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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Appendixes
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Appendix A Excerpts from Planning Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Draft U.S. Climate Science Program Strategic Plan Contents PREFACE 38 ACKNOWLEDGENTS 42 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 43 1. INTRODUCTION 50 Historical Context of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, 50 2. CLARIFYING VISION AND GOALS 54 Elements of a Strategic Plan, 54 Relationship Between the GCRP and the CCRI, 57 3. MEETING THE NATION’S NEEDS FOR CLIMATE AND GLOBAL CHANGE INFORMATION 59 The Global Climate Observation System, 60 Improve Understanding of Climate and Associated Global Changes, 61 Addressing Key Uncertainties, 64 Decision Support Resources, 65 Capacity Building to Implement the Strategic Plan, 68 Financial Resources for Implementing the Plan, 68 4. MANAGING AND GUIDING THE PROGRAM 70 Interactions Between Climate Change Science and Technology, 70 Interagency Management, 71 External Guidance, 72 Summary, 72 5 ENHANCING LINKAGES AND COMMUNICATION 73 Decision Makers, 73 International Community, 74 Public, 75 Scientists, 75 Effectiveness of Question Format, 75 Concluding Remarks, 75 REFERENCES 76
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Preface On September 17, 2002, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere James R. Mahoney wrote to Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, to request that the National Academies undertake a fast-track review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s (CCSP’s) draft strategic plan for climate and global change studies. The letter (see Appendix D) asked the National Academies to form a committee to review both the discussion draft of the strategic plan and the final strategic plan after it has been revised. The letter also requested that the National Academies examine the CCSP’s strategic planning process, focusing on the program’s efforts to solicit input from the scientific and stakeholder communities between November 2002 and January 2003. In response the 17-member Committee to Review the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan (see Appendix B for committee biographies) was formed. This report is the committee’s assessment of the discussion draft strategic plan dated November 11, 2002 and addresses phase I of the committee’s statement of task (see Box P-1). A second report by this committee will review the final strategic plan after it has been released, addressing phase II of the committee’s task (see Appendix B). A challenging aspect of the committee’s work has been to come to a clear understanding and agreement about the intended scope of the CCSP; that is, does the program focus exclusively on issues of “climate change”—as one might infer from the name of the Climate Change Science Program itself and its constituent, the Climate Change Research Initiative—or does it encompass all, or some, other global changes—as one might infer from the name of the CCSP’s other constituent, the U.S. Global Change Research Program? While climate change has clearly been the major focus of past work by the GCRP and current work of the CCSP, the answer to this question has implications for the program’s future. Specifically, it will determine which research areas belong in the program and, accordingly, the level of resources needed. In terms of the committee’s work the answer to this question has a profound effect on how the committee responds to its task statement, in particular, to the question, “Is the plan responsive to the nation’s needs for information on climate change and global change, their potential implications, and comparisons of the potential effects of different response options?” The natural place to look for insights on this question was the draft strategic plan itself, which clearly indicates that the program is not designed to focus exclusively on climate change issues. For example, the title of the introductory chapter is “Climate and Global Change: Improving Connections Between Science and Society,” and two of the five “climate and global change issues” to be informed by the program explicitly mention global changes other than climate change.5 What is not clear in the draft plan is whether the program is designed to address all or some subset of issues pertaining to global change. As discussed in Chapter 2 of this report, part of the problem is that the draft strategic plan does not present a clear, concise statement of vision for the program. Without that clear vision the committee developed its own working understanding of the intended scope of the CCSP. The committee believes that it will be important for the CCSP to consider those processes (1) that interact with climate change to produce significant impacts of societal relevance and therefore must be integrated into research to understand impacts and to develop adaptation and mitigation approaches, and (2) that have large feedbacks to climate change. In this report the committee uses the term “climate and associated global changes” as a general term encompassing those global changes included in the two categories above. The CCSP will need to consider whether these or other criteria will determine the program’s coverage of various global change processes. This is important from a planning perspective because the number of factors identified for CCSP’s attention is likely to grow as the program’s work with decision makers expands. Many decision makers deal with climate change as only one of a suite of factors affecting the people, economy, and ecosystems of an area. Not all of these factors will necessarily be appropriate for the CCSP’s attention. An obvious tradeoff will be between depth and breadth, and the risk is a program spread so thin that it fails to make meaningful progress in core research areas. The CCSP’s decisions about scope will have important implications for the portfolio of research to be funded initially, and for how this portfolio evolves over the program’s lifetime. 5 In particular, “How much have climate and other aspects of the Earth system changed since the industrial revolution…?” and “What is the sensitivity of natural and managed ecosystems to climate and other global changes” (CCSP, 2002, p. 4-5, emphasis added).
