Summary

The earth has entered a period of hydrological, climatological, and biological change that differs from previous episodes of global change in the extent to which it is human in origin. To explain or predict the course of the present global environmental changes, one must therefore understand the human sources, consequences, and responses, some of which can alter the course of global change. This book examines what is known about the human dimensions of global environmental change, identifies the major immediate needs for knowledge, and recommends a strategy for building that knowledge over the next 5-10 years.

To understand global environmental change, it is necessary to focus on the interactions of environmental systems, including the atmosphere, the biosphere, the geosphere, and the hydrosphere, and human systems, including economic, political, cultural, and sociotechnical systems. Human systems and environmental systems meet in two places: where human actions proximately cause environmental change, that is, where they directly alter aspects of the environment, and where environmental changes directly affect what humans value. The main questions about human causes concern the underlying sources or social driving forces that give rise to the proximate causes of global change. Why, for example, is there so much variation across societies, even advanced industrial societies, with regard to energy consumption per unit of economic output? The key questions about human consequences



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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions Summary The earth has entered a period of hydrological, climatological, and biological change that differs from previous episodes of global change in the extent to which it is human in origin. To explain or predict the course of the present global environmental changes, one must therefore understand the human sources, consequences, and responses, some of which can alter the course of global change. This book examines what is known about the human dimensions of global environmental change, identifies the major immediate needs for knowledge, and recommends a strategy for building that knowledge over the next 5-10 years. To understand global environmental change, it is necessary to focus on the interactions of environmental systems, including the atmosphere, the biosphere, the geosphere, and the hydrosphere, and human systems, including economic, political, cultural, and sociotechnical systems. Human systems and environmental systems meet in two places: where human actions proximately cause environmental change, that is, where they directly alter aspects of the environment, and where environmental changes directly affect what humans value. The main questions about human causes concern the underlying sources or social driving forces that give rise to the proximate causes of global change. Why, for example, is there so much variation across societies, even advanced industrial societies, with regard to energy consumption per unit of economic output? The key questions about human consequences

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions concern responses to actual or anticipated global changes. What will humans do in anticipation of global change to keep it from harming what they value? How will humans respond to actual global changes? What is the likelihood that humans will take no organized action at all in response to particular global changes, and what would be the consequent effects on human welfare? To answer such questions, natural and social scientists need to work together. HUMAN CAUSES OF GLOBAL CHANGE Almost all human activity has some potential relevance to global change. Researchers in a number of fields have studied human-environment interactions, usually within the boundaries of single disciplines and almost always below the global level. They have demonstrated that a complex of social, political, economic, technological, and cultural variables, sometimes referred to as driving forces, influences the human activities that proximately cause global change. The driving forces can be roughly classified as follows: Population Growth Each person makes some demand on the environment for the essentials of life—food, water, clothing, shelter, and so on. If all else is equal, the greater the number of people, the greater the demands placed on the environment for the provision of resources and the absorption of waste and pollutants. However, all else is not equal. For example, a new individual with the standard of living and technological base of an average North American would use about 35 times as much energy as an individual living at India's average standard—with a roughly proportional impact on the global environment. Economic Growth For the first time in human history, economic activity is so extensive that it produces environmental change at the global level; the prospect of further economic growth arouses concern about the quality of the global environment. Economic growth necessarily stresses the environment, but the amount of stress from a given amount of economic growth depends, among other things, on the pattern of goods and services produced, the population and resource base for agricultural development, forms of national political organization, and development policies. Technological Change Technology can influence environmental change by finding new ways to discover and exploit natural resources or by changing the volume of resources required—or the

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions amount or kind of wastes produced—per unit of output. Technologies may either increase or decrease the impact of human activity on the environment, depending on the other driving forces, which determine which technologies are developed and used. Political-Economic Institutions The global environment responds to the actions of markets, governments, and the international political economy. Markets are always imperfect, and the impact of economic activity on the environment depends on which imperfect-market method of environmental management is being used. Governmental structure and policies can also have significant environmental consequences, both intentional and inadvertent. And the international political economy, with its global division of labor and wealth, can promote environmental abuses, particularly in the Third World. The effects depend on policy at the national level and on the behavior of particular economic actors. Attitudes and Beliefs Beliefs, attitudes, and values related to material possessions and the relation of humanity and nature are often seen as lying at the root of environmental degradation. Such attitudes and beliefs probably have their greatest independent effects over the long-term, on the time scale of human generations or more. Within single lifetimes, attitudes and beliefs can have significant influence on resource-using behavior, even when social-structural and economic variables are held constant. Although each of these driving forces is important at certain times and under certain conditions, much remains unknown about what determines their relative importance, how they affect each other, and how the driving forces in particular places combine to produce global effects. For example, various combinations of social conditions may lead to a single outcome, such as deforestation. Single-factor explanations of the anthropogenic sources of global environmental change are apt to be misleading, because the driving forces of global change generally act in combination with each other and the interactions are contingent on place, time, and level of analysis. Understanding the linkages is a major scientific challenge that will require developing new interdisciplinary teams. The research effort should include studies at both global and lower geographic levels, with strong emphasis on comparative studies at local or regional levels with worldwide representation. Research should address the same question at different time scales, examine the links between levels of analysis and between time scales, and explore the ways that the human forces that cause environmental change may also be affected by it.

