atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life;
“global change research” means study, monitoring, assessment, prediction, and information management activities to describe and understand—
the interactive physical, chemical, and biological processes that regulate the total Earth system;
the unique environment that the Earth provides for life;
changes that are occurring in the Earth system; and
the manner in which such system, environment, and changes are influenced by human actions;
“Plan” means the National Global Change Research Plan developed under section 104, or any revision thereof; and
“Program” means the United States Global Change Research Program established under section 103.
SEC. 101. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
FINDINGS—The Congress makes the following findings:
Industrial, agricultural, and other human activities, coupled with an expanding world population, are contributing to processes of global change that may significantly alter the Earth habitat within a few human generations.
Such human-induced changes, in conjunction with natural fluctuation, may lead to significant global warming and thus alter world climate patterns and increase global sea levels. Over the next century, these consequences could adversely affect world agricultural and marine production, coastal habitability, biological diversity, human health, and global economic and social well-being.
The release of chlorofluorocarbons and other stratospheric ozone-depleting substances is rapidly reducing the ability of the atmosphere to screen out harmful ultraviolet radiation, which could adversely affect human health and ecological systems.
Development of effective policies to abate, mitigate, and cope with global change will rely on greatly improved scientific understanding of global environmental processes and on our ability to distinguish human-induced from natural global change.
New developments in interdisciplinary Earth sciences, global observing systems, and computing technology make possible significant advances in the scientific understanding and prediction of these global changes and their effects.