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 the 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 FY96 FY97 FY98
USGS* Global Change Research 28.5 28.5 28.5
Total  28.5 28.5
President's Request  30.0 28.5 28.5
*DOI budget information has been consolidated as a result of the merging of the USGS and National Biological Service.
USGS U.S. Geological Survey

FY98 Program Highlights. One of the significant DOI research activities in FY98 will investigate the importance of the land surface in biogeochemical issues such as the global carbon budget. The USGS Mississippi Basin Carbon Project conducts research on the carbon budget in soils and sediments of the Mississippi River Basin. The project focuses on the effects of land-use change on carbon storage and transport, nutrient cycles, and erosion and sedimentation throughout the Mississippi River Basin. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the interactions among changes in erosion, sedimentation, and soil dynamics. Two hypotheses are being examined: (1) That significant amounts of carbon are buried in terrestrial environments during the deposition of sediments, caused largely by human acceleration of erosion and modifications of hydrologic systems and nutrient supplies; and (2) that the burial of this carbon is accompanied by enhancement of ongoing processes that deliver photosynthetically fixed carbon to soils and terrestrial sediments.

Another significant DOI FY98 activity will be the continued development of detailed records of past climates and climate variability with emphasis on terrestrial records from North America. Long climate records from the coast of western North America will be completed during FY97, and studies of records from the Great Salt Lake will be initiated. These records are part of a transect of climate records that are being developed for the western United States that will provide information on regional trends and patterns in climate variability on millennial to glacial-interglacial times scales. During FY98, work will continue on summarizing information on the conditions in North America during the last interglacial. Work will center on the record of dust deposition as preserved in soils and loess deposits.

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.