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions HUMAN CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL CHANGE To project the human consequences of global change, it is necessary not only to anticipate environmental change but also to take social change into account: social and economic organization and human values may change faster than the global environment, and people may respond in anticipation of global change. It is worthwhile to test projected environmental futures against projected human futures to see how sensitive human consequences may be to variations in the social future. But long-term forecasting is still a very inexact practice. The near-term research agenda should emphasize processes of human response to the stresses that global environmental change might present. People may respond to experienced or anticipated global change by intervening at any point in the cycle of interaction between human and environmental systems. Mitigation—that is, actions that alter environmental systems to prevent, limit, delay, or slow the rate of undesired global changes—may involve direct interventions in the environment, direct interventions in the human proximate causes, or indirect interventions in the driving forces of global change. People can also respond by blocking the undesired proximate effects of environmental systems on what they value, for example, by applying sunscreens to the skin to help prevent cancer from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. They can make adjustments that prevent or compensate for imminent or manifest losses of welfare from global change, for example, famine relief or drought insurance. And people can intervene to improve the robustness of social systems by altering them so that an unchecked environmental change would produce less reduction of values than would otherwise be the case. For example, crop polyculture may not slow the pace of global change, but it is more robust than monoculture in the face of drought, acid deposition, and ozone depletion. If crop failure occurs, it will affect only some crops, making famine less likely. Many of these responses may indirectly affect the driving forces of global change. Consequently, the research agenda should include studies of both the direct and secondary effects of responses to global change, using the best available methods of evaluation research. Global change is likely to engender conflict—about whether it is in fact occurring, whether any organized response is necessary, whether response should emphasize mitigation or not, who should pay the costs, and who has the right to decide. Such conflicts tend to persist because they are based in part on differing inter-

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions ests, values, preferences, and beliefs about the future. The research agenda should include efforts to clarify the connections between particular environmental changes and particular types of conflict. It should also include increased efforts to test the efficacy of different techniques and institutions for resolving or managing environmental conflicts. Human responses to global change occur within seven interacting systems. Within each system, there are significant areas of knowledge and important unanswered questions; in addition, much remains to be learned about how the systems combine to determine the global human response. Individual perception, judgment, and action are important because all decisions are based on inputs from individuals; because individual actions, in the aggregate, often have major effects; and because individuals can be organized to influence collective and political responses. Markets are important because global change is likely to affect the prices of important commodities and factors of economic production. However, existing markets do not provide the right price signals for managing global change for various reasons, and the participants in markets do not always follow strict rules of economic rationality. Sociocultural systems, including families, clans, tribes, and communities held together by such bonds as solidarity, obligation, duty, and love sometimes develop ways of interacting with their environments (for instance, some systems of agroforestry) that may be widely adaptable as strategies for response. Their informal social bonds can also affect individual and community responses to global change and to policy. Organized responses at the subnational level, such as by communities, social movements, and corporations and trade associations, can be significant both in their own right and by influencing the adoption and implementation of government policies. National policies are critical in the human response to global change by making possible international agreements and by affecting the ability to respond at local and individual levels. Not only environmental policy, but also macroeconomic, fiscal, agricultural, and science and technology policies are important. International cooperation is necessary to address some large-scale environmental changes such as ozone depletion and global warming. The formation of international institutions for response to global change is widely considered to be the key to solving

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions the problems, and both nation-states and non-state actors are involved. Global social change, such as the expansion of the global market; the worldwide spread of communication networks, democratic political forms, and scientific knowledge; and the global resurgence of cultural identity as a social force may influence the way humanity responds to the prospect of global change and its ability to adapt to experienced change. The research agenda should include studies of responses within each of these systems, especially comparative studies of how the systems operate in different spatial and temporal contexts. Because systems of human response are strongly affected by each other, a high priority should be given to studies linking response systems to each other and short-term effects to long-term ones. PROBLEMS OF THEORY AND METHOD The study of human interactions with the global environment poses difficult problems of theory and method that will require new links among disciplines, theoretical constructs to deal with the complexities and the large spatial and temporal scales, and careful selection of research methods. Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential. A high priority of the human interactions research effort should be to support problem-centered interaction among social and natural scientists, for example through research projects that require such contact, problem-focused scholarly meetings, and interdisciplinary research centers. New theoretical tools are required. Studies of the human dimensions of global change require analysis at spatial and temporal expanses much greater than most social scientific theory encompasses. Social science will need to develop new theoretical tools for analyzing such issues as major national and international changes in political-economic structure, the sources of variation and change in slowly changing aspects of human systems, the long-term impacts of short-term social changes, relationships between global social changes and the global environment, and links between human-environment relationships at different levels of spatial aggregation. Analyses of these general problems in the global change context may lead to important theoretical advances of general use in social science.

