The latest Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook for the Southeast documents can be found on the Resources > Reports page.
This report in the April 2017 edition of BAMS explores a critical aspect of coastal drought: its effects on the salinity dynamics of creeks, rivers, and estuaries, and the development of a salinity-based coastal drought index. An approach similar to the standardized precipitation index (SPI) was modified and applied to salinity data obtained from sites in South Carolina and Georgia. Using the SPI approach, the index becomes a coastal salinity index (CSI) that characterizes coastal salinity conditions with respect to drought periods of higher-saline conditions and wet periods of higher-freshwater conditions.
The Coastal Carolinas DEWS is advancing NIDIS early warning goals centered on improving and integrating public awareness, monitoring and forecasting activities, risk assessment, preparedness, and communications. Through applied research and ongoing engagement with stakeholders and decision makers, the Coastal Carolinas DEWS is building a solid foundation for, and developing new knowledge that can be applied to, a wide variety of drought early warning activities. This report highlights project progress from August 2012 through December 2015.
NIDIS Carolinas Drought Early Warning System: Supporting Coastal Ecosystem Management Scoping Workshop Report
This report details the NIDIS Carolinas Drought Early Warning Scoping Workshop held July 31-August 1, 2012 in Wilmington, NC. In addition to a synthesis of speaker presentations and the process through which project ideas were generated and prioritized, the report documents a number of project ideas generated in small group discussions by workshop participants.
This report provides a synthesis and analysis of the peer-reviewed literature examining drought impacts on coastal ecosystems. The report was developed by the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) following a stakeholder workshop in Georgetown, SC in March 2010, in which attendees identified a need for greater availability of appropriate drought data and information to manage coastal resources during drought. Participants recommended that a “State of Knowledge Report” would be an essential first step to improving understanding and developing an effective means to monitor and forecast drought.
CISA, with the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), organized a meeting of university and agency scientists involved with drought impacts monitoring in Tucson, AZ in March 2013 to discuss opportunities and barriers associated with drought impacts reporting, recommend best practices for implementing a drought impacts reporting system, and develop a path forward for addressing or overcoming barriers. Participants included team members from four of the RISA programs (CISA, CLIMAS, SCIPP, and SECC), NIDIS, the National Drought Mitigation Center, and the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network. The workshop report includes evaluation of existing drought impacts reporting systems and recommendations for development of a comprehensive drought impacts reporting system.
Decreases in freshwater discharge due to persistent drought and increasing demand from agriculture and human consumption has led to changes in the salinity profiles of South Carolina salt marshes. This report describes a recently-completed four-year field study of blue crabs in the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) which identified several key life history stages influenced by these changes in salinity. The project linked real-time freshwater discharge from USGS with an individual-based population model (IBM) to forecast the abundance and distribution of blue crabs. Future streamflow projections were integrated into the model to assess how climate change might impact this species as well.
Read a two-page summary of this project
This research project examined objective drought indices to assess how they represent local fire risk in coastal areas, where soils are high in organic content and become increasingly hydrophobic as they dry out. Four drought indices were compared to local fire event histories in the coastal regions of the Carolinas to identify those that best represent fire risk in organic soils. This report provides the results of this preliminary investigation into the linkage between the objectively defined drought indicators and physical impacts.
Read a two-page summary of this project