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Appendix U
Prefaces from the Individual Panel Reports

Preface to Synthesis Report

Greenhouse gases and global warming have received increasing attention in recent years. The identification of the antarctic ozone hole in 1985 combined with the hot, dry summer of 1988 to provide the drama that seems to be required for capturing national media coverage. Emerging scientific results, including findings about greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, added to the interest.

One consequence was congressional action. The HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1988 (House Report 100-701:26) called for

[an] NAS study on global climate change. This study should establish the scientific consensus on the rate and magnitude of climate change, estimate the projected impacts, and evaluate policy options for mitigating and responding to such changes. The need for and utility of improved temperature monitoring capabilities should also be examined, as resources permit.

According to subsequent advice received from members of Congress, the study was to focus on radiatively active trace gases from human sources, or "greenhouse warming." This report is one of the products of that study.

The study was conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, a unit of the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The study involved nearly 50 experts, including scientists as well as individuals with experience in government, private industry, and public interest organizations.

The work of the study was conducted by four panels. The "Synthesis Panel" was charged with developing overall findings and recommendations. The "Effects Panel" examined what is known about changing climatic conditions



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Page 849 Appendix U Prefaces from the Individual Panel Reports Preface to Synthesis Report Greenhouse gases and global warming have received increasing attention in recent years. The identification of the antarctic ozone hole in 1985 combined with the hot, dry summer of 1988 to provide the drama that seems to be required for capturing national media coverage. Emerging scientific results, including findings about greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, added to the interest. One consequence was congressional action. The HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1988 (House Report 100-701:26) called for [an] NAS study on global climate change. This study should establish the scientific consensus on the rate and magnitude of climate change, estimate the projected impacts, and evaluate policy options for mitigating and responding to such changes. The need for and utility of improved temperature monitoring capabilities should also be examined, as resources permit. According to subsequent advice received from members of Congress, the study was to focus on radiatively active trace gases from human sources, or "greenhouse warming." This report is one of the products of that study. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, a unit of the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The study involved nearly 50 experts, including scientists as well as individuals with experience in government, private industry, and public interest organizations. The work of the study was conducted by four panels. The "Synthesis Panel" was charged with developing overall findings and recommendations. The "Effects Panel" examined what is known about changing climatic conditions

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Page 850 and related effects. The "Mitigation Panel" looked at options for reducing or reversing the onset of potential global warming. The "Adaptation Panel" assessed the impacts of possible climate change on human and ecologic systems and the policies that could help people and natural systems adapt to those changes. This is the report of the Synthesis Panel. The reports of all four panels will be published by the National Academy Press in a single volume. The panels conducted their analyses simultaneously between September 1989 and January 1991. The chairmen of the Effects, Mitigation, and Adaptation panels were members of the Synthesis Panel. Several members of the Synthesis Panel also were members of other panels. In its deliberations, however, the Synthesis Panel considered more than just the reports of the other panels. It also heard from experts with a range of views on the policy relevance of computer simulation models, widely held to be the best available tools for projecting climate change, and of economic models used to assess consequences of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The study also drew upon the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international effort released during the course of the study. Several members of the various study panels also contributed to that effort. Finally, the study drew upon other Academy studies. For example, in its examination of sea level, the panel used analyses from the following reports: Glaciers, Ice Sheets, and Sea Level: Effects of a CO2-Induced Climatic Change (National Academy Press, 1985), Responding to Changes in Sea Level: Engineering Implications (National Academy Press, 1987), and Sea-Level Change (National Academy Press, 1990). The report of the Synthesis Panel is thus much more than a summary of the assessments performed by the other three panels. It contains analysis that goes beyond the topics covered by the other panels. The report identifies what should be done now to counter potential greenhouse warming or deal with its likely consequences. The recommendations of the Synthesis Panel, if followed, should provide the United States, and the rest of the world, with a rational basis for responding to this very important concern. The Honorable Daniel J. Evans, Chairman Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming—Synthesis Panel Preface to Effects Report Greenhouse gases and global warming have received increasing attention in recent years. The identification of the antarctic ozone hole in 1985 combined with the hot, dry summer of 1988 in North America to provide the drama that seems to be required for capturing national media coverage. Emerging scientific results, including findings about greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, added to the interest.

