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The U.S. Climate Change Science Program Vision for the Program and Highlights of the Scientific Strategic Plan
The vision document provides an overview of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) long-term strategic plan to enhance scientific understanding of global climate change.This document is a companion to the comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program.
WIREC 2008 Ministerial Bulletin: A summary report of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008
The Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008) convened from 4-6 March 2008, at the Washington, DC Convention Center in the US. WIREC 2008 consisted of a Ministerial Meeting, a business conference, a trade show exhibition and side events. More than 3000 participants from 118 countries registered for the Ministerial Meeting, including approximately 100 ministerial representatives. This Bulletin reports on the Ministerial Meeting events.
Weather and Highways: Report of a Policy Forum
This report of a policy forum on "Weather and Highways" presents recommendations that, if implemented, could offer considerable benefits to the safety of the nation's traveling public and the national economy by supporting the effective application of weather information services to the operation of our road systems. The AMS Atmospheric Policy Program developed this forum to address the issues connected with effective use of road weather information. The participants included nearly 100 public, private, and academic representatives of weather information providers; transportation managers and users; and policy makers knowledgeable about the nation's highway system.
Fiscal Year 2005- 2006 Accelerated Research on Global Climate Observations Fact Sheet
Coincident with the release of the Climate Change Science Program strategic plan, the Administration announces plans for the acceleration of select high priority research projects and climate observations. These activities contribute to filling critical knowledge gaps identified in the plan (aerosols, oceans and the natural carbon cycle). The selected investments have been coordinated among the agencies to maximize the overall impact. Funding will be reallocated from lower priority areas to enable these critical investments.
The ozone hole
Discovery of the hole in the ozone layer showed that human activity can have major, and often unexpected impacts on the planet. The destruction of ozone in the stratosphere high above the planet's surface has been brought about as the result of the widespread use of chemicals which under normal conditions are chemically inert and harmless
Ozone
Although it represents only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, ozone is crucial for life on Earth. Depending on where ozone resides, it can protect or harm life on Earth.
Ozone
In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone. There is so much oxygen in our atmosphere, that these high-energy ultraviolet rays are completely absorbed in the stratosphere.
Solid Waste Disposal Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances. HSWA - the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments - are the 1984 amendments to RCRA that focused on waste minimization and phasing out land disposal of hazardous waste as well as corrective action for releases. Some of the other mandates of this law include increased enforcement authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and a comprehensive underground storage tank program.
The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 to assess the scientific and technical literature on climate change, the potential impacts of changes in climate, and options for adaption to and mitigation of climate change. Since its inception, the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies and other products which have become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, scientists and other experts. This Special Report, which has been produced by Working Group II of the IPCC, builds on the Working Group's contribution to the Second Assessment Report (SAR), and incorporates more recent information made available since mid-1995. It has been prepared in response to a request from the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It addresses an important question posed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, namely, the degree to which human conditions and the natural environment are vulnerable to the potential effects of climate change. The report establishes a common base of information regarding the potential costs and benefits of climatic change, including the evaluation of uncertainties, to help the COP determine what adaptation and mitigation measures might be justified. The report consists of vulnerability assessments for 10 regions that comprise the Earth's entire land surface and adjoining coastal seas: Africa, Arid Western Asia (including the Middle East), Australasia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Polar Regions (The Arctic and the Antarctic), Small Island States, Temperate Asia and Tropical Asia. It also includes several annexes that provide information about climate observations, climate projections, vegetation distribution projections and socioeconomic trends.
Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan
Human population and associated industrial activities continue to increase rapidly, and have reached levels that put the environment under stress in many areas of the world. In addition natural fluctuations of the Earth's physical and biological systems, often occur in time frames that are not readily evident to man. Such fluctuations cause additional stress on the environment, and can result in changes that impact society in terms of diminished availability of clean water, unspoiled land and natural vegetation, minerals, fish stocks, and clean air. Human societies are making a rapidly increasing number of policy and management decisions that attempt to allow both for natural fluctuations and to limit or modify human impact. Such decisions are often ineffective, as a result of economic, political and social constraints, and inadequate understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural responses. Improved understanding of such issues is important in its own right, and will contribute to ameliorating economic, political and social constraints. Developing improved understanding of environmental change is within the realm of the natural sciences and is being addressed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and other programmes concerned with describing and understanding the Earth System. Natural variability, occurring over a variety of time scales, dominates the health of complex marine ecosystems, regardless of fishing or other environmental pressure. We are only now beginning to compile quantitative documentation of such variability, and consequently our knowledge concerning its causes remains at the level of hypotheses. Understanding of the role of variability in the functioning of marine ecosystems is essential if we are to effectively manage global marine living resources such as fisheries during this period of tremendously increased human impact, and concurrent dependence, on these resources.
The Miombo Network: Framework for a Terrestrial Transect Study of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Miombo Ecosystems of Central Africa
This report describes the strategy for the Miombo Network Initiative, developed at an International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) intercore-project workshop in Malawi in December 1995 and further refined during the Land Use and Cover Change (LUCC) Open Science Meeting in January, 1996 and through consultation and review by the LUCC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). The Miombo Network comprises of an international network of researchers working in concert on a 'community' research agenda developed to address the critical global change research questions for the miombo woodland ecosystems. The network also addresses capacity building and training needs in the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (SAF) region, of the Global Change System for Analysis Research and Training (START). The research strategy described here provides the basis for a proposed IGBP Terrestrial Transect study of land cover and land use changes in the miombo ecosystems of Central Africa. It therefore resides administratively within the LUCC programme with linkages to other Programme Elements of the IGBP such as Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE). The report provides the framework for research activities aimed at understanding how land use is affecting land cover and associated ecosystem processes; assessing what contribution these changes are making to global change; and predicting what effects global change in turn could have on land use dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. The key issues identified are: patterns, causes and rates of change in land cover in relation to land use; consequences of land-use and land-cover changes on regional climate, natural resources, hydrology, carbon storage and trace gas emissions; determinants of the distribution of species and ecosystems in miombo; and fundamental questions of miombo ecosystem structure and function.
The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa
The Kalahari Transect is proposed as one of IGBPs Transects (see Koch et al. 1995 [IGBP Report 36]). It is located so as to span the gradient between the arid subtropics and the moist tropics in southern Africa, a zone potentially susceptible to changes in the global precipitation pattern. Its focus is the relationships between the structure and function of ecosystems and their large-scale biophysical and human drivers (climate, atmosphere and land use). The Kalahari Transect spans a strong climatic gradient in southern Africa, from the arid south to the humid north, while remaining on a single broad soil type, the deep sands of the Kalahari basin. The vegetation ranges over the length of the transect from shrubland through savannas and woodlands to closed evergreen tropical forest, with land uses ranging from migratory wildlife systems, through pastoralism, subsistence cropping to forestry. The objectives of the Kalahari Transect activity are to: build an active network of regional and international researchers around the issue of ecosystem structure and function in savanna woodlands undergoing climatic and land use change; quantify the current and future role of southern African savanna woodlands in the global carbon, water and trace gas budgets and the degree of dependence of these budgets on climate and land use change; develop a predictive understanding of future changes in southern African savannas and woodlands on sandy soils, including their capacity to deliver forage, timber and other products. A five year project is proposed, commencing in 1997. The project revolves around four themes: vegetation structure, composition and dynamics; biogeochemistry, trace gas emissions and productivity; resource use and management and water and energy balance. These themes define the minimum set of processes necessary for understanding of the Kalahari system.
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."
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.
Energy Policy Act
The Energy Policy Act (EPA) addresses energy production in the United States, including: (1) energy efficiency; (2) renewable energy; (3) oil and gas; (4) coal; (5) Tribal energy; (6) nuclear matters and security; (7) vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol; (8) hydrogen; (9) electricity; (10) energy tax incentives; (11) hydropower and geothermal energy; and (12) climate change technology. For example, the Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use innovative technologies that avoid the by-production of greenhouse gases. Another provision of the Act increases the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States.
