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Climate & Land Use

Changing land use is placing increasing pressure on wildlife resources and requires more complicated analyses to identify potential consequences and trade-offs of management alternatives. Couple that with global climate change, and resource managers face unprecedented challenges in the management of natural resources. NOROCK works with managers in the northern Rockies and elsewhere to evaluate these changes and predict their impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.  

Filter Total Items: 38

Wet Snow Avalanche Research

Wet snow avalanches, including both wet slab and glide avalanches, are dangerous and can be particularly difficult to predict because they are relatively poorly understood compared to dry snow avalanches. They pose significant risk to human life and infrastructure in mountainous areas throughout the world. Wet snow avalanches are caused by weakening in the strength of the snowpack, often triggered...
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Wet Snow Avalanche Research

Wet snow avalanches, including both wet slab and glide avalanches, are dangerous and can be particularly difficult to predict because they are relatively poorly understood compared to dry snow avalanches. They pose significant risk to human life and infrastructure in mountainous areas throughout the world. Wet snow avalanches are caused by weakening in the strength of the snowpack, often triggered...
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Remote Sensing Tools Advance Avalanche Research

The USGS Snow and Avalanche Project (SNAP) uses remotely sensed technologies to understand snowpack changes that influence water storage, recreation, avalanche hazard and acts as a driver of landscape change. Satellites, uninhabited aerial systems (UAS), and structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry are some of the tools scientists use to collect high resolution imagery that supports ongoing snow...
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Remote Sensing Tools Advance Avalanche Research

The USGS Snow and Avalanche Project (SNAP) uses remotely sensed technologies to understand snowpack changes that influence water storage, recreation, avalanche hazard and acts as a driver of landscape change. Satellites, uninhabited aerial systems (UAS), and structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry are some of the tools scientists use to collect high resolution imagery that supports ongoing snow...
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Examining Snow Avalanche Frequency and Magnitude

Snow avalanches pose substantial risks to human safety, commerce, and infrastructure in mountainous regions across the globe. Avalanches also act as drivers of important ecological change by creating and modifying habitat for flora and fauna. To better understand the dynamic processes of avalanches at multiple scales, the USGS Snow and Avalanche project uses a variety of methods to study avalanche...
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Examining Snow Avalanche Frequency and Magnitude

Snow avalanches pose substantial risks to human safety, commerce, and infrastructure in mountainous regions across the globe. Avalanches also act as drivers of important ecological change by creating and modifying habitat for flora and fauna. To better understand the dynamic processes of avalanches at multiple scales, the USGS Snow and Avalanche project uses a variety of methods to study avalanche...
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Glaciers—Understanding Climate Drivers

Across the globe, glaciers are decreasing in volume and number in response to climate change. Glaciers are important for agriculture, hydropower, recreation, tourism, and biological communities. Loss of glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, creates environmental hazards and can alter aquatic habitats. These are among the cascading effects linked to glacier loss which impact ecosystems and human...
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Glaciers—Understanding Climate Drivers

Across the globe, glaciers are decreasing in volume and number in response to climate change. Glaciers are important for agriculture, hydropower, recreation, tourism, and biological communities. Loss of glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, creates environmental hazards and can alter aquatic habitats. These are among the cascading effects linked to glacier loss which impact ecosystems and human...
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Alpine Vegetation Research

In 2003, USGS scientists joined the GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) network in establishing vegetation plots at four alpine summits in Glacier National Park, MT, USA. Vegetation and temperature data collected at the GLORIA sites are used to understand trends in species diversity, composition, abundance, and temperature from climate sensitive alpine ecosystems...
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Alpine Vegetation Research

In 2003, USGS scientists joined the GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) network in establishing vegetation plots at four alpine summits in Glacier National Park, MT, USA. Vegetation and temperature data collected at the GLORIA sites are used to understand trends in species diversity, composition, abundance, and temperature from climate sensitive alpine ecosystems...
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Multi-century perspectives on current and future streamflow in the Missouri River Basin

The Missouri River system is the life-blood of the American Midwest providing water resources that drive agriculture, industry, hydroelectric power generation, and ecosystems. However, the Missouri River Basin (MRB) (Figure 1) is the only major river in the western U.S. for which hydrologic reconstructions from tree rings have not been generated in any systematic way. This knowledge gap is...
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Multi-century perspectives on current and future streamflow in the Missouri River Basin

