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Climate Change Scientific Resources

These pages are designed to provide our tribal leaders and staff with information on how climate change may affect their tribe’s natural resources during the 21st century. Scientific research and data listed here project the effects of climate change in the Columbia Basin, including overviews of the issue and its effects, and projected impacts to water and terrestrial resources and fish and wildlife.  Also listed are tools and recommendations to assist with climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation. The threat of climate change is significant to the water, land, and native species of the Columbia Basin. The members of the Columbia Basin Indian Tribes are uniquely vulnerable to these effects because they are intimately tied to their traditional hunting and fishing grounds to gather their “first foods”, which have immense importance to their economic, cultural, and spiritual well-being.



CRITFC Tribe’s Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Plans

Yakama Nation. 2016. Yakama Nation Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Nez Perce Tribe Water Resources Division. 2011. Clearwater River Subbasin Climate Change Adaptation Plan



Select Climate Change Work Published by CRITFC Staff

Justice C, et al. 2016. Can Stream and Riparian Restoration Offset Climate Change Impacts to Salmon Populations?

Sharma R, D Graves, et al. 2016. Investigating Freshwater and Ocean Effects on Pacific Lamprey and Pacific Eulachon of the Columbia River Basin: Projections within the Context of Climate Change

Ellis S. 2016. Effects of High Columbia River Temperatures in 2015 (presentation)

Smith T et al. 2014. Watershed History Revealed Through Government Land Office Surveys: Detecting Change Over A Century Of Land Use In The Columbia River Basin.

Jenni K, D Graves et al. 2014. Identifying stakeholder-relevant climate change impacts: A case study in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, USA. Climatic Change 124:1

Graves D and A Maule. 2014. A stakeholder project to model water temperature under future climate scenarios in the Satus and Toppenish watersheds of the Yakima River Basin in Washington, USA. Climatic Change 124:1

Narum S, N Campbell et al. 2013. Thermal adaptation and acclimation of ectotherms from differing aquatic climates. Molecular Ecology 22

Dittmer K. 2013. Changing streamflow on Columbia basin tribal lands—climate change and salmon. Climatic Change 120:3

Sharma R et al. 2013. Relating spatial and temporal scales of climate and ocean variability to survival of Pacific Northwest chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Fisheries Oceanography 22

Graves D. 2012. Simulation of Water Temperature in the Upper Grande Ronde Basin with Future Climate Change Scenarios. CRITFC Technical Report 12-09

Gephart L. 2009. Tribal Salmon Restoration and Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest.

Graves D. 2008. A GIS Analysis of Climate Change and Snowpack on Columbia Basin Tribal Lands.

(The last two articles were published in Ecological Restoration 27:3)



CRITFC Data Sets

CRITFC data includes GIS layers and databases produced through research, monitoring, and evaluation projects



CRITFC Climate Change Partner Organizations

Pacific Northwest Climate Science Center Website

North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative Website

Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative Website

University of Washington – Climate Impacts Group. Website

Oregon Climate Change Research Institute.  Website

Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Network.  Website

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Climate Change Program.  Website

Columbia Basin Partner Forum.  Website


Overview on Climate Change and the Pacific Northwest

Mote P et al. 2014. The Northwest.  Chapter 21 in the US National Climate Assessment

Dalton M et al. 2013. Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities



Effects on Hydrology and Water Temperature

Scientific Articles

Vano JA et al. 2015. Seasonal hydrologic responses to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. Water Resources Research 51:4

Hamlet AF et al. 2013. An overview of the Columbia Basin Climate Change Scenarios Project: Approach, methods, and summary of key results. Atmosphere Ocean 51

Isaak DJ et al. 2012. Climate change effects on stream and river temperatures across the Northwest U.S. from 1980 – 2009 and implications for salmonid fishes. Climatic Change 113:499-524

Elsner MM, et al. 2010. Implications of 21st century climate change for the hydrology of Washington State. Climatic Change 102(1-2): 225-260

Mantua N et al.  2010. Climate change impacts on streamflow extremes and summertime stream temperature and their possible consequences for freshwater habitat in Washington State. Climatic Change 102: 187-223

Tague C et al. 2008. Deep groundwater mediates streamflow response to climate warming in the Oregon Cascades. Climatic Change 86: 189-2010