Endangered Species Act of 1973
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior maintains a worldwide list which, as of Feb. 20, 2008, included 1574 endangered species (599 are plants) and 351 threatened species (148 are plants). Species include birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. Anyone can petition FWS to include a species on this list. The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. The law also prohibits any action that causes a "taking" of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife. Likewise, import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all generally prohibited.
Antarctic fact-file
Antarctica is a continent for science. All countries working in Antarctica carry out scientific research, in a surprising range of physical and biological sciences, from the vastness of space to the minute scale of micro-organisms. Activities are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been in force since 1959 and is signed by all countries operating there. The Treaty reserves the continent for peaceful purposes, and all military and industrial activities are banned.
More El Niños May Mean More Rainfall Extremes
Researchers at NASA and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), studying changes in tropical precipitation patterns, have noted a higher frequency of El Niños and La Niñas over the last 21 years. In addition, when either of those events occur, the world can expect more months with unusually high or low precipitation with droughts more common than floods over land areas.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990
The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 streamlined and strengthened EPA's ability to prevent and respond to catastrophic oil spills. A trust fund financed by a tax on oil is available to clean up spills when the responsible party is incapable or unwilling to do so. The OPA requires oil storage facilities and vessels to submit to the Federal government plans detailing how they will respond to large discharges. EPA has published regulations for above ground storage facilities; the Coast Guard has done so for oil tankers. The OPA also requires the development of Area Contingency Plans to prepare and plan for oil spill response on a regional scale.
Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources
The U.S. Government's Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is responsible for providing the best science-based knowledge possible to inform management of the risks and opportunities associated with changes in the climate and related environmental systems. To support its mission, the CCSP has commissioned 21 "synthesis and assessment products" (SAPs) to advance decision making on climate change-related issues by providing current evaluations of climate change science and identifying priorities for research, observation, and decision support. This Report-SAP 4.4-focuses on federally managed lands and waters to provide a "Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources." It is one of seven reports that support Goal 4 of the CCSP Strategic Plan to understand the sensitivity and adaptability of different natural and managed ecosystems and human systems to climate and related global changes. The purpose of SAP 4.4 is to provide useful information on the state of knowledge regarding adaptation options for key, representative ecosystems and resources that may be sensitive to climate variability and change. As its title suggests, this report is a preliminary review, defined as "the process of collecting and reviewing available information about known or potential adaptation options."
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.
The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems
From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation.
Ocean Biogeochemistry and Global Change
From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation.
Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region
This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. The U.S. Government's CCSP is responsible for providing the best science-based knowledge possible to inform management of the risks and opportunities associated with changes in the climate and related environmental systems. To support its mission, the CCSP has commissioned 21 "synthesis and assessment products" (SAPs) to advance decision making on climate change-related issues by providing current evaluations of climate change science and identifying priorities for research, observation, and decision support. This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP), developed as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, examines potential effects of sea-level rise from climate change during the twenty-first century, with a focus on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. Using scientific literature and policy-related documents, the SAP describes the physical environments; potential changes to coastal environments, wetlands, and vulnerable species; societal impacts and implications of sea-level rise; decisions that may be sensitive to sea-level rise; opportunities for adaptation; and institutional barriers to adaptation.
Best Practice Approaches for Characterizing, Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Decision Making
This report discusses the current state of understanding about the characteristics and implications of uncertainty related to climate change and variability to an audience of policymakers, decision makers, and members of the media and general public with an interest in developing a fundamental understanding of the issue.
Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations using Seasonal-to-Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data: A Focus on Water Resources
This Synthesis and Assessment Product focuses on the connection between the scientific ability to predict climate on seasonal scales and the opportunity to incorporate such understanding into water resource management decisions. It directly addresses decision support experiments and evaluations that have used seasonal-to-interannual forecasts and observational data, and is expected to inform (1) decision makers about the relative success of experiences of others who have experimented with these forecasts and data in resource management; (2) climatologists, hydrologists, and social scientists on how to advance the delivery of decision-support resources that use the most recent forecast products, methodologies, and tools; and (3) science and resource managers as they plan for future investments in research related to forecasts and their role in decision support. It is important to note, however, that while the focus of this Product is on the water resources management sector, the findings within this Synthesis and Assessment Product may be directly transferred to other sectors.
Thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems
This Report (SAP 4.2) focuses on the thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems. As defined in this Synthesis and Assessment Report, 'an ecological threshold is the point at which there is an abrupt change in an ecosystem quality, property, or phenomenon, or where small changes in one or more external conditions produce large and persistent responses in an ecosystem'.Ecological thresholds occur when external factors, positive feedbacks, or nonlinear instabilities in a system cause changes to propagate in a domino-like fashion that is potentially irreversible. This report reviews threshold changes in North American ecosystems that are potentially induced by climatic change and addresses the significant challenges these threshold crossings impose on resource and land managers. Sudden changes to ecosystems and the goods and services they provide are not well understood, but they are extremely important if natural resource managers are to succeed in developing adaptation strategies in a changing world. The report provides an overview of what is known about ecological thresholds and where they are likely to occur. It also identifies those areas where research is most needed to improve knowledge and understand the uncertainties regarding them. The report suggests a suite of potential actions that land and resource managers could use to improve the likelihood of success for the resources they manage, even under conditions of incomplete understanding of what drives thresholds of change and when changes will occur.
The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States
This document is a part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan. The report describes how 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.
Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study, Phase I
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. The significance of various climate factors for transportation systems was assessed.
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.
Climate Change and Water: Technical Paper VI
The Technical Paper addresses the issue of freshwater. Sea level rise is dealt with only insofar as it can lead to impacts on freshwater in coastal areas and beyond. Climate, freshwater, biophysical and socio-economic systems are interconnected in complex ways. Hence, a change in any one of these can induce a change in any other. Freshwater-related issues are critical in determining key regional and sectoral vulnerabilities. Therefore, the relationship between climate change and freshwater resources is of primary concern to human society and also has implications for all living species.
The Global Carbon Cycle
A brochure explaining the likely dynamics of the carbon-climate-human system with projections for the future, and recommendations for points of intervention and windows of opportunity for human societies to manage this system.
The United States National Report on Systematic Observations for Climate for 2008: National Activities with Respect to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan
Long-term, high-accuracy, stable environmental observations are essential to define the state of the global integrated Earth system, its history and its future variability and change. Observations for climate include: (1) operational weather observations, when appropriate care has been exercised to establish high accuracy; (2) limited-duration observations collected as part of research investigations to elucidate chemical, dynamical, biological, or radiative processes that contribute to maintaining climate patterns or to their variability; (3) high accuracy, high precision observations to document decadal-to-centennial changes; and (4) observations of climate proxies, collected to extend the instrumental climate record to remote regions and back in time to provide information on climate change at millennial and longer time scales. This report was requested by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to serve as input to see how progress has been made with respect to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan developed in 2004 In accordance with the UNFCCC guidelines, the sections of the report delineate specific U.S. climate monitoring activities in several distinct yet integrated areas as follows: (1) common issues; (2) non-satellite atmospheric observations; (3) non-satellite oceanic observations; (4) non-satellite terrestrial observations; (5) satellite global atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial observations; and (6) data and information management related to systematic observations. The various federal agencies involved in observing the environment provide the required long-term observations. Space-based systems provide unique global measurements of solar output, the Earth's radiation budget; vegetation type and primary production; land surface conditions; ocean and terrestrial biomass primary productivity; tropospheric and stratospheric ozone; tropospheric and stratospheric water vapor; tropospheric aerosols; greenhouse gas distributions; sea level; ocean surface conditions and winds; weather; and tropical precipitation, among others.
