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adaptive capacity of both human and environmental systems, and methods for making choices and managing risk in an environment that continues to change.


Because decisions always involve values, science cannot prescribe the decisions to be made, but scientific research can inform decisions and help to ensure and improve their effectiveness. As we enter a time when decision makers are responding to climate change, the nation’s climate research enterprise can assist by including both science for understanding and science for supporting responses to climate change. The diverse and complex set of scientific issues to be addressed in this new era of climate change research span the physical, social, biological, health, and engineering sciences and require integration across them. In the next chapter, we discuss the research needs and themes for the nation’s climate change science enterprise in this new era.



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