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High-temporal resolution meteorological output from the Parallel Climate Model (PCM) is used to assess changes in wildland fire danger across the western United States due to climatic changes projected in the 21st century. A business-as-usual scenario incorporating changing greenhouse gas and aerosol concentrations until the year 2089 is compared to a 1975 - 1996 base period. Changes in relative humidity, especially drying over much of the West, are projected to increase the number of days of high fire danger ( based on the energy release component (ERC) index) at least through the year 2089 in comparison to the base period. The regions most affected are the northern Rockies, Great Basin and the Southwest - regions...
The California Climate Commons (CCC) and USGS Geo Data Portal (GDP) teams have collaborated to curate and host California and Great Basin Characterization Model (BCM) results. The CCC has successfully set up a web-server and installed needed software to serve these model results using data and web service standards that are compatible with the GDP. All raw monthly data has been transferred to the GDP team for processing and metadata development for hosting on the GDP. The GDP and CCC teams have made significant progress in converting raw BCM model data to archive formats and are moving forward as planned. The project experienced delays in transferring funds to the Point Blue Conservation Science team responsible...
Categories: Project; Tags: Applications, Data, Tools, Web Services
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The goal of this project was to develop a novel methodology to combine the USGS Gap Analysis Program (GAP) national land cover and species distribution data with disturbance data to describe and predict how disturbance affects biodiversity. Specifically, the project team presented a case study examining how energy development in the Williston Basin can affect grassland birds; however, the methods developed are scalable and transferable to other types of habitat conversion (anthropogenic or natural), regions, and taxa. This project had six key components: Develop a dataset delineating all oil well pads in the Williston Basin. Develop a habitat conversion tool to determine the amount and previous land cover from...
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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are at the forefront of research that is critical for decision-making, particularly through the development of models (Bayesian networks, or BNs) that forecast coastal change. The utility of these tools outside the scientific community has been limited because they rely on expensive, technical software and a moderate understanding of statistical analyses. We proposed to convert one of our models from proprietary to freely available open-source software, resulting in a portable interactive web-interface. The resulting product will serve as a prototype to demonstrate how interdisciplinary USGS science and models can be transformed into an approachable format for decision-makers....
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Web portals are one of the principal ways geospatial information can be communicated to the public. A few prominent USGS examples are the Geo Data Portal (http://cida.usgs.gov/gdp/ [URL is accessible with Google Chrome]), EarthExplorer (http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/), the former Derived Downscaled Climate Projection Portal, the Alaska Portal Map (http://alaska.usgs.gov/portal/), the Coastal Change Hazards Portal (http://marine.usgs.gov/coastalchangehazardsportal/), and The National Map (http://nationalmap.gov/). Currently, web portals are developed at relatively high effort and cost, with web developers working with highly skilled data specialists on custom solutions that meet user needs. To address this issue,...
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The purpose of this project was to integrate the Bat Banding Program data (1932-1972) and the U.S. and Canada diagnostic data for white-nose syndrome with the USGS Bat Population Data (BPD) Project and provide the bat research community with secure, role-based access to these previously unavailable datasets. The objectives of this project were to: 1) integrate WNS diagnostic data into the BPD (http://my.usgs.gov/bpd); 2) incorporate the historical bat banding data produced by the Bat Banding Program into the BPD; and, 3) develop the application programming interfaces (APIs) and data services required to share these datasets with DOI and USGS enterprise data resources, BISON and Sciencebase. Given the differing...
Categories: Project; Tags: 2014, Applications, Data, Tools
Based on the practical experience in design and operation of three full-scale membrane bioreactors (MBR) for municipal wastewater treatment that were commissioned since 1999, an overview on the different design concepts that were applied to the three MBR plants is given. The investment costs and the energy consumption of the MBRs and conventional activated sludge (CAS) plants (with and without tertiary treatment) in the Erft river region are compared. It is found that the specific investment costs of the MBR plants are lower than those of comparable CAS with tertiary treatment. A comparison of the specific energy demand of MBRs and conventional WWTPs is given. The structure of the MBRs actual operational costs is...