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan The committee was asked to review the draft strategic plan by focusing on nine questions (see Box P-1). Five of the first six questions, which apply to the draft strategic plan as a whole, are addressed in Part I of this report. The last three questions, which apply to each major section of the plan, are addressed in Part II of this report. The third question in the statement of task (“Is there an appropriate balance (1) between short-term (2-5 years) and longer-term goals, (2) among substantive research areas, and (3) between research and nonresearch activities, such as observations, modeling, and communicating results?”) is not addressed explicitly in this report. One way to assess these elements of balance would be through budget data accompanied by cost estimates for the underpinnings of individual research components (e.g., supercomputers, satellite instruments, socio-economic surveys) and categorized as in the task statement (e.g., short-term versus longer-term, research versus nonresearch). The draft strategic plan does not include such data, nor was it possible for the committee or the CCSP to generate it in the time available. Even if available, these data would reflect only the current balance of the program and not the future directions outlined in the draft plan (e.g., whether new activities, such as those in decision support, applied climate modeling, and land-use and land-cover change, will be supported through new funding or by redirecting funds currently devoted to other research areas). The fiscal year 2004 budget request for the CCSP provides some insights into the CCSP’s plans for the program, but it also was not available in time for detailed analysis at the time this report was written. Another way to assess issues of balance would be from clearly stated program goals and priorities, which are not well articulated in the draft. Therefore, the committee was not able to evaluate the balance of the plan in a detailed way. Chapter 3 of this report provides some insights on balance issues by identifying elements of the draft plan that are appropriate short-term and longer-term objectives, and by pointing out areas needing additional research. The committee will address the balance question in its second report, when the draft has been revised and relevant budget data are available. This report is not the only mechanism through which the CCSP has received input on the draft strategic plan. On December 3-5, 2002, the CCSP held a major workshop in Washington, D.C., to obtain input from scientific and other stakeholder communities. The workshop was attended by over 1000 scientists, agency representatives, and other stakeholders who participated in breakout sessions focused generally on the strategic plan chapters and selected crosscutting themes (see <http://www.climatescience.gov/events/workshop2002/>). In the second phase of this study the committee will assess the effectiveness of this workshop as a mechanism for gathering scientists’ and other stakeholder’s comments on the draft plan, as directed in the statement of task. The CCSP also provided a mechanism for interested parties to submit written comments on the draft strategic plan. The committee was able to examine comments received by the CCSP before its last meeting on January 8-10, 2003, and this report is written in light of those viewpoints. The committee held three meetings to gather information and prepare this report. The first meeting was held on November 22, 2002, in Washington, D.C. At this meeting James R. Mahoney and Richard Moss, executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, presented an overview of the draft strategic plan and the strategic planning process. Representatives from participating departments and agencies also discussed with the committee their agency’s strategic planning process and how their agency’s research relates to the CCSP program. We thank the following individuals who participated in this meeting: James R. Mahoney, U.S. Climate Change Science Program; Richard Moss, U.S. Global Change Research Program; Mary Glackin, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Jack Kaye, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Jerry Elwood, Department of Energy; Ari Patrinos, Department of Energy; Michael Slimak, Environmental Protection Agency; Steve Shafer, Department of Agriculture; Daniel Reifsnyder, Department of State; Harlan Watson, Department of State; Martha Garcia, U.S. Geological Survey; James Andrews, Office of Naval Research; Karrigan Bork, Department of Transportation. Members of the committee attended the CCSP planning workshop on December 3-5, 2002, and then held a second meeting in Washington, D.C., on December 6, 2002. At this meeting the committee discussed the CCSP workshop and began to develop this report. In addition Robert Marlay, director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Technology Policy Analysis, briefed the committee on the Climate Change Technology Program. The committee’s third meeting was held on January 8-10, 2003, during which the committee prepared this report. The committee called upon a number of National Academies’ boards and standing committees with expertise in issues of climate and global change. In the short period of time available these boards and standing committees and their staffs produced very thoughtful summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of the draft strategic plan. The committee acknowledges the efforts of the following individuals who took the lead in preparing the materials on behalf of these units: Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate: Eric Barron, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and Amanda Staudt, National Research Council (NRC) staff; Ocean Studies Board: Jay McCreary, University of Hawaii, Manoa, and Morgan Gopnik, NRC staff; Polar Research Board: Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and Chris Elfring, NRC staff;
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Climate Research Committee: Tony Busalacchi, University of Maryland, College Park, and Amanda Staudt, NRC staff; Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change: Tom Dietz, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, Tom Wilbanks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, and Paul Stern, NRC staff; and Committee on Earth Studies: Michael Freilich, Oregon State University, Corvallis, and Arthur Charo, NRC staff. The committee also received comments on the draft plan from several members of the Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data and its staff director, Anne Linn. The contributions from these boards and committees were extremely useful in informing the committee’s deliberations. Though these individuals provided many useful insights and suggestions, many of which are reflected in the report, they did not participate in the committee’s closed session discussions and are not responsible for the final content of this report. This study differs from most National Academies studies in three respects. First, the timeline for this first report was limited—approximately three months from the committee’s first meeting to the deadline for delivery of this report. This timeline was driven by the CCSP’s ambitious push to publish a final plan by the end of April 2003. Second, the committee was asked to review both a preliminary draft of the strategic plan and the final strategic plan, enabling the committee to provide advice at a stage in the strategic planning process when it could be most useful. Third, as discussed above, the CCSP convened a major workshop and solicited public comments on the draft plan while the study was underway. As a result, a number of the issues raised in this report have already been brought to the attention of CCSP leadership and recognized by them (see <http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/workshop2002/closingsession>). The committee gratefully acknowledges the NRC staff who worked hard to facilitate its deliberations and the preparation of this report. Gregory Symmes and Amanda Staudt made major contributions to the report, at considerable personal sacrifice. Kristen Krapf was instrumental in coordinating input to the report from the committee and the NRC boards and committees. Byron Mason and Elizabeth Galinis were an extremely effective team in ensuring that the committee’s meetings and report production went smoothly. The committee has worked diligently to make this report as useful as possible to the CCSP. We wish the CCSP leadership well as it takes on the challenging task of revising the draft strategic plan to enhance the usefulness of the program to the decision makers who need to better understand the potential impacts of climate change and make choices among possible responses. In the opinion of many of the committee members the issues addressed by the CCSP are among the most crucial of those facing humankind in the twenty-first century. Thomas E. Graedel, Chair
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan BOX P-1 STATEMENT OF TASK FOR PHASE I An ad hoc committee will conduct an independent review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s strategic plan for global change and climate change studies, giving attention also to the program’s strategic planning process. This review will be carried out in two phases. Phase I In the first phase, the committee will review the discussion draft of the plan. The review will address the following questions about the draft plan as a whole: Is the plan responsive to the nation’s needs for information on climate change and global change, their potential implications, and comparisons of the potential effects of different response options? Are the goals clear and appropriate? Is there an appropriate balance (1) between short-term (2-5 years) and longer-term goals, (2) among substantive research areas, and (3) between research and nonresearch activities, such as observations, modeling, and communicating results? Are mechanisms for coordinating and integrating issues that involve multiple disciplines and multiple agencies adequately described? Does the plan adequately describe the roles of the public, private sector, academia, state/local governments, and international communities, and linkages among these communities? Does the written document describing the program effectively communicate with both stakeholders and the scientific community? Is the question format for driving the research program effective? The review also will address the following questions for each of the plan’s major topical areas: Does the plan reflect current scientific and technical understanding? Are the specific objectives clear and appropriate? Are expected results and deliverables (and their timelines) realistic given the available resources? In its review, the committee will consider the scientific and stakeholder community comments at the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s workshop and other comments received by the program during the public comment period. If time permits, the committee also will comment on any significant process issues related to the workshop that could affect how the program revises the draft plan. The results of phase I will be provided in a report to be delivered no later than February 28, 2003.
