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The Science of Regional and Global Change


Committee on Global Change Research

National Research Council

Washington, D.C.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

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Page i The Science of Regional and Global Change PUTTING KNOWLEDGE TO WORK Committee on Global Change Research National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Page ii NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, 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. This study was supported by Contract No. 50-DKNA-7-90052 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-07327-8 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Page iii THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating 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.

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Page iv COMMITTEE ON GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH1 Members CHARLES F. KENNEL (Chairman), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California JAMES G. ANDERSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts SANDRA BROWN, Winrock International, Corvallis, Oregon JULIA COLE, University of Arizona, Tucson ROBERT C. HARRISS, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado JEFFREY T. KIEHL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado WILLIAM KUPERMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California STEPHEN LEATHERMAN, Florida International University, Miami JOHN J. MAGNUSON, University of Wisconsin, Madison GREGG MARLAND, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, CIESIN, Columbia University, Palisades, New York JOHN REILLY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EDWARD SARACHIK, University of Washington, Seattle WILLIAM SCHLESINGER, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina ALBERT J. SEMTNER, JR., Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California W. JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH, University of Arizona, Tucson KEVIN TRENBERTH, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Ex-Officio Members2 ERIC J. BARRON (BASC), Pennsylvania State University, University Park KENNETH BRINK (OSB), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts TOM DIETZ (CHDGC), George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia W. LAWRENCE GATES (WCRP), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California J. BERNARD MINSTER (CGED), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California3 BERRIEN MOORE III (IGBP), University of New Hampshire, Durham EUGENE RASMUSSON (CRC), University of Maryland, College Park 1 This report was written while the CGCR was under the auspices of the NRC's Policy Division. The CGCR is now located in the NRC's Division on Earth and Life Studies. 2 The ex officio members provided substantial input to the report and have been involved in all of the committee's deliberations on it, but the final responsibility of authorship rests with the regular members. 3 Appointed to the committee after the report had been completed.

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Page v Consultants 4 WILLIAM C. CLARK, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California JANE LUBCHENCO, Oregon State University, Corvallis PAMELA MATSON, Stanford University, Stanford, California LISA SHAFFER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California NRC Staff PETER SCHULTZ, Program Director VAUGHAN TUREKIAN, Staff Officer SHARROD PERRY, Project Assistant 4 The consultants were instrumental in formulating the committee's initial approach to the report and provided advice to the committee throughout the writing process.

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Page vi

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Page vii Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: RICHARD GOODY, Harvard University EAMON KELLY, National Science Board DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Policy Institute THOMAS MALONE, North Carolina State University SUSAN SOLOMON, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research ROBERT WHITE, Washington Advisory Group Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Frosch, Harvard University, appointed by the NRC's Report Review Committee, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Page viii

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Page ix Preface The National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Board (NSB), and many other planning bodies have worked to identify the scientific understanding needed to foster a productive relationship between society and the environment. Three recent reports, themselves syntheses of many other studies, are useful guides to the state of knowledge and the requirements for future progress. Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade, produced by the NRC's Committee on Global Change Research, summarizes the past 10 years' accomplishments of global change research and proposes a strategy for global-scale research in the next 10 years. In this context, global change research attempts to improve understanding of those natural and human-induced changes in ecosystems, the atmosphere, and the oceans that are appreciable at the global scale. Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability, a report of the NRC's Board on Sustainable Development, presents a strategy for the research needed to more closely link the evolving scientific agenda of global change research, addressed in the Pathways report, with growing social concerns for progress toward a transition to environmentally sustainable development—the reconciliation of society's developmental goals with its environmental limits over the long term. The comprehensive challenge is to meet the needs of a larger global population, substantially reduce hunger and poverty, and sustain the environmental support systems and biological diversity of the planet. Meeting this challenge will require closer, more interactive linkages between those who create new knowledge through natural and social sciences research, together with technology development, and those who use that knowledge in direct support of decision making and management. Completing this survey is Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century. This is a strategic analysis by the NSB of changes in orientation, organization, and funding of the research enterprise that will be necessary to meet the challenges explored in the NRC reports and other recent analyses. This report, The Science of Regional and Global Change—Putting Knowledge to Work, is intended to promote a dialogue between the scientific community and the government officials who will lead our nation in the coming years. Part I is a brief description of the challenges and proposed responses needed from the highest levels of the government. Part II provides more detailed discussion and is directed to agency-level issues and responses. Part III is a detailed bibliography that lists many of the specific reports on which the views outlined here are ultimately based. Charles F. Kennel, Chairman Committee on Global Change Research

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