Alaska Climate Science Center-Funded Research Projects

Climate change is affecting Alaska in profound ways that require innovative approaches to research. Research projects supported by the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center often cross several disciplines in order to broadly address ecosystem responses to climate change. 

Our research direction is determined collaboratively by representatives of federal, state, tribal, and regional organizations. We aim to meet high-level climate science priorities while ensuring this science also is pertinent to and addresses management needs. 

Location: 
Alaska
Duration: 
July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017

Communities, resource managers, and decision makers in Arctic Alaska are in need of scientific information to base important decisions related to anticipating and adapting to changes in temperature and precipitation. Since its inception in 2011, the Alaska Climate Science Center (AK CSC) and its partners have produced a variety of scientific products and datasets aimed at supporting this need and increasing climate change resilience in the Arctic.

Location: 
Alaska and Washington
Duration: 
June 1, 2015 to June 1, 2017

This project will extend understanding of the role of glaciers in the hydrology of Alaska and Washington state and incorporate this knowledge into two types of simulation models. The project will develop robust methods for hydrologic modeling that will be applicable throughout AK and WA, including areas lacking types of on-the-ground measurements traditionally required for this type of research.

Location: 
Alaska
Duration: 
April 1, 2015 to April 1, 2017

Projected climate warming is expected to alter the water cycle throughout coastal Alaska. In particular, changes in seasonal snowcover and glacier volume have the potential to change the amount and timing of freshwater delivery to the ocean. Climate change will also impact the amount and timing of nutrients delivered by streams to near-shore habitats. As glaciers change, so will the runoff that is a primary driver for coastal currents that contribute to vibrant nearshore marine ecosystems.

Co-PIs: 
Location: 
Alaska
Duration: 
January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2017

Migratory waterfowl that breed in Alaska routinely travel thousands of miles in their annual migrations among breeding, stopover and wintering ranges. The effects of climate and land use on their survival and productivity varies along the migratory routes and population trends result from the cumulative effects of habitat quality and climate throughout their annual range.

Co-PIs: 
Location: 
United States and Canada
Duration: 
January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2017

Birds are appreciated and enjoyed by thousands of people and also play important roles in the ecosystem as predators, prey, and pollinators. Alaska provides important breeding ground for hundreds of migratory bird species that travel thousands of miles in their annual migrations between breeding and wintering spots.

Funded Title: 
Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) for Alaska and Northwest Canada
Co-PIs: 
Duration: 
November 30, 2011 to November 30, 2016

The Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) project is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary effort aimed at understanding potential landscape, habitat and ecosystem change in Alaska and Northwest Canada.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon - Public domain
Funded Title: 
A Coupled (Ocean and Freshwater) Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Pacific Lamprey and Pacific Eulachon (Funded Jointly by the Northwest CSC, Alaska CSC, and North Pacific LCC)
Location: 
Pacific Northwest
Duration: 
September 17, 2013 to September 30, 2016

Funded Title: 
Use of the AIEM Permafrost Module Output to Assess the Permafrost Changes in the 21st Century and their Impact on Existing and Future Infrastructure in the Alaskan Arctic
Location: 
Northern Alaska
Duration: 
October 1, 2014 to September 1, 2016

The permafrost module of the Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) will be used to establish several high spatial resolution (1km x 1km) and very high resolution (30m x 30m) scenarios of changes in permafrost characteristics in the Alaskan Arctic in response to projected climate change and northern infrastructure development. Impact of these changes in permafrost on northern Alaskan ecosystems and infrastructure will be assessed and regional maps of the possible impacts will be developed.

Funded Title: 
Distribution and Flow of Water in Alaskan Coastal Forest Watersheds
Co-PIs: 
Location: 
Southeast Alaska
Duration: 
August 1, 2014 to August 1, 2016

The flow of water is often highlighted as a priority in land management planning and assessments. A recent evaluation of climate impacts to freshwater aquatic systems identified water as a key supporting ecosystem service. Reduced snowfall and snowpack, earlier spring runoff, increased winter streamflow and flooding, and decreased summer streamflow were identified as potential impacts due to climate change. These factors all have close links to the water balance in the perhumid coastal temperate rainforest (PCTR).

Funded Title: 
Differential Effects of Climate-Mediated Forest Change on the Habitats of Two Ungulates Important to Subsistence and Sport Hunting Economies
Location: 
Alaska and Northwest Canada
Duration: 
April 1, 2015 to April 1, 2016

Climate change is a complex process that may affect the food resources of different species of wildlife in contrasting ways. Moose and caribou are important to both subsistence and sport hunting economies throughout Alaska, but their winter diets are quite different; caribou focus on snow covered ground hugging lichens while moose focus on the twigs of erect deciduous shrubs that protrude above the snow.

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