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan 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 National Research Council’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: James Anderson, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts D. James Baker, The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Roberta Balstad Miller, Columbia University, Palisades, New York Christopher B. Field, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California Inez Fung, University of California, Berkeley Gregory Greenwood, California Resources Agency, Sacramento George M. Hornberger, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Henry D. Jacoby, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Charles F. Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California Richard S. Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Susanne C. Moser, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetts Edward A. Parson, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts W. Richard Peltier, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada Steven W. Running, University of Montana, Missoula Edward S. Sarachik, University of Washington, Seattle Christine S. Sloane, General Motors Corporation, Warren, Michigan Susan Solomon, NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado B.L. Turner, II, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts Robert M. White, Washington Advisory Group, Washington, D.C. Oran R. Young, University of California, Santa Barbara Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard M. Goody (Harvard University) and Robert A. Frosch (Harvard University). Appointed by the National Research Council, they were 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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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Executive Summary For the last century human activities have been altering the global climate. Atmospheric abundances of the major anthropogenic greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and tropospheric ozone) reached their highest recorded levels at the end of the twentieth century and continue to rise. Major causes of this rise have been fossil fuel use, agriculture, and land-use change. Observations show that Earth’s surface warmed by approximately 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) over the twentieth century. This warming has been attributed in large part to increasing abundances of greenhouse gases, though it is difficult to quantify this contribution against the backdrop of natural variability and climate forcing uncertainties. The emerging impacts of this change on natural systems include melting glaciers and ice caps, sea level rise, extended growing seasons, and changes in the geographical distributions of plant and animal species. Because the Earth system responds so slowly to changes in greenhouse gas levels, and because altering established energy-use practices is difficult, changes and impacts attributable to these factors will continue during the twenty-first century and beyond. Uncertainties remain about the magnitude and impacts of future climate change, largely due to gaps in understanding of climate science and the socio-economic drivers of climate change. Research to understand how the climate system might be changing, and in turn affecting other natural systems and human society, has been underway for more than a decade. Significant advancement in understanding has resulted from this research, but there are still many unanswered questions, necessitating a continuance of this effort. As society faces increasing pressure to decide how best to respond to climate change and associated global changes, there is a need to focus at least part of this effort on more applied research in direct support of decision making. In particular, research efforts are needed to explore response options and evaluate the costs and benefits of adaptation and mitigation. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) was formed in 2002 to coordinate and direct U.S. efforts in climate change and global change research. The CCSP builds upon the decade-old U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP). Since its inception the GCRP has reported hundreds of scientific accomplishments and, together with other major international partners and programs, has been responsible for improving the understanding of climate change and associated global changes. The CCSP incorporates the GCRP and adds a new component—the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI)—whose primary goal is to “measurably improve the integration of scientific knowledge, including measures of uncertainty, into effective decision support systems and resources” (CCSP, 2002, p.15). A draft strategic plan for the CCSP was released to the scientific community and the public in November 2002. At the request of the CCSP, the National Academies formed a committee to review this draft strategic plan; the results of this review are reported herein. The committee’s statement of task can be found in Appendix E of this report. STRENGTHS OF THE DRAFT CCSP STRATEGIC PLAN The committee commends the CCSP for undertaking the challenging task of developing a strategic plan. The current draft of the plan represents a good start to the process, particularly in that it identifies some exciting new directions for the program while building on the well-established foundation of the GCRP. Further, the CCSP has made genuine overtures to researchers and the broader stakeholder community to gain feedback on the draft strategic plan and how to improve it. These efforts indicate a strong interest on the part of the CCSP in developing a plan that is consistent with current scientific thinking and is responsive to the nation’s needs for information on climate and associated global changes. The CCRI portion of the plan introduces an admirable emphasis on the need for science to address national needs, including support for those in the public and private sectors whose decisions are affected by climate change and variability. For example, the discussion of applied climate modeling in the draft plan insightfully articulates a much-needed new direction for U.S. climate-change modeling, reaching out beyond the “business as usual” approach of the GCRP to provide tangible decision support resources, particularly tested and trusted projections (or “forecasts”) of future climate. The draft plan correctly identifies the need to enhance research on options for adaptation to climate change. In addition, the plan appropriately recognizes that there are some short-term products that can and should be delivered by the program. The committee finds that the draft plan identifies many of the cutting-edge scientific research activities that are necessary to improve understanding of the Earth system. For example, the acceleration of research on aerosols and the carbon cycle is consistent with priorities of the scientific
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan community. Indeed, the GCRP portion of the plan clearly builds upon the substantial and largely successful research programs of the last decade. The call for greatly improved observational capabilities reflects a well recognized priority for increasing understanding of climate and associated global changes. Further, the plan takes positive steps towards improved interdisciplinary research opportunities. Overcoming the substantial hurdles associated with the highly interdisciplinary nature of research on climate and associated global changes will continue to be a fundamental challenge for the program. In general, the draft plan provides a solid foundation for the CCSP. With suitable revisions, the plan could articulate an explicit and forward-looking vision for the CCSP and clearly identifiable pathways to successful implementation. Recommendation: The draft plan should be substantially revised to: (1) clarify the vision and goals of the CCSP and the CCRI, (2) improve its treatment of program management, (3) fill key information needs, (4) enhance efforts to support decision making, and (5) set the stage for implementation. CLARIFY VISION AND GOALS The committee found that the draft strategic plan lacks the kind of clear and consistent guiding framework that would enable decision makers, the public, and scientists to clearly understand what this research program is intended to accomplish and how it will contribute to meeting the nation’s needs. The draft plan lacks most of the basic elements of a strategic plan: a guiding vision, executable goals, clear timetables and criteria for measuring progress, an assessment of whether existing programs are capable of meeting these goals, explicit prioritization, and a management plan. Many candidates for vision and goals are scattered throughout the draft strategic plan and in references to other documents, yet neither an explicitly stated vision nor a coherent set of goals are consistently presented. The draft plan lists a multitude of proposed activities, but does not identify which of these activities are higher priorities than others (either across the CCSP as a whole or within individual program areas of the CCRI or the GCRP) nor does it provide an explicit process for establishing such priorities. Finally, the plan lacks the kind of straightforward comparison of current programs to projected needs that will be essential to guide the plan’s implementation. A systematic and coherent strategic plan is especially necessary when, as in the CCSP, the institutional environment is diverse and fragmented and when the program involves new directions and collaborations. Such a plan would provide a common basis for planning, implementation, and evaluation and would protect against a continuation of the status quo. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should articulate a clear, concise vision statement for the program in the context of national needs. The vision should be specific, ambitious, and apply to the entire CCSP. The plan should translate this vision into a set of tangible goals, apply an explicit process to establish priorities, and include an effective management plan. The revised strategic plan also must present clear and consistent goals for the CCRI. The draft plan states that to be included in the CCRI, a program must produce both significant decision or policy-relevant deliverables within two to four years and contribute significantly to one of the following activities: improve scientific understanding; optimize observations, monitoring, and data management systems; and develop decision support resources. The decision support activities described in Chapter 4 of the draft plan are generally consistent with the above criteria. In fact, the committee considers the CCRI’s emphasis on scientific support for decision makers one of the most promising and innovative features of the draft plan. Unfortunately, the plan’s descriptions of decision support as a two to four year activity give the false impression that decision support is needed only in the near-term. While short-term deliverables are possible in this arena, decision support also will be needed as an ongoing component of the program. In addition, many of the activities described in Chapters 2 and 3 of the draft plan are not consistent with the CCRI focus on decision support and are not likely to produce deliverables within four years. This is not to say that these activities are unimportant, but simply that they are not consistent with the goals for CCRI as given in the draft plan. The committee believes that it is important for the program to correct these inconsistencies while maintaining a strong emphasis on near-term, ongoing decision support in the CCRI. The revised strategic plan also needs to describe more clearly how the research activities included in the GCRP support the decision support needs of the CCRI. Indeed, there should be a “rolling linkage” between the two programs, with CCRI objectives periodically redefined as a result of new scientific input from the GCRP. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should: (1) present clear goals for the CCRI and ensure that its activities are consistent with these goals; (2) maintain CCRI’s strong emphasis on support for near-term decisions as an ongoing component of the program; and (3) include an explicit mechanism to link GCRP and CCRI activities. IMPROVE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT The management of an interagency program involving 13 agencies, each with a separate mission and a long history
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan of independent research on climate and associated global changes, is a challenging task. The GCRP has been criticized in the past for being unable to do much beyond encouraging multi-agency cooperation and support because it lacked the authority to redirect long standing programs and mandates of individual agencies. The creation of a cabinet-level committee with the authority to shift resources among agencies to meet the goals of the CCSP is an improvement over past approaches to managing the GCRP. However, the interagency approach to managing the program may not be enough to ensure that agencies cooperate toward the common goals of the CCSP because no individual is clearly identified in the draft plan as having responsibility for managing the program as a whole. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should describe the management processes to be used to foster agency cooperation toward common CCSP goals. The revised plan also should clearly describe the responsibilities of the CCSP leadership. The plan does not describe the responsibilities and authorities of contributing agencies, such as which agencies will be responsible for implementing the work. Defining responsibilities is particularly important for new areas of research that have not been significant program elements of the GCRP in the past, such as land-use and land-cover change and decision support. It is also important for crosscutting research elements, notably water cycle and ecosystems research, which are carried out within multiple agencies. Another management challenge for the CCSP is to foster the participation of mission-oriented agencies in the strategic planning process. The committee believes that mission-oriented agencies—such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, water resources and land management agencies within Department of the Interior, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the extension and farm program agencies within U.S. Department of Agriculture—could make important contributions to identifying research needs, collaborating on research problems, and testing research and modeling results. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should more clearly outline agency responsibilities for implementing the research. In addition, the CCSP should encourage participation of those agencies whose research or operational responsibilities would strengthen the ability of the program to deliver products that serve national needs. The Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP) is an interagency program parallel to the CCSP and created to coordinate and develop technologies for stabilizing and reducing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. The committee is concerned that the existing management and program links between the CCSP and the CCTP may not be extensive enough to take advantage of the synergies between these two programs. This may be due in part to the CCTP’s early stage of development. Generally speaking, a program to define and understand a massive problem (i.e., the CCSP) and a program to develop options for solution to the problem (i.e., the CCTP) should be guided by a common strategy. At the very least the results from each program should be used as extensive guidance for the project portfolio of the other. For example, technology options should be pursued for the highest-risk problems and informed by the most robust knowledge of those problems. Likewise, the global change effects of implementation of various solutions (e.g., sequestration impacts) should be identified and studied as an integral part of technology programs. Recommendation: The CCSP should assess the scientific implications of technologies under consideration by the CCTP and develop realistic scenarios for climate and associated global changes with these technologies in mind. The program management chapter of the revised CCSP strategic plan should clearly describe mechanisms for coordinating and linking its activities with the technology development activities of the CCTP. The plan currently describes scientific planning committees that will be composed of independent experts to help the agencies plan specific program elements, as has been done for the carbon cycle, the water cycle, climate observations, climate modeling, and elsewhere. The committee supports this approach. Nonetheless, the committee believes that the most difficult research management challenges will occur at the level of the CCSP program itself. Scientific and other stakeholder guidance will be needed for the whole program to establish and communicate clear priorities, evaluate progress toward meeting the overarching goals, and ensure that the inevitable trade-offs in resources and allocation of time are done so as to meet the overall program goals. Otherwise, the individual needs and priorities of the agencies will tend to take precedence over the needs of the entire program. Recommendation: The CCSP should establish a standing advisory body charged with independent oversight of the entire program. FILL KEY INFORMATION NEEDS The committee identified several weaknesses in the draft strategic plan that need to be addressed if the CCSP is to meet the nation’s needs for information on climate and associated global changes. First, there is now a strong need to augment the GCRP research of the last decade, which focused on national- to global-scale phenomena, with research that applies an understanding of the global scale to developing an understanding of the variability and change
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan future satellite systems improve upon the recognized climate monitoring deficiencies of the existing system (NRC, 2000b; 2000c). The proposal to test contemporary climate-change models against the paleoclimate record needs to be more specific to overcome ongoing data and interpretive challenges with this type of analysis. Recommendation: The discussion of applied climate modeling should be revised to better describe how models will be incorporated into the broader suite of decision support activities and to better address the key challenges to attaining the applied climate modeling goals set forward in the plan. Existing Decision Support Assets The draft strategic plan does not adequately utilize many prior assessments and consensus reports that have provided scientific information to decision makers. There are numerous examples of GCRP research supporting assessments and interactions with decision makers and industry on environmental issues. While the plan refers to some of these reports with regard to natural science issues relating to the climate, these reports are not used as examples of success or failure in applied climate studies, including efforts to assess regional impacts, or in interactions with a wide range of user communities. In this respect the plan might build on lessons learned from the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (NAST, 2001), the IPCC process (e.g., IPCC, 2001a, b), and other environmental assessment undertakings. The draft plan deals with many issues that were addressed in the U.S. National Assessment, but the document is not referenced, nor is it used fully in the human dimensions and decision support sections of the draft plan (e.g., scenario development). No matter what the evaluation of the U.S. National Assessment, there were many valuable lessons learned from it in terms of