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Our Changing Planet: The Fiscal Year 2003 U.S. Global Change Research Program and Climate Change Research Initiative

Description: This document is a supplement to the President's Fiscal Year 2003 Budget. The report describes the activities and plans of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The report also describes the start-up activities for the U.S. Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI), established by President George W. Bush to accelerate research on climate change. The CCRI supplements the ongoing USGCRP work by providing focus and targeting resources to areas where significant 2 to 5 year improvements in decision-relevant information are possible.
Date: 2002
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program

Our Changing Planet: The FY 2001 U.S. Global Change Research Program

Description: This report, prepared under the auspices of the President's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), highlights the Program's recent research and describes future plans and goals. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established in 1989 and authorized by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The first edition of Our Changing Planet was transmitted to the Congress as a supplement to the FY1990 budget. In just over a decade, the USGCRPhas generated remarkable improvements to our knowledge of Earth's global-scale environmental processes and helped identify and explain the causes and consequences of a series of global environmental changes, including ozone depletion and climate change.
Date: September 2000
Creator: Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council

Our Changing Planet: The FY 2002 U.S. Global Change Research Program

Description: This document, which is produced annually, describes the activities and plans of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which was established in 1989 and authorized by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Strong bipartisan support for this inter-agency program has resulted in more than a decade's worth of scientific accomplishment. "Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments (either upward or downward). Reducing the wide range of uncertainty inherent in current model predictions of global climate change will require major advances in understanding and modeling of both (1) the factors that determine atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and (2) the so-called 'feedbacks' that determine the sensitivity of the climate system to a prescribed increase in greenhouse gases. There is also a pressing need for a global system designed for monitoring climate. Climate projections will always be far from perfect. Confidence limits and probabilistic information, with their basis, should always be considered as an integral part of the information that climate scientists provide to policy- and decision-makers. Without them, the IPCC SPM [Summary for Policymakers] could give the impression that the science of global warming is 'settled,' even though many uncertainties still remain. The emission scenarios used by the IPCC provide a good example. Human dimensions will almost certainly alter emissions over the next century. Because we cannot predict either the course of human populations, technology, or societal transitions with any clarity, the actual greenhouse gas emissions could either be greater or less than the IPCC scenarios. Without an understanding of the sources and degree of uncertainty, decision makers could fail ...
Date: September 2001
Creator: Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council