Researchers to investigate Everglades ecosystem, climate change

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa -- Water management in the Florida Everglades is the focus of a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Jose Fuentes, professor of meteorology.

The project will explore the hydrologic, ecologic and economic impacts of management strategies designed to increase the resilience of the Everglades ecosystem to climate variability, climate change and sea level rise. This research is part of a larger, ongoing project at Florida International University looking at coastal ecology and hydrology. The Penn State award is for five years at $300,514.

With southern Florida's population of 6 million projected to grow to 10 million in 20 years, management of urban fresh water becomes critical. Sea level rise and salt-water intrusion into the water table already impact drinking water supplies and threaten low-lying environments as diverse as Miami Beach and the Everglades.

Fuentes, working with Michael Mann, distinguished professor of meteorology, Penn State, will use regional climate change scenarios to develop management strategies that ensure the resilience of water supplies. The researchers will assess approaches to ensuring effective communication of scientific information to stakeholders in the face of potential biases in cognition and perception. They will also try to determine how regional climate change and variability, and sea level rise will affect the future water supply and its management.

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Last Updated March 08, 2013