Prospective authors were nominated by their respective agencies, universities, organizations, or peers. All prospective authors were interviewed with respect to the qualifications, and selected authors committed to remain part of the team for the duration of chapter development.

The chapter was developed through technical discussions of relevant evidence and expert deliberation by the report authors at workshops, weekly teleconferences, and email exchanges. The author team, along with the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), also held stakeholder meetings in Portland and Boise to solicit input and receive feedback on the outline and draft content under consideration. A series of breakout groups during the stakeholder meetings provided invaluable feedback that is directly reflected in how the Key Messages were shaped with respect to Northwest values and the intersection between humans, the natural environment, and climate change. The authors also considered inputs and comments submitted by the public, interested stakeholders, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and federal agencies. For additional information on the overall report process, see Appendix 1: Process. The author team also engaged in targeted consultations during multiple exchanges with contributing authors for other chapters, who provided additional expertise on subsets of the Traceable Accounts associated with each Key Message.

The climate change projections and scenarios used in this assessment have been widely examined and presented elsewhere07aed96a-e0e8-47dd-81d3-cdff5a6e261c,0b30f1ab-e4c4-4837-aa8b-0e19faccdb94,75cf1c0b-cc62-4ca4-96a7-082afdfe2ab1,f03117be-ccfe-4f88-b70a-ffd4351b8190 and are not included in this chapter. Instead, this chapter focuses on the impact of those projections on the natural resources sector that supports livelihoods (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and outdoor recreation industry), the intangible values provided by the natural environment (wildlife, habitat, tribal cultures and well-being, and outdoor recreation experiences), human support systems (built infrastructure and health), and frontline communities (farmworkers, tribes, and economically disadvantaged urban communities). The literature cited in this chapter is largely specific to the Northwest states: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. In addition, the authors selected a series of case studies that highlight specific impacts, challenges, adaptation strategies and successes, and collaborations that are bringing communities together to build climate resilience. The most significant case study is the 2015 case study (Box 24.7), which cuts across all five Key Messages and highlights how extreme climate variability that is happening now may become more normal in the future, providing important insights that can help inform and prioritize adaptation efforts.

Description of evidence base:

Since the Third National Climate Assessment, there have been significant contributions within the literature in relation to climate impacts to Northwest communities, with specific focus on how values and activities, such as recreation, iconic wildlife, management, and tribal and Indigenous cultures, will likely be impacted.

Wildlife are projected to have diverse responses to climate change.28638cf2-7042-48cf-8a30-7f45b405aefb,560f3426-5fc9-4151-a3ea-121b017ef104,9a8cec0c-c76a-4181-bc1b-b5393614beed Droughts, wildfires, reduced snowpack and persistence, shifted flood timing, and heat stress can cause habitat loss or fragmentationea926dd1-5cc0-4339-a4d1-c9c9aeca9b30 and increase mortality of waterfowl; trout, salmon, and other coldwater fish;38a94887-f469-4fce-8feb-75fc8e55568e,dee2eefa-5795-4143-8b69-09e57c01ab3b,c983c0ba-5aab-4c50-a2de-f6deb8bcf508,9cf6d9b3-0d5a-4c85-9a95-ac2896677936,77470abe-84f2-43a0-aaf4-c6faa607cc79 amphibians; wolverines; lynxes; and snowshoe hares.28638cf2-7042-48cf-8a30-7f45b405aefb Other species, such as elk and deer, may benefit from future climate conditions.560f3426-5fc9-4151-a3ea-121b017ef104

Multiple studies also demonstrate that climate change impacts will likely affect other iconic, Northwest species. Wildfires will affect berries, roots, and plants;6848eec2-534b-4629-967c-53d8530089a3,debdf209-4050-4706-965c-09cff7ec353b ocean acidification is increasing shellfish mortality, and ocean acidification and warmer ocean temperatures are altering marine food webs;861d5508-2a4d-4c92-848d-65bb5984b21a,06a757e6-0c59-4e75-8e64-5579cef18964,7777eee9-2f8e-45d8-bf6d-ec33a9c8bf43 and aquatic acidification is affecting salmon physiology and behavior.59284de3-2ae1-4609-8c32-00309bcb809f These impacts are project to have direct negative impacts on traditional Sacred First Foods.6848eec2-534b-4629-967c-53d8530089a3,546daccc-9ef3-4ea3-a7a3-e1c755440f5f Droughts and reduced snowpack will also reduce tribal water supplies.32a621bf-5225-47a3-b7df-559443b3486e,ff059806-9325-44dd-b3f9-6d0edf2e3ffe The loss of these First Foods is projected to have cascading physical health impacts, such as diabetes,27a913a3-88b2-40cc-907f-51d0728a475d and mental health impacts.5b754441-464c-49fd-90e8-c184fc2ba1f5,27a913a3-88b2-40cc-907f-51d0728a475d,349d443c-b692-4b9d-8b1b-a22887a292a7,c76d7935-9da3-4c4b-9186-86dc658bcc74,5d18534c-89c7-4783-8831-8163ec98d82c

Salmon is one of the most iconic Northwest species and important First Foods for Tribes. Salmon are at high risk to climate change because of decreasing summer flows due to changes in seasonal precipitation and reduced snowpack,f8d978b8-85d3-47ea-9a90-543650d83156,bd449d4f-0079-40f1-a6ba-63e5bb2463d5,cd414dd2-0280-438b-ab04-348225ed56bd,7bc1ebe9-955f-4c9f-a54c-f718e354d5ca,3e60ac06-aa9f-415d-83a5-e4552d1993a8 habitat loss through increasing storm intensity and flooding,ab2a8e79-b067-47a0-b0d0-d6dce8438ca9,7bc1ebe9-955f-4c9f-a54c-f718e354d5ca and physiological and behavioral sensitivity and increasing mortality due to warmer stream and ocean temperatures, and cascading food web effects due to ocean acidification.97f190aa-eb11-44e8-b98b-f1fde26565ce,7777eee9-2f8e-45d8-bf6d-ec33a9c8bf43,581d3206-5fbd-41df-8ec0-50ed9f071a04,b6394fa4-61d8-48e8-ab3a-92666ccd87a8 These impacts can be amplified due to human-placed impediments (culverts, dams), contaminants, and diseases.f6445bba-c7be-4d3d-b08e-cdf615962fb8,641b6608-bb16-4500-924b-0e25d18c42ca,8b120393-5c19-4ce1-96e6-845ecbd03b43

There are multiple lines of evidence verifying that reduced snowfall and snowpack in the future will adversely impact winter and snow-based recreation, including a reduction in ski visitation rates.b1729fa8-3fbf-4311-a2d0-e0b36ccb9fb6,80dd6dfe-4dea-4253-a65b-53f620805f9a,abb5bf8c-998f-4fe9-b53e-bc8e5dbc6abe This will also adversely affect summer water-based recreation such as boating and rafting,9cf6d9b3-0d5a-4c85-9a95-ac2896677936 although warmer temperatures in the future can increase demand for water-based recreation and visitations rates to parks.4ed1b0b7-c44f-454e-b1cd-fb33041e1026,edf14181-12af-4610-87e4-e21b1b09562b,36f34a19-9336-4d3a-8c95-137c010d5666 Future habitat shifts in marine speciesbfd896fb-e6cf-45bb-90fc-46742079789c and warmer ocean temperatures are projected to lead to declines in opportunities for ocean fishing recreation.13f2f968-08bc-493b-8c60-627f7436113f,021a1471-ddc7-435a-bc2d-6e2a3d2214d4,14683632-64dc-4a81-b867-928898c15552,f6a15ed6-bb97-4b49-9107-63ef5d8bd1cc Ocean acidification and harmful algal blooms are also projected to reduce recreational shellfish gathering.13f2f968-08bc-493b-8c60-627f7436113f Increased wildfire frequency54bc1048-87de-40b1-9f21-7482e2de3883 will reduce air quality, and some evidence suggests that this can reduce outdoor recreation opportunities and enjoyment. Regional case studies highlight climate impacts to snow-based recreation, ocean fishing, water-based recreation, and decreased air quality.af1c492e-fcd5-4491-bea3-45c80688e788,9f314dc9-6bfc-401b-be6f-9a70601f6e5b,c983c0ba-5aab-4c50-a2de-f6deb8bcf508

Adaptation and management strategies in response to climate impacts on the natural capital and Northwest heritage are extremely varied across the region. Many tribes have begun managing First Foods and other important cultural resources through climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans that incorporate both traditional knowledge and western science.6848eec2-534b-4629-967c-53d8530089a3,0648fd9b-f6d4-474b-a6a6-7a8db5f1e5ac,c2dd713c-cb17-4346-9489-81c85529c8b5,e24f79c5-a7b5-4d18-a8ff-05f58b01656e,be66fcd3-ee79-4a70-ae5c-449327874382,b9a63264-fd0b-4b7e-a658-3c4d602b69c7 Efforts to manage wildlife, habitats, and species are variable in their approaches to increasing climate resilience, with limited uncertainty in how these strategies can collectively result in increased climate resilience of the region’s natural capital.69e62c01-f7fc-4959-b674-dffbf3056025,d635c3c7-ed66-48ea-995e-cef1c901d69a,4401b714-c4aa-4e90-af15-4153b3c6880a,eaf3eb83-ad82-4b7d-b3ec-96672d1d2368,3c6c8d7f-8e0b-4e20-a8ae-d8c66e1a9412,f0abd79f-e443-44df-a44c-9a3e2989de47,03051a89-f013-4311-b163-6e865d855a4b

New information and remaining uncertainties:

There is strong evidence to suggest that recreational opportunities are an important quality of the Northwest,7a666151-302c-4d04-9658-b80816eeec98 but there is uncertainty around the perceived importance of future recreation opportunities’ prioritization in people’s quality of life despite the direct reduction of many recreational opportunities.84baf9f1-d4b2-491f-8bde-d03168080fa5

The effects of climate change on game species are uncertain, with large potential forcing in both directions and a lack of information on which processes will dominate consequences for game species and how managers might be able to effectively adapt to changing climate.

Assessment of confidence based on evidence:

There is high confidence that climate change and extreme events have already endangered the well-being of a wide range of wildlife, fish, and plants. There is very high confidence that these impacts will directly threaten tribal subsistence and culture and high confidence that these impacts will threaten popular recreation activities. Future climate change will very likely continue to have adverse impacts on the regional environment. There is high confidence that future climate change will have negative impacts on the values, identity, heritage, cultures, and quality of life of the diverse population of Northwest residents. There is medium confidence that adaptation and informed management, especially culturally appropriate strategies, will increase the resilience of the region’s natural capital.

References :

You are viewing /report/nca4/chapter/northwest/finding/key-message-24-2 in HTML

Alternatives : JSON YAML Turtle N-Triples JSON Triples RDF+XML RDF+JSON Graphviz SVG