Department of the Interior

Areas of Global Change Research. DOI programs include studies of past climates, from which understanding of current changes can be drawn; interaction and sensitivity of hydrologic and ecological systems with climate at local, landscape, and regional levels, including the ecological linkage between environmental factors, climate change, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and associated biological resources; arid, polar, and coastal regions and systems; impacts of sea-level change on coastal wetland and forest ecosystems, and the influence of climate on the ecological status and nutrient limits of large reservoir systems and associated fisheries; volcano-atmosphere interactions; methane hydrates; changing land- surface characteristics; ocean heat fluxes; assessments of the impacts of global change and the social, environmental, and economic consequences for human activities, water resources, coastal wetlands, biological species, ecological systems, and land management; carbon cycle variation; and archiving and distribution of space- and land- based Earth science data.

DOI Program Title FY97 FY98 FY99
USGS Global Change Research 28.5 28.5 28.5
Total  28.5 28.5
President's Request  28.5 28.5 28.5
USGS U.S. Geological Survey

FY99 Program Highlights. In FY99, the USGS will continue to support ongoing efforts across a broad area of global change research. A major project to document and understand the carbon budget of the Mississippi Basin will continue, as will work to develop an understanding of past climate variability with emphasis on terrestrial records from North America and adjacent oceans. Increased emphasis will be placed on documenting and understanding the potential impacts and consequences of climate variability and climate change, both natural and human induced, at the regional and continental scale.

Other FY99 activities involve the continued development of multi- scale data sets that describe the land surface. A 30-m spatial resolution data set of land cover for the conterminous United States will be completed. Continental-scale hydrologic databases derived from global 1-km elevation data will be developed. Detailed characterizations of the Arctic will produce vegetation maps of circumpolar regions. Biophysical remote-sensing research will enable vegetation state and health to be estimated using in situ  and remotely sensed data. Landscape modeling research will apply regional-scale land use data sets in an effort to simulate land use under different input conditions.

Other activities include continuing the high-resolution reconstruction of past climate and fire regimes to aid in restoration of the natural role of fire in forest and rangeland ecosystems of the western United States and Alaska; determining rates of sea-level rise in coastal areas and the ability of coastal wetlands to adapt to predicted rates of sea- level rise; modeling vegetation response related to the restoration of native plant diversity and retarding the spread of invasive plants (weeds); and predicting the response of sensitive species, such as determining their thermal and hydrologic limits, changes in their habitat use and migratory patterns, and the influence of climate on their range, abundance, and distribution.

Related Research. In addition to focused USGCRP research, DOI sponsors contributing research programs addressing the collection, maintenance, analysis, and interpretation of short- and long-term land, water, biological, and other geological and biological processes and resources through dispersed observing networks; research in land use and land cover, including creation of maps and digital data products; and inventorying and monitoring of biological habitats, resources, and diversity.

Mapping of Budget Request to Appropriations Legislation. In the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, DOI USGCRP activities are funded under Title I-Department of the Interior. Funding for U.S. Geological Survey USGCRP programs is included within the USGS Survey, Investigations, and Research account.