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Past Global Changes (PAGES) Status Report and Implementation Plan
This document summarizes progress made thus far by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) programme element of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). The document also outlines the implementation plans for most of the Foci, Activities and Tasks currently within the PAGES remit. The plan first introduces the scope and rationale of PAGES science and explains how PAGES is organized structurally and scientifically to achieve its goals. For all of the palaeosciences relevant to IGBP goals, PAGES has sought to identify and create the organizational structures needed to support continued work and progress. Models intended to predict future environmental changes must, in order to demonstrate their effectiveness, be capable of accurately reproducing conditions known to have occurred in the past. Through the organization of coordinated national and international scientific efforts, PAGES seeks to obtain and interpret a variety of palaeoclimatic records and to provide the data essential for the validation of predictive climate models. PAGES activities include integration and intercomparison of ice, ocean and terrestrial palaeorecords and encourages the creation of consistent analytical and data-base methodologies across the palaeosciences. PAGES has already played a crucial role in the archiving, management and dissemination of palaeodata. This is fully summarized in the recently published Global Palaeoenvironmental Data Workshop Report (95-2). The growing significance of this type of activity is evidenced by the steep increase in consultation and use of the data currently in the public domain and accessible electronically, and by the growing importance of such data for model validation and intercomparison.
START Implementation Plan 1997-2002
The primary goals of the SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training in global change science (START), which is co-sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP); the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP); and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) are to promote regional global change science and to enhance the capacity of individuals, institutions and developing regions to undertake such research. START capacity building initiatives include the recognition that human capacity building is much more than training and that, as with all development, sustainable development is best. Once-off training exercises are easy to organize, but are the least effective method of capacity enhancement and result in large cost/benefit ratios. In contrast, sustained development of human capacity through continual involvement with research maximizes efficiency and minimizes the cost/benefit ratio. START seeks to enhance regional global change research while at the same time enhancing the individual and institutional capacity to conduct such research. The details as to how START operates, and how it plans to encompass its vision and meet its objectives are given in the START Implementation Plan.
The Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy
SOLAS (Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study) is a new international research initiative that has as its goal: To achieve quantitative understanding of the key biogeochemical-physical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and the atmosphere, and of how this coupled system affects and is affected by climate and environmental change. Achievement of this goal is important in order to understand and quantify the role that ocean-atmosphere interactions play in the regulation of climate and global change. The domain of SOLAS is focussed on processes at the air-sea interface and includes a natural emphasis on the atmospheric and upper-ocean boundary layers, while recognising that some of the processes to be studied will, of necessity, be linked to significantly greater height and depth scales. SOLAS research will cover all ocean areas including coastal seas and ice covered areas. A fundamental characteristic of SOLAS is that the research is not only interdisciplinary (involving biogeochemistry, physics, mathematical modelling, etc.), but also involves closely coupled studies requiring marine and atmospheric scientists to work together. Such research will require a shift in attitude within the academic and funding communities, both of which are generally organised on a medium-by-medium basis in most countries.
Predicting Global Change Impacts on Mountain Hydrology and Ecology: Integrated Catchment Hydrology/Altitudinal Gradient Studies: A workshop report
Documentation resulting from an international workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, 30 March - 2 April 1996. The following themes were addressed by the working groups: 1. "Role of ecology and hydrology for the sustainable development in mountain regions" (the "human dimensions"). 2. "Coupled ecological and hydrological studies along altitudinal gradients in mountain regions", with a sub-group dealing with the "Assessment of the spatial distribution pattern of basic water balance components." 3. "Impacts of global change on the ecology and hydrology in mountain regions", with a sub-group on the "Identification of global change impacts on hydrology and ecology in high mountain areas."
Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy
Coastal zones play a key role in Earth System functioning, by contributing significantly to the life support systems of most societies. Human activities modifying riverine hydrology and riverine material fluxes to the coastal zone, have increased in both scale and rate of change in the last 200 years. The underlying processes that drive changes to coastal systems occur at a multiplicity of temporal and spatial scales. These changes alter the availability of ecosystem goods and services. However, disciplinary fragmentation impedes our ability to understand the regional and global changes that affect coastal systems, and thus limits our ability to guide management and decision making. Progress has been made in understanding the changes in Earth System processes that affect the coastal zone, and the role of coastal systems in global change. This includes identifying proxies that describe the state of coastal systems under existing conditions and change scenarios. Typologies have been developed to assist in the interpolation of results into areas where primary information is lacking. This has enabled a first-order up-scaling to a global synthesis.