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Page 851 One consequence was congressional action. The HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1988 (House Report 100-701:26) called for [an] NAS study on global climate change. This study should establish the scientific consensus on the rate and magnitude of climate change, estimate the projected impacts, and evaluate policy options for mitigating and responding to such changes. The need for and utility of improved temperature monitoring capabilities should also be examined, as resources permit. According to subsequent advice received from members of Congress, the study was to focus on radiatively active trace gases from man-made sources, or the "greenhouse effect." This report is one of the products of that study. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, a unit of the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The study involved nearly 50 experts, including scientists as well as individuals with experience in government, private industry, and public interest organizations. The work of the study was conducted by four panels. The Effects Panel examined what is known about changing climatic conditions and related effects. The Mitigation Panel looked at options for reducing or reversing the onset of potential global warming. The Adaptation Panel assessed the impacts of possible climate change on human and ecologic systems and the policies that could help people and natural systems adapt to those changes. The Synthesis Panel was charged with developing overall findings and recommendations. This is the report of the Effects Panel. The reports of all four panels will be published by the National Academy Press in a single volume under the title Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming: Mitigation, Adaptation, and The Science Base. The panels conducted their analyses simultaneously between September 1989 and January 1991. The chairmen of the Effects, Mitigation, and Adaptation panels were members of the Synthesis Panel. George F. Carrier, Chairman Panel on Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming—Effects Panel Preface to Mitigation Report Greenhouse gases and global warming have received increasing attention in recent years. The identification of the antarctic ozone hole in 1985 combined with the hot, dry summer of 1988 to provide the drama that seems to be required for capturing national media coverage. Emerging scientific results, including findings about greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, added to the interest.

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Page 852 One consequence was congressional action. The HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1988 (House Report 100-701:26) called for [an] NAS study on global climate change. This study should establish thescientific consensus on the rate and magnitude of climate change, estimate theprojected impacts, and evaluate policy options for mitigating and respondingto such changes. The need for and utility of improved temperature monitoringcapabilities should also be examined, as resources permit. According to subsequent advice received from members of Congress, thestudy was to focus on radiatively active trace gases from human sources, or"greenhouse warming." This report is one of the products of that study. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, a unit of the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The study involved nearly 50 experts, including scientists as well as individuals with experience in government, private industry, and public interest organizations. The work of the study was conducted by four panels that did their work in parallel, but with considerable exchange of information and some overlap in membership. The Mitigation Panel looked at options for reducing or reversing the onset of potential global warming. The Effects Panel examined what is known about changing climatic conditions and related effects. The Adaptation Panel assessed the impacts of possible climate change on human and ecologic systems and the policies that could help people and natural systems adapt to those changes. The Synthesis Panel developed overall findings and recommendations. This is the report of the Mitigation Panel. The report of the Synthesis Panel is currently available as a separate volume entitled Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming (National Academy Press, 1991). In addition, the reports of all four panels will be published in a single volume (National Academy Press, forthcoming). The charge to the Mitigation Panel was to "examine the range of policy interventions that might be employed to mitigate changes in the earth's radiation balance, assessing these options in terms of their expected impacts, costs, and, at least in qualitative terms, their relative cost-effectiveness." In responding to this charge, the panel developed a methodology for evaluating the cost-effectiveness and greenhouse gas mitigation potential for a wide variety of options. This provided the panel with a priority ranking of these options. Using this methodology, the panel determined that 10 to 40 percent of current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced at low cost. Thomas H. Lee, Chairman Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming—Mitigation Panel