regional impact studies and interactions with stakeholders. These lessons should not be ignored in the CCSP strategic plan. The plan does not use as a model what the United Nations Environment Programme/World Meteorological Organization (UNEP/WMO) or IPCC assessments have accomplished in terms of decision support, applied science, and stakeholder participation. The UNEP/WMO ozone assessments have had fifteen years of highly successful interaction with governments as Parties to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. While the IPCC assessments are referenced and used to justify the CCSP, the lessons learned, among others the outstanding success in communicating with governments around the world, are overlooked. For example, the IPCC aviation assessment (IPCC, 1999) was successful in involving scientists, industries, governments, and intergovernmental regulators (i.e., International Civil Aviation Organization) in evaluating options for future aviation. In many aspects climate science has already succeeded in communicating with stakeholders and in being used in policy decisions, but the CCSP does not take advantage of these successes. In identifying the relevant decision makers and their needs the CCSP also should build on decades of work in this area by various government agencies, such as the Energy Information Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service and Office of Global Programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) various ozone assessments. Research needs regarding vulnerability, key risk areas, and interactions with stakeholders can be gleaned from the regional and sectoral findings of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (NAST, 2001), the IPCC report from Working Group II, Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (IPCC, 2001a), and the experiences of past GCRP programs that have supported research and delivery of information to stakeholders, such as NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA), NASA’s Regional Earth Science Application Center, and NSF’s Science and Technology Center programs. In particular, the RISA program has dealt with climate impacts and delivery of regional climate and environmental information on all time scales to stakeholders in various regions of the United States, while the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (the IRI), in cooperation with U.S. Agency for International Development has encouraged similar capacity building in developing countries. These programs could form the kernel of a future “research-to-operations” system that would be focused on understanding the decision context and informing decisions at regional scales. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should build upon the lessons learned in applied climate studies and stakeholder interaction from prior environmental and climate assessment activities. CAPACITY BUILDING TO IMPLEMENT THE STRATEGIC PLAN The draft strategic plan calls for many research and decision support advances, including a greatly strengthened climate modeling infrastructure to address local, regional, national, and international needs; increased collaboration on key scientific challenges; a significantly upgraded global climate observing system, including climate-quality data management; and a suite of sophisticated informational products for decision makers who in many cases are new to climate change science. The draft plan does not evaluate the
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan size, scope, and training of appropriate research and stakeholder communities necessary to address these issues or approaches for taking advantage of resources that do exist. The infrastructure requirements to support the transition from research results to operational prediction are also not addressed. For example, support will be needed to bring together in one facility diverse researchers, including observers, process study scientists, modelers, computer programmers, social scientists, and those who represent end users. The committee believes that the CCSP faces a major challenge in systematically developing institutional infrastructure, growing new cross-disciplinary intellectual talent, nurturing networks of diverse perspectives and capabilities, and fostering successful transition from research to decision support applications. In general this capacity building is a long-term activity, but significant progress can be made in the short term with strategic investments. In both the social sciences and the natural sciences there is considerable knowledge that has the potential to make major contributions to the current and long-term goals of the CCSP, however that knowledge has not yet been fully applied to these goals, nor has the broad set of interfaces between these disciplines been addressed. The necessary personnel to execute an enhanced level of research cannot be assumed to exist, particularly for research problems that cross disciplinary boundaries. In a number of fields, particularly in the social sciences, there are relatively few researchers in the position to undertake climate research. Furthermore, it takes years to increase workforce capacity. The achievement of these capacity-building goals will require systematic investments over a long period of time. A second capacity-building challenge for the CCSP is to educate the stakeholder community so that it can effectively use the CCSP research products. This key aspect of the linkage between the scientific community and stakeholders is addressed further in Chapter 5 of this report. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should explicitly address the major requirements in building capacity in human resources that are implied in the plan. Another type of capacity building is necessary to acquire and develop the computing, communication, and information management resources necessary both to conduct the extensive climate modeling called for in the draft strategic plan and to process and store the large amounts of data to be collected from a greatly expanded observation network. Applied climate modeling and especially the crucial regional-to-global scale climate change scenarios will require substantially enhanced supercomputer powers. Improvements in research models need to be tested before transition to operational models; this testing requires substantial computing resources. Further effort would be required to develop products responsive to decision makers and other users. The draft plan says nothing about what these computing requirements might be or how the CCSP might obtain them. This omission in the plan comes despite its reference to how two recent NRC reports (NRC, 1998 and 2001c) identified the hardware and software challenges facing the U.S. climate modeling capabilities (CCSP, 2002, p. 139). Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should provide details about how the CCSP will acquire the computing resources necessary to achieve its goals. FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN The committee was asked to consider whether the results and deliverables identified in the draft strategic plan are realistic given available resources. Because the draft strategic plan does not include details about present and projected levels of support for each program element and because the fiscal year 2004 budget request was not available to the committee during its deliberations, it had limited information to evaluate this question. Nonetheless, it is clear that the scope of activities described in the draft strategic plan is greatly enlarged over what has been supported in the past through the GCRP. It includes a greatly strengthened climate modeling infrastructure increased collaboration; a significantly upgraded global climate observing system; and a suite of sophisticated informational products for decision makers. As discussed in the previous section, implementing this expanded suite of activities will require significant investments in infrastructure and human resources and therefore will necessitate either greatly increased funding for the CCSP or a major reprioritization and cutback in existing programs. Shortly after this report entered National Academies’ review, the President’s fiscal year 2004 budget request was made publicly available. It includes $182 million for the CCRI (compared to the fiscal year 2003 budget request of $40 million) within a total CCSP budget request of $1749 million (compared to the fiscal year 2003 budget request of $1747 million). The committee has not had the opportunity to analyze the fiscal year 2004 budget request in detail. Even so, a cursory review of the proposed budget indicates that the CCSP has chosen to increase funding for CCRI at the expense of existing GCRP program elements (or simply relabeled some activities previously considered part of the GCRP as CCRI activities) and has shifted funds from one agency to another. Even if program funding increases, CCSP management will continue to be faced with many funding decisions, such as which new programs should be initiated (and when), whether any existing programs should be scaled back or discontinued, how to balance short-term and longer-term commitments, and how to balance support for international
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan and U.S. programs. As discussed in Chapter 2 of this report, these resource allocation decisions must be based on the goals and priorities of the program, which should be clearly described in the revised strategic plan. The independent advisory body recommended by the committee in Chapter 4 of this report also should be used to inform such decisions. The committee believes it is essential for the CCSP to move forward with the important new elements of CCRI while preserving crucial parts of existing GCRP programs. Recommendation: The CCSP should use the clear goals and program priorities of the revised strategic plan and advice from the independent advisory body recommended by the committee to guide future funding decisions.
