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Measuring and attributing sedimentary and geomorphic responses to modern climate change: Challenges and opportunities

September 29, 2022

Today, climate change is affecting virtually all terrestrial and nearshore settings. This commentary discusses the challenges of measuring climate-driven physical landscape responses to modern global warming: short and incomplete data records, land use and seismicity masking climatic effects, biases in data availability and resolution, and signal attenuation in sedimentary systems. We identify opportunities to learn from historical and paleo data, select especially sensitive study sites, and report null results to better characterize the extent and nuances of climate-change effects. We then discuss efforts to improve attribution practices, which will lead to better predictive capabilities. We encourage the earth-science community to prioritize scientific research on climate-driven physical landscape changes so that societies will be better prepared to manage the effects on health and safety, infrastructure, water–food–energy security, economics, and ecosystems that follow from climate-driven physical landscape change.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Measuring and attributing sedimentary and geomorphic responses to modern climate change: Challenges and opportunities
DOI 10.1029/2022EF002983
Authors Amy E. East, Jonathan Warrick, Dongfeng Li, Joel B. Sankey, Margaret H. Redsteer, Ann E. Gibbs, Jeffrey A. Coe, Patrick L. Barnard
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth's Future
Index ID 70237072
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology and Geophysics Science Center; Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center; Southwest Biological Science Center