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Atomic Energy Act of 1954 [As Amended Through P.L. 105-394, November 13, 1998]: An Act for the development and control of atomic energy

Description: The Atomic Energy Act (AEA) established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to promote the "utilization of atomic energy for peaceful purposes to the maximum extent consistent with the common defense and security and with the health and safety of the public." Since the abolition of the AEC, much of the AEA has been carried out by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. When EPA was formed, however, the AEC's authority to issue generally applicable environmental radiation standards was transferred to EPA. Other federal and state organizations must follow these standards when developing requirements for their areas of radiation protection.
Date: November 13, 1998
Creator: United States. Congress

Global Wetland Distribution and Functional Characterization: Trace Gases and the Hydrologic Cycle

Description: The IGBP Wetlands workshop (Santa Barbara, CA, USA,16-20 May 1996) was held for the purpose of identifying data and research needs for characterizing wetlands in terms of their role in biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. Wetlands cover only about 1% of the Earth's surface, yet are responsible for a much greater proportion of biogeochemical fluxes between the land surface, the atmosphere and hydrologic systems. They play a particularly important function in processing methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulphur as well as in sequestering carbon. Considerable progress has been made in the past 10 years regarding wetlands and methane: a global digital dataset of wetlands (Matthews and Fung 1987) was produced and global observations of methane have been combined with global three-dimensional atmospheric modelling (Fung et al. 1991) to constrain modelled fluxes of methane from high-latitude wetlands. Furthermore, significant advances have been made in understanding the biogeochemical processes that control fluxes of methane and other trace gases. The progress has made clear that present wetland classification schemes do not accurately reflect their roles in these processes because they have been based on wetland attributes such as dominant plant types which do not reflect differences in the functions of wetlands regarding biogeochemical cycles. Further, traditional wetland classifications cannot be distinguished on the basis of global remotely sensed observations. Consequently, it has been impossible to accurately quantify the distribution of key fluxes on the basis of observed land cover. The workshop developed a wetland parameterization scheme based on observable quantities to better incorporate wetlands into global land surface characterization schemes so that the relation between land cover and biogeochemical fluxes can be more accurately determined. An improved understanding of this relation will make it possible to better use observed or historical changes in land cover to infer changes in biogeochemical fluxes, including the cycles ...
Date: 1998
Creator: Sahagian, Dork & Melack, John

Inter-American Convention on Sea Turtles : message from the President of the United States transmitting Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, with annexes, done at Caracas December 1, 1996, (The "Convention"), which was signed by the United States, subject to ratification on December 13, 1996

Description: This treaty provides the legal framework for member countries in the Americas and the Caribbean to take actions for the benefit of sea turtles
Date: 1998
Creator: United States. President (1993-2001 : Clinton) & Albright, Madeleine Korbel

Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Description: The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
Date: 1998
Creator: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Organization)

Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop Final Report: Circles of Wisdom

Description: 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.
Date: 1998
Creator: Maynard, Nancy, G.

Past Global Changes (PAGES) Status Report and Implementation Plan

Description: 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.
Date: 1998
Creator: Oldfield, Frank

START Implementation Plan 1997-2002

Description: 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.
Date: 1998
Creator: Fuchs, Roland; Hassan, Virji & Fleming, Cory