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Science to Understand Changing Ecosystems

July 2023 (approx.)

Detailed Description

The USGS provides science to understand, protect, restore, and solve problems in the world around us, and that includes interconnected communities of living things called ecosystems. 

One USGS program in particular focuses explicitly on changes in ecosystems determining how, why, where, and what causes or caused ecosystems to change and using this knowledge to predict future changes. It’s the Climate Research and Development Program. 

The Climate R&D Program doesn’t just focus on climate change, though. There are other things altering ecosystems like environmental and land-use changes. 

This infographic shows the types of science the Climate R&D program supports that help to understand ecosystem change. Learn more about these fields on our website


Extended alternate text:

An illustration of a globe with alternating scenes depicting different ecosystems. A burning forest next to a farm and city is labeled as “landscape change and impacts;” a grassy coastal saltmarsh is labeled as “coastal and wetland ecosystems;” a ship floating in a large body of water is labeled as “paleoclimate;” a mountain range next to a glacier with scientists taking an ice core is labeled as “cryosphere: Earth’s snow, ice, and permafrost;” a raincloud over a body of water is labeled as “hydrologic change;” and a satellite over a deforested landscape is labeled as “cycling of carbon and nutrients.” The center of the globe says, “Science to Understand Changing Ecosystems.” 


Public Domain.