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.

Earth Science Matters Newsletter

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Climate history, land cover and land surface data and models are vital for assessing the impacts of climate change, evaluating ecosystem status and health, understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity, and informing land use planning. 

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November 30, 2020

Earth Science Matters - Volume 11, Fall 2020

This issue of Earth Science Matters highlights recently published research from the Climate Research and Development Program that contributes to an improved understanding of how changing land use, climate, and environment affect communities, ecosystems, and the services they provide.

Date published: November 30, 2020

Fire Aerosols Affect Southeastern Alaskan Glaciers

This article is part of the Fall 2020 issue of the Earth Science Matters Newsletter.


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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