USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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Global Average Temperature

Global Change

Global change, especially climate change, is one of the most complex and formidable challenges facing today’s society. Climate change is affecting biota, water, ecosystems, cultures, and economies at virtually all scales and is relevant to decision making at local, regional, and national levels. We are already experiencing dramatic global and regional changes with the onset of rapid temperature increases that began in the 1970s. The combination of temperature and precipitation variability will bring extraordinary physical and biological changes to the landscape, will place many species at risk and will bring significant challenges to those who manage our natural resources. USGS participates in the U. S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the 2007 USGS Science Strategy broadly describes a vision for a USGS program focusing on global change (including climate change) and its impacts.

WERC is engaged in numerous climate change research programs through the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC) and other programs to understand how these changes will affect natural resources and how best to help managers deal with the changing landscape. Our scientists are collaborating with many other agencies and disciplines to focus on diverse issues related to climate change occurring in island, estuary, forest, mountain and desert ecosystems.

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