OpenNSPECT, an open-source version of the Nonpoint-Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool (N-SPECT), is a plugin to the free MapWindow GIS open-source platform. Enhancements in this version of N-SPECT include faster processing time, additional coefficients for common land cover data products, and a comparison function to evaluate differences in land use scenarios.
Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases-Carbon Management Evaluation Tool
December 28, 2012
A decision support tool for agricultural producers, land managers, soil scientists and other agricultural interests, COMET-VR estimates soil carbon changes for management alternatives for a ten-year projection period within each Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) allowing users to estimate soil carbon sequestration on a parcel of land. The COMET-VR tool is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The vegetation health products can be used as proxy data for monitoring vegetation health, drought, soil saturation, moisture and thermal conditions, fire risk, greenness of vegetation cover, vegetation fraction, leave area index, start/end of the growing season, crop and pasture productivity, teleconnection with ENSO, desertification, mosquito-borne diseases, invasive species, ecological resources, land degradation, etc.
Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation
December 27, 2012
Extreme weather and climate events, interacting with exposed and vulnerable human and natural systems, can lead to disasters. This special report explores the social as well as physical dimensions of weather- and climate-related disasters, and considers opportunities for managing risks at local to international scales. This “SREX” report was approved and accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in November 2011.
Drought is one of the most costly natural disasters affecting the United States. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) helps the nation and North America understand and proactively prepare for drought by providing data and information about the extent and potential impacts of drought and associated risks. The system provides a variety of decision support tools to help people prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought.
This activity uses a mix of multimedia resources and hands-on activities to support a storyline of investigation into melting sea ice. The lesson begins with a group viewing of a video designed to get students to consider both the local and global effects of climate change. The class then divides into small groups for inquiry activities on related topics followed by a presentation of the findings to the entire class. A final class discussion reveals a more complex understanding of both the local and global impacts of melting sea ice.
In this activity students explore recent changes in the Arctic's climate that have been observed and documented by indigenous Arctic residents. Students watch a video, take notes, and create a concept map. Students also examine and graph historical weather data and indigenous data for an Arctic community. Students explain why natives are critical observers.
In this investigation learners research the effects of melting sea ice in the Bering Sea Ecosystem. They create research proposals to earn a place on the scientific research vessel Healy and present their findings and proposals to a Research Board committee.
This video examines what will happen to crops as Earth's temperature rises and soils dry out because of changing climate. Students learn that a loss of soil moisture causes stress to plants, leading to crop withering. Since humans and animals depend directly or indirectly on plants for food, many societal problems can be expected to arise due to the impact of climate warming on crops and the societies that depend on them.
This animation illustrates how the hardiness zones for plants have changed between 1990 and 2006 based on an extensive updating of U.S. Hardiness Zones using data from 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the continental United States.