NEW YORK – FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have disbursed nearly $16.9 billion for New York’s recovery since Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast three years ago. This amount includes more than $1 billion paid directly to survivors for housing and other essential needs through the Individuals and Households Program which ended April 30, 2014.Language English
A new approach by U.S. Geological Survey scientists to modeling water temperatures resulted in more realistic predictions of how climate change will affect fish habitat by taking into account effects of cold groundwater sources.
The study, recently published in the journal Ecological Applications, showed that groundwater is highly influential but also highly variable among streams and will lead to a patchy distribution of suitable fish habitat under climate change. This new modeling approach used brook trout, but can be applied to other species that require coldwater streams for survival.
"One thing that has been missing from other models is the recognition that groundwater moderates the temperature of headwater streams," said Nathaniel Hitt, a fish biologist and study coauthor. "Our paper helps to bring the effects of groundwater into climate change forecasts for fish habitat."
Climate change models predict that summer air temperatures will increase between 2.7 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit in the eastern United States over the next 50 to 100 years. Such increases in air temperatures will increase water temperatures of streams and rivers and pose a significant threat to fish like brook trout that have low resistance to warming water temperatures.
Brook trout are an important cultural and recreational species with specific restoration outcomes identified in the new Chesapeake Bay Agreement.
However, how these global and regional predictions regarding a changing climate translate to water temperatures in specific streams or stream reaches, a process called “downscaling”, remains an important and challenging question for scientists and natural resource managers.
Previous efforts to downscale global and regional estimates of air temperature change down to water temperatures in individual streams and river networks have relied on the assumption that the exchange of heat between the water and the surrounding air is the primary driver of water temperature within an individual section of a stream. However, the exchange of heat between cold groundwater and warmer surface water can also be very important, especially in headwater streams where the volume of water is relatively small.
"Our models help improve the spatial resolution of climate change forecasts in headwater streams," said Craig Snyder, a USGS research ecologist and lead author of the study. "This work will assist conservation and restoration efforts by connecting climate change models to places that matter for stream fishes."
The study is available online: Snyder, C.D., N.P. Hitt, and J.A. Young. 2015. Accounting for groundwater in stream fish thermal habitat responses to climate change. Ecological Applications 25:1397-1419.
SAIPAN, CNMI – Typhoon Soudelor survivors on Saipan who need to get documents to the Federal Emergency Management Agency have several places where they can do so free of charge.
When the joint CNMI/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Susupe closed earlier this month, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands began arranging locations that would provide this service to survivors. That list currently stands at four:
Saipan Mayor’s OfficeLanguage Undefined
SAIPAN, CNMI – FEMA Mitigation Outreach specialists are updating their schedule.
They are currently at Do-It-Best Hardware in Chalan Kiya, meeting with customers and providing booklets and pamphlets on how to build back stronger to be safer in the next storm. They are in the store from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, and will continue there through Friday, Oct. 23.Language Undefined
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of Washington.
Assistance for the State, Tribal and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Washington and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by wildfires and mudslides during the period of August 9 to September 10, 2015.Language English
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Cal OES are altering the schedules of Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Calaveras and Lake counties, with two Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers closing permanently.
Starting this weekend the DRC hours of operation will be:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.Language English
Donyelle Davis ( Phone: 626-202-2393 );
Cimmarron River bed operations in Cushing Oil Field, Oklahoma, Looking Southwest. Creek County, Oklahoma. December 2, 1915. Panorama in two parts. / USGS archive Photo. (High resolution image)
The rate of earthquakes has increased sharply since 2009 in the central and eastern United States, with growing evidence confirming that these earthquakes are primarily caused by human activity, namely the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells. A new study by the U.S Geological Survey released today presents evidence that, in addition to these recent earthquakes, most of the larger earthquakes in Oklahoma in the past century may likely have been induced by industrial activities.
