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
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Understanding a changing world and how it affects our natural resources, livelihoods, and communities. Science plays an essential role in helping communities and resource managers understand the local to global implications of change, anticipate the effects of change, prepare for change, and reduce the risks associated with decisionmaking in a changing environment.
Land Resource 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
Instrumental measurements of climate variables (e.g., precipitation, temperature, ocean circulation, etc.) are only available over the past century or less. In order to quantify the rate and magnitude of natural climate variability going back in time beyond the 20th century, scientists rely on paleoclimate reconstructions.
A sediment trap time series in the northern Gulf of Mexico is used to better assess the control of environmental variables (e.g., temperature and salinity) on the flux of both microfossils and molecular fossils to the sediments. The information gained from sediment trap studies is used to develop better proxy-based estimates of past oceanographic conditions from analyses of microfossils and ...
The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. Nominations for the 2018 award must be received by June 15, 2018.
Climate Change in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Effects on Riverine Discharge, Ecosystems, and Water Quality
The 64,000-square mile watershed that drains to the Chesapeake Bay is highly populated and has diverse land use, including forested, agricultural, and urbanized areas. Increased precipitation in the eastern United States over the last 100 years has affected stream flow and thus the loading of pollutants delivered to the bay. Such pollutants as suspended sediment and dissolved phosphorus and...
The retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana, has received widespread attention by the media, the public, and scientists because it is a clear and poignant indicator of change in the northern Rocky Mountains of the USA. In 2017 the...
The simulation reflects the predicted exponential rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, a 2xCO2 "global warming" scenario, by 2030 with a concurrent warming of 2-3 degrees centigrade (4-5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the year 2050. In addition it assumes that precipitation, primarily during the winter, will increase over the same time period five to 10 percent. The animation view of the Blackfoot-...
USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems. SEM is increasingly used in ecological and environmental studies and this site seeks to provide...
Modeling Past Variation in Florida Manatee Survival, Breeding, and Movements Rates to Establish Baselines for Aquatic Ecosystem and Restoration Research
Long-term monitoring data in the Manatee Individual Photo-identification System (MIPS), developed and coordinated by WARC-Sirenia Project in collaboration with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory, are the basis for modeling manatee demography rates.
The Challenge: Accelerations in sea-level rise and changing environmental stressors have important implications for the integrity of coastal wetlands and for efforts to restore and protect the ecosystem services they provide. Their persistence and adaptation to these stressors depends on the net effects of changes in physical processes and biotic responses. Future planning by decision makers...
High-severity crown fires in Southwestern dry-conifer forests — resulting from fire suppression, fuel buildups, and drought — are creating large treeless areas that are historically unprecedented in size. These recent stand-replacing fires have reset extensive portions of Southwest forest landscapes, fostering post-fire successional vegetation that can alter ecological recovery trajectories...
Tropical storms and hurricanes wreak havoc with coastal forests where damage can vary with wind speed and approach from isolated treefalls to wide-area blowdowns of whole forests.
Monitoring and Assessing Effects of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP) on the Florida Manatee
Critical information predicting condition changes in manatee habitat resulting from the alteration of freshwater flows to estuaries is needed to develop the PSRP Detailed Design and PSRP Operations Plan components and complete consultation under the Endangered Species Act.
The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Project Viewer is a portal to the topobathymetric models created with the expertise of the expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD.
The EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer displays imagery in near real-time as Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 orbit the Earth. Along with the near real-time video stream, EarthNow! also replays acquisition recordings from a list of previous Landsat overpasses. When Landsat 7 or Landsat 8 are out of viewing range of a ground station, the most recent overpass is displayed.
Use Earth Explorer to find and download images from the entire series of Landsat satellites, Sentinel 2, ASTER, MODIS and other LP DAAC archive products. Earth Explorer is also a portal to aerial photography, point cloud data, phenology and land cover mapping tools and more.
Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey
This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA
Area of the Named Glaciers of Glacier National Park (GNP) and Flathead National Forest (FNF) Derived from Aerial and Satellite Imagery, 1966, 1998, 2005, 2015
These data represent a time series of the 37 named glaciers of Glacier National Park, MT, USA and two named glaciers in the Flathead National Forest.
USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems.
The EarthExplorer (EE) tool provides users the ability to query, search, and order satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products. In addition to data from the Landsat missions, EE provides access to MODIS land data products from the NASA Terra and Aqua missions, and ASTER level-1B data products over the U.S. and and Territories from the NASA ASTER mission.
