Linking Atmospheric Rivers to Wildfire Patterns in the Southwest
A new dataset and publication examine a meteorological phenomenon known as an atmospheric river and its role in wildfire patterns.Learn More
Paleoclimate science - its principles and importance to society
Biological proxies such as diatoms, foraminifers, ostracodes, and pollen allow scientists to make inferences about climate conditions in the past.Learn More
Climate and Land Use Change
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Climate and Land Use science is essential to improve understanding of past and present change; develop relevant forecasts; and identify those lands, resources, and communities most vulnerable to Earth system change processes.Our Science Strategy
USGS is committed to meeting the science needs of four Native American Tribes impacted by Hurricane Sandy in New England and New York: the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head - Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard, MA; the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Cape Cod, MA; the Narragansett Indian Tribe near Charlestown, RI; and the Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island....
This project will create a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana (Chitimacha), serving as an implementable plan for coastal community adaptation to climate change that can be used as a model in other small communities.
The interior marshes of the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge (TTINWR) are currently negatively impacted by sea level rise through saltwater intrusion from the south which furthers mangrove encroachment into the freshwater marsh.
As Greater Everglades restoration project implementation progresses, wetlands in near coastal areas may undergo changes in salinity, hydroperiod, and water depth.
Field observations over recent decades have confirmed mangrove expansion landward in tropical zones and poleward in temperate saltmarsh settings around the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Storm surge waves and tides of hurricanes have the propensity to wash up marsh detritus of dead reeds and leaf debris along with plastic trash and lumber, commonly referred to as wrack, from overwashed beaches, marshes, forests, streets, and lawns.
As custodians of ecological goods and services valued by society, coastal National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) have an especially important role to play in helping socio-ecological systems adapt to global-change processes.
Climate change is widely acknowledged to be having a profound effect on the biosphere with many and diverse impacts on global resources. Mountain ecosystems in the western U.S. and the Northern Rockies in particular are highly sensitive to climate change. In fact, the higher elevations of the Northern Rockies have experienced three times the global average temperature increase over the past...
The science of dating growth rings and history of live and fossil wood samples is called dendrochronology. This technique is valuable for conducting climate reconstructions where meteorological data is lacking and for detecting past disturbance events such as tropical storms and hurricanes....
As tropical storms and hurricanes move onshore and make landfall, wind and storm surge can be sufficiently high to damage built-infrastructure and natural systems, most notably coastal forests at the interface of land and sea.
High resolution imagery (aerial videography) was obtained of Hurricane Sandy to assess forest damage by documenting disturbed canopy and downed trees. ...
Detection of storm surge impacts on coastal marshes requires regional or broader mapping of surge flooding above and below the wetland canopy and estimation of abnormal change in wetland condition.
U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers and U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center—Annual report for 2015
2015 was another great year for the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) network. The DOI CSCs and USGS NCCWSC continued their mission of providing the science, data, and tools that are needed for on-the-ground decision making...Varela Minder, Elda; Padgett, Holly A.
Landsat International Cooperators and Global Archive Consolidation
Landsat missions have always been an important component of U.S. foreign policy, as well as science and technology policy. The program’s longstanding network of International Cooperators (ICs), which operate numerous International Ground Stations (IGS) around the world, embodies the United States’ policy of peaceful use of outer space and the...
Salt marsh-mangrove ecotones: using structural gradients to investigate the effects of woody plant encroachment on plant–soil interactions and ecosystem carbon pools
Changing winter climate extremes are expected to result in the poleward migration of mangrove forests at the expense of salt marshes. Although mangroves and marshes are both highly valued ecosystems, the ecological implications of mangrove expansion have not been fully investigated...
Semi-arid vegetation response to antecedent climate and water balance windows
Questions Can we improve understanding of vegetation response to water availability on monthly time scales in semi-arid environments using remote sensing methods? What climatic or water balance variables and antecedent windows of time associated with these variables best relate to the condition of vegetation?Thoma, David P.; Munson, Seth M.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Witwicki, Dana L.; Bunting, Erin
The differing biogeochemical and microbial signatures of glaciers and rock glaciers
Glaciers and rock glaciers supply water and bioavailable nutrients to headwater mountain lakes and streams across all regions of the American West. Here we present a comparative study of the metal, nutrient, and microbial characteristics of glacial and rock glacial influence on headwater ecosystems in three mountain ranges of the contiguous U.S.:...Fegel, T.S., Baron, J.S., Fountain, A.G., Johnson, G.F., Hall, E.K.
