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Climate

Climate plays an important role in where plants, animals, and humans can thrive. As the global climate changes, it threatens the safety and well-being of our communities, our economy, and our natural heritage. The USGS investigates the causes and consequences of climate change and helps people create strategies to navigate this global crisis. 

Climate Change: A Defining Challenge of the 21st Century 

The Earth has warmed 1.9° Fahrenheit (1.1° Celsius) since the Industrial Revolution. While that doesn't sound like much, this has had a profound impact on landscapes and communities across the United States. 

 

A Leader in Climate Change Science

USGS science helps communities and ecosystems adapt to a changing climate, focusing on science-based decisions today to create a better tomorrow.

As the climate changes, our world is not the same as it was fifty years ago. But challenges breed innovation. The USGS is at the forefront of climate solutions. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to real-time monitoring, we are leading advancements in science and technology that can help people understand, mitigate, and adapt to new conditions. The environment is changing for everyone, in big ways and small, but we are here to help find a way forward.  

With internationally recognized research programs, widespread monitoring efforts, and state-of-the-art computer modeling capabilities, the USGS studies how a changing climate is altering our world. As the science arm of the U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS provides credible scientific information to policymakers, resource managers, and the public to help guide better decisions for building sustainable resource stewardship across America’s public lands.  

We bring together a diverse group of scientists, from climate modelers and ecologists to geologists and social scientists, to build a broader understanding of climate change impacts across the globe. We study pre-historic climate conditions and compare them to the changes occurring today, conduct assessments of greenhouse gas sources and sinks, and predict how future climate conditions could impact the Nation’s lands, waters, and wildlife.   

 

Want to learn more about climate change, its impacts, and USGS climate science? Check out our topical pages below! 

Climate 101

Climate 101

Climate Impacts on Plants and Animals

Climate Impacts on Plants and Animals

Coasts, Storms, and Sea Level Rise

Coasts, Storms, and Sea Level Rise

Droughts and Climate Change

Droughts and Climate Change

Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Storage

Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Storage

Paleoclimate

Paleoclimate

Snow, Ice, and Permafrost

Snow, Ice, and Permafrost

Wildfire and Climate Change

Wildfire and Climate Change