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Extramural Research

Consequences of Global Climate Change: Water Quality Impacts, Ecological Impacts & Nonlinear Responses

EPA Headquarters EPA Map Room 1153
1201 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC

September 20-22, 2011

Chairs: Michael Hiscock & Bryan Bloomer

September 20-22, 2010 – This meeting focused on three separate Requests for Applications (RFA’s):

  • Nonlinear Responses to Global Change in Linked Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems and Effects of Multiple Factors on Terrestrial Ecosystems: A Joint Research Solicitation between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Ecological Impacts from the Interactions of Climate Change, Land Use Change and Invasive Species: A Joint Research Solicitation between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Consequences of Global Change for Water Quality

A better national scale understanding of the range of potential consequences of climate change will be useful both for fully accounting for the impacts of climate change and for developing regional adaptive strategies to reduce the risk of harmful impacts. Researchers focused their investigations on the consequences of global change related to invasive species, U.S. water quality to support human and aquatic life uses and assessments of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

A quantitative investigation was taken up by researchers on how climate change, climate variability and land use change: (1) influences the establishment, abundance and distribution of invasive species; (2) interacts with invasive species to create feedbacks that increase their success; (3) interacts with invasive species to cause threshold responses in natural and managed systems; or (4) affects the chemical, biological and mechanical management of invasive species.

The challenge to assemble modeling systems capable of capturing important linkages between regional climate drivers and terrestrial hydrologic systems and to apply these modeling systems to improve the overall understanding of the sensitivity of key water quality of aquatic ecosystem management targets to the types of climate changes anticipated over the next several decades was the basis of several investigators research.

Several grantees analyzed how and when nonlinear ecological changes, in response to climate change and variability, affect ecological systems and their associated services. In this context, it was critical that researchers considered the abrupt changes in ecological, biogeochemical, or ecosystem processes, rather than in sudden changes in climate, and that the changes can be linked to effects on ecosystem services and natural resource management.

EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research, Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grantees will discuss the objectives, approaches, and plans for their new research projects with scientists from EPA, state agencies, other federal agencies and industry.

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