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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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Sound Waves Newsletter - November-December 2021

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Get to know the science of the USGS St. Petersburg

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Earth Science Matters - Volume 13, Fall 2021

Publications

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 rivers draining one of three dominant landcovers (f

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 footprints from White Sands National Park (New Mexico, USA)

Science

Glaciers—Understanding Climate Drivers

Across the globe, glaciers are decreasing in volume and number in response to climate change. Glaciers are important for agriculture, hydropower, recreation, tourism, and biological communities. Loss of glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, creates environmental hazards and can alter aquatic habitats. These are among the cascading effects linked to glacier loss which impact ecosystems and human...
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Glaciers—Understanding Climate Drivers

Across the globe, glaciers are decreasing in volume and number in response to climate change. Glaciers are important for agriculture, hydropower, recreation, tourism, and biological communities. Loss of glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, creates environmental hazards and can alter aquatic habitats. These are among the cascading effects linked to glacier loss which impact ecosystems and human...
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Arctic Biogeochemical Response to Permafrost Thaw (ABRUPT)

Warming and thawing of permafrost soils in the Arctic is expected to become widespread over the coming decades. Permafrost thaw changes ecosystem structure and function, affects resource availability for wildlife and society, and decreases ground stability which affects human infrastructure. Since permafrost soils contain about half of the global soil carbon (C) pool, the magnitude of C losses...
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Arctic Biogeochemical Response to Permafrost Thaw (ABRUPT)

Warming and thawing of permafrost soils in the Arctic is expected to become widespread over the coming decades. Permafrost thaw changes ecosystem structure and function, affects resource availability for wildlife and society, and decreases ground stability which affects human infrastructure. Since permafrost soils contain about half of the global soil carbon (C) pool, the magnitude of C losses...
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Understanding long-term drivers of vegetation change and stability in the Southern Rocky Mountains with paleoecological data and ecological models

Drought and fire are powerful disturbance agents that can trigger rapid and lasting changes in the forests of western North America. Over the last decade, increases in fire size and severity coincided with warming, drought, and earlier snowmelt, factors that projected climatic changes are likely to exacerbate. However, recent observations are brief relative to the lifespans of trees and include...
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Understanding long-term drivers of vegetation change and stability in the Southern Rocky Mountains with paleoecological data and ecological models

Drought and fire are powerful disturbance agents that can trigger rapid and lasting changes in the forests of western North America. Over the last decade, increases in fire size and severity coincided with warming, drought, and earlier snowmelt, factors that projected climatic changes are likely to exacerbate. However, recent observations are brief relative to the lifespans of trees and include...
Learn More