Over the Great Plains region of the United States, summertime thunderstorms often occur after sunset. Much of this nighttime rainfall is caused by large, organized storm systems and plays a critical role in the hydrology and agriculture of the region, especially over the more arid western Great Plains. During the summer months, these nighttime storm systems provide 30-70% of the region’s precipitation and can also cause severe weather, including flash floods, intense damaging winds, and large hail. Current weather and climate models have difficulty predicting the onset, location, frequency...
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.
USGCRP’s novel Global Change Information System builds on prior agency investments and is designed to support traceability between multiple environmental data streams—such as observations from sensors and output from models—and the resulting scientific reports. This system creates an open environment for users to access machine-readable information and trace user-friendly products back to the supporting science. As an important first step and proof-of-concept, the GCIS provides this