Agency Science News
Coupled Model Intercomparison Project and Applications Meeting Print E-mail
Friday September 12, 2012

On Wednesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 4, 2012, the USGCRP Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling (IGIM) hosted a meeting on the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). The meeting was held at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland, the home of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and other NOAA offices.

The meeting focused on scientific results from the fifth phase of CMIP (CMIP5), laboratory and scientific logistics involved with the CMIP5 undertaking, and applied use and utility of the data in the context of the water cycle and agriculture.

In attendance were members of the IGIM, who represent a broad cross section of federal agency programs; USGCRP staff and associated parties; climate and Earth system modeling laboratory staff; and federal and academic researchers. Presentations given at the meeting are available below:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Changing Climate May Substantially Alter Maple Syrup Production Print E-mail
Thursday September 13, 2012

Featured by USDA, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program


Hiawatha National Forest on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Credit: Department of Agriculture, U. S. Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service research indicates that climate change will affect habitat suitability for maple trees, threatening the multimillion dollar maple syrup industry. Changes in climate have already had an impact on the iconic sugar maple trees of the Northeastern U.S.

Climate stressors may decrease the availability of maple syrup or shift production northward by the end of the next century because of direct changes in temperature, decreases in snowpack or increases in weather disturbances such as ice storms.

“Climate change will produce winners and losers geographically. Folks who retrieve sap from maple trees in the far Northeastern region will get a longer sap flow season while those in the Southeastern regions will see a reduction,” said Dave Cleaves, Climate Change Advisor for the Forest Service. Read more

Post-Isaac, USGS Ground Crews Gather Storm Surge Data, Survey Coastal Damage Print E-mail
Wednesday September 5, 2012


USGS boat launched during 2011 flood waters in Louisiana. Credit: USGS

Featured by USGS, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program

The worst of the storm may be over, but Isaacs’s impacts on the Gulf coastline and the potential for inland flooding continue. While precipitation continues to affect states in the storm track, drought conditions persist in many other parts of the country.

Multiple USGS field crews from several states are recording high-water marks, collecting discharge measurements and obtaining water quality data in coastal and inland Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This information is important because it is used by the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings, and the data is also used by emergency responders and planners to mitigate current and future flood hazards. These crews are being augmented by USGS staff from the Georgia Water Science Center. As the storm continues to move, crews from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas remain ready to address flooding along the storm’s track.

USGS field crews have also begun retrieving the 170 storm surge sensors and 17 temporary real-time gages that were deployed in response to Hurricane Isaac in locations where the storm has passed. Data from these sensors networks will be uploaded to the USGS Hurricane Storm Tide Sensor Map. The sensors provide critical data for more accurate modeling and prediction capabilities and allows for improved structure designs and response for public safety. Read more

Planet Experienced 4th Hottest July On Record Print E-mail
Wednesday August 15, 2012

July 2012 temperatures in the United States. Credit: NOAA

Featured by NOAA, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program

New NOAA data released today show that: “The average global temperature for July 2012 was more than 1°Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, making it the fourth warmest July since record keeping began in 1880. July 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive July and the 329th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average. The last July with below-average temperature was July 1976, and the last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.” Read more…

NASA Study Links Extreme Summer Heat to Global Warming Print E-mail
Monday August 13, 2012


James Hansen and colleagues use the bell curve to how the growing frequency of extreme summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, compared to the 1951 to 1980 base period.
Credit: NASA

Featured by NASA, a member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program

James Hansen and colleagues use the bell curve to how the growing frequency of extreme summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, compared to the 1951 to 1980 base period.

“A new statistical analysis by NASA scientists has found that Earth's land areas have become much more likely to experience an extreme summer heat wave than they were in the middle of the 20th century. The statistics show that the recent bouts of extremely warm summers, including the intense heat wave afflicting the U.S. Midwest this year, very likely are the consequence of global warming, according to lead author James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.”

In a statement released in response to the paper, Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said:

“While it remains true that no single, extreme weather event can be proven to have been caused by climate change, this report underscores what climate scientists have been saying for decades—climate change makes high temperatures more likely. This work, which finds that extremely hot summers are over 10 times more common than they used to be, reinforces many other lines of evidence showing that climate change is occurring and that it is harmful.” Read more

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