Appendix B
U.S. Climate Change Science Program

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) integrates the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI). The USGCRP, the first federally coordinated program supporting climate change research, began as a presidential initiative in 1988 and received congressional support in 1990 under the Global Change Research Act. The act called for the development of a research program “to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change,” and it guided federally supported global change research for the next decade. In 2001, President Bush launched the CCRI to investigate uncertainties and set new research priorities in climate change science. The CCRI also gave priority to research that could yield results within a few years, either by improving decision-making capabilities or by contributing to improved public understanding. The two programs were merged into the CCSP the following year and given an ambitious guiding vision: a nation and the global community empowered with the science based knowledge to manage the risks and opportunities of change in the climate and related environmental systems.

The CCSP is guided by five overarching goals and organized into seven research elements and six crosscutting issues (CCSP, 2003):



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Appendix B U.S. Climate Change Science Program The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) integrates the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI). The USGCRP, the first federally coordinated program supporting climate change re- search, began as a presidential initiative in 1988 and received congressional support in 1990 under the Global Change Research Act. The act called for the development of a research program “to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change,” and it guided federally sup- ported global change research for the next decade. In 2001, President Bush launched the CCRI to investigate uncertainties and set new research priorities in climate change science. The CCRI also gave priority to research that could yield results within a few years, either by improving decision-making capabilities or by con- tributing to improved public understanding. The two programs were merged into the CCSP the following year and given an ambi- tious guiding vision: a nation and the global community empowered with the science based knowledge to manage the risks and opportu- nities of change in the climate and related environmental systems. The CCSP is guided by five overarching goals and organized into seven research elements and six crosscutting issues (CCSP, 2003): 153

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154 APPENDIX B Overarching goals 1. Improve knowledge of the Earth’s past and present climate and environment, including its natural variability, and improve understanding of the causes of observed variability and change 2. Improve quantification of the forces bringing about changes in the Earth’s climate and related systems 3. Reduce uncertainty in projections of how the Earth’s cli- mate and related systems may change in the future 4. Understand the sensitivity and adaptability of different natural and managed ecosystems and human systems to climate and related global changes 5. Explore the uses and identify the limits of evolving knowl- edge to manage risks and opportunities related to climate variability and change Research elements: Atmospheric composition, climate variability and change, water cycle, land-use/land-cover change, carbon cycle, ecosystems, and human contributions and responses to environ- mental change Crosscutting issues: Decision support resources development, communications, modeling strategy, observing and monitoring the climate system, data management, and international cooperation The CCSP research elements are consistent with but broader than those of the predecessor U.S. Global Change Research Pro- gram. A time line of how the research focus has evolved is given in Table B.1.

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TABLE B.1 Evolution of Research Elements, USGCRP and CCSP USGCRP CCSP 1989-1996 1997-1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004-2008 APPENDIX B Climate and Climate Climate system Climate system Climate system Climate system Climate hydrologic change variability systems over and change decades to centuries Seasonal to interannual climate variability Global water Global water Global water Global water Global water cycle cycle cycle cycle cycle Biogeochemical Global carbon Global carbon Global carbon Global dynamics cycle cycle cycle carbon cycle Ecological Changes in Biology and Biology and Biology and Ecosystems systems and land cover biogeochemistry biogeochemistry biogeochemistry dynamics and in of ecosystems of ecosystems of ecosystems terrestrial and marine ecosystems 155

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TABLE B.1 Continued USGCRP CCSP 156 1989-1996 1997-1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004-2008 Land use/land Land- cover change use/land- cover change Human Human Human Human Human Human Human interactions contributions dimensions of dimensions of dimensions of dimensions of contributions and global change global change global change global change and responses responses to to global environmental change change Solar Changes in Composition and Composition and Composition Composition Atmospheric influences ozone, chemistry of the chemistry of the and chemistry and chemistry composition ultraviolet atmosphere atmosphere of the of the radiation, atmosphere atmosphere and atmospheric chemistry Earth system Paleoenvironment Paleoenvironment history and paleoclimate and paleoclimate Solid Earth processes SOURCES: CCSP (2003, Strategic Plan; 1989–2008, Our Changing Planet). APPENDIX B

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APPENDIX B 157 The CCSP is managed by a director with the help of a program office and interagency committees that plan future research and crosscutting activities (e.g., decision support, communications). Funding is controlled and managed by the individual participating agencies and has been declining since 1996, mostly because of decreases in NASA’s investment in climate observations (Figure 1.2). Participating agencies include the Agency for International Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Trans- portation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foun- dation, Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Geological Survey. REFERENCES CCSP (Climate Change Science Program), 1989–2008, Our Chang- ing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Climate Change Science Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, D.C., 17 volumes. CCSP, 2003, Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Climate Change Science Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, D.C., 202 pp.

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