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972
The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), also referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act, generally prohibits transportation of material from the United States for the purpose of ocean dumping; transportation of material from anywhere for the purpose of ocean dumping by U.S. agencies or U.S.-flagged vessels; dumping of material transported from outside the United States into the U.S. territorial sea. A permit is required to deviate from these prohibitions. Under MPRSA, the standard fro permit issuance is whether the dumping will "unreasonably degrade or endanger" human health, welfare, or the marine environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is charged with developing ocean dumping criteria to be used in evaluating permit applications.
Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop Final Report: Circles of Wisdom
The Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop was held on October 28 through November 01, 1998, as part of a series of workshops being held around the U.S. to improve the understanding of the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the Nation. This workshop was specifically designed by Native Peoples to examine the impacts of climate change and extreme weather variability on Native Peoples and Native Homelands from an indigenous cultural and spiritual perspective and to develop recommendations as well as identify potential response actions. Native Peoples, with our spiritual traditions and long community histories of change, adaptation, and survival in specific regions, are providing a unique contribution to the assessment and understanding of climate change as well as to the development of sustainable economies in this country.
NOAA Updates What Defines Normal Temperature
Normal temperatures and precipitation levels for your area may have changed as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center recently released new 'normal' data for about 8,000 weather stations. The data defines the normal temperature at locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Islands. These data are used as a benchmark for weather forecasters to calculate day-to-day temperature and rainfall departures from typical levels and are also used by business, government and industry for planning, design and operations.
Nuclear Waste Policy Act
The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) supports the use of deep geologic repositories for the safe storage and/or disposal of radioactive waste. The Act establishes procedures to evaluate and select sites for geologic repositories and for the interaction of state and federal governments. It also provides a timetable of key milestones the federal agencies must meet in carrying out the program. The NWPA assigns the Department of Energy (DOE) the responsibility to site, build, and operate a deep geologic repository for the disposal of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel. It directs EPA to develop standards for protection of the general environment from offsite releases of radioactive material in repositories. The Act directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to license DOE to operate a repository only if it meets EPA's standards and all other relevant requirements.
Selected Translated Abstracts of Chinese-Language Climate Change Publications
This report contains English-translated abstracts of important Chinese-language literature concerning global climate change for the years 1995-1998. This body of abstracts includes the topics of adaption, ancient climate change, climate variation, the East Asia monsoon, historical climate change, impacts, modeling, and radiation, and trace gas emission. In addition to the bibliographic citations and abstracts translated into English, this report presents the original citations and abstracts in Chinese. Author and title index are included to assist the reader in locating abstracts of particular interest.
Report on the TCO/GCP Terrestrial Carbon Observations and Model-Data Fusion Workshop
The global carbon cycle is of intense interest to policy-makers, the scientific community, and public organizations. As a result, numerous new programmes and projects have been developed over the last few years. TCO and GCP are two such complementary initiatives which share a common goal of advancing the availability of more accurate and mutually consistent estimates of terrestrial carbon sources, sinks and processes, regionally and globally, through syntheses of observations and models. The workshop was intended to advance the availability of more accurate and mutually consistent estimates of the distribution of carbon sources and sinks at a regional and global level. This goal can be achieved by convergence of in situ and satellite observations, experiments and modelling strategies; improvements in data acquisition and sharing; and product generation, distribution and use. The workshop focused on the following questions and associated issues: 1. What carbon cycle data products could be routinely produced from a carbon observation system based on model-data and model-data fusion? 2. What are the main conceptual approaches to assimilating atmospheric carbon content, terrestrial carbon flux and remotely sensed data into coupled atmospheric circulation-carbon cycle models? 3. What is the present and eventual uncertainty regarding the main carbon fluxes at global and regional scale, and how will it be reduced by projects currently underway and about to begin? 4. In what regions, and on what topics, will new data inputs make the largest contribution to reducing the residual uncertainties? What actions should be taken to overcome the gaps and limitations identified?
