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.
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.
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 lesson guides a student inquiry into properties of the ocean's carbonate buffer system, and how changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may affect ocean pH and biological organisms that depend on calcification.
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 develop an understanding of the relationship between natural phenomena, weather, and climate change: the study known as phenology. In addition, they learn how cultural events are tied to the timing of seasonal events. Students brainstorm annual natural phenomena that are tied to seasonal weather changes. Next, they receive information regarding the Japanese springtime festival of Hanami, celebrating the appearance of cherry blossoms. Students plot and interpret average bloom date data from over the past 1100 years.