Mission Areas

Climate and Land Use Change

Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs

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
Filter Total Items: 65
Evelyn Anemaet using an RTK to determine elevation of tidal swamp near the mouth of the Pocomoke River, MD
April 7, 2016

When it comes to hurricanes, wind and storm surge effect vegetation differently. USGS anlyzes these differences following Hurricane Sandy to help inform management on storm mitigation and long-term planning. ...

Disentangling the mechanisms regulating coastal wetland sustainability in the face of rising sea levels
April 7, 2016

Understanding systems sometimes requires approaches that allow for both the discovery of the a system's structure and the estimation of its implications. Structural Equation Modeling - SEM - is one tool scientists use to better understand the complex world in which we live. ...

Collecting surface elevation table (SET) data from mangroves
April 7, 2016

Wetlands vary in their abilities to keep up with sea-level rise; they either adjust vertically and/or move inland. USGS is working with partners around the world to measure rates of surface elevation change relative to local sea-level rise. ...

Getting the shot of Blackfoot Glacier, GNP.
April 6, 2016

Climate change research in Glacier National Park, Montana entails many methods of documenting the landscape change, including the decline of the parks namesake glaciers. While less quantitative than other high-tech methods of recording glacial mass, depth, and rate of retreat, repeat photography has become a valuable tool for communicating effects of global warming. With evidence of worldwide...

Image: Shepard Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana - 2005
April 6, 2016

Worldwide glacial glacier recession is well documented (1,2) and varied model projections suggest that certain studied GNP glaciers will disappear in the next few decades, between 2030 (3) to 2080 (4).  USGS scientists in Glacier National Park are collaborating with glaciologist from Alaska and Washington and using...

Setting up a weather station in Glacier National Park
April 6, 2016

Glacier National Park is a topographically diverse region, making localized effects of elevation, aspect, and cold air drainage several of many important factors that necessitate a diversity of long-term climate monitoring sites. Additionally, many studies have shown more rapid warming at higher elevations across the Intermountain West, but with relatively few high-elevation stations available...

Image: Getting the Shot, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park.
April 6, 2016

Repeat photography is being used by the CCME program to document landscape change. Glaciers have been the primary focus of this park-wide survey and this collection of repeat photographs, available for download on the CCME website, have been used to illustrate the effects of climate change in venues across the globe. These powerful images, with their inherent ease of interpretation, have...

Avalanche forecasters ski out to investigate the crown of a large wet slab avalanche in Haystack Creek drainage. This drainage i
April 5, 2016

Since 1991, CCME staff have conducted snow surveys throughout Glacier National Park. These data have contributed to regional climate change and hydrologic models. Snowpack characteristics have also been evaluated in relation to avalanche forecasting and plowing of GNP’s Going to the Sun Road efforts. Studies of natural snow avalanches reveal connections with large-scale climate and...

Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park.
April 5, 2016

The Secondary Glacier Network includes six glaciers (Chaney, Grinnell, Stanton, Agassiz, Swiftcurrent, Jackson-Blackfoot Glaciers) that form a north-south transect of approx. 60 km through the region, with Sperry Glacier just south of center. While these glaciers will be monitored less frequently than the benchmark glacier, Sperry, this network will provide data about the variability of...

Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park.
April 5, 2016

Sperry Glacier was chosen as the benchmark glacier for the glacier monitoring studies, due to the combination of its topographic characteristics, historic data, and access. Annual mass balance measurements began in 2005. Sperry Glacier joined the long-established USGS Benchmark Glacier Research program in 2013 where common field and analysis methods enable regional comparison and improved...

Measuring the glacier margin.
April 5, 2016

The purpose of the CCME's glacier monitoring studies is to systematically monitor changes in Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers and to determine the causes of changes, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects....

Photograph of the Middle Allequash stream site in winter, 2003
March 28, 2016

USGS initiated the Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets (WEBB) program to understand the processes controlling water, energy, and biogeochemical fluxes over a range of temporal and spatial scales, and the effects of atmospheric and climatic variables. Trout Lake is one of five small, geographically and ecologically diverse watersheds representing a range of hydrologic and climatic...

