Template for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Management Options (TACCIMO)

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 literature to identify possible effects of climate change on ecosystems and management options for dealing with those effects. TACCIMO also provides access to a database of forest plan components and allows users to summarize climate projections for their geographical area.

Output

Reports that compile literature excerpts on potential effects of climate change and match them with possible management options. Reports can also generate listings of forest plan components from USFS southern and eastern regions (R8 & R9), with similar information in development for select western regions (R5). The GIS Viewer produces maps and reports on projected climate change information (temperature and precipitation).

Developed by

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

Format

Online database and map viewer

Geography

Southern and northern US (Regions 8 & 9), with ongoing development of participating regions in the western US (R5)

Scale (range)

National Forest, state, region, coterminous US

Status

This tool is new and is actively undergoing revisions. TACCIMO Version 2.0 was released in January 2011, followed by Version 2.1 in April 2011, and Version 2.2 in October 2011. Version 3.0 is scheduled for release in summer 2012.

Potential Applications

Assess climate change impacts on forest-level projects and plans. 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.

Caveats, Restrictions

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. 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. Science content in TACCIMO consists of quotations from peer-reviewed climate change literature and geospatial projections of future climate and resulting changes in ecosystems. USFS forest plan components are included to connect science with planning language.

Climate Change Literature and USFS Planning

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 sorts and filters a pre-selected set of quotations from peer-reviewed literature according to user selections. This is designed to help users to quickly scan through climate change research. TACCIMO also includes National Forest land and resource management plans from selected Forest Service Regions (R8, R9, and R5 (in development)) and presents the desired conditions, objectives, and design criteria from each plan.

Climate change literature and planning language can be viewed in a free exploration environment that allows for searching by keywords, or users can choose to generate reports based on simple step-by-step selections. 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, Forest Service Region)

Climate Change Projections and Geospatial Products

TACCIMO’s geospatial products provide location-specific context for evaluating the literature based climate change science. Climate change projections include temperature and precipitation projections (in 1/8° or ~12km resolution) powered by the Nature Conservancy's Climate Wizard. Like the literature and planning content, geospatial data can be freely explored in the GIS Viewer, or users can choose to generate reports from a state, county, or National Forest or Grassland of interest. Please see "outputs" below for more information.

Summarized regional climate change projections are one of the services offered by TACCIMO.

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 US 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. The developers are still seeking input that will allow them to improve the tool in future versions. Beginning in 2011, TACCIMO entered a period of extensive content development by working directly with users, resulting in the inclusion of nearly 2,000 publications in the literature database. The developers are still seeking input that will allow them to improve the tool in future versions.

Inputs and outputs

Inputs

The main TACCIMO inputs are quotations from peer-reviewed scientific literature that outline climate change effects and management options. Other inputs include USFS land and resource management plans for the eastern US (R8 and R9) and select regions of the western US (R5). Inputs for the GIS Viewer include projected climate change information from the Nature Conservancy's Climate Wizard, the Climate Change Atlas (modeling changes in suitable habitat for tree species in the eastern US),  MC1 (a dynamic vegetation model), the Sea Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM for southeast and gulf coast) and multiple map layers from the National Forest System.

Outputs

Tool outputs consist of several optional, structured reports. The Literature Report draws from quotations describing expected effects of climate change with management options based on user defined selections of subject areas, region, and resolution. The Planning Report allows USFS forest planners to view existing forest plans in addition to climate change effects and management options. The Climate Report generates a description of the range of projected future climate for a specified location, along with regional and national climate trends. It produces a series of maps and charts highlighting the wettest-driest and hottest-coolest boundaries of the projected data at varying scales. Each reporting tool has a parallel explorer that allows for informal review of content.

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 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 a few key issues:

  • The quotations included in the literature database are extracted with the intent of capturing the general 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.
  • The forest plan content does not include introductory or narrative text, graphs, maps, figures or amendments. Original planning documents should be consulted for clarification and additional context.
  • The climate forecasts (geopspatial products) are subject to evolving assumptions about how temperature and precipitation will respond to elevated atmospheric CO2 at different locations

Accessing the tool and additional information

http://www.forestthreats.org/taccimotool

The TACCIMO website has extensive resources to help users learn 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.

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