Water

If the continental United States represented the entire surface of the earth, water would cover as much as every state west of the Mississippi River, with enough left over to cover the state of New York. Of the total volume of water on earth, about 97% is saltwater, and only about 3% is fresh. 98% of the freshwater is locked away in groundwater, ice caps, and glaciers, meaning only 2% of the world’s freshwater is available for human use. That’s about 148 gallons per person on Earth. In comparison, a 10-minute shower can take between 20 and 50 gallons of water.

The Earth typically does not gain or lose water in substantial amounts, so the water you use likely existed, in some form, before the first living creature evolved. While the amount of water on the planet does not change significantly, the amount of water in parts of Earth’s system can fluctuate wildly. In addition, water is not distributed evenly across the land surface. The result is that some areas are climatically wetter or drier than others, which shapes local agriculture and restricts which crops and livestock can prosper in a given region.

In the United States, some areas are expected to become drier as the climate, including average temperature and average precipitation, changes. Conversely, other areas are predicted to become wetter. The frequency of extreme weather events--severe floods, persistent drought, and severe storms--is also expected to change in some regions. The effect of climate change on water availability and wet and dry seasons has numerous potential implications for agriculture, especially in areas where the climate is expected to become less suitable to sustained agricultural production.

Drought, Ecosystem Functions, and Recreation Drought conditions present challenges for managing recreation opportunities on national forests and grasslands by affecting ecosystem functions that drive demand for recreation. For recreationalists, direct effects of drought are…

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   Sea levels are rising, and storm intensity and rainfall are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy showed the state…

NTT is a tool to estimate nutrient and sediment losses from crop and pasture.

To explore how fish communities in Wisconsin lakes are expected to change in the future, and examine predictions for individual lakes throughout Wisconsin with an interactive map. This tool is relevant to lakeshed and community managers considering the future of recreation and…

This toolkit lays out the common operational elements that most urban farmers must consider as they start up or grow their operations. It also contains a special section on resources for developing indoor growing operations, such as aquaponic facilities. For each element, the…

This field guide is designed to put useful climate change and adaptation information into the hands of natural resource professionals as they walk through the woods. This field guide provides summary information about the effects of climate change on northern Minnesota’s forests…

The economic, social, and environmental costs of drought can be significant, and vulnerability to drought in arid and semi-arid regions will likely increase in the future with a warming climate. To promote stronger drought resilience on federal lands, the National Drought…

The U.S. Forest Service and USDA Climate Hubs convened regional workshops in many of the nine Forest Service regions throughout 2017. The workshops helped develop a set of local strategies and tactics to reduce, mitigate, and, in some cases, recover from the effects of…

Extreme Precipitation and Trends There is clear evidence that precipitation in the Northeast is more intense than it was in the past. The increase in the Northeast has been greater than any other region in the U.S. (Figure 1). Between 1901 and 2014, total annual precipitation…