Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
NOAA analysis reveals significant land cover changes in US coastal regions
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 19, 2014


This image shows wetland gains and losses in the Southeast U.S. from 1996-2011. Image courtesy NOAA Coastal Services Center. For a larger version of this image please go here.

A new NOAA nationwide analysis shows that between 1996 and 2011, 64,975 square miles in coastal regions--an area larger than the state of Wisconsin--experienced changes in land cover, including a decline in wetlands and forest cover with development a major contributing factor.

Overall, 8.2 percent of the nation's ocean and Great Lakes coastal regions experienced these changes. In analysis of the five year period between 2001-2006, coastal areas accounted for 43 percent of all land cover change in the continental U.S.

This report identifies a wide variety of land cover changes that can intensify climate change risks, such as loss of coastal barriers to sea level rise and storm surge, and includes environmental data that can help coastal managers improve community resilience.

"Land cover maps document what's happening on the ground. By showing how that land cover has changed over time, scientists can determine how these changes impact our plant's environmental health," said Nate Herold, a NOAA physical scientist who directs the mapping effort at NOAA's Coastal Services Center in Charleston, S.C.

Among the significant changes were the loss of 1,536 square miles of wetlands, and a decline in total forest cover by 6.1 percent.

The findings mirror similar changes in coastal wetland land cover loss reported in the November 2013 report, Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009, an interagency supported analysis published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA.

This new NOAA analysis adds to the 2013 report with more recent data and includes loss of forest cover in an overall larger land area survey. Both wetlands and forest cover are critical to the promotion and protection of coastal habitat for the nation's multi-billion dollar commercial and recreational fishing industries..

Development was a major contributing factor in the decline of both categories of land cover. Wetland loss due to development equals 642 square miles, a disappearance rate averaging 61 football fields lost daily. Forest changes overall totaled 27,515 square miles, equaling West Virginia, Rhode Island and Delaware combined. This total impact, however, was partially offset by reforestation growth. Still, the net forest cover loss was 16,483 square miles.

These findings, and many others, are viewable via the Land Cover Atlas program from the NOAA's Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). Standardized NOAA maps allow scientists to compare maps from different regions and maps from the same place but from different years, providing easily accessible data that are critically important to scientists, managers, and city planners as the U.S. population along the coastline continues to grow.

"The ability to mitigate the growing evidence of climate change along our coasts with rising sea levels already impacting coastlines in ways not imaged just a few years ago makes the data available through the Land Cover Atlas program critically important to coastal resilience planning," said Margaret Davidson, National Ocean Service senior advisor for coastal inundation and resilience science services.

C-CAP data identify a wide variety of land cover changes that can intensify climate change risks-for example, forest or wetland losses that threaten to worsen flooding and water quality issues or weaken the area's fishing and forestry industries. The atlas's visuals help make NOAA environmental data available to end users, enabling them to help the public better understand the importance of improving resilience.

"Seeing changes over five, 10, or even 15 years allows Land Cover Atlas users to focus on local hazard vulnerabilities and improve their resilience plans," said Jeffrey L. Payne, Ph.D., acting director for NOAA's Coastal Services Center.

"For instance, the atlas has helped its users assess sea level rise hazards in Florida's Miami-Dade County, high-risk areas for stormwater runoff in southern California, and the best habitat restoration sites in two watersheds of the Great Lakes."

Selected Regional Findings - 1996 to 2011
+ The Northeast region added more than 1,170 square miles of development, an area larger than Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the District of Columbia combined

+ The West Coast region experienced a net loss of 3,200 square miles of forest (4,900 square miles of forests were cut while 1,700 square miles were regrown)

+ The Great Lakes was the only region to experience a net wetlands gain (69 square miles), chiefly because drought and lower lake levels changed water features into marsh or sandy beach.

+ The Southeast region lost 510 square miles of wetlands, with more than half this number replaced by development

+ Many factors led to the Gulf Coast region's loss of 996 square miles of wetlands, due to land subsidence and erosion, storms, man-made changes, sea level rise, and other factors

+ On a positive note, local restoration activities, such as in Florida's Everglades, and lake-level changes enabled some Gulf Coast and Southeast region communities to gain modest-sized wetland areas, although such gains did not make up for the larger regional wetland losses

+ C-CAP moderate-resolution data on the Land Cover Atlas encompasses the intertidal areas, wetlands, and adjacent uplands of 29 states fronting the oceans and Great Lakes. High-resolution data are available for select locations.

All C-CAP data sets are featured on the Digital Coast. Tools like the Digital Coast are important components of NOAA's National Ocean Service's efforts to protect coastal resources and keep communities safe from coastal hazards by providing data, tools, training, and technical assistance. Check out other products and services on Facebook or Twitter.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and our other social media channels. Visit our news release archive.

.


Related Links
NOAA
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
New Satellite Data Will Help Farmers Facing Drought
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 19, 2014
About 60 percent of California is experiencing "exceptional drought," the U.S. Drought Monitor's most dire classification. The agency issued the same warning to Texas and the southeastern United States in 2012. California's last two winters have been among the driest since records began in 1879. Without enough water in the soil, seeds can't sprout roots, leaves can't perform photosynthesis, and ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
Electric Sparks May Alter Evolution of Lunar Soil

China to test recoverable moon orbiter

China to send orbiter to moon and back

August supermoon will be brightest this year

EARTH OBSERVATION
Mars Rover Team Chooses Not to Drill 'Bonanza King'

Indian orbiter to reach Mars in 33 days

Mars thigh bone is really just a rock spotted by Curiosity

Curiosity's Brushwork on Martian 'Bonanza King' Target

EARTH OBSERVATION
US to Stop Using Soyuz Spacecraft, Invest in Domestic Private Space Industry

Voyager Map Details Neptune's Strange Moon Triton

NASA Selects 26 Space Biology Research Proposals

Long-term spaceflights challenged as harm to astronauts' health revealed

EARTH OBSERVATION
China Sends Remote-Sensing Satellite into Orbit

More Tasks for China's Moon Mission

China's Circumlunar Spacecraft Unmasked

China to launch HD observation satellite this year

EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA Awaits Boeing's Completion of Soyuz Replacement

Belka and Strelka, the canine cosmonauts

Orbital cargo ship makes planned re-entry to Earth

The ISS just dumped 3,300 lbs of space trash to burn up in Earth's atmosphere

EARTH OBSERVATION
Sea Launch Takes Proactive Steps to Address Manifest Gap

SpaceX rocket explodes during test flight

Russian Cosmonauts Carry Out Science-Oriented Spacewalk Outside ISS

Optus 10 delivered to French Guiana for Ariane 5 Sept launch

EARTH OBSERVATION
Rotation of Planets Influences Habitability

Planet-like object may have spent its youth as hot as a star

Young binary star system may form planets with weird and wild orbits

Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets

EARTH OBSERVATION
Russia to develop scavenger to collect cosmic debris by 2025

Paper offers insights into new class of semiconductors

Discovery suggests surprising uses for common bubbles

Artificial Cells Act Like the Real Thing




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.