The National Eleventh Five-year Plan for Environmental Protection(2006-2010)
The current plan is formulated on the basis of the Outline of the 11th Five-Year Plan for the Development of National Economy and Social Development and the Decision of the State Council on the Implementation of the Scientific Outlook on Development and Strengthening Environmental Protection [No.39 document of the State Council (2005)]. The current plan is an important part of the national 11th Five-Year Plan system, and aims at expounding the objectives, tasks, investments, and key policy measures in the field of environmental protection during the 11th Five-Year Plan period. The plan identifies the responsibilities and tasks of the government and the environmental protection departments at all levels, guiding and mobilizing the participation of enterprises and civil society and striving for environmentally friendly society.
The National Tenth Five-Year Plan for Environmental Protection(Abstract)
The State Council approved the National Tenth Five-Year Plan for Environmental Protection on 26 December 2001, requesting that loca1 governments and the various departments strengthen environmental protection in close relation with the economic restructuring; raise funds for environmental protection through multiple channels in connection with the expansion of domestic demand, and establish the mechanism of environmental protection with the government playing the dominant role with market promotion and public participation. The State Council emphasizes that local governments should undertake the major responsibilities of environmental protection. The governments at various levels should integrate the tasks of the Plan into the target responsibility system for provincial governors, mayors, and county heads. Periodic examination should be carried out on the targets of total pollutant discharge control and environmental quality. The implementation of the Plan should be inspected and reported on every year. The State Council requests that the relevant departments should provide guidance and support in implementing the Plan according to their respective responsibilities. The State Environmental Protection Administration should conduct coordinated supervision, management, and inspection of the implementation of the Plan.
Understanding ecosystems
Plants and animals live in environments which change over different periods of time. Some changes happen each year with the seasons, whilst others take hundreds or even millions of years. As these changes occur, living organisms respond in different ways. To cope with the changing seasons, individuals can change their physiology or behaviour, for instance by hibernating or migration. In response to longer-scale change, species may adapt through evolutionary change. If they cannot, they must either move away or become extinct.
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was one of the first laws ever written that establishes the broad national framework for protecting our environment. NEPA's basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment. NEPA requirements are invoked when airports, buildings, military complexes, highways, parkland purchases, and other federal activities are proposed. Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), which are assessments of the likelihood of impacts from alternative courses of action, are required from all Federal agencies and are the most visible NEPA requirements.
Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science
This guide aims to help individuals and communities know and understand Earth’s climate, the impacts of climate change, and approaches to adaptation or mitigation. The guide aims to promote greater climate science literacy by providing an educational framework of principles and concepts. The guide can serve educators who teach climate science as a way to meet content standards in their science curricula.
Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
This strategic plan has been prepared by the 13 federal agencies participating in the CCSP, with coordination by the CCSP staff under the leadership of Dr. Richard H. Moss. This strategic plan responds to the President's direction that climate change research activities be accelerated to provide the best possible scientific information to support public discussion and decision-making on climate-related issues.The plan also responds to Section 104 of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which mandates the development and periodic updating of a long-term national global change research plan coordinated through the National Science and Technology Council.This is the first comprehensive update of a strategic plan for U.S. global change and climate change research since the original plan for the U.S. Global Change Research Program was adopted at the inception of the program in 1989.
Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Executive Summary: Building a Course for Greater Climate Understanding
This document describes a research strategy for developing improved knowledge of climate variability and change and the potential impacts on the environment and on human lives. It also provides for the development of resources and tools that will empower policy-makers with the knowledge necessary for making decisions.
Outline of the Basic Environment Plan
This is the third Basic Environment Plan of Japan. The theme of the plan is "integrated improvements of the environment, economy, and society." The plan develops long-term goals and will be assessed by quantitative targets and indicators for management. The plan calls for a clear public information campgaign.
Two Long-Term Instrumental Climatic Data bases of the People's Republic of China
Two long-term instrumental databases
Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Control of Water Pollution
This Law is formulated for the purpose of preventing and controlling water pollution, protecting and improving the environment, safeguarding human health, ensuring the effective use of water resources and facilitating the development of socialist modernization.
Retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
New evidence suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is retreating more slowly and contributing less to rising global sea levels than scientists once thought. In fact, said researchers at a recent meeting, the sheet was still growing as recently as 8,000 years ago -- thousands of years after the most recent Ice Age.