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan 4 Managing and Guiding the Program Are mechanisms for coordinating and integrating issues that involve multiple disciplines and multiple agencies adequately described? Chapter 15 of the draft strategic plan describes the management structures and processes that have been established to coordinate and integrate federal research and technology development in the area of global climate change. The management structure (see Figure 1.1) includes the following major components: A cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration; An Interagency Working Group on Climate Change Science and Technology; An interagency Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) whose draft strategic plan is the subject of this report; and An interagency Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP). Chapter 15 of the draft plan also describes several management processes that will be used to implement, evaluate, and guide the program (see CCSP, 2002, p. 162-166), and calls for the development of a new mechanism to improve the integration of program elements that are not central to the core missions of participating agencies.11 In the sections that follow, the committee examines elements of this management framework and offers advice on how they could be improved in the revised strategic plan. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY The committee is concerned that the existing management and program links between the CCSP and CCTP may not be sufficient to take advantage of the synergies between these two programs. This may be due in part to CCTP’s early stage of development. Generally, a program to define a massive problem (i.e., the CCSP) and a program to develop options for solution to the problem (i.e., the CCTP) should be guided by a common strategy, and this does not appear to be the case for the CCSP and CCTP yet. At the very least the results from each program should be used to guide the project portfolio of the other. Elements of the CCTP program will need to build upon the findings of the CCSP program. Technology solution options should be pursued for the highest-risk problems and informed by the most robust knowledge of those problems. Likewise, the impacts of implementing various solutions (e.g., sequestration, hydrogen-based fuels) should be studied as an integral part of technology development. On the other hand, there are many human dimensions, economic analysis, and decision support functions in the CCSP that critically depend on a deep understanding of the technologies and options that are being developed to address climate and associated global changes. These include the rate of diffusion of new technologies, the cost and impact of new technologies or policy drivers, and the development of realistic scenarios for anything other than business-as-usual baselines for the next 5 to 10 years. The Interagency Working Group on Climate Change Science and Technology is responsible for coordinating the CCSP with the CCTP at the highest level, and this group may be able to foster some of the synergies described above. The committee believes that more potential benefits of these types of synergies would be realized if there were also direct coordination of some individual components of the CCSP and CCTP. 11 “The past decade has shown that research on climate and global change often includes components that do not fall neatly into the core mission of any one of the participating agencies, are entirely new program needs, or are key to the integration of separate agency activities…One necessary approach for addressing such integrating activities is to develop a mechanism that allows functions that are not central to the core missions of the participating agencies, but that are highly relevant, to be fostered” (CCSP, 2002, p. 165).
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan Recommendation: The CCSP should assess the scientific implications of the technologies under consideration by the CCTP and develop realistic scenarios for climate and associated global changes with these technologies in mind. The program management chapter of the revised CCSP strategic plan should clearly describe mechanisms for coordinating and linking its activities with the technology development activities of the CCTP. INTERAGENCY MANAGEMENT The management of an interagency program involving 13 agencies, each with a separate mission and history of independent efforts on issues of climate and global change, is a challenging task. The GCRP has been criticized in the past for being unable to do much beyond encouraging multi-agency cooperation and support because it lacked the authority to redirect long standing programs and mandates of individual agencies (NRC, 2001d). The new CCSP management structure announced by President Bush in February 2002 is designed to address this problem by providing a level of accountability and direction that was missing from the GCRP. In particular, the cabinet-level Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration is responsible for providing “recommendations concerning climate science and technology to the President, and if needed, recommend the movement of funding and programs across agency boundaries” (GCRP, 2003, p. 11). An Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Technology, composed of departmental and agency representatives at the deputy secretary level, reports to the cabinet-level committee and is responsible for making recommendations about the “funding level and focus” of the CCSP and the CCTP (CCSP, 2002, p. 162-163). The CCSP itself, an interagency group composed of representatives from all agencies that have a research mission in climate and global change, reports to the deputy-secretary level working group and is responsible for “effective management of the coordinated interagency research program” (CCSP, 2002, p. 163). Interagency committees of program managers for each major research element are responsible for interagency coordination and implementation at the program element level. Responsibility for Managing the Program The creation of the cabinet-level committee with the authority to shift resource among agencies to meet the goals of the CCSP (if necessary) is an improvement over past approaches to managing the GCRP. However, the interagency approach to managing the program at all levels, from the cabinet-level committee to the individual program element, may not be enough to ensure that agencies cooperate toward the common goals of the CCSP because no individual is clearly identified in the draft plan as having responsibility for managing the program as a whole. Of particular importance are those crosscutting program elements that involve multiple agencies. Chapter 15 of the draft plan on “Program Management and Review” does not describe the responsibilities and authorities of the CCSP leadership adequately. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should describe the management processes to be used to foster agency cooperation toward common CCSP goals. The revised plan also should clearly describe the responsibilities of the CCSP leadership. Descriptions of Agency Responsibilities The plan does not describe the specific responsibilities and authorities of contributing agencies, such as which entity will be responsible for implementing the work. Defining responsibilities is particularly important for new areas of research that have not been supported by the GCRP in the past, such as land-use and land-cover change and decision support. This also is important for crosscutting research elements, notably water cycle and ecosystems research, which are currently carried out within multiple agencies. The plan includes no clear delineation of which agency will do what, and in particular, which agency(ies) or program(s) will lead the proposed expansion of these crosscutting research areas. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should more clearly outline agency responsibilities for implementing the research. Participation of Mission Agencies Another management challenge for the CCSP is to foster the participation of mission-oriented agencies in the strategic planning process. The committee believes that mission oriented agencies—such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, water resources and land management agencies within Department of the Interior, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the extension and farm program agencies within U.S. Department of Agriculture—could make important contributions to identifying research needs, collaborating on research problems, and testing research and modeling results. Because these agencies apparently played little, if any, role in the creation of the current strategic plan, the plan overlooks resources that might be available to its ambitious agenda. Recommendation: The CCSP should encourage participation of those agencies whose research or operational responsibilities would strengthen the ability of the program to deliver products that serve national needs.
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan EXTERNAL GUIDANCE The draft plan describes how the CCSP intends to use scientific steering committees composed of outside experts to help guide program elements. Advisory committees already exist for most of the agency science programs and some interagency programs (e.g., the carbon cycle and the water cycle). Such committees are especially useful for new program elements. There is also a stated desire to continue to receive advice and review from appropriate NRC committees and boards. These processes are valuable for scientific guidance on program goals, research approaches, and evaluating the usefulness and credibility of products. Notwithstanding the value of these activities, the committee believes that the most difficult of the research management challenges will occur at the level of the CCSP program itself. Thus, there will be a need for scientific and other stakeholder guidance at the level of the program to ensure that clear priorities are established and communicated, that progress toward meeting the subsequent goals can be evaluated, and that the inevitable trade-offs in resources and allocation of time can be done with an eye toward meeting the most important of the overall program goals. Otherwise there will be a tendency for the individual needs and priorities of the agencies to take precedence over the needs of the entire program. Recommendation: The CCSP should establish a standing advisory body charged with independent oversight of the entire program. SUMMARY Successful coordination and integration of CCSP activities will require clearly delineated lines of authority, requisite accountability by participating agencies, and appropriate staffing and funding. As the implementing and coordinating body for this effort, the CCSP will need the ability to direct other agencies’ efforts and hold them accountable for performance and coordination. The success of the CCSP will also require the support and oversight of the Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration and the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change Science and Technology, as well as the continued guidance of independent advisory bodies.
