Coastal Change Happens! USGS Has Data and Tools to Help Coastal Communities Prepare

The U.S. Geological Survey has launched a new Coastal Change Hazards website focused on coordinating research and delivering tools needed by coastal communities to respond to natural hazards along our Nation’s coastlines.

As Hurricane Sally approached the US Gulf Coast, the USGS Coastal Change Hazards team produced a series of forecasts for impacts on the beach. Forecasts were updated daily based on wave and storm surge forecasts from NOAA.

(Public domain.)

Our Nation’s coasts vary greatly, from relaxing sandy beaches and barrier islands, ecologically productive marshes, magnificent rocky coasts and cliffs, to tropical islands fringed by coral reefs and permafrost coasts where ice holds the sediments together. Each coastline is unique and faces different elements of coastal change.

Equally importantly, with more than 40% of the United States population inhabiting coastal counties, we must use the best available information and tools to reduce societal risk, protect natural resources, develop and

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USGS Director James Reilly released a study on polar bears he had stalled for months on Friday

In response to the Post report, Reilly sent an email to his staff the next day, saying his decision to delay was justified because he wanted to be “satisfied” with its underlying science before making it public.

The study, which had been obtained by The Post last month, notes that shrinking sea ice in the Arctic threatens the survival of polar bears while enhancing the opportunity for fossil fuel exploration there. “The long-term persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is threatened by sea-ice loss due to climate change, which is concurrently providing an opportunity in the Arctic for increased anthropogenic activities including natural resource extraction,” it said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had been seeking the report’s release for at least three months, according to several individuals briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The agency is legally required

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USGS Director James Reilly holds up polar bear study that could affect Trump’s drilling plans for Alaska

In an unusual move, U.S. Geological Survey Director James Reilly has refused to make public the study, by his own scientists, of the number of female polar bears that den and give birth on land near the southern Beaufort Sea. That is the same area that overlaps with federal land the Trump administration has opened up to oil and natural-gas development.

The study has been ready for at least three months. But Reilly — a geologist by training and former astronaut — has questioned why it uses data collected by a former agency scientist now working for an advocacy group and why it does not count each polar bear den individually, among other things, according to internal memos obtained by The Post.

The study, also obtained by The Post, notes that shrinking sea ice in the Arctic threatens the survival of polar bears while enhancing the opportunity for oil and

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California Hit by 400 Earthquakes in Swarm on San Andreas Fault, USGS Warns Bigger Quakes Could Strike

A swarm of more than 400 earthquakes has hit California in the area between the San Andreas fault and the Imperial fault, with further seismic activity and potentially larger earthquakes set to follow over the next week.

The biggest earthquake that has been recorded in the swarm so far was a magnitude 4.9, which hit at 5.31 p.m. local time on September 30, but bigger quakes are a possibility.

“In a typical week, there is approximately a three in 10,000 chance of a magnitude 7+ earthquake in the vicinity of this swarm,’ the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said in a statement. “During this earthquake swarm, the probability of larger earthquakes in this region is significantly greater than usual. Currently, the swarm is rapidly evolving, and we expect to update this forecast with more specific probability information as we collect more data.”

The most likely scenario is that the rate of

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USGS Science at The Wildlife Society 2020 Conference

Symposia 

 

Monday 9/28 Sessions 

  • Sagebrush ecosystem (USGS image).

Anthropogenic Subsidies and Wildlife: The Good, the Bad, and the Unintended Consequences of Food and Shelter Subsidies for Wildlife 

Shawn O’Neil and others: Impacts of subsidized ravens on greater sage-grouse populations within sagebrush ecosystems of western North America. 

 

Long-Term Data Sets for Biodiversity Monitoring, Research, and Management 

John Sauer and others: Biometrics for Complex Long-Term Biodiversity Data Sets: Lessons from the Breeding Bird Survey 

John R. Sauer; William A. Link; James E. Hines–Most of our understanding of changes in avian biodiversity in North America is based on analysis of population change from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). The BBS provides data at spatial scales ranging from individual survey locations to continental, but analyses at all scales are complicated by the need to accommodate detectability issues during sampling and changes in sampling effort over space and time. Over the years of

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