Does the USGS monitor global warming?

Not specifically. Our charge is to understand characteristics of the Earth, especially the Earth's surface, that affect our Nation's land, water, and biological resources. That includes quite a bit of environmental monitoring. Other agencies, especially NOAA and NASA, are specifically funded to monitor global temperature and atmospheric phenomena such as ozone concentrations.

The work through programs of our Land Resources mission (Land Change ScienceNational Land Imaging and Climate Adaptation Science Centers) focus on understanding the likely consequences of climate change, especially by studying how climate has changed in the past.

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Does an increase in the 100-year flood estimate originate from climate or land-use change?

Climate variability (dry cycles to wet cycles) and land-use change play a significant role, but there is a large amount of uncertainty around the flood quantile estimates (the value of discharge corresponding to the 100-year flood), particularly if there isn’t a long record of observed data at a stream location. Learn more: Flood recurrence...
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Date published: August 8, 2015

Adaptive capacity of species - a fundamental component when assessing vulnerability to rapid climate change.

A new paper led by U.S. Geological Survey Ecologists Erik Beever (Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center) and Michelle Staudinger (Northeast Climate Science Center) addresses the importance of including adaptive capacity of species as a fundamental component when assessing vulnerability to rapid climate change.

Date published: July 17, 2015

As Climate Warms Hawaiian Forest Birds Lose More Ground to Mosquitoes

ISLAND OF HAWAI‘I, Hawaii — Hawai‘i, the name alone elicits images of rhythmic traditional dancing, breathtaking azure sea coasts and scenes of vibrant birds flitting through lush jungle canopy. Unfortunately, the future of many native Hawaiian birds looks grim as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.

Date published: May 11, 2015

Boom and Bust in the Boreal Forest: Climate Signals Seen in Bird Populations

Weaving concepts of ecology and climatology, recent interdisciplinary research by USGS and several university partners reveals how large-scale climate variability appears to connect boom-and-bust cycles in the seed production of the boreal (northern conifer) forests of Canada to massive, irregular movements of boreal birds.

Date published: June 25, 2014

Carbon Storage in U.S. Eastern Ecosystems Helps Counter Greenhouse Gas Emissions Contributing to Climate Change

On the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a new report showing that forests, wetlands and farms in the eastern United States naturally store 300 million tons of carbon a year (1,100 million tons of CO2 equivalent).

Date published: May 25, 2014

Climate Change Accelerates Hybridization between Native and Invasive Species of Trout

Scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate.

Date published: November 14, 2012

USGS Study Tracks Pacific Walrus, Observes Effects of Arctic Sea Ice Loss on Behavior

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sparse summer sea ice in the Arctic over the past five years has caused behavioral changes in Pacific walruses according to research published by U.S. Geological Survey and Russian scientists. The effects on the walrus population are unknown.

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March 13, 2012

Climate Connections: Questions from Glacier National Park, MT (Ep 4)

America has questions about climate change, and the USGS has real answers. In this episode of Climate Connections, USGS scientists answer questions gathered from the beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana. Questions include:

 

  • When I come back in ten years, what will I see in Glacier National Park?
  • How is climate change impacting the
October 31, 2011

Climate Connections: Questions from Puerto Rico

America has questions about climate change, and the USGS has real answers. In this episode of Climate Connections, USGS scientists answer questions gathered from Puerto Rico. Questions include:
- Why has the rainy season been so long in Puerto Rico?
- How is global warming impacting the island of Puerto Rico?
- What are solar storms and are they related to

July 27, 2011

Climate Connections: Questions from North and South Carolina

America has questions about climate change, and the USGS has real answers. In this episode of Climate Connections, USGS scientists answer questions gathered from North and South Carolina.

video thumbnail: USGS Public Lecture Series: Climate Change 101
August 24, 2009

USGS Public Lecture Series: Climate Change 101

Climate change is an issue of increasing public concern because of its potential effects on land, water, and biological resources. In the next several years, the United States will be challenged to make management and policy decisions as well as develop adaptation and mitigation strategies that will require anticipating the effects of a changing climate and its impacts on

Attribution:
video thumbnail: USGS Public Lecture Series: Watching Nature's Clock: A Citizen-Scientist Effort to Track Seasonal Signs of Climate Change
May 5, 2009

USGS Public Lecture Series: Watching Nature's Clock: A Citizen-Scientist Effort to Track Seasonal Signs of Climate Change

A new USGS program, the USA National Phenology Network, is recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers to team up with scientists to help track the effects of climate on seasonal patterns of plant and animal behavior. Come learn how you can contribute to this new national effort, by getting outside, and observing and recording flowering, fruiting and other seasonal events.

Attribution:
May 22, 2008

PubTalk 5/2008 — Global Warming

Western Style

Michael Dettinger, USGS Research Hydrologist

 

  • Increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases are linked to a rise in global temperture of almost 1.5° F
  • Is climate change already affecting Western lands and waters?
  • What changes predicted by climate models are still to come -- when will they be
Image: Taking Polar Bear Blood Samples
April 27, 2008

Taking Polar Bear Blood Samples

USGS scientist Karyn Rode takes a blood sample from a polar bear to estimate the diets of wild bears.

...
Attribution: Ecosystems
A satellite tagged Pacific walrus on a piece of sea ice
November 30, 2000

A satellite tagged Pacific walrus on a piece of sea ice

A satellite tagged Pacific walrus on a piece of sea ice

Erosion and climate change along Alaska's Arctic Coast
December 31, 1969

Erosion and climate change along Alaska's Arctic Coast

Erosion and climate change along Alaska's Arctic Coast

Image: Climate Change and Snowshoe Hares Winter White Fur

Climate Change and Snowshoe Hares Winter White Fur

Snowshoe hare experiencing camouflage mismatch in the spring at the Seeley Lake, MT, study site.

Attribution: Land Resources