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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

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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Date published: September 23, 2021

Fossilized Footprints Reveal Human Habitation of North America Thousands of Years Earlier than Previously Thought

ALAMOGORDO – New scientific research conducted at White Sands National Park in New Mexico has uncovered the oldest known human footprints in North America. The discovery reveals evidence of human occupation in the Tularosa Basin beginning at least 23,000 years ago, thousands of years earlier than previously thought. 

Date published: September 3, 2021

Picture This: A National Climate Change Viewer that Helps Land Managers and Decision Makers Plan for Climate Change

The enormity of the challenge posed by climate change makes it difficult to visualize and understand on the ground. Even though wide-ranging impacts are visible today, it’s hard to envision how tomorrow’s changes will take shape. What will the temperature be in Portland in the spring, or how much rain might Dallas get in the fall? The USGS has a tool that can help address that challenge.

Date published: July 8, 2021

USGS Participation in the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop

This year's Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, coordinated by the Natural Hazards Center at CU Boulder on July 11 – 14, 2021, is the 46th and will be organized around the theme of The Hazards and Disaster Workforce: Preparing to Meet 21st Century Challenges. Check out these sessions, posters, and research highlights featuring the USGS Risk Community of Practice members...

Publications

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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

Evidence for humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum

Archaeologists and researchers in allied fields have long sought to understand human colonization of North America. When, how, and from where did people migrate, and what were the consequences of their arrival for the established fauna and landscape are enduring questions. Here, we present evidence from excavated surfaces of in situ human...

Bennett, Matthew R.; Bustos, David; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Springer, Kathleen B.; Urban, Thomas. M.; Holliday, Vance T.; Reynolds, Sally C.; Budka, Marcin; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Hudson, Adam M.; Fenerty, Brendan; Connelly, Clare; Martinez, Patrick J.; Santucci, Vincent L.; Odess, Daniel
Bennett, M.R., Bustos, D., Pigati, J.S., Springer, K.B., Urban, T.M., Holliday, V.T., Reynolds, S.C., Budka, M., Honke, J.S., Hudson, A.M., Fenerty, B., Connelly, C., Martinez, P.J., Santucci, V.L., Odess, D., 2021, Evidence for humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum. Science. https://science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg7586.