Global change research, modeling, and observations from institutions based in the United States contribute to and benefit from a number of ongoing international activities. USGCRP, the individual agencies that comprise USGCRP, its various interagency working groups, and, in particular, the Interagency Working Group on International Research and Cooperation participate in and provide support for a variety of international research activities that collectively cover the broad spectrum of global environmental change research.
Through such active participation and leadership, USGCRP and the large community of U.S. scientists supported by or associated with it truly has a global reach. Activities in which the United States is involved include supporting global environmental change research programs including, but not limited to, those that operate under the aegis of the International Council for Science (ICSU); supporting international assessments, particularly the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); supporting regional global change research networks; playing an active role in informal international organizations that are involved with the advancement of global environmental change research; and participating in and in many cases leading international efforts to advance coordination and cooperation around observation of the Earth.
Individual USGCRP agencies support international activities that are aligned with their goals or missions. In some cases, an agency will be given the lead for a particular effort for the Federal government; this may involve intra- and/or interagency coordination as well as funding, including in-kind support, depending upon the organization. USGCRP is also a vehicle for communication and coordination, both within the Federal government and with the broader scientific community, of global change-related information and input to various international organizations. This support includes work with the Department of State at a variety of levels, but particularly with respect to the IPCC and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as well as bilateral arrangements in climate change science and technology.
The United States, through USGCRP, also participates actively in informal activities that are dedicated to coordinating and fostering international global environmental change research. One such organization is the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research (IGFA). IGFA serves as a direct link to the international global change research programs and serves as a way for representatives from USGCRP to interact informally with representatives from other countries who have as their responsibility funding of global change research.