Public Health Service Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. The Act authorizes EPA to establish minimum standards to protect tap water and requires all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with these primary (health-related) standards. The 1996 amendments to SDWA require that EPA consider a detailed risk and cost assessment, and best available peer-reviewed science, when developing these standards. State governments, which can be approved to implement these rules for EPA, also encourage attainment of secondary standards (nuisance-related). Under the Act, EPA also establishes minimum standards for state programs to protect underground sources of drinking water from endangerment by underground injection of fluids.
Uses and Limitations of Observations, Data, Forecasts, and Other Projections in Decision Support for Selected Sectors and Regions
This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP), Uses and Limitations of Observations, Data, Forecasts, and Other Projections in Decision Support for Selected Sectors and Regions. This is part of a series of 21 SAPs produced by the CCSP aimed at providing current assessments of climate change science to inform public debate, policy, and operational decisions. This SAP focuses on the use of climate observations, data, forecasts, and other projections in decision support.
Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States
This document, part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. Climate affects the design, construction, safety, operations, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and systems. The prospect of a changing climate raises critical questions regarding how alterations in temperature, precipitation, storm events, and other aspects of the climate could affect the nation's roads, airports, rail, transit systems, pipelines, ports, and waterways. Phase I of this regional assessment of climate change and its potential impacts on transportation systems addresses these questions for the region of the U.S. central Gulf Coast between Galveston, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. This region contains multimodal transportation infrastructure that is critical to regional and national transportation services. Historical trends and future climate scenarios were used to establish a context for examining the potential effects of climate change on all major transportation modes within the region. Climate changes anticipated during the next 50 to 100 years for the central Gulf Coast include warming temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, and increased storm intensity. The warming of the oceans and decline of polar ice sheets is expected to accelerate the rate of sea level rise globally. The effects of sea level rise in most central Gulf Coast counties will be exacerbated by the sinking of the land surface, which is accounted for in this assessment. The significance of these climate factors for transportation systems was assessed.
Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Pollution From Environmental Noise
This Law is enacted for the purpose of preventing and controlling environmental noise pollution, protecting and improving the living environment, ensuring human health, and promoting economic and social development.
Summary for Policymakers:Scientific-Technical Analyses of Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change - IPCC Working Group II
This summary of assessment provides scientific, technical and economic information that can be used, inter alia, in evaluating whether the projected range of plausible impacts constitutes "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system," as referred to in Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and in evaluating adaptation and mitigation options that could be used in progressing towards the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC
Annual Report on the Environment, the Sound Material-Cycle Society and the Biodiversity 2009
The white paper on comprehensive environmental policy describes the role of Japan's economy in a sound global environment. In the first part, the report describes current the environmental conditions of the Earth and of Japan, human activities in Japan and overseas, their environmental impacts, and the pathway to the environmental century. The second part of the white paper reports on various measures.
Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste
This law was established in China to prevent the pollution of the environment by solid waste, to ensure public health and safety, and to promote the development of socialist modernization.
Japan's Initiative on Climate Change
Japan's Initiative on Climate Change defines the current state of climate change, summarizes diplomacy related to international environmental cooperation, and international climage change policy, with an outlook to the future.
Summary for Policymakers: The Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change -IPCC Working Group III
This summary report assesses a large part of the existing literature on the socioeconomics of climate change and identifies areas in which a consensus has emerged on key issues and areas where differences exist1. The chapters have been arranged so that they cover several key issues. First, frameworks for socioeconomic assessment of costs and benefits of action and inaction are described. Particular attention is given to the applicability of costbenefit analysis, the incorporation of equity and social considerations, and consideration of intergenerational equity issues. Second, the economic and social benefits of limiting greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing sinks are reviewed. Third, the economic, social and environmental costs of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions are assessed. Next, generic mitigation and adaptation response options are reviewed, methods for assessing the costs and effectiveness of different response options are summarized, and integrated assessment techniques are discussed. Finally, the report provides an economic assessment of policy instruments to combat climate change.