U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers and U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center—Annual report for 2017
IntroductionThe year 2017 was a year of review and renewal for the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC). The Southeast, Northwest, Alaska, Southwest, and North Central CSCs’ 5-year summary review reports were released in...Varela Minder, Elda
Movers and stayers: Novel assemblages in changing environments
How species will respond to ongoing climate and other change is of increasing concern.Most attention is given to how species move or are moved, but many species stay.Understanding the dynamics of new species combinations is essential for successful conservation in a changing climate.Increased attention to species movement in response to...Hobbs, Richard L.; Valentine, Leonie E.; Standish, Rachel J.; Jackson, Stephen T.
Temperature variations in the southern Great Lakes during the last deglaciation: Comparison between pollen and GDGT proxies
Our understanding of deglacial climate history in the southern Great Lakes region of the United States is primarily based upon fossil pollen data, with few independent and multi-proxy climate reconstructions. Here we introduce a new, well-dated fossil pollen record from Stotzel-Leis, OH, and a new deglacial temperature record based on branched...Watson, Benjamin I.; Williams, John W.; Russell, James M.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Shane, Linda; Lowell, Thomas V.
Developing a translational ecology workforce
We define a translational ecologist as a professional ecologist with diverse disciplinary expertise and skill sets, as well as a suitable personal disposition, who engages across social, professional, and disciplinary boundaries to partner with decision makers to achieve practical environmental solutions. Becoming a translational ecologist...Schwartz, Mark W.; Hiers, J. Kevin; Davis, Frank W.; Garfin, Gregg; Jackson, Stephen T.; Terando, Adam J.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Morelli, Toni; Williamson, Matthew A.; Brunson, Mark W.
Early-career experts essential for planetary sustainability
Early-career experts can play a fundamental role in achieving planetary sustainability by bridging generational divides and developing novel solutions to complex problems. We argue that intergenerational partnerships and interdisciplinary collaboration among early-career experts will enable emerging sustainability leaders to contribute fully to a...Lim, Michelle; Lynch, Abigail J.; Fernández-Llamazares, Alvaro; Balint, Lenke; Basher, Zeenatul; Chan, Ivis; Jaureguiberry, Pedro; Mohamed, A.A.A.; Mwampamba, Tuyeni H.; Palomo, Ignacio; Pliscoff, Patricio; Salimov, R.A.; Samakov, Aibek; Selomane, Odirilwe; Shrestha, Uttam B.; Sidorovich, Anna A.
Toward an effective practice of translational ecology
No abstract available.Jackson, Stephen T.; Garfin, Gregg; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.
A three-dimensional mapping of the ocean based on environmental data
The existence, sources, distribution, circulation, and physicochemical nature of macroscale oceanic water bodies have long been a focus of oceanographic inquiry. Building on that work, this paper describes an objectively derived and globally comprehensive set of 37 distinct volumetric region units, called ecological marine units (EMUs). They are...Sayre, Roger; Wright, Dawn J.; Breyer, Sean P.; Butler, Kevin; Van Graafeiland, Keith; Costello, Mark J.; Harris, Peter T.; Goodin, Kathleen; Guinotte, John M.; Basher, Zeenatul; Kavanaugh, Maria T.; Halpin, Patrick N.; Monaco, Mark E.; Cressie, Noel; Aniello, Peter; Frye, Charles; Stephens, Drew
Modeling global Hammond landform regions from 250-m elevation data
In 1964, E.H. Hammond proposed criteria for classifying and mapping physiographic regions of the United States. Hammond produced a map entitled “Classes of Land Surface Form in the Forty-Eight States, USA”, which is regarded as a pioneering and rigorous treatment of regional physiography. Several researchers automated Hammond?s model in GIS....Karagulle, Deniz; Frye, Charlie; Sayre, Roger; Breyer, Sean P.; Aniello, Peter; Vaughan, Randy; Wright, Dawn J.
