Actionable Science Deep Dives

The Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (NW CASC) organizes an annual Deep Dive into an emerging climate risk. We convene researchers, practitioners and students to assess the state of knowledge and practice associated with managing that risk. Each Deep Dive aims to facilitate community development of an Actionable Science Agenda that outlines knowledge gaps and research needs and identifies opportunities to advance adaptation by linking science and practice.

Ecological Transformation Now? Managing Post-fire Vegetation Change in a Warming Climate

How does climate change affect vegetation recovery after fire?

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Warmer, drier and longer fire seasons in the Northwest have led to larger and more frequent wildfires. These changes in climate and fire have led to growing concern that in some areas of the Northwest, particularly in forests and shrublands east of the Cascade Range, existing plant communities may face difficulty regrowing and persisting after fires. Some of these communities may ultimately transition to different vegetation types — for example, from forests or shrublands to grasslands. The NW CASC’s 2020 Deep Dive convened natural resource managers and scientists from across the Northwest in a virtual working group process to review what is known and unknown about managing climate-driven, post-fire vegetation transitions in the Northwest and to identify actionable science and co-production priorities.

Managing Western Washington Wildfire Risk in a Changing Climate

How does climate change affect the risk of wildfire in Western Washington?

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As our climate changes, people are becoming increasingly worried about wildfires in the western United States. In Washington, dry forests east of the Cascade Mountains have historically experienced frequent wildfire, unlike the dense, wet forests of western Washington. But, in recent years, more fires in these wet and productive forests are prompting people to ask: What is the risk of wildfire in western Washington? How does climate change affect this risk? How can we manage this risk of wildfire west of the Cascades? To help answer these questions, the NW CASC and partners convened a Deep Dive workshop in 2018, which brought together almost 100 participants from city, county, state, federal and tribal agencies. This workshop provided an opportunity to identify research and coordination needs for managing westside fire risk.

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