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan 5 Enhancing Linkages and Communication Does the plan adequately describe the roles of the public, private sector, academia, state/local governments, and international communities, and linkages among these communities? Does the written document describing the program effectively communicate with both stakeholders and the scientific community? Is the question format for driving the research program effective? The committee addresses these questions in the context of its analysis of the Climate Change Science Program’s (CCSP’s) efforts to establish linkages with and outreach to various stakeholder groups including the scientific community. The strategic plan itself does not include explicit statements articulating the program’s view of the roles of the public, private sector, academia, state and local governments, and international communities, so one answer to the first part of the first question above would be “no.” Based on references in the draft plan to these stakeholder groups (e.g., CCSP, 2002, p. 149ff), the committee inferred the CCSP’s view of their respective roles. This chapter starts by addressing the first two questions above for each of the following major stakeholder groups: (1) decision makers, (2) the international community, (3) the public, and (4) scientists; the third question is addressed later in this chapter. The committee will provide more detailed analysis of the strategic planning process, including its analysis of the December planning workshop, in its second report. DECISION MAKERS As discussed in Chapter 3 of this report and as identified repeatedly at the December planning workshop, one overarching weakness of the draft strategic plan is its treatment of decision support. Whereas the plan frequently refers to decision support resources, these resources are not defined beyond “providing the needed information” to policy and other decision makers. This approach implies strongly that the role of decision makers is primarily as passive recipients of information. For example, Chapter 13 of the draft plan focuses on describing one-way communication from researchers to various end users who may or may not have previously identified these information needs. This general weakness of the plan applies to decision makers of all types and can be addressed in the revised plan by drawing on lessons learned in previous assessment activities (see Chapter 3 of this report). The plan lacks specificity about which decision makers it serves, how the CCSP will connect with them, and what types of decisions they will need to make. There are many different stakeholders both inside and outside of the federal government whose needs may vary considerably. When decision makers are mentioned in the plan, however, only two general communities of decision makers are mentioned (e.g., see CCSP, 2002, p. 41-42): federal policy makers with responsibility for emission mitigation decisions and officials (at what government level is unclear) in charge of natural resource management decisions. These two groups have different information needs; the first group requires knowledge of the projected costs and benefits of different emissions control scenarios, while the second is more concerned with understanding climate variability so as to develop adaptation strategies and to respond to current climate conditions, such as in water resource management. The plan needs to clearly indicate how its research activities will support both of these types of decisions, as well as those for a broader suite of stakeholders. The strategic plan does not adequately consider the participation of state and local officials. Users of climate information at the local, state, and regional levels rely primarily on local officials and experts, not on federal officials. If the CCSP’s outreach endeavors are to be successful, it is important for federal agencies to work closely with regional and state climate institutions that can directly help educate and interact with state government,
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan the private sector, and the general public. Indeed, some mission agencies (e.g., those under the Department of the Interior) already have state and local officers addressing climate issues, but these agencies do not yet participate in the CCSP (see Chapter 4 of this report [Appendix A]). The plan’s treatment of the private sector is also limited. Many sectors of the U.S. economy stand to be affected seriously or even restructured by policies employed to respond to climate change. Others can benefit greatly from improved climate information (e.g., from seasonal to interannual forecasts) and from new opportunities in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change (e.g., through developing new climate mitigation technologies). In addition, commercial development and implementation of most of the technology to address climate change will be carried out by the business community. Yet the plan barely mentions the private sector and when it does, its role is solely as a passive recipient of information generated by the program (e.g., CCSP, 2002, p. 151). Government decisions based on information to be provided by the CCSP are likely to be more successful if the private sector is engaged throughout the research and planning process. Although the text in places recognizes the importance of engaging stakeholders in the preparation and review of long-term strategic plans, the plan needs to state explicitly that stakeholders should be included where appropriate throughout the research planning, execution, and results review process. Furthermore, the draft plan does not capitalize on the NRC report Making Climate Forecasts Matter (NRC, 1999c), which includes recommendations for using the decision sciences to communicate climate issues to stakeholders and other interested parties. Without employing two-way and deliberative communication the plan presents an outmoded and unsuccessful model of stakeholder engagement and public involvement. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should identify which categories of decision makers the CCSP serves and describe how the program will improve two-way communication with them. INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY The committee believes that the draft plan misses an opportunity to develop a forward-looking strategy for improving international research networks and assessments. These concepts are mentioned in Chapter 14 of the draft plan, but not in a strategic way. The value of multi-national research networks has been demonstrated in several ongoing agency programs and in international organizations. For example, research conducted under the GCRP during the last 10 years has demonstrated considerable science leadership in international global change programs, particularly the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Program on Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IHDP), and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The issue for the CCSP is how to leverage the many governmental and nongovernmental organizations to develop capacity and ongoing regional networks of international scientists collaborating with U.S. scientists. Without a defined strategy it is unlikely that the full benefits of such approaches will be achieved. International collaboration is needed for building better in situ calibration and validation of observations, for obtaining more globally distributed measurements, and for building synergy and reducing redundancy in the deployment of observation assets. The meteorological community offers a good example of international collaboration, with assignment of responsibilities for making measurements and data-sharing protocols arranged at an intergovernmental level under the World Meteorological Organization. The climate community lacks a similar structure. The U.S. climate community has not even identified which agency serves as the central contact for international partners on climate research issues, including coordinated observing arrays, intercalibration, capacity building, and data and product sharing. Most of the world community recognizes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) approach to involving governments directly in the scientific assessments has been a success. It has acted to denationalize scientific knowledge, an objective that individual national assessments cannot always meet. The value of international assessments over national assessments lies in three factors: (1) by engaging a majority of the world’s experts on the relevant scientific questions, such assessments can attain higher scientific quality and are better able to withstand partisan attacks; (2) national assessments risk the perception or actuality of being subordinated to national policy priorities; and (3) by rendering competing parallel assessments scientifically superfluous, well done international assessments control the risk that minor or unintentional disparities in coverage, emphasis, or tone between parallel national assessments are exploited to exaggerate scientific disagreement in policy negotiations. The CCSP should acknowledge such successes in science-policy interactions in its revised strategic plan. The overall sense of insularity of the plan itself may hinder efforts to improve linkages with the international community. In particular, portions of the draft plan focus so strongly on decision support in the United States, on land cover in the United States, on the carbon cycle in the United States, and so forth that it is not at all clear what the balance may be between focusing on the United States itself and sponsoring research that is relevant to the rest of the world. Of most concern is that the plan does not discuss how it intends to provide information to the IPCC. While there is no evidence of any such nationalism in the GCRP research community, the perception of insularity in the draft plan is
