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Advancing the Science of Climate Change calls for a single federal entity or program to coordinate a national, multidisciplinary research effort aimed at improving both understanding and responses to climate change. Seven cross-cutting research themes are identified to support this scientific enterprise. In addition, leaders of federal climate research should redouble efforts to deploy a comprehensive climate observing system, improve climate models and other analytical tools, invest in human capital, and improve linkages between research and decisions by forming partnerships with action...
Federal agencies have taken steps to include the public in a wide range of environmental decisions. Although some form of public participation is often required by law, agencies usually have broad discretion about the extent of that involvement. Approaches vary widely, from holding public information-gathering meetings to forming advisory groups to actively including citizens in making and implementing decisions. This book concludes that, when done correctly, public participation improves the quality of federal agencies' decisions about the environment. Well-managed public involvement also...
Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change , a volume in the America's Climate Choices series, describes and assesses different activities, products, strategies, and tools for informing decision makers about climate change and helping them plan and execute effective, integrated responses. It discusses who is making decisions (on the local, state, and national levels), who should be providing information to make decisions, and how that information should be provided. It covers all levels of decision making, including international, state, and individual decision making. While most...
This report summarizes a workshop that focused on two case studies to provide different perspectives on multiple environmental stressors: 1) drought; 2) atmosphere-ecosphere interactions. Workshop participants identified the development of comprehensive regional frameworks for conducting environmental studies as a key part of understanding multiple environmental stresses. As an outcome of the workshop, seven near-term opportunities for research and infrastructure that could help advance our understanding of multiple stresses and make this understanding useful to decision makers were proposed...
America's Climate Choices makes the case that the environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks posed by climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action now to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare for adapting to its impacts. Although there is some uncertainty about future risk, acting now will reduce the risks posed by climate change and the pressure to make larger, more rapid, and potentially more expensive reductions later. Most actions taken to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts are common sense investments that will offer protection against...
Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change , part of the congressionally requested America's Climate Choices suite of studies, focuses on the role of the United States in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The book concludes that in order to ensure that all levels of government, the private sector, and millions of households and individuals are contributing to shared national goals, the United States should establish a "budget" that sets a limit on total domestic greenhouse emissions from 2010-2050. Meeting such a budget would require a major departure from business as...
This report provides an overview of the scientific consensus on the current and future climate changes of particular relevance to U.S. transportation, including the limits of present scientific understanding as to their precise timing, magnitude, and geographic location; identifies potential impacts on U.S. transportation and adaptation options; and offers recommendations for both research and actions that can be taken to prepare for climate change. Transportation Research Board Special Report 290. Authored by the National Research Council. Published by the National Academies Press.
Adaptation requires actions from many decision makers in federal, state, tribal, and local governments; the private sector; non-governmental organizations; and community groups. However, current efforts are hampered by a lack of solid information about the benefits, costs, and effectiveness of various adaptation options; climate information on regional and local scales; and a lack of coordination. Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change calls for a national adaptation strategy that provides needed technical and scientific resources, incentives to begin adaptation planning, guidance across...
Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate examines the growing need for climate-related decision support‚ that is, organized efforts to produce, disseminate, and facilitate the use of data and information in order to improve the quality and efficacy of climate-related decisions. Drawing on evidence from past efforts to organize science for improved decision making, it develops guidance for government agencies and other institutions that will provide or use information for coping with climate change. This volume provides critical analysis of interest to agencies at every level, as well as...
An ad hoc committee, composed of individuals who have studied, participated in, or been users of global change assessments, was convened to prepare this report. To inform its deliberations, the committee met with scholars who have evaluated or participated in assessments, with leaders of past assessments, and with users of assessments. For the report's conclusions, the committee draws both from existing literature and from its examination of a relatively small but varied selection of global change assessments, each analyzing global change processes that are at least in part driven by human...