April 10, 2014: A new dataset is now available through the Geo Data Portal: Bias Corrected Constructed Analogs (BCCA) V2 Daily Climate Projections. This archive contains daily BCCA CMIP3 and CMIP5 projections of precipitation, daily maximum, and daily minimum temperature over the contiguous United States. The dataset content is based on global climate projections from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset referenced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, and the phase 5 (CMIP5) multi-model dataset that is informing the IPCC Fifth Assessment.
To access the Geo Data Portal, please visit: http://cida.usgs.gov/gdp/
For more information about the source of the data: http://gdo-dcp.ucllnl.org/downscaled_cmip_projections/
April 7, 2014: New research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of New Mexico, and Northern Arizona University reveals that dramatic distribution losses and a few major distribution gains are forecasted for southwestern bird and reptile species as the climate changes. Overall, the study forecasted species distribution losses – that is, where species are able to live – of nearly half for all but one of the 5 reptile species they examined, including for the iconic chuckwalla. More results from this project are described in the USGS news release for the report.
This research was supported by the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center project, "Forecasting Climate Impacts on Wildlife of the Arid Southwest at Regional and Local Scales Using Downscaled Climate Models".
March 20, 2014: A new interactive online education module on basic climate change science and climate modeling, “Climate Change Science and Modeling: What You Need to Know”, has been released from the Climate Change Resource Center. This module was designed to make climate change science approachable to the general public and to provide flexibility for busy professionals, but also to facilitate a greater level of understanding and depth through interactive features. The module gives a brief overview of the climate system, greenhouse gases, climate models, current climate impacts, and future climate projections. Interactive features allow users to control their learning experience, with opportunities to explore outside links, and learn definitions and relevant facts. The climate change module is available at www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/climate-basics/education.shtml.
March 18, 2014: The North America Land Data Assimilation System Phase 2.0 (NLDAS-2) and Global Land Data Assimilation System Version 2 (GLDAS-2) data sets are now available through the USGS Geo Data Portal (GDP). Users can access the NLDAS-2 and GLDAS-2 data and get “Areal Statistics” for specified geo-regions, shapefiles, or polygons, through the USGS GDP. These datasets were released through a collaborative effort between the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
To access the Geo Data Portal, please visit: http://cida.usgs.gov/gdp/
To see an example procedure for accessing this data within GDP, please visit: http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gesNews/ldas_data_usgs_gdp
February 10, 2014: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the creation of the USDA Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country. These hubs will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management.
- Midwest: National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa
- Midwest Sub-Hub in Houghton, Mich.
- Northeast: Northern Research Station, Forest Service, Durham, N.H.
- Southeast: Southern Research Station, Forest Service, Raleigh N.C.
- Southeast Sub-Hub in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
- Northern Plains: National Resources Center, Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins, Colo.
- Southern Plains: Grazinglands Research Lab, Agricultural Research Service, El Reno, Okla.
- Pacific Northwest: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service, Corvallis, Ore.
- Southwest: Rangeland Management Unit/Jornada Experimental Range, Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, N.M.
- Southwest Sub-hub in Davis, Calif.
The DOI Climate Science Centers look forward to the potential opportunity for collaboration with the new USDA hubs!
February 7, 2014: The DOI Climate Science Centers and the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area are interested in promoting synthesis activities surrounding questions about the implications of climate change effects on Greater sage-grouse and sagebrush habitat in the semi-arid west. They are coordinating with the Powell Center to provide funding for a Working Group on this topic. A working group would synthesize existing climate science as it relates to Greater sage-grouse and the sagebrush habitat that supports the species with a consideration for how climate change may be altering the sagebrush ecosystem. We encourage teams of scientists working at the intersection of climate science and sage brush/sage grouse to consider developing a Powell Center Working Group proposal related to this topic. Information pertaining to the Powell Center can be found at powellcenter.usgs.gov. The deadline for proposals is April 30 for Working Groups starting in FY15. All Powell Center Working Group proposals will be reviewed by the Science Advisory Board. Please refer questions to Jill Baron or Marty Goldhaber (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
February 5, 2014: Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, met with leading scientists and stakeholders to discuss the impacts of climate change on the Pacific Northwest region. At the meeting, Secretary Jewell highlighted Interior’s role in the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, move the economy toward cleaner energy sources and prepare communities for the impacts of climate change.