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Page 853 Preface to Adaptation Report Greenhouse gases and global warming have received increasing attention in recent years. The identification of the antarctic ozone hole in 1985 combined with the hot, dry summer of 1988 to provide the drama that seems to be required for capturing national media coverage. Emerging scientific results, including findings about greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, added to the interest. One consequence was congressional action. The HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1988 (House Report 100-701:26) called for [an] NAS study on global climate change. This study should establish thescientific consensus on the rate and magnitude of climate change, estimate theprojected impacts, and evaluate policy options for mitigating and respondingto such changes. The need for and utility of improved temperature monitoringcapabilities should also be examined, as resources permit. According to subsequent advice received from members of Congress, theNAS study was to focus on radiatively active trace gases from human sources,or "greenhouse warming." This report is one of the products of that study. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, a unit of the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The study involved nearly 50 experts, including scientists as well as individuals with experience in government, private industry, and public interest organizations. The work of the study was conducted by four panels. The Effects Panel examined what is known about changing climatic conditions and related effects. The Mitigation Panel looked at options for reducing or reversing the onset of potential global warming. The Adaptation Panel assessed the impacts of possible climate change on humanity and nature and the policies that could help people and nature adapt to those changes. The Synthesis Panel, chaired by Daniel J. Evans, was charged with weighing effects, mitigation, and adaptation and reaching comprehensive findings and recommendations. This is the report of the Adaptation Panel. The Adaptation Panel includes experts in terrestrial and marine ecology, agriculture, forestry, population and migration, health, industry, civil engineering, geography, economics, technology, and international relations. The panel began its work by reviewing the literature in the field of impacts and adaptation, stressing studies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the work in progress of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The panel developed background papers in its fields of concern, several of which have been submitted for publication separately. The panel met five times over the course of 1 year to develop its collective views.

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Page 854 Comments by reviewers helped the panel, and a notable reviewer was Roger R. Revelle. One of the many things Dr. Revelle pioneered was investigation of the impact of climate change. In the National Academy of Sciences 1983 report Changing Climate, he reported the impact of climate change on the Colorado River and subsequently initiated and participated in the study that produced the report Climate Change and U.S. Water Resources. During the winter of 1990–1991 his thorough review of the present manuscript produced many valuable suggestions. The Adaptation Panel thanks him. As the report was moving to publication, Dr. Revelle died, at age 82. It is important to stress that the charge to the panel was to develop an assessment of impacts and adaptation to climate change that emphasized consequences and opportunities for the United States. This decision was taken in light of the IPCC effort and the many efforts now under way by individual nations elsewhere in the world to assess their own prospects in light of likely climate change. This report does not claim to speak on behalf of the points of view of all nations. The report also focuses on the direct effects of greenhouse gases and climate change. It does not attempt to assess all the numerous environmental changes that will be taking place simultaneously, including loss of habitat, destruction of the ozone layer, and marine pollution, to name a few. The panel was not charged with assessing the entire question of ''environmentally sustainable development." The panel immediately recognized that the selection of mitigation strategies for greenhouse gas emissions would also affect adaptation. For example, renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power that might diminish greenhouse gas emissions also increase sensitivity to climate. In a few places in this report, we allude to interactions between mitigation and adaptation strategies. Although the panel was aware of indirect effects of adaptation to climate change, such as the vitality of schools in a farming community or of wildlife in a neighborhood when irrigation is extended, we naturally concentrated on such direct effects of adaptations as the success of food production. As societies narrow the range of strategies they consider seriously, it will be important to consider these interactions more fully. The charge to this panel was not primarily to develop a research agenda about the impacts of climate. For a full discussion of research directions, see the 1990 National Research Council report Research Strategies for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The tasks of the Adaptation Panel were, first, to examine what would happen if climate changed and humanity and nature did not and, second, to find ways to temper any harm and to enhance any benefits of a new climate. Paul E. Waggoner, Chairman Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming, Adaptation Panel