78 pages | 6 x 9
The U.S. government has pending before it the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), which is largely based on the threat GHGs pose to the global climate. Such an agreement would have significant economic and national security implications, and therefore any national policy decisions regarding this issue should rely in part on the best possible suite of scenarios from climate models.
The U.S. climate modeling research community is a world leader in intermediate and smaller climate modeling efforts-research that has been instrumental in improving the understanding of specific components of the climate system. Somewhat in contrast, the United States has been less prominent in producing high-end climate modeling results, which have been featured in recent international assessments of the impacts of climate change. The fact that U.S. contributions of these state-of-the-art results have been relatively sparse has prompted a number of prominent climate researchers to question the current organization and support of climate modeling research in the United States, and has led ultimately to this report.