Ecological Drought in the Northeast United States
The Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and their managing organization, the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey, have chosen the emerging climate science field of Ecological Drought as a research focus area. This newsletter highlights the outcomes of a two-day workshop held in Amherst, Massachusetts, as part of a series of meetings at each of the nation’s eight CSCs. These workshops are aimed at collating our existing knowledge of the ecological impacts, resistance, and recovery from drought.
The Northeastern and Midwestern United States is generally considered a well-watered region, yet droughts have happened in the past due to large-scale changes in atmospheric circulation. As recently as the 1960s and 1980s, widespread drought was experienced in this Northeast region. It is predicted that drought conditions in the region will become more prevalent as
climate change influences temperature and precipitation patterns throughout the region.