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Abrupt Climate Change: Final Report

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAP) described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. This report is meant to reduce uncertainty in projections of how the Earth's climate and related systems may change in the future. It provides scientific information for supporting the decision-making audience and the expert scientific and stakeholder community.
Date: December 2008
Creator: US Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAP) described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. This report is meant to synthesize and communicate 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.
Date: September 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Uses and Limitations of Observations, Data, Forecasts, and Other Projections in Decision Support for Selected Sectors and Regions

Description: 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.
Date: August 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States

Description: 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.
Date: February 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study, Phase I

Description: 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.
Date: March 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Best Practice Approaches for Characterizing, Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Decision Making

Description: 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.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Report of the First Session of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Description: The first session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 9 to 11 November 1988. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences.
Date: 1989
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Report of the Second Session of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Description: The Panel at its second session stressed the complexity of the climate change and related issues, such that a fine balance would have to be struck between available scientific evidence for climate change and the uncertainties in that knowledge base. The structure of the report was examined and approved. Panel also The panel also discussed on the first session if the IPCC Bureau and adopted various draft reports.
Date: 1989
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Definitions and Methodological Options to Inventory Emissions from Direct Human-induced Degradation of Forests and Devegetation of Other Vegetation Types

Description: This report on Definitions and Methodological Options to Inventory Emissions from Direct Human-Induced Degradation of Forests and Devegetation of Other Vegetation Types is the response from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)1 to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)2 . The report was prepared in cooperation with the preparation of the other report under the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme (IPCC-NGGIP), on Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF). The report discusses: Alternative definitions and provides possible framework definitions for countries to consider; Methodological options to inventory emissions from degradation and devegetation activities; Approaches to reporting and documentation; and Implications of methodological and definitional options for accounting under the provisions of Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol (including issues of scale, costs and accuracy).
Date: 2003
Creator: Penman, Jim; Wagner, Fabian; Tanabe, Kiyoto; Ngara, Todd; Miwa, Kyoko; Krug, Thelma et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Revised Research Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program

Description: This Revised Research Plan is an update to the 2003 Strategic Plan of the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), a document that was developed via a thorough, open and transparent multi-year process involving a wide range of scientists and managers. The Strategic Plan has long-term value to CCSP, but like any strategic plan, it must be supplemented by shorter-term revisions that take into account both advances in the science and changes in societal needs, and CCSP has an ongoing long-range strategic planning process to ensure that these needs are met. The Revised Research Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Research Plan) draws on CCSP's long-range planning process and provides this update, in compliance with the terms of the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990. In the Research Plan, the reader will find several things: 1) an updated statement of vision, goals and capabilities consistent with CCSP's current Strategic Plan but reflecting both scientific progress and the evolution of the Program based on accomplishments and evolving societal and environmental needs; 2) a description of the relationship of the Research Plan to the current Scientific Assessment; 3) highlights of ways in which the program is evolving in the context of the progress made over the years 2003-2007 since the Strategic Plan was put in place, and a description of the priorities that have emerged as a result; 4) a description of research plans for the coming years, in order to build upon the work envisioned in the Strategic Plan and begun over the past four years.
Date: May 2008
Creator: US Climate Change Science Program
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations

Description: This and a companion report constitute one of twenty-one Synthesis and Assessment Products called for in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. These studies are structured to provide high-level, integrated research results on important science issues with a particular focus on questions raised by decision-makers on dimensions of climate change directly relevant to the U.S. One element of the CCSP's strategic vision is to provide decision support tools for differentiating and evaluating response strategies. Scenario-based analysis is one such tool. The scenarios in this report explore the implications of alternative stabilization levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, and they explicitly consider the economic and technological foundations of such response options. Such scenarios are a valuable complement to other scientific research contained in the twenty-one CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products. The companion to the research reported here, Global-Change Scenarios: Their Development and Use, explores the broader strategic frame for developing and utilizing scenarios in support of climate decision making.
Date: 2007
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 3.1) focuses on the Climate models. Scientists extensively use mathematical models of Earth's climate, executed on the most powerful computers available, to examine hypotheses about past and present-day climates. Development of climate models is fully consistent with approaches being taken in many other fields of science dealing with very complex systems. These climate simulations provide a framework within which enhanced understanding of climate-relevant processes, along with improved observations, are merged into coherent projections of future climate change. This report describes the models and their ability to simulate current climate.
Date: July 2008
Creator: Climate Change Science Program (U.S.). Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems

Description: 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.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate. Regions of Focus: North America, Hawaii, Caribbean, and U.S. Pacific Islands