Marine Ecosystems and Global Change
The ocean is a vital component of the metabolism of the Earth and plays a key role in global change. In fact, the oceans cover so much of the Earth's surface that our planet has been described as the Water Planet, and it could be argued that its most extensive ecosystems are marine. Marine ecosystems are inextricably involved in the physical, chemical, biological and societal processes of global change. It is impossible to describe and understand the Earth system without understanding the ocean, the special characteristics of the environment that it provides for life, the changes that it is undergoing and the manner in which these changes interact with the total Earth System. Understanding the functioning of marine ecosystems and how they respond to global change is also essential in order to effectively manage global marine living resources, such as fisheries. The GLOBEC project is an international response to the need to understand how global change will affect the abundance, diversity and productivity of marine populations, from zooplankton to fish, that comprise a major component of oceanic ecosystems. GLOBEC's goal is to advance our understanding of the structure and functioning of such ecosystems, their major subsystems, and responses to physical forcing so that a capability can be developed to forecast the response of marine ecosystems to global change. This volume in the IGBP Science Series, "Marine Ecosystems and Global Change", gives topical examples of the scientifi c problems that GLOBEC is tackling, the innovative approaches adopted, and some selected scientific achievements. It has been written at a time when GLOBEC is in the mid-phase of its implementation. The ultimate achievements of GLOBEC research will be presented in a final synthesis at the end of the project.
Global Change and the Earth System: A planet under pressure
The PAGES research community works toward improving our understanding of the Earth's changing environment. By placing current and future global changes in a long term perspective, they can be assessed relative to natural variability. Since the industrial revolution, the Earth System has become increasingly affected by human activities. Natural and human processes are woven into a complex tapestry of forcings, responses, feedbacks and consequences. Deciphering this complexity is essential as we plan for the future. Paleoenvironmental research is the only way to investigate Earth System processes that operate on timescales longer than the period of instrumental records.
Environmental Variability and Climate Change
The PAGES research community works toward improving our understanding of the Earth's changing environment. By placing current and future global changes in a long term perspective, they can be assessed relative to natural variability. Since the industrial revolution, the Earth System has become increasingly affected by human activities. Natural and human processes are woven into a complex tapestry of forcings, responses, feedbacks and consequences. Deciphering this complexity is essential as we plan for the future. Paleoenvironmental research is the only way to investigate Earth System processes that operate on timescales longer than the period of instrumental records.
Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation [Map]
The Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map shows the types of vegetation that occur across the Arctic, between the ice-covered Arctic Ocean to the north and the northern limit of forests to the south. Environmental and climatic conditions are extreme, with a short growing season and low summer temperatures. As one moves southward (outward from map's center in all directions), the amount of warmth available for plant growth increases considerably.
Summary for Policymakers: The Science of Climate Change - IPCC Working Group I
Greenhouse gas concentrations have continued to increase. Anthropogenic aerosols tend to produce negative radiative forcings. Climate has changed over the past century. The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate. Climate is expected to continue to change in the future. There are still many uncertainties.
Intercontinental Transport of Air Pollution: Relationship to North American Air Quality. A Review of Federal Resarch and Future Needs
This government report describes pollutants which are carried between continents by air currents. The report also addresses current and future research to better understand how these pollutants are transported.
Air Quality Forecasting: A Review of Federal Programs and Research Needs
This report provides a brief overview of the state of science of air quality forecasting. The report was composed to guide future federal research in air quality forecasting.
Coordination of Programs on Domestic Animal Genomics: The Federal Framework
This report discusses progress by Federal agencies dealing with domestic animal genomics. The work represents an increase in the understanding of domestic animals such as sheep, cattle, swine, bees, and others. Knowledge in this area is crucial for better understanding animal diseases such at bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow disease")
Effective Disaster Warnings - Report by the Working Group on Natural Disaster Information Systems Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction
This report describes and recommends ways to improve alert systems in order to reduce loss of lives, property, and economic activity caused by natural and man-made disasters.
Ecological Forecasting: Agenda for the Future
This brochure outlines the economic importance of ecological forecasting, as well as the importance of ecosystems for sustainable development, land management, and recreation.
Marine Pollution Control Act
This law was passed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) in order to control marine pollution, protect public health, and sustainably use marine resources.
Preliminary Survey of Air Quality and Related Health Studies Conducted in the Vicinity of Ground Zero
This document represents the first survey by the research community of the impact of the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York on air quality and public health in lower Manhattan.
The NSF Scientific Collections Survey: A Brief Overview of Findings
This white paper describes the state of digital collections resulting from NSF funded research in biodiversity, ecology, environmental health, environmental education, and environmental resource management.
Harmful Algal Blooms in US Waters
This document discusses the causes of harmful algae blooms and their impact on the environment, public health, and the economy. The document also discusses options for managing algal blooms and current federal efforts to address the problem.
National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program Report to Congress: An Integrated Assessment
This report presents scientific analysis of the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of federal programming to reduce acid rain.
