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Environment

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Fire and Ice: Gaging the Effects of Wildfire on Alaskan Permafrost

USGS scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Alaska Fairbanks, have mapped belowground permafrost in areas of Alaska that have been affected by wildfire, years-to-decades after the fires occurred. “There has been global concern for many years about the effects of the warming climate on high-latitude permafrost and its

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Wildland Communities Must Learn to Live with Fire

Mankind must learn to live with wildland fires by reintegrating fire as a vital landscape process and building communities that are resilient to fire, according to professor Mark Cochrane, a wildfire expert and senior scientist at the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence. In 2014, the federal government addressed the complexities of managing wildfires through the

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Science Can Now Link Climate Change with Some Extreme Weather Events

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Extreme weather events like floods, heat waves and droughts can devastate communities and populations worldwide. Recent scientific advances have enabled researchers to confidently say that the increased intensity and frequency of some, but not all, of these extreme weather events is influenced by human-induced climate change, according to an international National Academies of

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Wildland Fire Emissions Worse in Polluted Areas

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—When plant matter burns, it releases a complex mixture of gases and aerosols into the atmosphere. In forests subject to air pollution, these emissions may be more toxic than in areas of good air quality, according to a new study by the University of California, Riverside and the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

House Passes FEMA Reform Bill to Improve Disaster Programs & Reduce Costs

The House of Representatives today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to address the rising costs of disasters in the United States, reduce the toll of future losses, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster assistance capabilities and programs. The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1471) was

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Ozone Does Not Necessarily Promote Decline of Natural Ecosystems

Environmental scientists at the University of Virginia have found that surface ozone, an abundant chemical known to be toxic to many species of vegetation and to humans, does not necessarily inhibit the productivity of natural ecosystems. “This is a rare piece of good news in the ozone and ecology story,” said Manuel Lerdau, an ecologist

Friday, February 26th, 2016

California Blowout Led to Largest U.S. Methane Release Ever

The Aliso Canyon natural gas well blowout, first reported on Oct. 23, 2015, released over 100,000 tons of the powerful greenhouse gas methane before the well was sealed on Feb. 11, according to the first study of the accident published today in the journal Science. The results confirm that Aliso Canyon is the largest methane

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Searing Heat Waves Detailed in Study of Future Climate

BOULDER—Sweltering heat waves that typically strike once every 20 years could become yearly events across 60 percent of Earth’s land surface by 2075, if human-produced greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked. If stringent emissions-reductions measures are put in place, however, these extreme heat events could be reduced significantly. Even so, 18 percent of global land areas

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Mapping Threats to Europe’s Grasslands, Woodlands and Marine Areas

The EEA report ‘Mapping and assessing the condition of Europe’s ecosystems: progress and challenges’ gives a snapshot of current ecosystem health in Europe. It identifies key gaps in data which are essential to properly assess the health of Europe’s many ecosystems.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

President’s 2017 Budget Proposes $1.2 Billion for the USGS

WASHINGTON—The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request for the U.S. Geological Survey reflects the USGS’s vital role in addressing some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century by advancing scientific discovery and innovation. The $1.2 billion FY 2017 request supports USGS’ ability to maintain the diversity of its scientific expertise so it

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