The USGS is deploying state-of-the science statistics to identify the parameters in global models that are most likely to affect the Southeast region’s climate and local landscape dynamics. Decision makers will be provided with information about low-probability, highimpact climate extremes. The downscaled models then can be used by other SERAP research teams to conduct their assessments of regional change.
Relative Sea Level Rise
To estimate local rates of sea-level rise along the Southeast’s Gulf Coast, the USGS is factoring in parameters to represent local processes that affect land-surface elevation and other types of ecosystem changes. The team will design new tools for decision makers to visualize and assess change in coastal regions where a combination of inundation, land loss, and habitat change already is occurring and is expected to continue.
Inferring Changes to Habitat
The USGS is integrating models of urbanization and vegetation dynamics with the regional climate models to assess how landscape change could impact priority species. Models for North American land birds, for example, can predict locations where responses to climate change are most likely to occur, expressing results in terms of species persistence to help resource managers understand the long-term sustainability of bird populations. The basic modeling techniques can be applied later to other taxonomic groups.