Land Change Science Program


Changes in the environment, land use, and climate can have significant impacts on our Nation’s economy, natural resources, infrastructure, and water, food, and energy security. To strengthen our Nation’s ability to respond and adapt to these stressors, the USGS Land Change Science Program conducts research to improve understanding of rates, causes, and consequences of climate and land use change.


Date published: April 15, 2021

USGS Landsat Satellites Enable Google to Portray Global Change

USGS Landsat satellite data and imagery are the key foundation for the newly released Google Earth 3D Timelapse tool. The upgraded Timelapse presents a global, zoomable time-lapse video of the planet from 1984 to 2020.


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Year Published: 2021

Lagged wetland CH4 flux response in a historically wet year

While a stimulating effect of plant primary productivity on soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been well documented, links between gross primary productivity (GPP) and wetland methane (CH4) emissions are less well investigated. Determination of the influence of primary productivity on wetland CH4 emissions (FCH4) is complicated by...

Turner, Jessica; Desai, Ankur R.; Thom, Jonathan; Wickland, Kimberly

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Year Published: 2021

Anthropogenic landcover impacts fluvial dissolved organic matter composition in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

Landcover changes have altered the natural carbon cycle; however, most landcover studies focus on either forest conversion to agriculture or urban, rarely both. We present differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecular composition within Upper Mississippi River Basin low order streams and...

Vaughn, Derrick R.; Kellerman, Anne M.; Wickland, Kimberly; Striegl, Robert G.; Podgorski, David C.; Hawkings, Jon R.; Nienhuis, Jaap; Dornblaser, Mark; Stets, Edward G.; Spencer, Robert GM

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Year Published: 2021

A global ecological classification of coastal segment units to complement marine biodiversity observation network assessments

A new data layer provides Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) labels for global coastal segments at 1 km or shorter resolution. These characteristics are summarized for six US Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) sites and one MBON Pole to Pole of the Americas site in Argentina. The global coastlines CMECS...

Sayre, Roger; Butler, Kevin; Van Graafeiland, Keith; Breyer, Sean; Wright, Dawn; Frye, Charlie; Karagulle, Deniz; Martin, Madeline T.; Cress, Jill Janene; Allen, Tom; Allee, Rebecca; Parsons, Rost; Nyberg, Bjorn; Costello, Mark; Harris, Peter; Muller-Karger, Frank