not even identified which agency serves as the central contact for international partners on climate research issues, including coordinated observing arrays, intercalibration, capacity building, and data and product sharing.

International collaborations and interactions in the development of the science of climate and associated global changes is an essential component of the CCSP and where appropriate should be integrated into the substantive areas in the strategic plan (e.g., Chapters 8 and 11). Ideally, the information in these chapters would be linked to the CCSP framework for international research and cooperation in Chapter 14.

Specific Issues

Theme 1 (goals of international cooperation in climate science) lists several goals for international research. There are additional potential benefits to enhanced U.S. leadership in cooperative international research on global change, including

  • shared international “ownership” of results and knowledge as a prerequisite for negotiation of shared solutions in the policy arena;

  • capacity building in terms of educated stakeholders and strengthened institutions around the world;

  • a much larger community of scientists trained and motivated to study the problems of global change;

  • burden sharing on the costs and resources required for observation and study of global change; and

  • access to broader observations across the globe for testing models and our understanding of global change.

The CCSP could enhance international cooperation by identifying clear research priorities, supporting projects in areas of the world that are critical for understanding climate change; and creating a managed approach to ensure maximum leverage of international efforts.

The revised strategic plan would be considerably improved if these potential benefits could be prioritized to a few important strategic objectives to be used by the CCSP to guide the development of international cooperation. By including this in the revised strategic plan CCSP could provide a strong signal concerning the importance of enhanced U.S. leadership in this area.


Chapter 15 describes at a very general level the mechanisms and processes that have been established to manage the program in three broad areas: (1) scientific guidance, (2) interagency planning and implementation, and (3) program integration. The management structure includes the following major components

  • a cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration;

  • an Interagency Working Group on Climate Change Science and Technology;

  • an interagency Climate Change Science Program whose draft strategic plan is the subject of this report; and

  • an interagency Climate Change Technology Program.

The chapter also describes at a very general level the processes that will be used to implement, evaluate, and guide the program (CCSP, 2002, p. 162-166) and calls for the development of a new mechanism to improve the integration of program elements.

General Comments

This basic management structure for the CCSP as described in Chapter 15 is sound and could provide a useful general framework for managing the program if implemented well. The details of the organizational structure and processes are not well developed in the draft plan, however. Successful coordination and integration of CCSP activities will require clearly delineated lines of authority, requisite accountability by participating agencies, and appropriate staffing and funding. As the implementing and coordinating body for this effort CCSP will require the ability to direct other agencies’ efforts and hold them accountable for performance and coordination. The success of the CCSP also will require the support and oversight of the Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration and the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change Science and Technology, as well as the continued guidance of independent advisory bodies. In the sections that follow, the committee provides general comments on the three main areas of program management covered in Chapter 15 (these topics are examined in more detail in Chapter 4 of Part I of this report). At the end of this section the committee offers some detailed comments on Chapter 15.

Chapter 15 describes the CCSP’s plan to use scientific steering committees composed of outside experts to help plan specific program elements and to continue to receive advice and review from appropriate NRC committees and boards (CCSP, 2002, p. 163-164). Chapter 15 does not describe a similar advisory process for the program as a whole, however. The committee believes that the most difficult of the research management challenges will occur at the level of the CCSP program itself. Thus there will be a need for scientific and other stakeholder guidance at the level of the program to ensure that clear priorities are established and communicated, that progress towards meeting the subsequent goals can be evaluated, and that the inevitable tradeoffs in resources and allocation of time can be done with an eye toward meeting the most important of the overall program goals. Otherwise there will be a tendency for the individual needs and priorities of the

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