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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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A disappearing act in Alaska

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USGS collaborates with local colleges, inspiring students to pursue marine science by taking them to sea

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USGS Benchmark Glacier Research Project glaciology experts in news articles and videos

Publications

MIS 5e sea-level history along the Pacific coast of North America

The primary last interglacial, marine isotope substage (MIS) 5e records on the Pacific coast of North America, from Washington (USA) to Baja California Sur (Mexico), are found in the deposits of erosional marine terraces. Warmer coasts along the southern Golfo de California host both erosional marine terraces and constructional coral reef terraces. Because the northern part of the region is tecton

PlioMIP: The Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project

PlioMIP is a network of paleoclimate modelers and geoscientists who, through the study of the mid-Pliocene Warm Period (mPWP ~3.3–3.0 million years ago), seek to understand the sensitivity of the climate system to forcings and examine how well models reproduce past climate change.

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