In response to the ongoing climate policy debates, this study examines the cost impacts of carbon-pricing legislation on selected US energy-intensive manufacturing industries. Specifically, it evaluates output-based rebate measures and the border adjustment provision specified in the bill, and tests the effectiveness of cost containment features of the policy, such as the international offsets, under various market assumptions. Results of the examination confirm that in all policy cases or industries, the output-based rebates would effectively mitigate the manufacturers' carbon-pricing costs in the short-to-medium term. However as the rebates decline after 2020, especially in a case where low-carbon electricity...
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The purpose of this project was to document processes for USGS scientists to organize and share data using ScienceBase, and to provide an example interactive mapping application to display those data. Data and maps from Chase and others (2016a, b) were used for the example interactive maps. Accomplishments The accomplishments for this project are described below. The project team developed an interactive mapping application in R that connects to data on ScienceBase, using Shiny, Leaflet (Cheng and Xie, 2016), and sbtools (Winslow and others, 2016) (fig. 10). USGS scientists can refer to the R code in the mapping application to build their own interactive maps. Code is available at the USGS Bitbucket Repository...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Applications, Web Services
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This project team developed a Web-hosted application (that can also be used on mobile platforms) for automatic analysis of images of sediment for grain-size distribution, using the “Digital Grain Size” (DGS) algorithm of Buscombe (2013) (“DGS-Online,” 2015). This is a free, browser-based application for accurately estimating the grain-size distribution of sediment in digital images without any manual intervention or even calibration. It uses the statistical algorithm of Buscombe (2013) that estimates particle size directly from the spatial distribution of light intensity within the image. The application is designed to batch-process tens to thousands of images, utilizing cloud computing storage and processing technologies....
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The United States has over 2 million dams on rivers and streams (Graf, 1999), and more than 84,000 of the larger dams are documented in the congressionally mandated National Inventory of Dams (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2015). The average age of these National Inventory of Dams is 52 years; by the year 2030, over 80 percent will be at least 50 years old (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2015). As a result of this aging infrastructure, dam removal has increased during recent decades with the total number of removed dams estimated at around 1,200 (American Rivers, 2014). Many factors drive downstream physical and biological responses following dam removal, with most rivers changing rapidly and demonstrating...
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USGS research in the Western Geographic Science Center has produced several geospatial datasets estimating the time required to evacuate on foot from a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake-generated tsunami in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. These data, created as a result of research performed under the Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards project, are useful for emergency managers and community planners but are not in the best format to serve their needs. This project explored options for formatting and publishing the data for consumption by external partner agencies and the general public. The project team chose ScienceBase as the publishing platform, both for its ability to convert spatial data into web services...
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People in the locality of earthquakes are publishing anecdotal information about the shaking within seconds of their occurrences via social network technologies, such as Twitter. In contrast, depending on the size and location of the earthquake, scientific alerts can take between two to twenty minutes to publish. The goals of this project are to assess earthquake damage and effects information, as impacts unfold, by leveraging expeditious, free and ubiquitous social-media data to enhance our response to earthquake damage and effects. The project leverages an existing system that performs data acquisition from Twitter of earthquake related tweets, and geocoding from Yahoo. The acquired data stream is archived into...
By replacing fossil fuels bioenergy has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but indirect effects might partly or even completely eliminate this benefit. Production of bio-energy products, such as biofuels for transport, causes several indirect effects through their interactions with the global economic and physical systems. Indirect land-use change leads to GHG emissions – in some cases in the same order of magnitude as the fossil emissions – and loss of nature, but there are other relevant indirect effects as well. Intensification of agricultural production is another indirect effect and could be stimulated more to minimise the undesirable land conversion. However, intensification through increased...
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Digital Elevation Models (DEM) provide details of the earth’s surface and are used for visualization, physical modeling, and elevation change analysis. Creating DEMs in coastal environments is complicated by the highly ephemeral nature of the coast and the need to span the land-water interface. This requires merging multiple bathymetric and topographic datasets that have been collected at different times, using different instrument platforms with varying levels of accuracy, and with variable spatial resolution and coverage. Because coastal change can occur over relatively short time scales (days to weeks in the case of storms), rapid updates to coastal DEMs are also needed. These challenges and the lack of available...
Categories: Project; Tags: 2014, Applications, Tools