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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change

Research Pathways for the Next Decade

Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Committee on Global Change Research

Board on Sustainable Development

Policy Division

National Research Council


NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×


NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, selfperpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

This study was supported by Contract Nos. 50-DKNA-5-00015 and 50-DKNA-7-90052 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

Additional copies of the report are available from
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Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

COMMITTEE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE 1997–1998

Diana M. Liverman (Chair),

Department of Geography, University of Arizona

John Antle,

Department of Agricultural Economics, Montana State University

Paul Epstein,

Center for Health and Global Environment, Harvard Medical School

Myron Gutmann,

Department of History, University of Texas, Austin

Paul Mayewski,

Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire

Emilio Moran,

Department of Anthropology, Indiana University

Elinor Ostrom,

Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University

Edward Parson,

JFK School of Government, Harvard University

Ronald R. Rindfuss,

Department of Sociology and Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Robert Socolow,

Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton University

Susan Stonich,

Department of Anthropology and Environmental Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara

Elke Weber,

Department of Psychology, Ohio State University

Edward Frieman (ex officio), Chair,

Board on Sustainable Development, National Research Council; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Oran R. Young (ex officio), Liaison,

International Human Dimensions Program; Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College

Paul C. Stern, Study Director

Heather Schofield, Senior Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

COMMITTEE ON GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH

BERRIEN MOORE III (Chairman),

University of New Hampshire, Durham

JAMES G. ANDERSON,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

GREGORY H. CANAVAN,

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

ROBERT COSTANZA,

University of Maryland, Solomons

W. LAWRENCE GATES,

University of California, Livermore

PRISCILLA C. GREW,

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

MARGARET S. LEINEN,

University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

PAUL A. MAYEWSKI,

University of New Hampshire, Durham

JAMES J. MCCARTHY,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

S. ICHTIAQUE RASOOL,

University of New Hampshire, Durham

EDWARD S. SARACHIK,

University of Washington, Seattle

DAVID S. SCHIMEL,

University Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

W. JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH,

University of Arizona, Tucson

KARL K. TUREKIAN,

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

PETER M. VITOUSEK,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

Ex-Officio Members

Liaison Members, Board on Sustainable Development

EDWARD A. FRIEMAN,

Scripps Institution of Oceanography,

Chairman,

Board on Sustainable Development

ROBERT A. FROSCH,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cochairman, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

ERIC J. BARRON,

Pennsylvania State University

Chairman, Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data

FRANCIS P. BRETHERTON,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Chairman, Ocean Studies Board

KENNETH BRINK,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

Chairman, Committee on Atmospheric Chemistry

WILLIAM L. CHAMEIDES,

Georgia Institute of Technology

Chairman, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

JOHN A. DUTTON,

Pennsylvania State University

Chairman, Climate Research Committee

THOMAS R. KARL,

National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina

Chairman, Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change

DIANA M. LIVERMAN,

University of Arizona, Tucson

Chairman, Panel on Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Timescales

DOUG MARTINSON,

Columbia University, Palisades, New York

Chairman, Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Panel

SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN,

University of Arizona, Tucson

Chairman, Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System

PETER WEBSTER,

University of Colorado, Boulder

NRC Staff

SHERBURNE B. ABBOTT, Executive Director

DAVID M. GOODRICH, Project Director (ending January 16, 1998)

SYLVIA A. EDGERTON, Senior Research Fellow (April 8, 1998, to April 9, 1999)

LAURA SIGMAN, Research Associate (beginning February 17, 1998)

LESLIE McCANT, Project Assistant (beginning January 22, 1999)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

BOARD ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

EDWARD A. FRIEMAN (Chairman),

University of California, La Jolla

ROBERT W. KATES (Vice-Chairman),

Independent Scholar

LOURDES ARIZPE,

UNESCO, Paris, France

JOHN BONGAARTS,

The Population Council, New York, New York

RALPH J. CICERONE,

University of California, Irvine

WILLIAM C. CLARK,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

ROBERT A. FROSCH,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

MALCOM GILLIS,

Rice University, Houston, Texas

RICHARD R. HARWOOD,

Michigan State University, East Lansing

PHILIP J. LANDRIGAN,

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

KAI N. LEE,

Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

JERRY D. MAHLMAN,

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

RICHARD J. MAHONEY,

Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

PAMELA A. MATSON,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

WILLIAM J. MERRELL,

H. John Heinz III Center, Washington, D.C.

G. WILLIAM MILLER,

G. William Miller & Company, Inc., Washington, D.C.

M. GRANGER MORGAN,

Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

PAUL RASKIN,

Tellus Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

JOHN B. ROBINSON,

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

VERNON W. RUTTAN,

University of Minnesota, St. Paul

THOMAS C. SCHELLING,

University of Maryland, College Park

MARVALEE H. WAKE,

University of California, Berkeley

WARREN WASHINGTON,

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

M. GORDON WOLMAN,

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Ex-Officio Member

Chairman, Committee on Global Change Research

BERRIEN MOORE III,

University of New Hampshire, Durham

NRC Staff

SHERBURNE B. ABBOTT, Executive Director

LAURA SIGMAN, Research Associate (beginning February 17, 1998)

