The United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The program began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was codified by Congress through the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change."[1]

Thirteen departments and agencies participate in the USGCRP, which was known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program from 2002 through 2008. The program is steered by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research under the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability, overseen by the Executive Office of the President, and facilitated by a National Coordination Office.

Thirteen federal entities participate in the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
Thirteen federal entities participate in the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).

Since its inception, the USGCRP has supported research and observational activities in collaboration with several other national and international science programs.

These activities led to major advances in several key areas including:

These advances have been documented in numerous assessments commissioned by the program and have played prominent roles in international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Program results and plans are documented in the program's annual report, Our Changing Planet.

Definition of global change

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 defines global change as: "Changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life."[2]

Participating agencies

Thirteen U.S. federal agencies—the USDA, DOC, DOD, DOE, HHS, DOI, DOS, DOT, EPA, NASA, NSF, Smithsonian Institution, and the USAID—participate in the USGCRP.[3]

National Climate Assessment (NCA)

Main article: National Climate Assessment

The USGCRP have produced four National Climate Assessments: NCA1 entitled "Climate Change Impacts on the United States: the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change" in 2000,[4] NCA2 entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States" in 2009,[5] NCA3 entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States" in 2014,[6] and NCA4 in two volumes—Volume 1 entitled "Climate Science Special Report" (CSSR) released October 2017[7] and Volume 2 entitled "Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States" released on November 23, 2018.[8]

Strategic planning

The USGCRP Strategic Plan for 2012-2021 maintains an emphasis on advancing global change science and research, but it also calls for a new focus on ensuring our science informs real-world decisions and actions. Moving forward, the strategic goals of USGCRP are to:

The USGCRP has been guided over time by the following strategic plans.

In 2003, the program undertook a series of "listening sessions"[14] with a variety of stakeholder groups around the country to gain a better understanding of the emerging needs for climate information and ways in which federal research might be shaped to meet those needs. Stakeholder engagement that is a central element of the program's national assessment[15]

Program elements

The USGCRP's thirteen participating agencies coordinate their work through Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) that span a wide range of interconnected issues of climate and global change. The IWGs address major components of the Earth’s environmental and human systems, as well as cross-disciplinary approaches for addressing issues under the purview of the USGCRP. The IWGs are composed of representatives from federal departments and agencies responsible for activities in each area. The IWGs are overseen by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.[16]

Interagency Working Groups:

Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group
Federal Adaptation and Resilience Group
Indicators Interagency Working Group
Integrated Observations Interagency Working Group
Interagency Crosscutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health
Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling
Interagency Integrated Water Cycle Group and the U.S. Global Energy and Water Exchanges Program Office
International Activities Interagency Working Group
Social Science Coordinating Committee
Sustained Assessment Working Group

Decision support activities---including the development of assessments and other tools and information to support adaptation and mitigation decision making---are coordinated in a distributed fashion across the program and are part of the mandate of all IWGs and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.

National Climate Assessments have been integral components of USGCRP since its inception. Along with its strategic role as coordinator of Federal global change research, USGCRP is required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to conduct a National Climate Assessment (NCA). The NCA is an important resource for understanding and communicating climate change science and impacts in the United States.

The United States Global Change Research Information Office or GCRIO provides access to data and information on climate change research and global change-related educational resources on behalf of the various US Federal Agencies that are involved in the USGCRP. The GCRIO handles requests for documents related to USCRP. They also have outreach services to both domestic (Federal, state, and local) and international target audiences (including governments, institutions, researchers, educators, students, and the general public) in an effort to showcase relevant activities and results of the US Global Change Research Program and to help increase the awareness of the availability of data and information resources of the participating Federal Agencies.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2013-08-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "US Government Agencies Participating in the USGCRP". Agencies. USGCRP. 20 October 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  4. ^ National Assessment Synthesis Team (2001), Climate Change Impacts on the United States: the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (PDF), Report for the US Global Change Research Program, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 541, ISBN 0521000750, retrieved November 23, 2018 The report was submitted in October 2000 and published in 2001.
  5. ^ Karl, Thomas R.; Melillo, Jerry M.; Peterson, Thomas C., eds. (2009). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (Report). Cambridge University Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-521-14407-0.
  6. ^ Melillo, Jerry M.; Richmond, Terese (T.C.); Yohe, Gary W., eds. (2014). Climate Change Impacts in the United States (Report). The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program. p. 841. doi:10.7930/J0Z31WJ2.
  7. ^ Wuebbles, D. J.; Fahey, D. W.; Hibbard, K. A.; Dokken, D. J.; Stewart, B. C.; Maycock, T. K., eds. (October 2017). Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) (PDF) (Report). Fourth National Climate Assessment. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: U.S. Global Change Research Program. p. 470. doi:10.7930/J0J964J6.
  8. ^ Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (Report). National Climate Assessment. Vol. 2. November 23, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  9. ^ National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021: A Strategic Plan for the U. S. Global Change Research Program
  10. ^ 2008 Revised Research Plan: An Update to the 2003 Strategic Plan
  11. ^ 2003 Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
  12. ^ 1989 Our Changing Planet: The FY 1990 Research Plan
  13. ^ 1989 Our Changing Planet: A U.S. Strategy for Global Change Research
  14. ^ USGCRP Listening Sessions
  15. ^ Link to First National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change
  16. ^ "About USGCRP: Interagency Groups". U.S. Global Change Research Program.
  17. ^ "About the Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO)". About GCRIO. GCRIO. 6 February 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-12.

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