The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments on its draft report, Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-stressor Vulnerability Assessments, which “investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating and mapping indicators of the relative vulnerability of water quality and aquatic ecosystems, across the United States, to the potential impacts of global climate change,” the EPA said in a press release.
The report analyzes environmental indicators to explore the challenges these indicators pose in assessing the resiliency of ecosystems and human systems, and how both vary in the face of existing stresses and maladaptations, the EPA said. Its focus is on gauging the issues and challenges related to identifying, calculating and mapping these indicators that gauge effects of climate and land-use changes rather than on measuring such changes themselves, the EPA said.
“The draft does not directly evaluate the potential impacts of global change on ecosystems and watersheds. Rather, it explores the implications of the assumption that a systematic evaluation of the impacts of existing stressors will be a key input to any comprehensive global change vulnerability assessment, as the impacts of global change will be expressed via (perhaps complex) interactions with such stressors,” the EPA explains. “This is an assumption with an impressive pedigree, but, to date, there has been relatively little exploration of the practical challenges associated with assessing how the resilience of ecosystems and human systems in the face of global change may vary as a function of existing stresses and maladaptations. The work described in this draft report is a preliminary attempt at such an exploration.”
More information on the contents and how to comment is here.