Integrated Future Scenarios of Climate, Hydrology, and Vegetation for the Northwest

Project Summary

Affiliation(s): Northwest CSC, NOAA’s Climate Impacts Research Consortium

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Philip Mote (Oregon State University)

Climate change is expected to have different effects in different parts of the world. For this reason, regionally-specific projections of climate and environmental change are important to help those who want to plan how best to adapt. The goal of this project was to use the latest global climate models and state of the science models of vegetation and hydrology, to describe what the latest science says about the Northwest’s future climate, vegetation, and hydrology. Researchers in the project began by evaluating the ability of climate models to simulate observed climate patterns in the Northwest region. The best-performing models were ‘downscaled’, that is, remapped onto the finer grids used in models of hydrology and vegetation. The researchers used the best performing models to project likely future changes to the Northwest’s climate, hydrology, and vegetation. One product of this work is a series of freely available datasets that can be used to address specific management questions. These datasets are compatible with other hydrological and ecological modeling efforts and represent a next-generation climate change framework for land managers. This framework supports a range of management activities to increase the resilience of Northwest ecosystems, agricultural systems, and built environments. It allows the development of tools to help land managers identify the most vulnerable areas in the region and to develop strategies for reducing the impacts of climate change.

This project was funded jointly by the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center and by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s Climate Impacts Research Consortium. To learn more about the project visit: or contact Phil Mote at

Northwest springs - Credit: Greg Winters, USGS

Affiliation(s): Northwest CSC, NOAA’s Climate Impacts Research Consortium

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Philip Mote (Oregon State University)
  • John Abatzoglou (University of Idaho)
  • Dennis P Lettenmaier (University of Washington)
  • David Turner (Oregon State University)
  • David E Rupp (Oregon State University)
  • Dominique Bachelet (Conservation Biology Institute)
  • Nicholas Coops (University of British Columbia)
  • John Kim (U.S. Forest Service)
  • Tim Sheehan (Oregon State University)
  • Ken Ferschweiler (Conservation Biology Institute)
  • Katherine Hegewisch (University of Idaho)
  • Bart Nijssen (U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Matt Stumbaugh (University of Washington)

Start Date: September 2012

End Date: June 2014

Project Status: Completed

Tags: Climate change, Hydrology, vegetation, Predictive modeling, Northwest, Northwest, CSC, Northwest CSC, 2012, Education, Modeling and Tools, Climate and Ecosystem Modeling

Fiscal Year: FY 2012 Projects

Publications & Other

  • Climate change effects on southern California deserts

      • Comparing CMIP5 and CMIP3 for the Pacific Northwest

          • Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

              • Evaluation of CMIP5 20th century climate simulations for the Pacific Northwest USA

                  • Projected major fire and vegetation changes in the Pacific Northwest of the conterminous United States under selected CMIP5 climate futures

                      • Seasonal Climate Variability and Change in the Pacific Northwest of the United States

                          • Selecting climate change scenarios using impact-relevant sensitivities

                              • Tracking Interannual Streamflow Variability with Drought Indices in the U.S. Pacific Northwest

                                  • Climate Change & Ecosystems: Simulating Vegetation & Fire Response for the Western US

                                      • Climate Change & Hydrology in the Northwest: Understanding, Using and Accessing the Data

                                          • Climate Change & Water Resources/Hydrology in the Northwest

                                              • Climate Change Projections for the Northwest

                                                  • Climate Change Projections: Understanding, Using and Accessing the Data

                                                      • Final Report for "Integrated Scenarios of Climate, Hydrology, and Vegetation for the Northwest"

                                                        • NWCSC_G12AC20495_OSU_Mote_FinalReport_07Oct14.pdf (Download)
                                                        • Future Climate, Vegetation, and Hydrology in the Northwest


                                                            • CMIP5 MC2 results

                                                              • DRECP Climate Data

                                                                • Integrated Climate Scenarios Visualizations

                                                                  • Integrated Scenarios Project Website

                                                                    • Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs(MACA) Statistical Downscaling Method