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U.S. Geological Survey

Methane from Some Wetlands May Lower Benefits of Carbon Sequestration

usgs logoSacramento, Calif. – Methane emissions from restored wetlands may offset the benefits of carbon sequestration a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests. Wetlands are known to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide through plant photosynthesis and also provide habitat and food sources for wildlife, act as biological filters for improving water quality and improve coastal protection in the face of sea level rise. What is not well understood is how wetland production of other more potent greenhouses gases like methane offset these benefits. Results from the new study show that restored wetlands can release enough methane to reduce or even negate the benefits the same wetlands offer of carbon sequestration.

Read more: Methane from Some Wetlands May Lower Benefits of Carbon Sequestration

New Maps Illuminate Monterey Bay Area Seafloor

usgs logoSix new sets of maps from USGS reveal the diverse and complex range of seafloor habitats along 130 kilometers (80 miles) of the central California coast from the Monterey Peninsula north to Pigeon Point. The publicly available maps can be used by a large stakeholder community to understand and manage California’s vast and valuable marine resources. 

The new sets of maps reveal the diverse and complex range of seafloor habitats along 130 kilometers (80 miles) of the central California coast from the Monterey Peninsula north to Pigeon Point. The publicly available maps can be used by a large stakeholder community to understand and manage California’s vast and valuable marine resources. 

Read more: New Maps Illuminate Monterey Bay Area Seafloor

Geologic map of Alaska Released

A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation.

The map gives visual context to the abundant mineral and energy resources found throughout the state in a beautifully detailed and accessible format.

"I am pleased that Alaska now has a state-wide digital map detailing surface geologic features of this vast region of the United States that is difficult to access," said Suzette Kimball, USGS newly-confirmed director. "This geologic map provides important information for the mineral and energy industries for exploration and remediation strategies. It will enable resource managers and land management agencies to evaluate resources and land use, and to prepare for natural hazards, such as earthquakes."

Read more: Geologic map of Alaska Released

Mapping habitat and genetic diversity in the desert southwest

Image of Richness Patterns for 15 study species, Protection and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert

Multiple utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal energy development projects are currently underway or proposed across the Mojave and Sonoran Ecoregions of the southwestern United States to help meet the need for renewable energy sources. Agencies tasked with managing biological resources throughout this region must understand the potential impacts of these renewable energy plants and their associated infrastructure (e.g., transmission corridors, substations, access roads, etc.) in order to select the most appropriate development sites, and to properly mitigate for anticipated effects.  One of the major management concerns is determining how future development will impact wildlife habitat, connectivity, and genetic diversity.

For more information, visit the U. S. Geological Survey Western Ecology Research site.

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