LESLIE McCANT, Project Assistant (beginning January 22, 1999)

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

Contents

Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade

 

 

Preface

 

ix

1

 

Introduction and Background

 

1

   

Summary

 

1

   

Background

 

2

   

The Road Ahead

 

7

   

The Pathways Framework

 

8

   

Review of the USGCRP

 

10

2

 

Changes to the Biology and Biochemistry of Ecosystems

 

19

   

Summary

 

19

   

Introduction

 

21

   

Case Studies

 

34

   

A Research Agenda for the Next Decade

 

42

   

Lessons Learned

 

56

   

Research Imperatives

 

67

3

 

Changes in the Climate System on Seasonal to Interannual Timescales

 

87

   

Summary

 

87

   

Introduction

 

88

   

Case Studies

 

89

   

A Research Agenda for the Next Decade

 

98

   

Lessons Learned

 

109

   

Research Imperatives: Priorities for Observations, Modeling, and Theory

 

111

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

4

 

Changes in the Climate System on Decade-to-Century Timescales

 

127

   

Summary

 

127

   

Introduction

 

129

   

Case Studies

 

130

   

A Research Agenda for the Next Decade

 

140

   

Lessons Learned

 

177

   

Research Imperatives: Priorities for Observations, Modeling and Theory

 

178

   

Conclusions

 

184

5

 

Changes in the Chemistry of the Atmosphere

 

191

   

Summary

 

191

   

Introduction

 

192

   

Case Studies

 

194

   

A Research Agenda for the Next Decade

 

199

   

Lessons Learned

 

206

   

Research Imperatives: Priorities for Observations, Modeling, and Theory

 

209

6

 

Paleoclimate Overview

 

237

   

Summary

 

237

   

Introduction

 

239

   

Case Studies

 

240

   

Key Scientific Questions and Issues

 

268

   

Lessons Learned

 

272

   

Research Imperatives

 

274

7

 

Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change

 

293

   

Summary

 

293

   

Introduction

 

295

   

Case Studies: Contributions of Human Dimensions Research in Addressing Global Change

 

298

   

Key Scientific Questions

 

302

   

Lessons Learned

 

333

   

Research Imperatives

 

337

   

Conclusion: Key Research Issues for the USGCRP

 

357

8

 

Observations

 

377

   

Introduction

 

377

   

Observations Required for the Science Elements of the USGCRP

 

379

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×
   

A Multipurpose, Multiuse Observing System for the USGCRP: Elements of System Design

 

416

   

Case Studies

 

421

   

Toward a Permanent Observing System

 

424

9

 

Processing and Distributing Earth Observations and Information

 

435

   

Introduction

 

435

   

The EOS Data and Information System: Implications for the USGCRP

 

435

   

Moving Toward a New EOS Information System

 

441

10

 

Modeling

 

445

   

Introduction

 

445

   

The Terrestrial-Atmosphere Subsystem

 

457

   

The Land-Ocean Subsystem

 

464

   

The Atmosphere-Ocean Subsystem

 

473

   

The Atmospheric Physical-Chemical Subsystem

 

487

   

The Human Linkage to the Earth System

 

495

   

Summary

 

497

11

 

Findings and Recommendations

 

517

   

Research Imperatives and Scientific Questions—Drivers of Observations Research

 

517

 

 

Annex 1

 

537

 

 

Annex 2

 

542

 

 

Annex 3

 

544

 

 

Appendix A

 

551

 

 

Appendix B

 

563

 

 

Appendix C

 

569

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

Preface

This publication is extracted from a much larger report, Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade, which addresses the full range of the scientific issues concerning global environmental change and offers guidance to the scientific effort on these issues in the United States. This volume consists of Chapter 7 of that report, ''Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change,'' which was written for the report by the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change of the National Research Council (NRC). It provides findings and conclusions on the key scientific questions in human dimensions research, the lessons that have been learned over the past decade, and the research imperatives for global change research funded from the United States.

This publication demonstrates the emergence of a mature research agenda based on an established framework of questions and published findings. It shows how social science provides insights, models, and data of immediate relevance and application to research in earth science (such as projecting carbon emissions or land use change and estimating climate's effects). It also notes progress in understanding of the basic social processes and driving forces underlying the human relationship to the environment (such as public attitudes and population dynamics). In addition, it shows ways in which the social sciences can help direct the priorities of the overall global change program towards more integrated, policy relevant, and effective research imperatives.

