The Integrated Marine Protected Area Climate Tool (IMPACT) Project
In the last decade, progress has been made in refining global climate models; however uncertainty remains about climate changes at finer geographic scales. Entrusted with the stewardship of many of the most ecologically, economically and socially important marine resources in U.S. waters, managers at NOAA’s Sanctuaries need accurate and timely decision-making tools to take proactive steps in facing the threat climate change poses to the resources.
Basic climate information must be readily available to inform managers of current and expected climatic conditions in their specific region. Like their Marine Protected Area (MPA) colleagues at the local, state and regional level, sanctuary managers are generally ill-equipped to analyze raw climate data on their own. Rather, sanctuary managers require tailored products at scales appropriate to informing them of the status and trends of resources and the changes they should expect both locally and regionally as a result of a changing climate.
Building upon existing partnerships, NOAA will develop a comprehensive set of climate products, including climatologies, for MPAs through a pilot project at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NMS).
This multi-year pilot project will involve:
- creating long-term climatologies (current climate conditions, historical averages and extremes, ranges of possible changes) for the Florida Keys NMS;
- assessing expected ecological responses of marine resources resulting directly or indirectly from climate change; and
- evaluating the usefulness of the product in the field.
To see an IMPACT brochure, please click here.