National Climate Assessment Summarizes Climate Changes by Region

Adapted by Melanie Lenart, University of Arizona. Reviewed by Susan E. Moore and Mark A. Megalos, North Carolina State University. Full report of the National Climate Assessment is accessible online at:

Why it’s important:

The National Climate Assessment of 2014, summarizes recent climate change and its effects by region.

  • Documents effects on the environment, society and forests,

  • Provides regional projections for future changes and their (Melillo et al. 2014).

  • Highlights adaptation and mitigation efforts that could help reduce

Great Plains U.S. Climate Assessment

Adapted by Melanie Lenart, University of Arizona, reviewed by Susan E. Moore and Mark A. Megalos, North Carolina State University, from: Shafer, M., D. Ojima, J. M. Antle, D. Kluck, R. A. McPherson, S. Petersen, B. Scanlon, and K. Sherman, 2014: Ch. 19: Great Plains. Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment, J. M. Melillo, Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and G. W. Yohe, Eds., U.S. Global Change Research Program, 441-461. Accessible online at:


In …

Overview of the Effects of Climatic Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems in the Southeast United States

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 requires the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to produce the National Climate Assessment (NCA) for the President and Congress every four years, analyzing the effect of global change on multiple sectors and regions in the United States and projecting major trends forward for up to 100 years. Effects on Climatic Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the U.S. Forest Sector (PNW-GTR-870) serves as the U.S. Forest Service …

Effects of Climatic Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems in the Southeast United States

Adapted from Effects of Climatic Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the U.S. Forest Sector
Original article may be found at :

Forests of the Southeastern United States are a complex mixture of private and public land, interspersed with rapidly urbanizing areas and agriculture. A long history of active forest management, often including intensive management such as forest plantations, fertilization, and prescribed fires, creates stand conditions and management regimes that differ from those in …

Invasive Plants and Your Forests

Adapted from PINEMAP publication NC AG-771 (2013), by H. Cole, M. Megalos and C. Temple.
Original article may be found at


Invasive plants are referred to by many names: nonnative, exotic, nonindigenous, alien, or even noxious weeds. They come in all forms, including trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and ferns. Invasive plants are aggressive survivalists and exhibit distinct adaptive strategies and characteristics:

  • Grow vigorously
  • Survive in a range of conditions
  • Reproduce quickly
  • Difficult to eradicate

Invasive Plant Concerns

Invasive plants …

Online Tools for Natural Resource Management Scenarios That Address Climate Change

Fig. 1. Map from Climate Change Tree Atlas showing projected distribution of Eastern white pine.

The tasks of developing and evaluating natural resource management plan options that address potential climate change impacts can be complex and varied. Each year, new tools become available to help land and resource managers, landowners, scientists, and other stakeholders create management plans and adaptation strategies that allow for future changes should unexpected outcomes arise. The following online resources are examples of these tools.

Climate Change 

Experts: Start with the Home and Work Out to Protect Against Wildfires

Embers are the leading cause of home loss during wildfire. Embers are burning pieces of vegetation or construction materials that can be lofted high into the air, carried by wind, or transported by fire whirls.

Released July 10, 2013

Experts from advise homeowners to create defenses against wildfires by starting with the house and then working out from the structure. Homeowners don’t need to be overwhelmed, but the wildfire that killed 19 Arizona firefighters and destroyed more than 100 …

Climate Change Impacts on Forest Diseases

Written by Tom DeGomez, University of Arizona
Forest disease organisms and abiotic occurrences that lead to diseased trees are common in terrestrial ecosystems. Most of the disease organisms within forests are essential to the health of the system and are present at background levels, generally occurring on weakened members within a forest stand. Occasionally, diseases can overcome a forest system and a stand-replacing event will occur, but this is a rare event even in the least resilient forests. The full …

Climate Change Impacts on Forest Insects

Excerpt from: Régnière, J. 2009. Predicting insect continental distributions from species physiology. Unasylva. 60:37-42.

Insects constitute the most diverse form of animal life in terrestrial ecosystems. Most species are innocuous but essential components of natural ecosystems. Because they are cold-blooded, the rates of key physiological processes in their life cycles are determined by environmental conditions, especially temperature and precipitation. In general they have short generation times, high fecundity, and high mobility (either through their own faculties or aided by wind, …

Wildfire and Climate

Adapted from: Rogstad, Alix; Crimmins, Michael; and Garfin, Gregg. 2006. Climate change and wildfire impacts in Southwest forests and woodlands. University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Publication No. az1425
Figure 1. Wildfire is a major concern for forest lands impacted by changes in climate. Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.

Wildfire requires three things to burn: an ignition source, fuel, and oxygen. If one of the three requirements is removed, the fire activity will be …