Description: This document is part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. Changes in extreme weather and climate events have significant impacts and are among the most serious challenges to society in coping with a changing climate. This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 3.3) focuses on weather and climate extremes in a changing climate. Many extremes and their associated impacts are now changing. For example, in recent decades most of North America has been experiencing more unusually hot days and nights, fewer unusually cold days and nights, and fewer frost days. Heavy downpours have become more frequent and intense. Droughts are becoming more severe in some regions, though there are no clear trends for North America as a whole. The power and frequency of Atlantic hurricanes have increased substantially in recent decades, though North American mainland land-falling hurricanes do not appear to have increased over the past century. Outside the tropics, storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are becoming even stronger. It is well established through formal attribution studies that the global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Such studies have only recently been used to determine the causes of some changes in extremes at the scale of a continent. Certain aspects of observed increases in temperature extremes have been linked to human influences. The increase in heavy precipitation events is associated with an increase in water vapor, and the latter has been attributed to human-induced warming. No formal attribution studies for changes in drought severity in North America have been attempted. There is evidence suggesting a human contribution to recent changes in hurricane activity as well as in storms outside the tropics, though a confident assessment will require ...
Date: June 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Trends in Emissions of Ozone-Depleting Substances, Ozone Layer Recovery, and Implications for Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 2.4) focuses on the Climate models. Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer by human-produced ozone-depleting substances has been recognized as a global environmental issue for more than three decades, and the international effort to address the issue via the United Nations Montreal Protocol marked its 20-year anniversary in 2007. Scientific understanding underpinned the Protocol at its inception and ever since. As scientific knowledge advanced and evolved, the Protocol evolved through amendment and adjustment. Policy-relevant science has documented the rise, and now the beginning decline, of the atmospheric abundances of many ozone-depleting substances in response to actions taken by the nations of the world. Projections are for a return of ozone-depleting chemicals (compounds containing chlorine and bromine) to their "pre-ozone-depletion" (pre-1980) levels by the middle of this century for the midlatitudes; the polar regions are expected to follow suit within 20 years after that. Since the 1980s, global ozone sustained a depletion of about 5 percent in the midlatitudes of both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, where most of the Earth's population resides; it is now showing signs of turning the corner towards increasing ozone. The large seasonal depletions in the polar regions are likely to continue over the next decade but are expected to subside over the next few decades.
Date: November 2008
Creator: US Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Atmospheric Aerosol Properties and Climate Impacts

Description: This report critically reviews current knowledge about global distributions and properties of atmospheric aerosols as they relate to aerosol impacts on climate. It assesses possible steps to substantially reduce uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing estimates.
Date: January 2009
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols

Description: This report focuses on the Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios. The influence of greenhouse gases and particle pollution on our present and future climate has been widely examined. While both long-lived (e.g., carbon dioxide) and short-lived (e.g., soot) gases and particles affect the climate, other projections of future climate, such as the IPCC reports focus largely on the long-lived gases. This U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product provides a different emphasis. The authors examine the effect of long-lived greenhouse gases on the global climate based on updated emissions scenarios produced by another CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 2.1a). In these scenarios, atmospheric concentrations of the long-lived greenhouse gases leveled off, or stabilized, at predetermined levels by the end of the twenty-first century (unlike in the IPCC scenarios). However, the projected future temperature changes fall within the same range as those projected for the latest IPCC report. The authors confirm the robust future warming signature and other associated changes in the climate.
Date: September 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

The North American Carbon Budget and Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle

Description: A primary objective of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is to provide the best possible scientific information to support public discussion, as well as government and private sector decision making, on key climate-related issues. To help meet this objective, the CCSP has identified an initial set of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) that address its highest priority research, observation, and decision support needs. This report-CCSP SAP 2.2-addresses Goal 2 of the CCSP Strategic Plan: Improve quantification of the forces bringing about changes in the Earth's climate and related systems. The report provides a synthesis and integration of the current knowledge of the North American carbon budget and its context within the global carbon cycle. In a format useful to decision makers, it (1) summarizes our knowledge of carbon cycle properties and changes relevant to the contributions of and impacts upon North America and the rest of the world, and (2) provides scientific information for decision support focused on key issues for carbon management and policy. Consequently, this report is aimed at both the decision-maker audience and to the expert scientific and stakeholder communities.
Date: November 2007
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences

Description: This Synthesis and Assessment Product is an important revision to the conclusions of earlier reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human-induced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies. This Synthesis and Assessment Product is an important revision to the conclusions of earlier reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For recent decades, all current atmospheric data sets now show global-average warming that is similar to the surface warming. While these data are consistent with the results from climate models at the global scale, discrepancies in the tropics remain to be resolved. Nevertheless, the most recent observational and model evidence has increased confidence in our understanding of observed climatic changes and their causes.
Date: April 2006
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries