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The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates Federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society.

The USGCRP engages in a variety of activities aimed to strengthen and strategically direct climate change research in the United States, and improve the flow of that information to policy-makers, Federal, state, and local decision-makers, and the public. The Program coordinates Federal research efforts through the following four strategic goals:

Goal 1 - Advance Science (Study Climate and Global Change)

Advance scientific knowledge of the integrated natural and human components of the Earth system. This goal encompasses the research, including integrated observations and modeling, that is necessary to better understand the behavior and interactions of different aspects of the Earth system (including the human component) and their response to global change. This goal builds on USGCRP’s strong research tradition and provides the foundation for the other three goals, which in turn will help shape future research priorities.

  • Earth System Understanding
    Advance fundamental understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, and human components of the Earth system, and the interactions among them, to improve knowledge of the causes and consequences of global change.

  • Science for Adaptation and Mitigation
    Advance understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of integrated human-natural systems and enhance the usability of scientific knowledge in supporting responses to global change.

  • Integrated Observations
    Advance capabilities to observe the physical, chemical, biological, and human components of the Earth system over multiple space and time scales to gain fundamental scientific understanding and monitor important variations and trends.

  • Integrated Modeling
    Improve and develop advanced models that integrate across the physical, chemical, biological, and human components of the Earth system, including the feedbacks among them, to represent more comprehensively and predict more realistically global change processes.

  • Information Management and Sharing
    Advance the capability to collect, store, access, visualize, and share data and information about the integrated Earth system, the vulnerabilities of integrated human-natural systems to global change, and the responses to these vulnerabilities.

Goal 2 - Inform Decisions (Prepare the Nation For Change)

Provide the scientific basis to inform and enable timely decisions on adaptation and mitigation.
USGCRP and member agencies will emphasize translating research (from Goal 1 and other sources) into formats and results that are policy relevant, useable, and accessible to decision makers. The Program also is expanding the ability to provide global change information and tools that the public and private sectors need to make decisions.

  • Inform Adaptation Decisions
    Improve the deployment and accessibility of science to inform adaptation decisions.

  • Inform Mitigation Decisions
    Improve the deployment and accessibility of science to inform decisions on mitigation and the mitigation-adaptation interface.

  • Enhance Global Change Information
    Develop the tools and scientific basis to enable an integrated system of global change information, informed by sustained, relevant, and timely data to support decision making.

Goal 3 - Conduct Sustained Assessments (Assess the U.S. Climate)

Build sustained assessment capacity that improves the Nation’s ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to global change impacts and vulnerabilities.
USGCRP will conduct and participate in national and international assessments to evaluate the current state of the science and likely future scenarios of global change and their impacts, and evaluate how effectively science is being used to support the Nation’s response to change. It will also build a standing capacity to conduct national assessments and support those at regional levels.

  • Scientific Integration
    Integrate emerging scientific understanding of the integrated Earth system into assessments and identify critical gaps and limitations in scientific understanding.

  • Ongoing Capacity
    Strengthen and evolve ongoing capacity to conduct assessments with accessible, transparent, and consistent processes and broad participation of stakeholders across regions and sectors.

  • Inform Responses
    Inform responses to global change with accurate, authoritative, and timely information that is accessible to multiple audiences in multiple formats.

  • Evaluate Progress
    Ensure ongoing evaluation of assessment processes and products, and incorporate the findings into an adaptive response for systemic improvement.

Goal 4 - Communicate and Educate (Make Our Science Accessible)

Advance communications and education to broaden public understanding of global change and develop the scientific workforce of the future.
USGCRP will make its research results available to stakeholders and provide information to citizens in ways that are relevant to their lives and needs. The Program and USGCRP agencies will adopt, develop, and share best practices in communication that enhance stakeholder engagement. Educational efforts will support development of a scientific workforce able to use global change knowledge in their careers to support the Nation’s response to global change.

  • Strengthen Communication and Education Research
    Strengthen the effectiveness of global change communication and education research to enhance practices.

  • Reach Diverse Audiences
    Enhance existing and employ emerging tools and resources to inform and educate effectively, providing for information flow in multiple directions.

  • Increase Engagement
    Establish effective and sustained engagement to enable a responsive and wholly integrated Program.

  • Cultivate Scientific Workforce
    Cultivate a capable, diverse scientific workforce that is knowledgeable about global change.