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan of concern to the committee on two fronts. Scientifically, there is a danger that the emphasis on U.S. issues and resources will result in agencies choosing not to work in geographic regions outside the United States that are significant for understanding particularly important processes. The second issue relates to participation in international climate change research. The United States has been the source of about half the global research investment historically and a leader in many activities internationally, yet there is little discussion in the draft strategic plan of how and whether the U.S. program will participate in international arenas. This insular approach could alienate international contributions to U.S. science. Recommendation: The revised strategic plan should clearly describe how the CCSP will contribute to and benefit from international research collaborations and assessments. PUBLIC The draft strategic plan appropriately recognizes the importance of efforts to communicate with the public and to promote outreach for K-12 education. Chapter 13 of the draft plan accurately describes the need for improved public understanding of climate change, and lists a number of mechanisms that could be used for this purpose. Though important, the recommendations for action in Chapter 13 of the plan are so broad and without prioritization that it will be difficult to accomplish all or even many of them. The revised chapter on communications and outreach should better identify which recommendations have the highest priorities and which agency has the responsibility for ensuring that they are carried out. The committee notes that the draft plan itself, with its dense prose, is not easily accessible to intelligent nonexperts, and certainly not to laypersons. The draft plan would communicate with the public much more effectively if it included clearly articulated vision, goals, and priorities for the program, as discussed in Chapter 2 of this report. SCIENTISTS The draft strategic plan makes clear that the scientific community will play important roles in carrying out research and in advising the program through scientific advisory processes. The program has established strong linkages and two-way communication with the scientific community in general. An indication of this was the strong representation of the scientific community at the December planning workshop, with the exception of some areas of science that have not traditionally received funding from the GCRP. The document itself is generally effective in communicating with the scientific community about problems and research areas. As discussed in Chapter 2 of this report, however, the plan could be more effective in conveying to the scientific community an integrated, reasoned “strategic plan” for climate change and associated global change science. EFFECTIVENESS OF QUESTION FORMAT The committee commends the authors for focusing each chapter on a short list of questions or problems, and believes that this should be done consistently throughout the strategic plan. The committee found the question format particularly effective in dealing with well-specified tasks related to improved understanding of physical and chemical processes. The format was less effective in dealing with issues that cross several chapters, such as those related to human dimensions and decision support tasks, which should be better integrated into relevant chapters. CONCLUDING REMARKS The committee commends the CCSP for undertaking the challenging task of developing a strategic plan, an important first step in enhancing how the program communicates with its wide range of stakeholders. The current draft of the plan represents a good start to the process. Further, the CCSP has made genuine overtures to researchers and the broader stakeholder community to gain feedback on the draft strategic plan and how to improve it. The planning workshop in December 2002 attracted hundreds of attendees. The workshop summaries presented by the program’s leaders (see <http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/workshop2002/closingsession>) indicated that they were attentive to the issues raised by the workshop participants. In addition to the workshop, the CCSP established a mechanism for interested parties to submit written comments on the draft plan. These efforts indicate a strong interest on the part of the CCSP to develop a plan that is consistent with current scientific thinking and is responsive to the nation’s needs for information on climate and associated global changes.
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan References CCSP (U.S. Climate Change Science Program). 2002. Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program (draft). November. Online at <http://www.climatescience.gov>. DOE (U.S. Department of Energy). 1977. Workshop on the Global Effects of Carbon Dioxide from Fossil Fuel, eds. W.P. Elliot and L. Machta. Washington, D.C.: DOE. DOE. 1980. Workshop on Environmental and Societal Consequences of a Possible CO2-Induced Climate Change. Conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, April 2-6, 1979, Annapolis, Md. Washington, D.C.: DOE. ESSC (Earth System Sciences Committee). 1986. Earth System Science. Overview. Washington, D.C.: Advisory Council, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ESSC. 1988. Earth System Science. A Closer View. Washington, D.C.: Advisory Council, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Bush, George W. 2002. Clear Skies and Global Climate Change Initiatives. February 14. Silver Spring, Md.: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. GCRP (U.S. Global Change Research Program). 2002. Our Changing Planet: The FY 2002 U.S. Global Change Research Program. Washington, D.C.: White House Printing Office. GCRP. 2003. Our Changing Planet: The FY 2003 U.S. Global Change Research Program and Climate Change Research Initiative. Washington, D.C.: White House Printing Office. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 1999. Aviation and the Global Atmosphere: A Special Report of Working Groups I and III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. J.E. Penner, D.H. Lister, D.J. Griggs, D.J. Dokken, and M. McFarland. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. IPCC. 2001a. Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, eds. J.J. McCarthy, O.F. Canziani, N.A. Leary, D.J. Dokken, and K.S. White. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. IPCC. 2001b. Climate Change 2001: Mitigation, eds. B. Metz, O. Davidson, R. Swart, and J. Pan. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. IPCC. 2001c. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. J.T. Houghton, Y. Ding, D.J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P.J. van der Linden, X. Dai, K. Maskell, and C.A. Johnson. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. NAST (National Assessment Synthesis Team). 2001. Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. Report for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. NRC (National Research Council). 1983. Toward an International Geosphere-Biosphere Program. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1986. Global Change in the Geosphere-Biosphere. Initial Priorities for an IGBP. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1996. Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1999a. Adequacy of Climate Observing Systems. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1999b. Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1999c. Making Climate Forecasts Matter. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1999d. Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2000a. From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction: Crossing the Valley of Death. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2000b. Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: I. Science and Design. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2000c. Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: II. Implementation. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
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Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan NRC. 2000d. Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2001a. Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2001b. A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Toward the Future. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2001c. Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2001d. The Science of Regional and Global Change. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 2002. Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. U.S. Congress, House, 1990. U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990. Public Law 101-606(11/16/90) 104 Stat. 3096-3104. Online at <http://www.gcrio.org/gcact1990.shtml>.
Representative terms from entire chapter: