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In the U.S. Southwest, global climate change, acting in concert with extant stressors such as urbanization and over-allocation of water resources, is changing ecosystems in measureable and sometimes dramatic ways. Twentyfirst century projections indicate accelerating climate change and cascading ecological consequences. Our experience suggests that adaptation efforts can be effective if they are focused at the local scale; employ learning networks; and engage in ecosystem-based adaptation: the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems so that they continue to provide the services that allow people to thrive in changing environments.Download file (2mb)
Report on the Southwest Climate Change Initiative’s Flagstaff Climate Change Adaptation Workshop of April 2010 in Flagstaff, Arizona. 77 pp., including executive summary and appendices.Download file (3.4 MB)
The Nature Conservancy recently updated its Conservation Action Plan for the Gila Headwaters. This paper describes TNC's planning process. The process involves defining the project area, identifying conservation targets, assessing conservation target viability, identifying critical threats to these targets, developing and implementing strategies to abate these threats and improve target viability, and measuring strategy effectiveness.Download file (3 MB)
This regional assessment examines the impacts of temperature change from 1951-2006 on natural resources in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. It documents that warming has already affected habitats, watersheds, and species in the Southwest, by influencing the timing of seasonal events or amplifying the impacts of natural disturbances such as wildfire and drought. The report concludes that to begin adapting to climate change, natural resource managers should reevaluate the effectiveness of current restoration tools, modify resource objectives, learn from climate-smart adaptive management and monitoring, and share information across boundaries.
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