Filter Total Items: 49
Dust storms and their impact on ocean and human health: dust in Earth's atmosphere
Year Published: 2004

Dust storms and their impact on ocean and human health: dust in Earth's atmosphere

Griffin, Dale W.; Kellog, Christina A.
Dust storms and their impact on ocean and human health: dust in Earth's atmosphere; 2004; Article; Journal; EcoHealth; Griffin, Dale W.; Kellog, Christina A.
Filter Total Items: 103
Landsat 1992 vs 2010 Pine Beetle Assault on Forest E.of Salt Lake City.
2016 (approx.)
Landsat image taken in 1992 shows the Uinta Mountains east of Salt Lake City. The shades of dark green indicate healthy, undisturbed forest. Landsat image of the same area in 2010 captures the dramatic assault of mountain pine beetles. The dark red stains reveal widespread pine beetle destruction.
June 15, 2016
What inspired a USGS geologist to study how dam removal changes rivers. Profile of Amy East.
Scientist inspecting permafrost
June 2016 (approx.)
USGS scientist Neal Pastick inspects a permafrost plot in North Slope of Alaska near Galbraith Lake.
Scientist laying cable in a field
June 2016 (approx.)
USGS scientist Burke Minsley and project partners from the U. Alaska Fairbanks lay ground cable to measure permafrost depth at Nome Creek site north of Fairbanks, Alaska.
May 2016 (approx.)
On the remote western coast of Australia lies a UNESCO World Heritage Site above and below the sea. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Western Australia convened here at Ningaloo Reef and Jurabi Coastal Reserve to embark on the most extensive study EVER done into how coral reefs shape our coasts.
April 2016 (approx.)
This short clip is representative of a large amount of video footage of an adult female polar bear, equipped with a point of view camera, that is used by scientists to study polar bear behavior and feeding rates. Camera were attached to 10 animals in the southern Beaufort Sea over the course of several years, and stay on the animals for about 2 weeks until it is retrieved by scientists. No bears...
April 26, 2016
This video was recording as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, hosted by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the FWS National Conservation Training Center. Webinar Speaker: Noelani Puniwai, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Webinar Summary: Seascapes symbolize both the physical dimensions of ocean and coastal areas, as well as the meanings...
A USGS scientist skis in to Dead Horse Point on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP.
2016 (approx.)
A USGS scientist skis in to Dead Horse Point on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP.
Avalanche forecasters ski out to investigate the crown of a large wet slab avalanche in Haystack Creek drainage. This drainage i
2016 (approx.)
Avalanche forecasters ski out to investigate the crown of a large wet slab avalanche in Haystack Creek drainage. This drainage is one of the largest avalanche paths affecting the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
Black-throated gray warbler
2016 (approx.)
Black-throated gray warbler at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.
Varied thrush
2016 (approx.)
Varied thrush at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.
Old growth forest
2016 (approx.)
Old growth forest at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, old growth forests have bigger trees and a more complex understory.
Filter Total Items: 160
Repeat oblique photographs of Gulkana glaciers in Alaska.
September 28, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the longest continuous glacier research efforts in North America.

Dr. William Pecora, USGS Director, 1965-71
September 21, 2016

An annual award for outstanding achievement in remote sensing

Canyonlands National Park as seen by Landsat 8
September 21, 2016

Toward a space-based perspective of our planet in the 1960s

Ariel photo of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
September 20, 2016

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey and partners illustrates how climate change is perceived among different generations of indigenous residents in subarctic Alaska. While all subjects agreed climate change is occurring, the older participants observed more overall changes than the younger demographic.

An American pika collects grass and flowers to stockpile its winter food supplies.
August 25, 2016

American pikas – small herbivores that typically live in rocky slopes, known as talus, across many mountain ranges in the American West – are disappearing from some locations across the West due to climate change, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and some of its partners.