Figure : fig02_lc_changes

Changes in Land Cover by Region

Figure 5.2

U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Geological Survey Western Geographic Science Center
Benjamin M. Sleeter

This figure appears in chapter 5 of the Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II report.

The figure shows the net change in land cover by class in square miles, from 1973 to 2011. Land-cover change has been highly dynamic over space, time, and sector, in response to a range of driving forces. Net change in land cover reveals the trajectory of a class over time. A dramatic example illustrated here is the large decline in agricultural lands in the two Great Plains regions beginning in the mid-1980s, which resulted in large part from the establishment of the Conservation Reserve Program. Over the same period, agriculture also declined in the Southwest region; however, the net decline was largely attributable to prolonged drought conditions, as opposed to changes in federal policy. Data for the period 1973–2000 are from Sleeter et al. (2013)437471ba-9fe3-4547-b193-7bf3ec00fbf3, while data from 2001–2011 are from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD).f859d4bf-3716-4300-9779-6f6af8ce4c66 Note: the two disturbance categories used for the 1973–2000 data were not included in the NLCD data for 2001–2011 and largely represent conversions associated with harvest activities (mechanical disturbance) and wildfire (nonmechanical disturbance). Comparable data are unavailable for the U.S. Caribbean, Alaska, and Hawai'i & U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands regions, precluding their representation in this figure. Source: USGS.

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This figure was created on June 15, 2017.

This figure was submitted on May 29, 2019.

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