Projections (Data) for Future Climate Change Scenarios

Hydrologic Climate Change Scenarios for the Pacific Northwest Columbia River Basin and Coastal Drainages. The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (UW CIG) worked with several prominent water management agencies in the Pacific Northwest to develop hydrologic climate change scenarios for approximately 300 streamflow locations in the Columbia River basin and selected coastal drainages west of the Cascades. The scenarios, provided to the public for free via the UW CIG website, allow planners to consider how hydrologic changes may affect water resources management objectives and ecosystems. Click on your tribe to access hydrologic climate change scenario data for specific watersheds in your area. Nez Perce • Umatilla • Warm Springs • Yakama

Boise Aquatic Sciences Lab, US National Forest Service (2013) NorWeST Stream Temp Regional Database and Model.  The NorWeST webpage hosts stream temperature data and climate scenarios in a variety of user-friendly digital formats for streams and rivers across the western U.S. The temperature database was compiled from hundreds of biologists and hydrologists working for >100 resource agencies and contains >150,000,000 hourly temperature recordings at >20,000 unique stream sites. Those temperature data were used with spatial statistical network models to develop 30 historical and future climate scenarios at 1-kilometer resolution for >1,000,000 kilometers of stream.


Effects on Salmon and other Fish and Wildlife

Mantua NJ et al. 2015. Response of chinook salmon to climate change. Nature Climate Change 5

Crozier L. 2015. Impacts of Climate Change on Salmon of the Pacific Northwest. US National Marine Fisheries Service ESA supplemental biological opinion: D1-D50

Wade AA et al. 2013. Steelhead vulnerability to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 1093-1104

Rieman et al. 2011. Anticipated Climate Warming Effects on Bull Trout Habitats and Populations Across the Interior Columbia River Basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

Independent Scientific Advisory Board. 2007. Climate Change Impacts on Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife. Prepared for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.



Effects on Forest and Vegetation

Scientific Articles

Vose JM et al. 2016. Effects of drought on forests and rangelands in the U.S.: A comprehensive science synthesis. US Forest Service technical report WO-93b

Littell JS et al. 2013. Forest ecosystems: Vegetation, disturbance, and economics. Chapter in Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for our landscapes, waters, and communities (Island Press).

Projections (Data) for Future Climate Change Scenarios

Integrated Scenarios Project. Modeled projections of future vegetation in the Northwest.  Derived from application of the VIC hydrology model, Unified Land Model, and two vegetation models (MC2 and 3-PC) for future climate scenarios.

Pacific Northwest Riparian Climate Corridors. Layers produced as part of the WGA/LCC Riparian Mapping Project, which identifies riparian corridors in the Pacific Northwest expected to facilitate climate-induced species range shifts and provide micro-climatic refugia from warming.

The Nature Conservancy’s Terrestrial Resilience Density.  Project to identify the most resilient sites in the Northwest that will collectively and individually best sustain native biodiversity even as the changing climate alters current distribution patterns.


Adaptation Strategies for Tribes

Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) A Shared Knowledge Base for Managing Natural and Built Systems in the Face of Rapid Climate Change.

Adaptation Partners (US Forest Service) Science-Management Partnerships Focused On Climate Change Adaptation in the Western United States

Working with Beaver to Restore Streams, Wetlands, and Floodplains. 2015. The Beaver Restoration Guidebook

CRAVe (US Geological Survey) Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability

Climate and Traditional Knowledge Workgroup. 2014. Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges (TKs) in Climate Change Initiatives

National Wildlife Federation. 2011. A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

University of Oregon – Tribal Climate Change Project (includes A Guide for Tribal Leaders on U.S. Climate Change Programs)

Center for Science in the Earth System, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group. 2007. Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments.

Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute, The Evergreen State College. 2006. Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations



Principals for Salmon Habitat Restoration in an Era of Climate Change

Perry L et al. 2015. Incorporating climate change projections into riparian restoration planning and design. Ecohydrology 8.5

Beechie T et al. 2013. Restoring salmon habitat for a changing climate. River Research and Applications 29: 939-960

Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. 2007. Helping Pacific Salmon Survive the Impacts of Climate Change on Freshwater Habitats

Battin, J et al. 2007. Projected impacts of climate change on salmon habitat restoration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:16



StreamNet Library at CRITFC at (503) 238-0667

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