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The USGS Climate Research and Development (Climate R&D) Program conducts research to improve understanding of the rates, causes, and consequences of climate and land use change.   Learn More...

Science Topics

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Carbon Cycle Change

The "carbon cycle" includes the natural cycling of carbon through plants, soils, seawater, rocks, and sediments, as well as the carbon transfers and transformations caused by human actions.


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Climate Change

Variability in the Earth's climate affects the location and health of terrestrial and marine ecosystems; the distribution, quantity, and quality of water resources; and the sustainability of human societies.


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Hydrologic Change

Water is essential for life on Earth and is fundamental to the survival of human societies.


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Land Cover Change

The land surface of the Earth is covered by various combinations of vegetation, water bodies, agricultural fields, asphalt and concrete, and other materials (collectively referred to as "land cover").