Changes in the environment, land use, and climate can have significant impacts on our Nation’s economy, natural resources, infrastructure, and water, food, and energy security. Strengthening our country's ability to respond and adapt to these stressors requires a solid foundation of scientific information to improve model-based projections of change under different management scenarios.
Resource managers and policymakers need reliable projections of changes under specific land-use and climate scenarios, and the USGS Climate Research & Development (Climate R&D) Program conducts the research needed to test and improve the precision of models that support effective management strategies. By fostering interdisciplinary research on the physical, chemical, and biological components of the Earth, Climate R&D scientists observe the impacts of various changes and improve understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of different regions and sectors.Because of their potential impacts on our Nation’s infrastructure, natural resources, and security, the Climate R&D Program conducts research on topics that include:
- Droughts, floods, and availability of fresh water
- Rates, causes, and impacts of sea-level rise
- Variability of Arctic ecosystems
- Patterns of fire frequency and severity
- Changes in distribution of plant and animal communities
- Impacts of changing land use and climate on the carbon cycle
- Causes and consequences of land-cover change
A comprehensive understanding of these research topics is essential for managers and policy makers to accurately forecast accessibility of fresh water, suitability of habitats for food production and natural resources, and potential displacement of populations by land loss and flooding along rivers and coasts.
For more information contact:Debra A. Willard, Ph.D.
R&D Program Coordinator
U.S. Geological Survey
926A National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192