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Service6 has developed a continuing oversight and review process to further document progress and accomplishments.

In the late 1990s, the USGCRP articulated a new strategic plan that focused explicitly on providing information for decision makers at regional scales. Then, in 2001, in response to a variety of inputs (including NRC, 2001), the George W. Bush Administration introduced the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) to focus on key uncertainties associated with climate variability and climate change at global scales. In 2002, the administration integrated the USGCRP and the CCRI into the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). The CCSP developed a revised strategic plan for the program that contained a focus on decision-support activities, including a series of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products, an emphasis on adaptive management to support natural resource agencies, and comparative evaluations of response measures using integrated assessment models, scenarios, and other methods (CCSP, 2003). The National Research Council was involved in reviewing these plans (NRC, 2003a, 2004b) and later in helping to develop metrics to evaluate the progress of the program (NRC, 2005f).


With federal support ranging from $2.2 billion in 1990 (in 2008 dollars) to $1.8 billion in 2008, the USGCRP (known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program from 2002 through 2008) has made enormous contributions to the understanding of climate change over the past two decades and provided key results and support for the IPCC. Congress, especially the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives, provided active oversight of the program in its early years, holding numerous hearings that sought to ensure compliance with the mandates of the Act. The annual budgetary guidance from the program committee to the participating agencies was a particularly important aspect of the interagency process, because it resulted in the implementation during the late 1980s and early 1990s of a process that had more direct budgetary responsibility for the program’s content and budget.

Technology Advisor began issuing detailed management and budget responsibilities to the head(s) of the three components of government responsible for implementing the 1990 Act: (i) the various Offices of the President, (ii) the Secretaries and Heads of the participating Departments and Agencies, and (iii) the Committee, its Officers, and subcommittees. This document was issued several months in advance of the annual Presidential Budget development process.

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The Congressional Research Service has produced numerous analyses and assessments of the USGCRP and the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). A recent example is CRS No. 98-738, Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives, November 26, 2008, which in summary concludes that “The purpose here is not to suggest that one lens is ‘better’ than another, but rather to articulate the implications of the differing perspectives in order to clarify terms of debate among diverse policy communities.”



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