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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The changing role of history in restoration ecology
In the face of rapid environmental and cultural change, orthodox concepts in restoration ecology such as historical fidelity are being challenged. Here we re-examine the diverse roles played by historical knowledge in restoration, and argue that these roles remain vitally important. As such, historical knowledge will be critical in shaping...Eric Higgs; Falk, Donald A.; Guerrini, Anita; Hall, Marcus; Harris, Jim; Hobbs, Richard J.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Rhemtulla, Jeanine M.; Throop, William
The impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems: chapter 6
In this chapter we stress two important features of coasts and coastal ecosystems. First, these are dynamic systems which continually undergo adjustments, especially through erosion and re-deposition, in response to a range of processes. Many coastal ecosystems adjust naturally at a range of time scales and their potential for response is examined...Burkett, Virginia; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Nicholls, Robert J.; Forbes, Donald L.
The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center five-year science agenda, 2014-2018
From the heights of Mauna Kea on Hawaiʻi Island to the depths of the Mariana Trench, from densely populated cities to sparse rural indigenous communities and uninhabited sandy atolls, the Pacific region encompasses diverse associations of peoples and places that are directly affected by changes to the atmosphere, ocean, and land. The peoples of...Helweg, David; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Polhemus, Dan A.
Delivering climate science about the Nation's fish, wildlife, and ecosystems: the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
Changes to the Earth’s climate—temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables—pose significant challenges to our Nation’s natural resources. Managers of land, water, and living resources require an understanding of the impacts of climate change—which exacerbate ongoing stresses such as habitat alteration and invasive species—in order to...Varela-Acevedo, Elda
Perception, experience, and indigenous knowledge of climate change and variability: the case of Accra, a sub-Saharan African city
Several recent international assessments have concluded that climate change has the potential to reverse the modest economic gains achieved in many developing countries over the past decade. The phenomenon of climate change threatens to worsen poverty or burden populations with additional hardships, especially in poor societies with weak...Codjoe, Samuel N.A.; Owusu, George; Burkett, Virginia
Uncertainty and extreme events in future climate and hydrologic projections for the Pacific Northwest: providing a basis for vulnerability and core/corridor assessments
The purpose of this project was to (1) provide an internally-consistent set of downscaled projections across the Western U.S., (2) include information about projection uncertainty, and (3) assess projected changes of hydrologic extremes. These objectives were designed to address decision support needs for climate adaptation and resource...Littell, Jeremy S.; Mauger, Guillaume S.; Salathe, Eric P.; Hamlet, Alan F.; Lee, Se-Yeun; Stumbaugh, Matt R.; Elsner, Marketa; Norheim, Robert; Lutz, Eric R.; Mantua, Nathan J.
Climate-smart conservation: putting adaption principles into practice
Climate change already is having significant impacts on the nation’s species and ecosystems, and these effects are projected to increase considerably over time. As a result, climate change is now a primary lens through which conservation and natural resource management must be viewed. How should we prepare for and respond to the impacts...Stein, Bruce A.; Glick, Patty; Edelson, Naomi; Staudt, Amanda
Executive summary: Climate change in the northwest: Implications for our landscapes, waters, and communities
Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities is aimed at assessing the state of knowledge about key climate impacts and consequences to various sectors and communities in the northwest United States. It draws on a wealth of peer-reviewed literature, earlier state-level assessment reports conducted for...Dalton, Meghan M.; Bethel, Jeffrey; Capalbo, Susan M.; Cuhaciyan, J.E.; Eigenbrode, Sanford D.; Glick, Patty; Houston, Laurie L.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Lynn, Kathy; Mote, Philip W.; Raymondi, Rick R.; Reeder, W. Spencer; Shafer, Sarah L.; Snover, Amy K.
