FACT SHEET ON U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM
October 22, 1997
Background: The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a National Research Program conducted under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The NSTC is a cabinet-level council established by President Clinton in November 1993 to coordinate Federal science and technology efforts. The program’s fundamental purpose is to increase understanding of the Earth system, and of human and naturally induced changes in the Earth’s environment, and thus provide a sound scientific basis for decision making on global change issues. The USGCRP began as a Presidential Initiative, and was codified by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The overall FY 1997 USGCRP budget was $1.81 billion.
The core program of the USGCRP is focused on four key scientific areas:
- Seasonal to Interannual Climate Variability: The development and refinement of forecasts of seasonal and interannual climate variability, including study and prediction of the El Niño phenomena.
- Climate Change Over Decades to Centuries: Analysis and projection of the effects of long-term climate change on natural resources, public health, and socio-economic sectors.
- Changes in Ozone, UV Radiation, and Atmospheric Chemistry: Research on the causes, rate, magnitude, and human health and ecological consequences of changes in stratospheric ozone, UV radiation, and atmospheric chemistry.
- Changes in Land Cover and Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems: Research on the causes and consequences of land-cover changes, and on basic processes governing the functions and structure of terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems.
New Research Directions: Global change research is providing the information about the changing Earth system, and in particular, about climate change, that is needed to achieve a sustainable future. New research efforts include:
- A National Assessment of Climate Change Impacts to aggregate information across regions and sectors, analyze national-scale consequences, and support development of mitigation and adaptation strategies.
- Improved Regional-scale Analyses, including regional estimates of the rate and magnitude of climate change, analyses of the environmental and socio-economic consequences of climate change in the context of other stresses, and integrated assessments of the implications for society and the environment of climate change.
- Regional Workshops to examine the vulnerabilities of various regions of the United States to climate change.
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