Gustavo Bisbal, Director of the Northwest Climate Science Center attended the roundtable and pointed out how the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and vegetation are also having effects on the cultures of American Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest.
“Given the broad scale and fundamental transformation we see happening in the natural environment, the Northwest CSC has placed a strong emphasis on exploring the impacts of climate change on the cultural continuity of Native American communities in the Northwest,” said Dr. Bisbal. “Our goal is to provide service that enhances the capacity of these communities to respond and adapt to resource scarcity and environmental forces.”
Other attendees to the roundtable included Dr. Lisa Graumlich, a Prentice and Virginia Bloedel Professor and Dean at the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, Nancy Lee, Deputy Regional Director of the USGS Northwest Region and other USGS scientists; representatives of the Quinault Indian Nation; Sarah Creachbaum, Superintendent of Olympic National Park; Karen Taylor-Goodrich, Superintendent of North Cascades National Park Complex, as well as other Interior and University of Washington officials and scientists.
To read the full DOI News Release about this event, please visit: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/on-heels-of-president-obamas-state-of-the-union-address-secretary-jewell-leads-roundtable-with-scientists-on-climate-change-impacts-to-the-pacific-northwest.cfm
January 17, 2014: The causes of toxic golden algal blooms in Texas reservoirs are now better understood, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Golden alga can produce toxins that are lethal to aquatic animals and cause considerable ecological and environmental damage. Understanding how algal blooms are caused and spread across the landscape can help resource managers prevent future occurrences. The first toxic bloom in North America occurred in the Pecos River, Texas in 1985 and blooms are now common in five river basins in west and central Texas as well as in 22 other states.
The study concluded that in the past, golden algal blooms spread because of human or natural introductions, and climate did not play a role. However, findings suggest that climate change could play a role in future bloom events. Scientists looked at reservoir water quality variables associated with golden algal habitat and toxic blooms since 2001 at 12 reservoirs from two major Texas basins, which include the Brazos and Colorado Rivers. Results identify several water quality variables that appear necessary for the occurrence of golden algal blooms. The full report, published in Harmful Algae, is available online.
"These findings may help resource managers to control future golden algal bloom occurrences by focusing on strategies to minimize anthropogenic transmission and avoid the development of certain water quality conditions," said Reynaldo Patino, USGS scientist and Leader of the Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "This is the first time a large-scale retrospective analysis has been done to probe relationships between water quality and golden algal blooms."
High levels of salinity, sulfate and chloride were found to have the greatest influence on golden alga distribution and bloom formation in inland waters. Climate change could play a major role in future occurrences because the projected rise in temperatures and change in precipitation patterns may lead to higher salinity levels. Higher temperatures could lead to more water evaporating from reservoirs, which can create higher salinity levels.
This study was conducted as a part of the NCCWSC-supported project, "Modeling and Projecting the Influence of Climate Change on Texas Surface Waters and their Aquatic Biotic Communities".
Original press release: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3788#.UtmM36Uo5mU
December 30, 2013: The Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) were recently featured in the Department of the Interior "This Week at Interior" video on December 20, 2013. The video describes the recent announcement by the Secretary of the Interior on the 2013 Climate Science Center research projects. To view the video, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umzTs-MGbuU&feature=youtu.be.
December 20, 2013: David Helweg has been selected as the first permanent director of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, headquartered at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa.
Prior to assuming his role leading the Pacific Islands CSC, David Helweg was the deputy director of the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center for more than ten years. Since 2002, Helweg has put his expertise in multidisciplinary science and experience with strategic program development to work on terrestrial, coastal and nearshore resource management issues. Before joining the USGS, Helweg held positions at the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He is an expert in behavioral biology, ecology, bioacoustics and signal processing.
To read the full USGS New Announcement, please visit: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3765