Although most of the material on human dimensions research in the larger report appears in this volume, our committee also contributed material on human dimensions to other parts of that report, particularly Chapters 8 and 10, on observations and modeling, respectively. The observations chapter includes a section highlighting the significance of social, economic, and health data to global change

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

research. It notes, for example, the importance of agricultural and population census data in land use research and the need for data on energy production and consumption in research on the carbon cycle. Major challenges include the difficulties of linking social and biophysical data across different scales and spatial units and the lack of data comparability across different political jurisdictions. The chapter also notes that most of the key social data in the United States are collected by agencies, such as the Census Bureau and Department of Health and Human Services, that do not have environmental responsibilities, and such data are not precisely georeferenced. The chapter also addresses issues of confidentiality and privacy raised by detailed human dimensions observations.

The chapter on modeling contains a section that discusses the challenges of including human processes in integrated modeling of the earth system. Noting some progress in integrated modeling, the section highlights the very large uncertainties and great diversity within social systems that limit the predictability of both the human system and the overall earth system. We refer you to these chapters to see the human dimensions issues in context.

The larger report also includes major chapters on ecosystems, seasonal to interannual climate change, decade to century climate change, atmospheric chemistry, and paleoclimate. It makes important recommendations to focus the efforts of the global change research in the United States on central scientific questions and urges the creation of a coherent observational strategy to help answer these questions. We commend the entire report to the social science research and policy communities. Our committee decided to publish Chapter 7 separately in order to reach a community of scholars, students, and policy makers in the United States and elsewhere who have a focused interest in human-environment interactions.

The Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change began working a decade ago, at the same time that the U.S. government established the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. National Science Foundation established a formal program to study the human dimensions of global environmental change. Over that decade, U.S. government support for human dimensions work has expanded modestly, an increasing number of scholars have identified themselves with the field, and efforts have been made to integrate social science into the broader global change programs.

Our committee has offered advice from the scientific community to these efforts within the government. It has worked to develop the intellectual basis for progress in understanding human-environment interactions and to set research directions for the future. The committee's 1992 report, Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions, established a framework and research agenda for studying the human causes, consequences, and responses to changes in the global environment such as changes in climate and biodiversity. Since then, the committee has published several reports on specific topics (Environmentally Significant Consumption: Research Directions [1997], People and Pixels: Linking Remote Sensing and Social Science [1998], and Making Climate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
×

Forecasts Matter [1999]) and one report on science priorities—Science Priorities for the Human Dimensions of Global Change (1994). However, until the present publication, the committee had not taken the time to reflect on overall progress, the evolution of research questions, and important lessons learned since the 1992 report.

In 1995 the Committee on Global Change Research began a major review of the status of the U.S. research effort on global change. Early in the process, it became clear that human dimensions research was a critical crosscutting activity across the four themes of the national research program: seasonal to interannual climate prediction, decadal to centennial climate change, atmospheric chemistry, and terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Because our committee had expertise spanning these and other areas, we chose to devote considerable time as a group to developing a chapter for this major review that would identify key science questions, lessons learned, and research imperatives in the field of human dimensions of global change.

I would like to acknowledge the outstanding support and contributions of Paul Stern in helping to prepare the chapter that comprises this report as well as the work and ideas of both present and past members of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. Human dimensions researchers Robert Chen, Hadi Dowlatabadi, Greg Knight, Roger Pulwarty and Marvin Waterstone and Robert Costanza of the Committee on Global Change Research also made suggestions of material to be included in the chapter. Very sincere thanks are also due to Berrien Moore and Ed Frieman, chairs of the Committee on Global Change Research and the Board on Sustainable Development, respectively, who encouraged our efforts. I am grateful for the support and encouragement of Barbara Torrey of the NRC's Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Robert Kates of the Board on Sustainble Development, and very appreciative of the assistance and editorial work of David Goodrich, Shere Abbott, Sylvia Edgerton, Laura Sigman, and other NRC staffers who worked so diligently on the report from which this chapter is taken.

DIANA M. LIVERMAN, CHAIR

COMMITTEE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE (1995–1998)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1999. Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9641.
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This publication is extracted from a much larger report, Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade, which addresses the full range of the scientific issues concerning global environmental change and offers guidance to the scientific effort on these issues in the United States. This volume consists of Chapter 7 of that report, ''Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change,'' which was written for the report by the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change of the National Research Council (NRC). It provides findings and conclusions on the key scientific questions in human dimensions research, the lessons that have been learned over the past decade, and the research imperatives for global change research funded from the United States.

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