This resource list is specific to this region and provides both comprehensive and topic-specific information related to climate change, ecosystem vulnerability, and adaptation. A list of the major science organizations and partners within the region is also provided, and we encourage you to connect with them should you require further resources.
The resources listed below include a variety of published reports, including the 2018 National Climate Change Assessment and various ecosystem-based vulnerability assessments produced by partners in this region. Be sure to also familiarize yourself with the Explore Climate Impacts tool found at AdaptationWorkbook.org. There you can explore short but detailed summaries of how climate change is expected to impact or further impact your region.
Before diving into climate change resources, if you feel like you need a refresher on climate change basics consider accessing our education modules (~30 min long). The modules feature information on Climate 101, Climate effects on Forests, Climate Adaptation, and Forest-Carbon management
Some selected resources:
- There are many regional assessments of forest and ecosystem change, this super short summary provides a broad overview of potential changes and how it might affect forests: Climate Change Vulnerability assessment of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the U.S (2018)
- Summary of climate change trends for the Southwest: Fourth National Climate Assessment - Southwest
- The Intermountain and Northern Rocky region vulnerability assessments are lengthy, but well organized if you’re interested in diving into a specific topic. Each assessment provides downscaled climate information and summaries of climate impacts/vulnerabilities for vegetation, hydrology, aquatics and other focus areas. Find the Intermountain Region vulnerability assessment interactive summary, Story Map: Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the Intermountain Region for a broader overview (download the reports in the sections below).
- The State Climate Office has made climate data more accessible (past observed), tools, maps, graphs, etc. Learn more at Colorado Climate Center
- For fire-adapted ecosystems, check out the new adaptation toolset - Southwest FireCLIME Adaptation Tools - Fire Menu
More climate change resources...
Climate change tools and comprehensive reports
- Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study (2015)
- Climate Change Vulnerability assessment of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the U.S (2018)
- Resilient and Connected Landscapes: Rocky Mountains - Southwest Desserts
- Data tool - NOAA Climate Explorer (Explore graphs and maps of historical and projected climate variables for any county in the contiguous United States)
- Broad summary *quick read* regarding climate impacts nationally. Interactive site will highlight climate trends at the county level (2020).
- Fourth National Climate Assessment - Southwest
- NOAA Statewide summaries of observed and future climate change
- Observed drought data for all regions
Summary of major impacts and their effects on ecosystems - Warming and Warnings: Assessing climate change vulnerability in the Rocky Mountain Region
Take a deeper dive, and read more:
- Story Map, interactive summary: Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the Intermountain Region
- Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Intermountain Region (2018), Part 1 (download), Part 2 (download)
- Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Northern Rocky Mountains, Part 1 (download), Part 2 (download)
More resources -
- CO State Forest Service - Colorado's Forests in a Changing Climate
- USFS Climate Change Resource Center’s resources for the Intermountain Region
- USFS Climate Change Resource Center’s resources for the Rocky Mountain Region
- Effects of drought on forests and rangelands in the United States: translating science into management responses - Interior West (2019)
- Plant Species and Climate Profile Projections
- Video: Union of Concerned Citizens - Rocky Mountain Forests at Risk: The Growing Impacts of Climate Change
- USFS Compendium of Adaptation Approaches (sort by region)
- Southwest FireCLIME Adaptation Tools - Fire Adapted Ecosystems Menu of Adaptation Strategies and Approaches
Hydrology and aquatic ecosystems
- NorWeST Stream Temperature Regional Database and Model
- Water Education Colorado - Finding Water in a Warming World: What climate change means for Colorado’s water supply.
- Webinar: Climate Change and Mitigation in Colorado Water (2019) Climate Change and Mitigation in Colorado
- Western Water Assessment’s Climate and Hydrology assessments for the Intermountain region
- USFS Review of Climate Change vulnerability assessments and related literature for aquatic ecosystems in Colorado
- Carbon Sequestration in Colorado's Lands: An Integrated Spatial & Policy Analysis
- USFS Climate Change Resource Center “Carbon and Land Management” - Introduction, Carbon Management Objectives and Considerations”
- USFS Climate Change Resource Center “Forest Management for Carbon Benefits”
Science organizations in this region
- Colorado Climate Center
- National Center for Atmospheric Research
- North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center
- NOAA RISA Western Water Assessment
- Western Regional Climate Center
- USDA Southwest Climate Hub
Did we forget a resource? Please let us know! Contact Danielle.