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INVESTING IN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
as land and water use changes, resource exploitation, invasive species,
pollution and nutrient enrichment, and climate change, produce adverse
effects on the Nation's environmental resources. Science can help determine
whether and how these stresses have impaired ecosystem structure and function
and identify approaches to prevent further damage, preserve and improve
productivity and resiliency, and enhance recovery. To improve the science
base and help guide decisionmakers in these efforts, the budget includes
substantial increases in a number of environmental research programs.
Integrated Science for Ecological Challenges
(ISEC). The budget provides $96 million for the ISEC initiative, to
be shared among USDA, USGS, NOAA, NSF, and EPA. ISEC will:
improve our understanding of the causes and
consequences of hypoxia and harmful algal blooms, which are impacting some
of our most valuable water bodies;
intensify activities to discover and understand
the importance and ecological role of biodiversity;
increase the study of ecosystem processes
to improve our ability to predict responses to chronic or multiple stresses,
detect loss of critical function, and assess ecosystem health and condition;
make it possible to begin to apply 21st
century information technology to ecological data to vastly improve information
content and availability of data to the scientific community.
Global Change Research: The budget
provides $1.786 billion for the GCRP, a $105 million increase over FY 1999.
$828 million of this amount is for scientific research focused on increasing
our knowledge of:
the origins, rates, and likely future course
of natural and anthropogenic changes;
the combined effects of multiple stresses
global environmental change and its processes
on finer spatial scales and across a wide range of timescales; and
the potential for unexpected and abrupt changes
in the global environment;
the consequences and impacts of global environmental
change for the United States.
The remainder of the FY 2000 request ($958
million) is for NASA's development of climate-monitoring satellites, including
funding for Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL), which will give scientists the
first3-dimensional view of the earth's forests to help determine
their contribution to sequestering atmospheric CO2.
Improving Our Understanding of Carbon
Sinks and Sources: The budget includes $189 million for a focused program
of research to resolve critical issues on the carbon cycle. The research
targets significant uncertainties on how much carbon is taken up by terrestrial
sinks and how long such sinks will last, and ultimately will address 5
development of an observational infrastructure
to accurately measure sources and sinks of CO2 from the world's
prediction of lifetime, sustainability, and
interannual/decadal variability of terrestrial sinks;
provision of a scientific basis for evaluating
management strategies to enhance carbon sequestration;
development of a capability to monitor the
effectiveness and stability of sequestration; and
development of an ability for early detection
of major carbon cycle shifts that could lead to rapid CO2 release.
Science and Technology Policy 1600 Pennsylvania