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.
The Impervious Surface Analysis Tool (ISAT), which is available as a geographic information system extension, is used to calculate the percentage of impervious surface area within user-selected geographic areas (e.g, watersheds, municipalities, subdivisions). In small watersheds, the correlation between an increase in impervious surfaces and a decrease in water quality has been well established. People use the information derived from ISAT to predict how different management scenarios might impact local water quality.
This free PC-based tool from NOAA's Coastal Service Center aids in decisions about conservation, restoration, and planning. The Habitat Priority Planner takes away much of the subjective nature of the process by providing critical habitat analyses that are consistent, repeatable, and transparent. The program allows users to easily test various ideas and "what if" scenarios on the fly, making it the perfect tool to use in a group setting.
CanVis is a visualization program used to see potential impacts from coastal development or sea level rise. Users can download background pictures and insert the objects (hotel, house, marina, or other objects) of their choosing. The free PC-based software is used by municipalities to brainstorm new ideas and policies, undertake project planning, and make presentations.
The Geological Society of America is sponsoring a conference on coastal management and sea level rise. The conference is intended to increase scientific and public awareness of the realities of global change and its impacts on coastal environments.
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.