Project One-Pager

nccosI was tasked to write a one-pager for this project by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), a division in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Since this blog is meant transparently show what we are actively working on, I thought: why not have this week’s post be that one-pager?

Note: This was my first one-pager and had a rapid turn-around, so I am not claiming it to be perfect!

Project Title: “Chesapeake Bay climate sensitivity assessment”

Summary of Project Work: This project bought together researchers, managers, and educators from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, NCCOS/OCM/NOAA, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves (CBNERR) of Maryland and Virginia to create a portfolio of end-user ready products which incorporated stakeholder input from the beginning. This project had two phases: 1) An assessment of historical and projected future climate extreme change and variability and 2) ecological implications of the climate assessment.

Picture5Climate Extreme Assessment: 26 climate extreme indices were calculated using data from the Global Historical Climate Network and System-Wide Monitoring Program to determine the absolute intensity, duration, and frequency of temperature- and precipitation-based events. This worked was centered on the CBNERRs to provide a more site-specific, Chesapeake Bay-focused, analysis. The goals of this work were to reconstruct climate extreme patterns from the observed (1895-2014) record, establish a present day baseline, and use this historically-referenced data to assess the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5th assessment climate models under two emission scenarios.

Ecological Implications: To demonstrate the ecological application of the calculated climate indices, four “vignettes” were selected based on the feedback and input from the CBNERRs representing four environment issues. These four vignettes are: 1) frequency of warm summer days and nights in relation to submerged aquatic vegetation diebacks, 2) annual precipitation frequency linkages to total nitrogen load in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, 3) changes in the start and end of the thermal growing season length and its implications to phenology, and 4) extension of the time period over which Vibrio vulnifericus and Vibrio cholerae may occur due to warming.


  • October/November 2015: Presentation given at GSA in Baltimore, MD; poster presented at CERF in Portland, OR
  • March 2016: A “print-ready, presentation-ready” climate summary was drafted
  • June 2016: Two companion manuscripts were submitted and are currently in review in Estuaries and Coasts, NERRS special issue
  • August 2016: A Fluid Collaborative Project Template was drafted
  • Ongoing: A climate change chapter for the Chesapeake Atlas, an educational e-book created by Chesapeake Environmental Communications, is in progress and will incorporate this data
  • Ongoing: A website was created to summarize this work and provide a hub for the data generated (
  • Ongoing: A weekly updated blog allows transparency and real-time input (


Kari Pohl

About Kari Pohl

I am a post-doctoral researcher at NOAA and the University of Maryland (Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point Laboratory). My work investigates how climate variability and extremes affect the diverse ecosystems in Chesapeake Bay.

I received a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island (2014) and received a B.S. in Environmental Science and a B.A. in Chemistry from Roger Williams University (2009).

When I am not busy being a scientist, my hobbies include running, watching (and often yelling at) the Boston Bruins, and taking photos of my cat.

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