On February 11, 2016, workers in California ended the largest reported natural gas leak in U.S. history. The Aliso Canyon leak released methane and other gases into the atmosphere from an underground-storage facility for over three months, causing the evacuation of more than 5,000 households. Researchers from NOAA, NASA, Scientific Aviation, the University of California, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the California Air Resources Board, and South Coast Air Quality Management District mobilized rapidly to assess the environmental impacts of the leak,...
Since 1989, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has submitted annual reports to Congress called Our Changing Planet. The reports describe the status of USGCRP research activities, provide progress updates, and document recent accomplishments
In particular, Our Changing Planet highlights progress and accomplishments in interagency activities. These highlights represent the broad spectrum of USGCRP activities that extend from Earth system observations, modeling, and fundamental research through synthesis and assessment, decision support, education, and public engagement. Highlights describe the state of science at the time of publication of each yearly report, and may not reflect more recent advances in understanding. The date of publication of the source report is noted on each highlight page.
Drought is a significant hazard for the United States, with potentially severe and long-lasting impacts on the Nation’s economy and food and water supplies. USGCRP agencies are advancing our understanding of the causes and consequences of drought, an FY 2015 interagency research priority (see Section 4). They are also collaborating in efforts to support drought preparedness and recovery, such as the National Drought Resilience Partnership (a deliverable of the President’s Climate Action Plan) and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
A series of Earth observation missions planned by NASA and partners for FY 2014 will contribute fundamentally to advancing our understanding of global change. Such missions are foundational to USGCRP research and are made possible by a sustained Program emphasis in instrumentation development. The planned FY 2014 missions are described below.