TACCIMO: Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options

Website

http://www.forestthreats.org/taccimotool

Purpose

To connect users with climate change science related to forest planning needs. Users can filter a database of scientific evidence that identifies possible effects of climate change on forest ecosystems (along with agriculture, rangeland, and livestock, in development) and management options for dealing with those effects. Additionally, an email notification service, SERCH LIGHTS, alerts users when climate conditions may threaten resources near their geographic area(s) of interest.

Output

Exported compilations of literature excerpts on potential effects of climate change matched with possible management options. SERCH LIGHTS alert emails are currently delivered monthly and focused on changing drought conditions for agriculture and/or forest sectors.

Developed by

Eastern Forest and Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center and the National Forest System. Authors include: Steve McNulty, Chris Liggett (retired), Emrys Treasure, Jennifer Moore Myers, John Cobb, Sarah Wiener, Lisa Jennings (past), Rob Herring (past), David Meriwether, Paul Arndt, Nancy Grulke, Lisa Balduman, and Bruce Goines (retired).

Format

Online database

Geography

National (including Alaska and PR)

Scale (range)

National Forest, state, region, coterminous US

Status

This tool is new and is actively undergoing revisions. TACCIMO v3.0 was released in the fall of 2014. Version 3.1 is planned for release in the fall of 2015.

Potential Applications

Assess climate change impacts on forest-level plans and projects. Generate climate change information for use in developing planning and management documentation requirements (e.g., plan assessments). Evaluate potential management options for USFS Climate Change Performance Scorecard. Evaluate drought alert information to assist with seasonal management decisions.

Caveats, Restrictions

TACCIMO is a template and is intended as a starting point in the climate thought process. It is expected that TACCIMO will lead to additional analysis and expert consultation within a broader science assessment. Guidelines and other background information necessary for the responsible use of TACCIMO are fully documented in the User Guide.

Overview & Applicability

TACCIMO is a web-based information delivery tool that connects climate change science with forest management and planning needs. It is currently expanding to include information on agriculture, rangeland, and livestock planning as well. Science content in TACCIMO consists of findings (text quotations and figures) from peer-reviewed climate change literature.

TACCIMO's literature content helps users identify potential effects of climate change on key resource areas and provides corresponding management options to abate or adapt to future changes. TACCIMO allows users to search, sort, and filter a pre-selected set of findings from peer-reviewed literature according to custom selections. This helps users quickly scan through climate change research.

Climate change publications and findings can be viewed in a free exploration environment that allows for searching by keywords. User defined criteria for climate change literature and planning reports include selection of:

  • Broadly defined factors (e.g., biodiversity, disturbance)
  • Specific categories within chosen factors (e.g., freshwater ecosystems within biodiversity)
  • Geographic region of interest (e.g., national, region, sub-region)

To address shorter-term climate change information needs and expand TACCIMO’s information framework to agriculture resources, TACCIMO collaborated with the USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH) to develop an email notification service, SERCH LIGHTS. This service alerts users when climate conditions may threaten resources near their geographic area(s) of interest. Users can subscribe to a map-based service that combines information from a variety of frequently updated sources and receive a SERCH LIGHTS email when conditions are predicted to change. Current alerts are focused on drought conditions for agriculture and forest resources.

TACCIMO literature is browsable by general category, e.g. forests and ecosystemsTACCIMO literature can be browsed and sorted by general category.

History

TACCIMO was developed as a collaborative effort between the Eastern Forest Environmental and Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center and the National Forest System of the USDA Forest Service. The TACCIMO web application was first released in July 2010. Version 2.0 was released in January 2011, followed by versions 2.1 and 2.2 in April and October 2011. Beginning in 2011, TACCIMO entered a period of extensive content development by working directly with users, resulting in the inclusion of over 2,000 publications in the literature database. The developers are still seeking input to improve the tool in future versions, including adaptations of the tool that will serve other users and address issues beyond climate change.

Inputs and outputs

Inputs

The main TACCIMO inputs are findings (text quotations and figures) from peer-reviewed scientific literature that outline climate change effects and management options.

SERCH LIGHTS inputs include NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center monthly drought outlook forecasts, TACCIMO quotations, analysis of freely available geospatial datasets, and links to other adaptive management tools or resources.

Outputs

TACCIMO outputs consist of exportable results in a variety of formats (e.g., Excel, Word, etc.). The results draw from publications describing expected effects of climate change with management options based on user defined selections of subject areas, region, and resolution.

SERCH LIGHTS outputs are contained within an html-formatted email that can be saved or forwarded to other users. The alert email is only sent to users whose geographic areas of interest are within the forecasted drought outlook footprint. Alert outputs consist of drought outlook maps, narrative summaries, geospatial data visualizations, and links to other adaptive management tools or resources.

Restrictions and limitations

TACCIMO is a template by definition and is intended as a starting point in the climate thought process. It is expected that TACCIMO will lead to additional analysis and expert consultation within a broader science assessment. At this time, the tool has a baseline of content for most regions and subjects, but is not all-inclusive or fully developed for all geographic regions or natural resource management subjects. TACCIMO content development is guided and prioritized based on user and expert feedback.

Guidelines and other background information necessary for the responsible use of TACCIMO are fully documented in the peer reviewed User Guide. The section entitled Purpose and Terms of Use provides a more detailed explanation of the purpose, strengths, limitations, and intended applications of the provided information. The appendix entitled Content Production System explains methods and criteria for the inclusion of content in TACCIMO. Fully understanding these dimensions is essential to the proper application of TACCIMO results.

To summarize key understanding:

  • The findings included in the literature database are extracted as quotations with the intent of capturing the conclusions of a given scientific study, but these quotes may not express the full context of the information or the range of thought on an issue. This broader context may be critical to the interpretation of the information and can be found by referring to the quote in its original and complete publication form.

Accessing the tool and additional information

http://www.forestthreats.org/taccimotool

The TACCIMO website has extensive resources on how to navigate and use the tool. These include a detailed user guide, a series of short help videos, and factsheets. Training sessions are available upon request.

http://serch.us/lights/

The SERCH LIGHTS main page offers a preview of the last month’s alert, including a link to the subscription page.

http://serch.us/lights/subscribe/

SERCH LIGHTS subscription consists of entering a name, email address, resource sector, and geographic area of interest (via an interactive map).