This study explores the especially high rates of activity in Oklahoma, the background rate of natural earthquakes in the state and how much the earthquake rate has varied through the 20th century.
"In Oklahoma, seismicity rates since 2009 far surpass previously observed rates at any time during the 20th century," said Susan Hough, USGS seismologist and lead author of the study. "Several lines of evidence further suggest that most of the significant earthquakes in Oklahoma during the 20th century may also have been induced by oil production activities. Deep injection of waste water, now recognized to potentially induce earthquakes, in fact began in the state in the 1930s."
The study uses archival reports at the Library of Congress and drill permit records showing the location of wells from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to track how wastewater injection evolved over time, with an increase around 1950 due to a rise in secondary oil recovery in response to increasing depletion of fields.
"Waste water injection has a strong correlation to the increase in earthquakes," said Morgan Page, USGS seismologist and co-author of the study. "The results further demonstrate that, while the rates seen in recent years are unprecedented, induced earthquakes are likely nothing new in Oklahoma."
Oil production in Oklahoma has been going on for over 100 years. Some activities related to oil production, particularly disposal of wastewater in deep injection wells, are known to potentially cause earthquakes. Prior to the 2011 magnitude 5.7 Prague, Oklahoma earthquake, the largest historical earthquake in the area was the 1952 magnitude 5.7 El Reno earthquake, which the study concludes was likely induced by activities related to oil production near Edmond, Oklahoma.
The complete research paper, "A Century of Induced Earthquakes in Oklahoma?" by Susan E. Hough and Morgan Page was released online in the journal Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A new disaster recovery center is open in Gadsden to help South Carolina flood survivors. This Richland County center is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
Representatives from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other public and private agencies are at the center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors with applications for aid.Language English
WASHINGTON —The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Continuity Programs’ Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Division has begun to assess the feasibility of a public alert and warning capability that is being developed in the private sector.Language English
Sacramento, CA – The California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are continuing to encourage Lake and Calaveras county residents with disabilities, or any survivor with additional needs, who were affected by the recent wildfires, to utilize the many available accessible resources to register for assistance.Language English
Meadow vole rests in its habitat. (High resolution image)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A new scientific study predicts that some of Alaska’s mammal species will respond to future climate warming by concentrating in northern areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska. If true, for many species, this would be a significant northward shift into tundra habitats where they are currently absent.
“Small mammal species such as shrews and voles, and larger species like wolverine and marmots have been in Alaska for many thousands of years and have responded to past climate cycles just as they are responding to the current warming trend,” said Dr. Andrew Hope, lead author of the study and former researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey.
“Since these mammals experienced past climate cycles, we were able to interpret signatures of population level responses to those climate events recorded in their DNA, and then also use that information to predict likely shifts in animal distributions throughout Alaska into the future,” said Hope.
Researchers that participated in the study with Hope examined at total of 28 mammal species including those from both northern tundra and relatively more southern boreal forest habitats. The scientists determined the northern movement by looking at current geographic distribution of the animals, coupled with their historical range, and then interpreted from genetic signatures of response to past climate changes to predict where they will likely be found in 2050 and 2080.
Hope worked on the project with researchers from the USGS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the City College of New York, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the University of New Mexico. The study leveraged genetic data collected over the past several decades in multiple laboratories.
“This approach allowed us to examine the consistency among predicted changes to mammal distributions and determine if there are differences in management implications across regions," said David Payer, chair of the Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative and a co-author of the study.
This study highlights the value of analyzing many species associated with discrete ecological communities that each share different evolutionary histories.
Hope conducted the research as a post-doctoral fellow at the USGS.
The study was published in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecosphere.
Visit the USGS Alaska Science Center for more information.Map shows land management status, ecoregions, and predictions for changes in small mammal biodiversity through time based on all 28 species. Lands highlighted in the map include the Arctic Network of National Parks administered by the National Park Service (NPS; square), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (administered by the USFWS; circle) and National