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Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry

Description: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (SR-LULUCF) has been prepared in response to a request from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). At its eighth session in Bonn, Germany, 2-12 Ju and technical implications of carbon sequestration strategies related to land use, land-use change, and forestry activities. The scope, structure, and outline of this Special Report was approved by the IPCC in plenary meetings during its Fourteenth Session. This Special Report examines several key questions relating to the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and the terrestrial pool of aboveground biomass, below-ground biomass, and soils. Vegetation exchanges carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere through photosynthesis and plant and soil respiration. This natural exchange has been occurring for hundreds of millions of years. Humans are changing the natural rate of exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere through land use, land-use change, and forestry activities. The aim of the SR-LULUCF is to assist the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol by providing relevant scientific and technical information to describe how the global carbon cycle operates and what the broad-scale opportunities and implications of ARD and additional human-induced activities are, now and in the future. This Special Report also identifies questions that Parties to the Protocol may wish to consider regarding definitions and accounting rules.
Date: 2000
Creator: Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Global Change and the Earth System: A planet under pressure

Description: 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.
Date: 2001
Creator: Global Environmental Change Programmes

Summary for Policymakers: The Science of Climate Change - IPCC Working Group I

Description: 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.
Date: 1995
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Emissions Scenarios

Description: This Report describes climate change scenarios that extend to the end of the 21st century and how they were developed. The scenarios cover a wide range of the main driving forces of future emissions, from demographic to technological and economic developments. The set of emissions scenarios is based on an extensive assessment of the literature, six alternative modeling approaches, and an "open process" that solicited wide participation and feedback from many groups and individuals. The SRES scenarios include the range of emissions of all relevant species of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and sulfur and their driving forces.
Date: 2000
Creator: Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Interplay between Climate Change, Forests, and Disturbances

Description: Climate change affects forests both directly and indirectly through disturbances. Disturbances are a natural and integral part of forest ecosystems, and climate change can alter these natural interactions. When disturbances exceed their natural range of variation, the change in forest structure and function may be extreme. Each disturbance affects forests differently. Some disturbances have tight interactions with the species and forest communities which can be disrupted by climate change. Impacts of disturbances and thus of climate change are seen over a broad spectrum of spatial and temporal scales. Future observations, research, and tool development are needed to further understand the interactions between climate change and forest disturbances.
Date: March 25, 2000
Creator: Dale, Virginia H.; Joyce, Linda A.; McNulty, Steve & Neilson, Ronald P.

WCRP IPY activities

Description: On 1 March 2007, the International Polar Year 2007/2008, one of the most ambitious coordinated international science programmes was launched. Many of the IPY leaders and participants are members of WCRP projects and groups. Climate issues are at the forefront of the majority of IPY studies. This chart is a visualization of International Polar Year activities at the World Climate Research Program.
Date: March 11, 2008
Creator: World Climate Research Program

Climate Change: The Evidence Mounts Up

Description: This article was published in Nature and summarized the presentations of a six-day symposium held 3-8 July 1995 on Climate Variability and Forcing over the past mellennium. Our present climate is unusually warm, and the pattern of warming over the past century strongly suggests an anthropogenic influence from greenhouse gas and sulphate aerosols. That was the message emerging from a week-long symposium examining climate variability over the past 1,000 years, which brought together results from a growing array of observational techniques, analyses of natural records and model results.
Date: August 24, 1995
Creator: MacCracken, Michael C.

Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2010

Description: The report describes the activities and plans of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program established under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Climate Change Research Initiative that was established by the President in 2001. CCSP coordinates and integrates scientific research on climate and global change supported by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government. The document highlights recent advances and progress supported by CCSP-participating agencies in each of the program's research and observational elements, as called for in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program released in July 2003, and later modified in the 2008 CCSP Revised Research Plan. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decisionmaking at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change.
Date: September 2009
Creator: U.S. Global Change Research Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research

Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2008

Description: This report describes the activities and plans of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program, established under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Climate Change Research Initiative, established by the President in 2001. CCSP coordinates and integrates scientific research on climate and global change supported by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government. The document describes a wide range of advances in understanding the underlying processes responsible for climate variability and change, such as advances in understanding of climate change at high latitudes. It also describes progress on understanding the ongoing and projected effects of climate change on nature and society, including the interconnected relationships between climate, forests, and wildfire. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decision making at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change.
Date: 2007
Creator: Climate Change Science Program (U.S.)