Choosing and using climate change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions
Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling...Amy K. Snover; Nathan J. Mantua; Littell, Jeremy; Michael A. Alexander; Michelle M. McClure; Janet Nye
Forest ecosystems: Vegetation, disturbance, and economics: Chapter 5
Forests cover about 47% of the Northwest (NW–Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) (Smith et al. 2009, fig. 5.1, table 5.1). The impacts of current and future climate change on NW forest ecosystems are a product of the sensitivities of ecosystem processes to climate and the degree to which humans depend on and interact with those systems. Forest...Littell, Jeremy S.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Capalbo, Susan M.; Houston, Laurie L.; Glick, Patty
Biodiversity in a changing climate: a synthesis of current and projected trends in the US
This paper provides a synthesis of the recent literature describing how global biodiversity is being affected by climate change and is projected to respond in the future. Current studies reinforce earlier findings of major climate-change-related impacts on biological systems and document new, more subtle after-effects. For example, many species...Staudinger, Michelle D.; Carter, Shawn L.; Cross, Molly S.; Dubois, Natalie S.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Enquist, Carolyn; Griffis, Roger; Hellmann, Jessica J.; Lawler, Joshua J.; O’Leary, John; Morrison, Scott A.; Sneddon, Lesley; Stein, Bruce A.; Thompson, Laura M.; Turner, Woody
The added complications of climate change: understanding and managing biodiversity and ecosystems
Ecosystems around the world are already threatened by land-use and land-cover change, extraction of natural resources, biological disturbances, and pollution. These environmental stressors have been the primary source of ecosystem degradation to date, and climate change is now exacerbating some of their effects. Ecosystems already under stress are...Amanda Staudt; Allison K. Leidner; Jennifer Howard; Kate A. Brauman; Jeffrey S. Dukes; Hansen, Lara J.; Paukert, Craig P.; Sabo, John L.; Solorzano, Luis A.
This image of the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain area in Louisiana was acquired March 31, 2017, from the Indian Space Research Organization’s Resourcesat-2 LISS-3 sensor. Land loss and hurricane hazards are key landscape issues here.
This webinar was recorded as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series (hosted in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and FWS National Conservation Training Center). Webinar Summary: Accurate information on the atmospheric evaporative demand (i.e., thirst of the atmosphere) and the land-surface evaporative response (i.e., moisture...
The distribution of water on the landscape influences many ecological functions such as the distribution of vegetation, soil development and the cycle of chemical nutrients. All of these functions are subject to change as a result of variations in the duration of soil water saturation and flow of water through the distributed channel networks of watersheds. The landscape of the Pacific coastal...
Landsat satellites have helped document retreating glaciers worldwide. In this 2017 Landsat 8 image, glacial retreat is revealed in the rugged wilderness region of Patagonia, site of the largest contiguous areas of ice cover outside Antarctica. Satellite imagery supports other evidence that glaciers are melting and receding more rapidly here along the southern tip of South America than ever...
Getting Started with MODIS Version 6 Surface Reflectance Data Part 1: All About Accessing Data This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Surface Reflectance data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about the MODIS...
Getting Started with MODIS Version 6 Surface Reflectance Data Part 2: Using the Data This video focuses on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Version 6 Surface Reflectance data distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Information about the definition of “Surface...
What does it take to become an ocean engineer? Here is the path that USGS Gerry Hatcher took.
Residents and visitors both revel in Kauai’s lush landscape, and beneath its seascape. However, it’s underwater where things don’t look so healthy. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey put together a detailed picture of the physical environment of the coral reefs at Makua Beach. Understanding just what these reefs are exposed to and for how long, may help explain why some corals here...
This Indian Space Research Organization LISS-3 image of the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay region, acquired on January 25, 2017, shows the landscape along the densely populated U.S. East coast. Ecosystems and sea-level rise are among the regional landscape changes that satellite imagery helps to monitor.
Satellites working together in this week’s EarthView to track a Russian Wildfire...
Landsat shows how coal development in the Powder River Basin has changed the landscape since 1984...
In 25 years, New Delhi's population almost trippled...
Climate change is already affecting inland fish across North America -- including some fish that are popular with anglers. Scientists are seeing a variety of changes in how inland fish reproduce, grow and where they can live.
Parts of greater Siberia, usually known for its shivering, is heating up in this week's EarthView...
Think breaking up is hard to do? Not for ice in the Beaufort Sea in this week’s EarthView...
The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers have been awarded honorable mention for the inaugural Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources for their outstanding work in raising awareness and addressing the impacts of climate change on the nation’s valuable natural resources.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and USGS Receive 2016 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards
Colorado demonstrates responsive, action-oriented approach to climate change, gains national attention with award.
This week’s Earthview is of the Brazos River Flood...
Fate of Alaska's large carbon reserves could affect greenhouse gas concentration.
From the Fort McMurray wildfire, our EarthView turns now to flooding in Sri Lanka...
This week’s EarthView is of the Fort McMurray wildfire again, this time showing the extent of the wildfire...