Earth as art 4 bookmark
Images from Landsat 8, launched in 2013, already stand out as stellar additions to our popular Earth As Art series. We are proud to present the fourth collection—Earth As Art 4!
Earth as art 4
Landsat 8 is the latest addition to the long-running series of Earth-observing satellites in the Landsat program that began in 1972. The images featured in this fourth installment of the Earth As Art collection were all acquired by Landsat 8. They show our planet’s diverse landscapes with remarkable clarity.Landsat satellites see the Earth as no...
Geochemical evidence for seasonal controls on the transportation of Holocene loess, Matanuska Valley, southern Alaska, USA
Loess is a widespread Quaternary deposit in Alaska and loess accretion occurs today in some regions, such as the Matanuska Valley. The source of loess in the Matanuska Valley has been debated for more than seven decades, with the Knik River and the Matanuska River, both to the east, being the leading candidates and the Susitna River, to the west,...Muhs, D.R., Budahn, J.R., Skipp, G.L., and McGeehin, J.P.
Increasing influence of air temperature on upper Colorado River streamflow
This empirical study examines the influence of precipitation, temperature, and antecedent soil moisture on upper Colorado River basin (UCRB) water year streamflow over the past century. While cool season precipitation explains most of the variability in annual flows, temperature appears to be highly influential under certain conditions, with the...
Modeled historical land use and land cover for the conterminous United States
The landscape of the conterminous United States has changed dramatically over the last 200 years, with agricultural land use, urban expansion, forestry, and other anthropogenic activities altering land cover across vast swaths of the country. While land use and land cover (LULC) models have been developed to model potential future LULC change, few...Sohl, T., Reker, R., Bouchard, Sayler, K., Dornbierer, J., Wika, S., Quenzer, R., and Friesz, A.
A hierarchical model of daily stream temperature using air-water temperature synchronization, autocorrelation, and time lags
Water temperature is a primary driver of stream ecosystems and commonly forms the basis of stream classifications. Robust models of stream temperature are critical as the climate changes, but estimating daily stream temperature poses several important challenges. We developed a statistical model that accounts for many challenges that can make...Letcher, Benjamin; Hocking, Daniel; O'Neil, Kyle; Whiteley, Andrew R.; Nislow, Keith H.; O'Donnell, Matthew
Climate variables explain neutral and adaptive variation within salmonid metapopulations: The importance of replication in landscape genetics
Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modelling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and...Hand, Brian K; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Wade, Alisa A.; Kovach, Ryan; Whited, Diane C.; Narum, Shawn R; Matala, Andrew P; Ackerman, Michael W.; Garner, B. A.; Kimball, John S; Stanford, Jack A.; Luikart, Gordon
This EarthView from Landsat shows how flooding in Argentina can affect global soybean prices.
A new scientific approach can now provide regional assessments of land recovery following oil and gas drilling activities, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.
As part of a new atlas of imagery for West Africa, nearly 33 years of land-use change can be seen in Nigeria's Okomu Forest Reserve.
Changes in rainfall and temperature are predicted to transform wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world within the century, a new study from the USGS and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley concludes.
This week's EarthView shows the effects of 2 dozen wildfires in Argentina.
Hundreds of articles have been written about the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, at Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora just over 200 years ago. But for a small group of New England-based researchers, one more Tambora story needed to be told, one related to its catastrophic effects in the Gulf of Maine that may carry lessons for intertwined human-natural systems facing climate change today.
Richard Batiuk got to know the Chesapeake Bay in the early 1970s. During visits with his friends and family, they would swim and boat, and fish would practically jump aboard. He was young but knew he wanted to live and work on the bay.
Water users around the country can now view the past and simulated future of hydrologic processes.
The Australian Marree Man is reborn!
Last month, the Sahara saw a rarity: snow!
In our last EarthView of 2016, you can see the port of Rotterdam grow by 5,000 acres!