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