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Appendixes

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Appendix A The Charge to the National Research Council

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87 TH E WH ITE HOUSE WASH I I~GTON January 29, 1990 ,~rF~Y' no ICES . ' ~ +. - '`t I ~ r r- At; J ~ 7 ~ , . , `- {t'Cc e, id? Vl~\i' ~ _ -._ _ ~01~ Dea - Us: President Bush has made global environmental issues a major priority in this Administration. He has set in motion a comprehensive process designed to continue U.S. leadership on the issue of global change, including a mayor initiative focused on improving our understanding and predictive capabilities related to global change. Specifically, the FY 1991 budget requests $1034 million for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), an increase of 57 percent over the FY 1990 enacted level. A major element of this effort is a proposed new start for NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). EOS is part of the Mission to Planet Earth concept announced by the President on July 20, 1989. The FY 1991 USGCRP budget and research plan is the product of a major interagency planning effort coordinated by the Committee on Earth Sciences (CES). Many individual elements of the USGCRP have received extensive review by the scientific community. However, because of the importance and magnitude of this initiative, I believe it is critical that the entire global change research program be thoroughly reviewed, understood, and supported within the broader scientific community. It is, of course, important to the nation that we make the most effective use of our scientists, resources, and time in this key study of the global environment. To this end, I would like to request that the National Research Council review the interagency USGCRP, as described in the President's FY 1991 budget, to ensure that this research effort represents a sound approach to reducing the scientific uncertainties associated with global change issues. In particular, I am requesting that the review address several specific issues regarding EOS, including the environmental parameters to be measured, the requirement for simultaneity of data collection, and the optimal configuration of the EOS platform and instruments. Unlike the general USGCRP review, I believe the EOS questions will require carefully selected representatives from both within and beyond the earth sciences research community.

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88 It is important that the results of this review be available prior to the beginning of FY 1991 and the final development of the FY 1992 budget. This review is critical to the CES planning and implementation of the USGCRP. It is also important to OSTP and OMB in exercising their oversight responsibilities, and to the National Space Council, which plans to review the role of the USGCRP space components relative to national space policy. Enclosed please find a proposed Terms of Reference for the review. Please let me know if this review is possible and what additional steps I might need to take to ensure its timely completion. Sincerely yours, D. Allan Bromley Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Attachment Dr. Frank Press President National Academy of Sciences 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 cc: The Honorable Robert Grady The Honorable Lennard Fisk The Honorable Mark J. Albrecht .

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89 U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Review Terms of Reference O The President's Science Advisor will submit to the National Research Council (NRC) for its review on January 29, 1990, a report entitled, "Our Changing Planet: The FY 1991 U.S. Global Change Research Program," which outlines the FY 1991 USGCRP research plan. o o o The purpose of this review is to examine if the research plan represents the highest priority research activities (i.e., the research, data collection, and modeling programs) needed to reduce the scientific uncertainties associated with related global change issues. NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) is an integral part of the total USGCRP. As part of the overall review, there are several issues related specifically to EOS that the review should address: Does EOS collect the environmental parameters that are renected in the USGCRP research priority framework and related policy issues described in "Our Changing Planets? EOS is premised on the assumption that it is essential to collect global data on various environmental parameters simultaneously. How important is data simultaneity to the ultimate utility of the data? Can the requirement of simultaneity be applied more narrowly than proposed? 3. Depending on the outcome on the question of simultaneity, are the EOS platforms, as currently configured, the optimal means for collecting this data, or are there better alternatives that are more cost effective or timely. These alternatives could include, for example, smaller multiple platforms eying in formation or additional near term precursor missions that are capable of flying subsets or preliminary versions of EOS instruments. 4. Does the proposed EOS Data Information System represent the appropriate approach to support this long-term data collection and modeling effort? As it did with the FY 1990 USGCRP Plan, the NRC Committee on Global Change (CGC) will review the [Y 1991 USGCRP Plan. In performing the review, the CGC should call upon any recent and current work in the NRC related to this request, for example, the current assessment of EOS now being conducted by the Committee on Earth Studies of the Space Studies Board. It is also recognized that the review may require additional experts with experience in developing and procuring complex remote sensing spacecraft, instruments, and data management systems. At the request of the NRC Executive Officer, the President's Science Advisor will provide support and any additional information pertinent to the review either directly or via the Committee on Earth Sciences and its member agencies. O The NRC will provide a progress report on the review by April 1, 1990, with a final report due no later than July 1, 1990.