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

Remarks by Administrator O'Keefe at the Earth Observation Summit

Description: Remarks by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe at the 2003 Earth Observation Summit in Washington, DC. The purpose of the summit was to promote the development of a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Earth observation system or systems among governments and the international community to understand and address global environmental and economic challenges, and also to begin a process to develop a conceptual framework and implementation plan for building this integrated Earth observation system. When the space age dawned it was clear that the ability to propel robotic spacecraft and humans beyond the gravity of our home planet would open up untold avenues of exploration and discovery throughout the Solar System and beyond. What was not understood at the time was how comprehensive observations of the Earth system from space would lead to a significant new field of scientific inquiry.
Date: July 31, 2003
Creator: O'Keefe, Sean

NOAA Reports Potent Greenhouse Gas Levels Off

Description: This document provides a summary of a study by NOAA researchers and National Institute for Space Research in the Netherlands. According to the study, one of the atmosphere's most potent greenhouse gases, methane, may now have leveled off. Scientists aren't sure yet if this "leveling off" is just a temporary pause in two centuries of increase or a new state of equilibrium.
Date: November 17, 2003
Creator: NOAA News Online

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics: Implementation Plan

Description: This document describes plans for the implementation of the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) programme element of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). This Implementation Plan is an international response to the need to understand how global change, in the broadest sense, will affect the abundance, diversity and productivity of marine populations comprising a major component of oceanic ecosystems. The Plan describes the consensus view, developed under the auspices of the GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), on the research required to fulfill the scientific goals laid out in the GLOBEC Science Plan (IGBP Report No. 40). The Implementation Plan expands on the Science Plan, drawing on the results and recommendations of workshops, meetings, and reports thereof, that have been sponsored under the auspices of GLOBEC. The GLOBEC research programme has four major components which, are described in detail in this Implementation Plan; the research Foci, Framework Activities, Regional Programmes, and Integrating Activity. These are summarized in the Table of Contents, and in schematic diagrams within the text. They are the elements that have been planned by, and will be implemented under the auspices of, the GLOBEC SSC. National GLOBEC programmes may select those aspects of this international framework which are relevant to meeting national objectives, or they may develop new directions as needed to meet specific national needs.
Date: 1999
Creator: GLOBEC International Project Office

Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC): Implementation Strategy

Description: The Implementation Strategy of the Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC) project specifies in greater detail the activities and projects that will fulfil the mandate outlined in the LUCC Science/Research Plan published in 1995. The project, a joint initiative of IGBP and IHDP, is addressing important global change questions on the local, regional and global scale. The planned and ongoing activities involve a wide community of natural and social scientists. The new understanding of land-use and land-cover change dynamics following from the work carried out under the LUCC Implementation Strategy will be of crucial importance to the global environmental change research community as well as to decision-makers at the local, regional and global levels.
Date: 1999
Creator: Scientific Steering Committee and International Project Office of LUCC

Global Change and Mountain Regions: The Mountain Research Initiative

Description: The strong altitudinal gradients in mountain regions provide unique and sometimes the best opportunities to detect and analyse global change processes and phenomena. Meteorological, hydrological, cryospheric and ecological conditions change strongly over relatively short distances; thus biodiversity tends to be high, and characteristic sequences of ecosystems and cryospheric systems are found along mountain slopes. The boundaries between these systems experience shifts due to environmental change and thus may be used as indicators of such changes. The higher parts of many mountain ranges are not affected by direct human activities. These areas include many national parks and other protected environments. They may serve as locations where the environmental impacts of climate change alone, including changes in atmospheric chemistry, can be studied directly. Mountain regions are distributed all over the globe, from the Equator almost to the poles and from oceanic to highly continental climates. This global distribution allows us to perform comparative regional studies and to analyse the regional differentiation of environmental change processes as characterised above. Therefore, within the IGBP an Initiative for Collaborative Research on Global Change and Mountain Regions was developed, which strives to achieve an integrated approach for observing, modelling and investigating global change phenomena and processes in mountain regions, including their impacts on ecosystems and socio-economic systems.
Date: 2001
Creator: Bekcer, Alfred & Bugmann, Harald

The Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Description: 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.
Date: 2004
Creator: Broadgate, Wendy & Young, Bill

Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy

Description: 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.
Date: 2005
Creator: Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone

Global Land Project: Science Plan and ImplementationStrategy

Description: The Global Land Project (GLP) Science Plan and Implementation Strategy represents the joint research agenda of IGBP and IHDP to improve the understanding of land system dynamics in the context of Earth System functioning. This plan is therefore a first critical step in addressing the interaction between people and their environments. It is part of the broader efforts to understand how these interactions have affected, and may yet affect, the sustainability of the terrestrial biosphere, and the two-way interactions and feedbacks between different land systems within the Earth System. GLP will play a clear role in improving the understanding of regional and global-scale land systems, as well as promoting strong scientific synergy across the global change programmes. This Science Plan and Implementation Strategy develops a new integrated paradigm focused on two main conceptual aspects of the coupled system: firstly, it deals with the interface between people, biota, and natural resources of terrestrial systems, and secondly, it combines detailed regional studies with a global, comparative perspective. GLP takes as its points of departure ecosystem services and human decision making for the terrestrial environment. These topics are at the interface of the societal and the environmental domains, and serve as conceptual lenses for the research plan.
Date: September 2005
Creator: Global Land Project (GLP)

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

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

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

Law of the People's Republic of China on the Promotion of Clean Production

Description: This Law was enacted in order to promote cleaner production, increase the efficiency of resource utilization, reduce and avoid the generation of pollutants, protect and improve the environment, ensure public health, and promote sustainable development of the economy and society.
Date: June 29, 2002
Creator: National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China