Characterizing sources of uncertainty from global climate models and downscaling techniques
In recent years climate model experiments have been increasingly oriented towards providing information that can support local and regional adaptation to the expected impacts of anthropogenic climate change. This shift has magnified the importance of downscaling as a means to translate coarse-scale global climate model (GCM) output to a finer...Wootten, Adrienne; Terando, Adam; Reich, Brian J.; Boyles, Ryan; Semazzi, Fred
The nexus of fun and nutrition: Recreational fishing is also about food
Recreational fishing is a popular activity in aquatic ecosystems around the globe using a variety of gears including rod and line and to a lesser extent handlines, spears, bow and arrow, traps and nets. Similar to the propensity to engage in voluntary catch-and-release, the propensity to harvest fishes strongly varies among cultures, locations,...Cooke, Steven J.; Twardek, William M.; Lennox, Robert J.; Zolderdo, Aaron J.; Bower, Shannon D.; Gutowsky, Lee F. G.; Danylchuk, Andy J.; Arlinghaus, Robert; Beard, Douglas
Defining ecological drought for the 21st century
No abstract available.Crausbay, Shelley D.; Ramirez, Aaron R.; Carter, Shawn L.; Cross, Molly S.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Bathke, Deborah J.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Colt, Steve; Cravens, Amanda; Dalton, Melinda S.; Dunham, Jason B.; Hay, Lauren E.; Hayes, Michael J.; McEvoy, Jamie; McNutt, Chad A.; Moritz, Max A.; Nislow, Keith H.; Raheem, Nejem; Sanford, Todd
Climatic history of the northeastern United States during the past 3000 years
Many ecosystem processes that influence Earth system feedbacks, including vegetation growth, water and nutrient cycling, and disturbance regimes, are strongly influenced by multi-decadal to millennial-scale variations in climate that cannot be captured by instrumental climate observations. Paleoclimate information is therefore essential for...Marlon, Jennifer R.; Pederson, Neil; Nolan, Connor; Goring, Simon; Shuman, Bryan; Robertson, Ann; Booth, Robert K.; Bartlein, Patrick J.; Berke, Melissa A.; Clifford, Michael; Cook, Edward; Dieffenbacher-Krall, Ann; Dietze, Michael C.; Hessl, Amy; Hubeny, J. Bradford; Jackson, Stephen T.; Marsicek, Jeremiah; McLachlan, Jason S.; Mock, Cary J.; Moore, David J. P.; Nichols, Jonathan M.; Peteet, Dorothy M.; Schaefer, Kevin; Trouet, Valerie; Umbanhowar, Charles; Williams, John W.; Yu, Zicheng
Test your memory with this remote sensing matching game!
How well do you know your state? Find out by completing the puzzle! Once you master your state, you can choose another state or try one of our other images.
The Earth Resources Observation and Science Center offers educational resources designed for elementary- and middle-school students. The U.S. Geological Survey offers more options through its science education resource page.
A group of second-graders from the Garretson School District in Garretson, South Dakota pose for a photo at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center near Sioux Falls, SD.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor is located onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor is located onboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) and data products created by NASA provide a continuation of the MODIS data heritage. These data are crucial for studying changes...
Landsat 8 shows the effects after Volcan de Fuego erupted in Guatemala.
At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.
USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)
Kass Green talks about the role Landsat plays to help create high resolution maps, the benefits of the archive at EROS and the value of Landsat imagery to agencies throughout the government.
The “LP DAAC Prospectus: 2017 to 2019” short video features the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), a key access point for global land remote sensing data. The video provides an overview of the significance of the LP DAAC’s archive and distribution functions, explains the depth of the user community, and outlines...
Engineers and scientists from both Landsat and Sentinel missions are working together to calibrate observation data and validate its quality to improve the science using these resources.
Warren Cohen with the USDA Forest Service talks about the value of Landsat's long history of observations in monitoring and assessing forests.
South Korea transformed a mountain forest into an Olympic skiing centre for the 2018 Winter Games. These images show that transformation.
At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.
Researchers supported by NCCWSC are working to improve managers’ understanding of ungulates’ response to a warmer climate. For example, when surface water is unavailable, the water content within ungulates’ food provides them with their main source of water, and they must make resourceful foraging decisions to meet their water needs. Scientists researching desert bighorn sheep populations in...
Observe changes in land surface temperature over the course of 2017, with Terra MODIS images. The images were created using the 8-day composite Terra MODIS LST data product (MOD11C2). To learn more about MODIS LST data, and other data products distributed by the LP DAAC, please visit https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/.
The LP DAAC is one of...
This video focuses on how to interpret quality information for Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Surface Reflectance data products created by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). VIIRS is a sensor that flies on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite, which was launched as a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...
EROS team earns top honor from Department of Interior for work with international body.
Remotely-sensed data key to response in tracking danger in areas like Montecito
Former Chief Scientist's contributions as head of Landsat Science Team, commitment to education recognized
Scientists at EROS use remote sensing data to assist in the understanding of water dynamics in Upper Klamath
Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications
USGS has produced topographic maps of American landscapes for more than a century as part of its Congressional mandate to maintain the elevation data that helps document change across the Nation. The use of LiDAR, refined at EROS, is key to modern topography.
Free and rapid imagery was provided through the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System.