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Developing an understanding of climate data needs for effectively managing aquatic resources in the future

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Creek in the Greater Yellowstone area.Developing climate vulnerability assessments for aquatic resources requires an explicit understanding of potential bias of climate models when extrapolated across watersheds. Current streamflow models in particular demonstrate considerable uncertainty in baseflows in headwater streams. Much of the uncertainty stems from the limited amount of continuous streamflow data at high-elevation watersheds and the fact that most flow models are ground-truthed with stream gage data at relatively low elevation, large streams. Additionally, few efforts have quantified the relative importance of streamflow vs. air temperatures at these higher-elevation sites. The objectives of this project are to assess stream temperature and streamflow data in the NF Shoshone River Basin to better understand bias in climate vulnerability assessments that are currently being used to guide management of aquatic resources.