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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.

News

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R/V Pelican Research Cruise with Dr. Julie Richey and Caitlin Reynolds from the Climate R&D Program

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Research to Inform Planning and Implementation of Nature-based Solutions

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Climate R&D - 2022 Year in Review

Publications

An aridity threshold model of fire sizes and annual area burned in extensively forested ecoregions of the western USA

Wildfire occurrence varies among regions and through time due to the long-term impacts of climate on fuel structure and short-term impacts on fuel flammability. Identifying the climatic conditions that trigger extensive fire years at regional scales can enable development of area burned models that are both spatially and temporally robust, which is crucial for understanding the impacts of past and

Assessing the seasonal evolution of snow depth spatial variability and scaling in complex mountain terrain

Dynamic natural processes govern snow distribution in mountainous environments throughout the world. Interactions between these different processes create spatially variable patterns of snow depth across a landscape. Variations in accumulation and redistribution occur at a variety of spatial scales, which are well established for moderate mountain terrain. However, spatial patterns of snow depth v

Marshes and mangroves as nature-based coastal storm buffers

Tidal marshes and mangroves are increasingly valued for nature-based mitigation of coastal storm impacts, such as flooding and shoreline erosion hazards, which are growing due to global change. As this review highlights, however, hazard mitigation by tidal wetlands is limited to certain conditions, and not all hazards are equally reduced. Tidal wetlands are effective in attenuating short-period st

Science

Did we start the fire? Climate, Fire and Humans

The past decade encompasses some of the most extensive fire activity in recorded history. An area the size of Vermont (~24,000 km2) burned in a single Siberian fire in the summer of 2019 (Kehrwald et al., 2020 and references therein) while Australia, Indonesia and the Amazon have all experienced their most intense fires in recorded history (van Wees et al, 2021 and references therein). As more...
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Did we start the fire? Climate, Fire and Humans

The past decade encompasses some of the most extensive fire activity in recorded history. An area the size of Vermont (~24,000 km2) burned in a single Siberian fire in the summer of 2019 (Kehrwald et al., 2020 and references therein) while Australia, Indonesia and the Amazon have all experienced their most intense fires in recorded history (van Wees et al, 2021 and references therein). As more...
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Response of plant, microbial, and soil functions to drought and fire in California

California is experiencing changes in precipitation and wildfire regimes. Longer, hotter fire seasons along with extremes in precipitation are expected to continue. Not only do these disturbances affect the productivity and resilience of ecosystems, they also directly impact human health and wellbeing. Soils hold an immense amount of our terrestrial carbon pool, and the microorganisms and minerals...
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Response of plant, microbial, and soil functions to drought and fire in California

California is experiencing changes in precipitation and wildfire regimes. Longer, hotter fire seasons along with extremes in precipitation are expected to continue. Not only do these disturbances affect the productivity and resilience of ecosystems, they also directly impact human health and wellbeing. Soils hold an immense amount of our terrestrial carbon pool, and the microorganisms and minerals...
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Glaciers and Climate Project

Mountain glaciers are dynamic reservoirs of frozen water closely coupled to ecosystems and climate. Glacier change in North America has major socioeconomic impacts, including global sea level change, tourism disruption, natural hazard risk, fishery effects, and water resource alteration. Understanding and quantifying precise connections between glaciers and climate is critical to decision makers...
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Glaciers and Climate Project

Mountain glaciers are dynamic reservoirs of frozen water closely coupled to ecosystems and climate. Glacier change in North America has major socioeconomic impacts, including global sea level change, tourism disruption, natural hazard risk, fishery effects, and water resource alteration. Understanding and quantifying precise connections between glaciers and climate is critical to decision makers...
Learn More