Lessons from PPP2000: Living with Earth's Extremes-Report from the PPP2000 Working Group to the Office of Science and Technology Policy Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction
This book is a series of reports summarizing discussions and recommendations from a series of forums about strategies to deal with natural disaster. The focus is on changing human behavior and development in order to coexist with natural phenomena rather than trying to control natural phenomena.
Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation Act
This law was passed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) to protect public health and the environment by preventing soil and groundwater pollution, and by promoting the sustainable use of soil and groundwater.
From the Edge: Science to Support Restoration of Pacific Salmon
According the preface, this report represents the scientific understanding of salmon and salmon declines in the year 2000. The report provides an overview of salmon population trends, and ways to aid in and measure recovery.
National Plant Genome Initiative
This report is an update on progress of federal plant genome research. The focus in this report is on plants that are economically important to agribusiness.
UNEP 2000 Annual Report
The UNEP annual report provides an overview of UNEP's activities for the year of 2000. The report also reflects on the possible challenges that the new millennium "the Environment Millennium" may bring.
Organic Act of the National Institute of Environmental Analysis, Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan
This law, passed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) establishes the role National Institute of Environmental Analysis.
UNEP in 2001
The UNEP annual report highlights the various UNEP activities for the year 2001. The report pays particular attention to the Johannesburg (South Africa) meeting on sustainable development.
Scientific Collections: Mission-Critical Infrastructure for Federal Science Agencies
This report describes the nature and state of federally-held scientific collections which exist for scientific study to provide insight about historical trends in biodiversity, climate, and ecosystems.
UNEP in 2002
The UNEP annual report for 2002 looks back over the past year and highlights various UNEP activities. The report summarizes various events, including the Johannesburg (South Africa) meeting on leadership for a sustainable future, which states that good governance within each country and at the international level is essential for sustainable development.
Tsunami Risk Reduction for the United States: A Framework for Action
This document describes proposals for making communities better prepared and more resilient to catastrophic natural disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2006. Methods described include warning systems, data sharing, and land use decisions.
Science and Technology to Support Fresh Water Availability in the United States
This report describes issues regarding water use, conservation, and management. Many parts of the United States are expected to face water shortages in the near future.
UNEP 2008 Annual Report
The UNEP annual report provides an overview of UNEP's activities for the year of 2008. The report also reflects on the campaign theme for the run-up to the crucial negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009, "United to combat climate change".
UNEP 2007 Annual Report
The UNEP annual report provides an overview of UNEP's activities for the year of 2007. The report reflects on the transformation of the global economy into a green economy, in part as a result of climate change.
Integrated Assessment of Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
This document details the ecological and economic effects of low oxygen (hypoxic) conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. This condition is caused by deforestation, river channelization, and the overuse of nitrogen in agricultural fertilizer. This document summarizes scientific evidence for the causes of hypoxia, the negative impact on Gulf of Mexico fisheries, and long-term national strategies for managing and mitigating the problem.
UNEP in 2006
The UNEP annual report for 2006 looks back over the past year and highlights the various UNEP activities. The report also points to the future and discusses wide-range of issues, including climate change, poverty reduction and development strategies in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Vision 2050: An Integrated National Transportation System
This document calls for major improvements to the United States transportation infrastructure. The vision includes improvements in energy independence, environmental compatibility, safety, cost, and performance.
Waste Disposal Act
This law was passed by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to improve environmental sanitation and public health through the regulation of waste disposal.
An Assessment of Coastal Hypoxia and Eutrophication in U.S. Waters
This document is about hypoxia in aquatic ecosystems. Hypoxia is a depletion of oxygen caused by runoff, land cover change, and other factors associated with population growth and agriculture. The report discusses mitigation strategies and trends in managing this problem.
United Nations Environment Programme 2009 Annual Report
The 2009 UNEP annual report provides detailed information about various UNEP activities during the year of 2009, including analysis of the outcome of the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference. The report emphasizes the need to mobilize behind climate action in 2009 and to continue to ensure that environmental sustainability is recognized both as a legitmate goal in itself and as a means to achieving all other development objectives including the Millennium Development Goals.
Atmospheric Ammonia: Sources and Fate. A Review of Ongoing Federal Research and Future Needs
This report provides a brief summary of the state of the current state of federal scientific research related to atmospheric ammonia, based on discussions from an October, 1999 meeting of the Air Quality Research Subcommittee of CENR.
Organic Act of the Environmental Protection Personnel Training Institute, Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan
This law was passed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) in order to support the training of government officials in certain areas of environmental regulation, assessment, inspection, arbitration, and enforcement.