The Missouri River system is the life-blood of the American Midwest providing water resources that drive agriculture, industry, hydroelectric power generation, and ecosystems. However, the Missouri River Basin (MRB) (Figure 1) is the only major river in the western U.S. for which hydrologic reconstructions from tree rings have not been generated in any systematic way. This knowledge gap is...
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Swiftcurrent Glacier 1910 - 2016

In 1910, the year Glacier National Park was established, Swiftcurrent Glacier filled this hanging valley just below the Continental Divide. In 2016, it is obvious where the glacier has receded from the cliff edge and lateral moraine that once defined its extent. Swiftcurrent fire lookout can be seen on top of the pyramid-shaped mountain in the 2016 photo. Please respect the photographer: When...
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Swiftcurrent Glacier 1910 - 2016

In 1910, the year Glacier National Park was established, Swiftcurrent Glacier filled this hanging valley just below the Continental Divide. In 2016, it is obvious where the glacier has receded from the cliff edge and lateral moraine that once defined its extent. Swiftcurrent fire lookout can be seen on top of the pyramid-shaped mountain in the 2016 photo. Please respect the photographer: When...
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Grinnell Glacier 1938 - 2016

Notice the man standing on the glacier in the center of the historic photograph. The figure lends a frame of reference to the photo pair, allowing the viewer to more easily interpret the depth of ice and the loss of volume when compared to the 2016 image.
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Grinnell Glacier 1938 - 2016

Notice the man standing on the glacier in the center of the historic photograph. The figure lends a frame of reference to the photo pair, allowing the viewer to more easily interpret the depth of ice and the loss of volume when compared to the 2016 image.
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Grinnell Glacier 1911 - 2016

The historic image shows how the upper bench of ice flowed into the main body of Grinnell Glacier. By the early 1920s, the glacier’s volume had been reduced to the point that the two pieces became disconnected. The upper bench, considered a separate glacier, was later renamed The Salamander Glacier for its salamander-like profile against the headwall. The Continental Divide runs along the ridge...
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Grinnell Glacier 1911 - 2016

The historic image shows how the upper bench of ice flowed into the main body of Grinnell Glacier. By the early 1920s, the glacier’s volume had been reduced to the point that the two pieces became disconnected. The upper bench, considered a separate glacier, was later renamed The Salamander Glacier for its salamander-like profile against the headwall. The Continental Divide runs along the ridge...
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Time Series of Glacier Retreat

The retreat of glaciers (see PDF at end of page) in Glacier National Park, Montana, has received widespread attention by the media, the public, and scientists because it is a clear and poignant indicator of change in the northern Rocky Mountains of the USA. In 2017, the USGS and Portland State University released a dataset which describes the areas of the 37 named glaciers in Glacier National Park...
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Time Series of Glacier Retreat

The retreat of glaciers (see PDF at end of page) in Glacier National Park, Montana, has received widespread attention by the media, the public, and scientists because it is a clear and poignant indicator of change in the northern Rocky Mountains of the USA. In 2017, the USGS and Portland State University released a dataset which describes the areas of the 37 named glaciers in Glacier National Park...
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Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems (CCME)

Climate change is widely acknowledged to have a profound effect on the biosphere and cryosphere with many and diverse impacts on global resources. Mountain ecosystems in the western U.S., and the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains in particular, are highly sensitive to climate change. Warming in western Montana is nearly 2 times greater than the rise in global temperatures over the last 100+ years...
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Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems (CCME)

Climate change is widely acknowledged to have a profound effect on the biosphere and cryosphere with many and diverse impacts on global resources. Mountain ecosystems in the western U.S., and the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains in particular, are highly sensitive to climate change. Warming in western Montana is nearly 2 times greater than the rise in global temperatures over the last 100+ years...
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Adaptive Capacity: the linchpin for understanding and addressing species vulnerability to climate-change impacts

When prioritizing natural resource management activities, managers need to understand how plant and animal species differ in terms of their vulnerability to variation in environmental conditions caused by climate change. Species vulnerability to climate change is controlled by (1) exposure to changing environmental conditions, (2) sensitivity to direct and indirect effects of those changing...
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Adaptive Capacity: the linchpin for understanding and addressing species vulnerability to climate-change impacts

When prioritizing natural resource management activities, managers need to understand how plant and animal species differ in terms of their vulnerability to variation in environmental conditions caused by climate change. Species vulnerability to climate change is controlled by (1) exposure to changing environmental conditions, (2) sensitivity to direct and indirect effects of those changing...
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