In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, 2013, the USGS is highlighting a few aspects of climate change.

The effects of climate change have been documented in the United States and around the world. These effects pose challenges and risks to our landscapes, natural and agricultural resources, wildlife, the economy, and the public health and safety of our communities.

USGS scientists seek to measure, document, and understand the changes that have occurred in the Earth’s recent and distant past, and then interpret and communicate the causes and consequences of those changes.

USGS expertise is diverse, for example, seeking to improve our understanding of climate change effects on wildlife and ecosystems; risks to coastal communities associated with sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and storms; how carbon circulates across the globe, including how and where it can be stored in ecosystems and subsurface rocks; and changes in water resource availability, including the effects of droughts and floods.

The USGS makes data free and easily accessible to the public, resource managers, policymakers and other decision-makers. As the nation’s earth-science agency, the USGS provides unbiased scientific information that serves as a foundation for sound decisions as we face these climate change challenges.

Learn more about USGS climate change science and expertise by visiting the USGS Climate and Land Use Change website.

America has questions about climate change, and the USGS is providing answers through a video series called, Climate Connections.