IHDP. Environmental data must be integrated with social datasets already archived by organizations such as the Institute for Cooperative Programs in Survey Research or by researchers who maintain their own distributional mechanisms. Improved access to data via the World Wide Web, along with advances in software and metadata standards, have greatly improved the ability of researchers to search for specific types of data and then manipulate or download them.

RESEARCH IMPERATIVES

Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the human dimensions of global environmental change, there are still many unresolved questions and several important new areas for research. In the committee's review of progress, we identified many areas where knowledge was lacking or research results were inadequate. In this section we attempt to crystallize a research agenda of high-priority questions that might yield valuable information in the next 5 to 10 years, given sufficient attention and resources. These research imperatives have emerged from recent meetings and reports of National Research Council (NRC) committees with an interest in human dimensions research,150 from a review of other national and international efforts to identify research priorities, and from consideration of the significant intellectual gaps and opportunities identified in the review above.

Some of these research imperatives directly support particular themes of the USGCRP, such as atmospheric chemistry and seasonal to interannual climate prediction (see Table 7.4). Some focus on particular elements of the traditional

TABLE 7.4 Human Dimensions Research Imperatives in Relation to Key USGCRP Science Themes

 

USGCRP Science Themes

Human Dimensions Research Imperative

Atmospheric Chemistry

Dec-Cen Climate Change

Seasonal to Interannual Climate

Ecosystems

  1. Consumption

XX

XX

 

X

  1. Technological change

XX

XX

X

X

  1. Climate assessment

 

XX

XX

X

  1. Surprises

X

XX

XX

X

  1. Institutions

X

XX

X

XX

  1. Land use/migration

X

X

X

XX

  1. Decisionmaking/valuation

X

XX

X

X

  1. Scientific integration

XX

XX

XX

XX

  1. Data links

X

X

X

X

NOTES: XX, strong relevance; X, some relevance.



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