Climate Research and Development Program


The Climate Research and Development (Climate R&D) Program strives to advance the understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological components of the Earth system, the causes and consequences of climate and land use change, and the vulnerability and resilience of the Earth system to such changes.


Date published: April 5, 2019

California is ‘Browning’ More in the South During Droughts

Vegetation in the southern part of the state is being hit harder due to climate change, UCLA-led study finds.

Date published: March 4, 2019

USGS contributes to the Fourth National Climate Assessment

USGS Research Hydrologist Glenn Hodgkins co-authored the Fourth National Climate Assessment’s Northeast chapter. USGS Research Geologist Erika Lentz was also a co-author. The recently published chapter discusses historical and potential future impacts of climatic changes on New England’s people and natural resources, including it’s inland and coastal waters.

Date published: December 13, 2017

Eyes on the Coast—Video Cameras Help Forecast Coastal Change

USGS scientists have installed video cameras pointed at beaches on the coasts of western Florida and central California. They’re analyzing the videos to measure features of the beach and ocean so they can improve coastal-change forecasts.


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Year Published: 2020

Solar and sensor geometry, not vegetation response, drive satellite NDVI phenology in widespread ecosystems of the western United States

Satellite-derived phenology metrics are valuable tools for understanding broad-scale patterns and changes in vegetated landscapes over time. However, the extraction and interpretation of phenology in ecosystems with subtle growth dynamics can be challenging. US National Park Service monitoring of evergreen pinyon-juniper ecosystems in the western...

Norris, Jodi R.; Walker, Jessica J.

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Year Published: 2020

Boreal blazes: Biomass burning and vegetation types archived in the Juneau Icefield

The past decade includes some of the most extensive boreal forest fires in the historical record. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, the desiccation of thick organic soil layers, and increased ignition from lightning all contribute to a combustive combination. Smoke aerosols travel thousands of kilometers, before blanketing the...

Kehrwald, Natalie; Jasmann, Jeramy Roland; Dunham, Melissa E.; Ferris, David G.; Osterburg, Erich C.; Kennedy, Joshua; Havens, Jeremy; Barber, Larry; Fortner, Sarah K.

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Year Published: 2020

Modelling marsh-forest boundary transgression in response to storms and sea-level rise

The lateral extent and vertical stability of salt marshes experiencing rising sea levels depend on interacting drivers and feedbacks with potential for non‐linear behaviors. A two‐dimensional transect model was developed to examine changes in marsh and upland forest lateral extent and to explore controls on marsh inland transgression. Model...

Carr, Joel A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Kirwan, Matthew