The earth has many ecosystems or communities of living things surviving together within a distinctive collection of geographical features and weather patterns.These communities can be large and small, simple and complex, populous and sparse.The living organisms within them interact and form relationships that serve to balance and check populations, are symbiotic, can be predatory and are competitive.Scientists and other experts break down ecosystems and create a simplistic model to stand for the basic parts of these complex systems.The field of expertise is called modeling and it is the study of how the pieces fit, whether there are patterns, and whether behavior can be predicted within the ecosystems.Modeling is especially useful when trying to figure out what effect outside forces, like human activities, have on natural systems.
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer
Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful teaching and planning tool, and the Sea Level...
Complex SystemsLast Updated on 2013-10-24 15:13:11
As Science has begun to ask where the enduring features of nature come from and how they work, the answer seems to be “complex systems”. Every kind of thing and event seems to require them. As the science has advanced, and as the modern problems of economies and environmental conflicts emerge, a new kind of science is emerging that requires being very openly exploratory, using all the tools and combining all the related perspectives of others, to develop complex knowledge systems matching the variety of the complex system problems they respond to.
Systems are storms or “like storms” in many respects, complex distributed phenomena that may be either unexpectedly eventful or highly predictable. There’s still a rather wide range of opinion within science as to what complex systems are, even whether they are made of information or... More »
Improving access to and use of earth science dataLast Updated on 2013-10-22 23:34:26USGS Helps Debut New Technology to
Improve Access and Use of Earth Science Data
Researchers investigating global issues now have an easy method for finding and using earth science data through a new technology developed by the Data Observation Network for Earth, or DataONE.
Understanding broad and complex environmental issues, for example climate change, increasingly relies on the discovery and analysis of massive datasets. But the amount of collected data—from historical field notes to real-time satellite data—means that researchers are now faced with an onslaught of options to locate and integrate information relevant to the issue at hand.
DataONE, a ten-institution team with several hundred Investigators, including researchers from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is addressing this data dilemma with a number of cyberinfrastructure and... More »
RefugiaLast Updated on 2013-10-21 15:07:19
Refugia (singular Refugium) are geographical locations where natural environmental conditions have remained relatively constant or stable during times of great environmental change, such as eras of glacial advance and retreat. Refugia protect populations of geographically isolated organisms which may then re-colonize a region when the wider environment returns to levels within the organism's tolerance levels. This idea is commonly referred to as The Refugia Theory.
Haffer (1969) first proposed the idea of refugia to explain the high diversity of Amazonian bird species seen today. Haffer (1969) proposed that the Amazon Basin paleoclimate experienced several warm, dry periods during episodes of continental glacier advance in the Pleistocene. These glacially driven periods led to the conversion of forest to savanna, which resulted in the isolation of small fragments of forest... More »
AERMOD Last Updated on 2013-10-05 15:00:30AERMOD is the latest generation air dispersion model designed for short-range (up to 50 kilometers) dispersion of air pollutant emissions from stationary industrial sources. It is a steady-state plume model incorporating dispersion based on planetary boundary layer (PBL) turbulence structure and scaling, and it accomodates surface and elevated emission sources as well as simple or complex terrain.
As of December 9, 2005, the U.S. EPA designated AERMOD as the preferred model to be used for compliance with any federal and state air pollution dispersion modeling requirements. As of November 9, 2006, AERMOD completely replaces the previous preferred model known as the Industrial Source Complex (ISC) model.
The AERMOD system integrates three modules:
A steady-state Gaussian dispersion model designed for short-range dispersion of continuous emissions from stationary... More »
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer Last Updated on 2012-07-25 00:00:00
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer
Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful teaching and planning tool, and the Sea Level Rise Viewer brings this capability to coastal communities. A slider bar is used to show how various levels of sea level rise will impact coastal communities. Completed areas include Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, with additional coastal counties to be added in the near future. Visuals and the accompanying data and information cover sea level rise inundation, uncertainty, flood frequency, marsh impacts, and socioeconomics.
Features of the Sea Level Rise Viewer include:
Displaying potential future sea levels
Providing simulations of sea level rise at local landmarks
Communicating the spatial uncertainty of mapped sea levels
Modeling potential marsh migration due... More »
Drag and drop the content to change the order of featured content. The top nine will be displayed.