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions Methodological pluralism is the most appropriate strategy. At least for the near-term, a strong emphasis on building integrative models is premature for studying the human dimensions. For the human interactions research agenda, much more understanding of the underlying processes needs to be developed before great strides can be made in integrative modeling. Formal modeling should participate in a dialogue of methods, with several complementary methods being used to give a more complete picture than any single method can produce. Post hoc analyses are essential for evaluating human responses. There remains no substitute for empirical analysis of outcomes after the fact. Post hoc evaluations are an important part of the process of analyzing policy alternatives for response to global change, and resources should be provided for them. In particular, federal agencies with programs or policies anticipated to affect processes of global environmental change should routinely budget funds for evaluation studies of the intended and unintended consequences of these activities. Unlike the practice of preparing environmental impact statements, this recommendation concerns data gathering after a policy is in place. DATA NEEDS A strong research program on the human dimensions of global change requires improved availability of and access to existing data, quality control, and collection of critical new data. Data Availability Data exist in great quantity on social, economic, demographic, and political variables relevant to the human dimensions of global change, and in even greater quantity on relevant nonhuman variables. The major need at this point is for governmental and private support for the necessary infrastructure for publicly shared data on demographic, economic, political, attitudinal, and natural or physical changes. This particularly includes the one-time costs of creating a network and archival facility to make the material accessible to researchers and to make data on social and natural phenomena mutually intelligible. The network should include measures of the major driving forces of global change at the lowest available level of aggregation. We emphasize that expenditures on such a system should not jeopardize needed resources for doing research and understanding the data. The U.S. government should take steps to keep the price of basic data close to the marginal cost of production and should try

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions to influence international institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to do the same. The federal government should support an effort to validate the most promising remotely sensed indicators of social phenomena and include them in the information network. The committee recommends that social scientists, representing a variety of disciplines, be involved at every stage of the design and implementation of national data and information systems relevant to the human dimensions of global change, including representation on the Earth Observing System Science Advisory Panel, to ensure that data are collected and archived in a form that facilitates analyzing human interactions. Quality and Interpretability of Data The quality of existing data relevant to the human dimensions of global change may be doubtful because of errors in collection, problems of sampling and coverage, problems of estimation, incompatibility between ground-based and remotely sensed data, problems of aggregation, insufficient attention to methodology, or a lack of uniform definitions of variables across data-collection agents. The prevalence of these problems suggests the importance of research on the quality of available data sets. A few targeted studies that trace the production of data on key variables using modern techniques to analyze multiple indicators would greatly enhance understanding of data quality and would suggest methods for improving both conceptualization and measurement. The latter methods can usefully be applied to unreliable data on the physical and biological, as well as social, aspects of global change. Needs for New Data Needs for new data reveal themselves as research proceeds. Nevertheless, an inventory of existing data should be developed to determine whether expanded data collection is needed in such areas as land use and food production, economic activity, consumption of energy and materials, human health, population trends, environmental quality, and environmental attitudes. There may be needs for missing data at local, regional, or national levels; for improved aggregated data, such as on national income in developing countries and current or formerly socialist countries; for data on variables for which adequate measures do not yet exist; and for data on particular areas that are selected for purposes of comparison. The data inventory should be developed through consultation among researchers, governmental and nongovernmental statistical agencies, and data base management and archiving specialists; it should be reviewed and updated periodically.

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions HUMAN RESOURCES AND ORGANIZATIONAL REQUIREMENTS To develop an effective research program on the human dimensions of global change, critical needs must be met for improved institutional infrastructure, training and retraining, and a restructuring of the federal research effort to overcome barriers to environmental social science. Institutional Structures Global change research, especially in universities, faces the same serious barriers as other interdisciplinary programs: limited institutional support; small budgets; and few if any faculty appointments, particularly with tenure. Individuals who commit time to such programs often do so to the detriment of their own careers. Therefore, in addition to short-term research support, programs of research on the human dimensions of global change need to develop long-term institutional identities. The committee recommends that sponsors of research on the human dimensions of global change address some of their support to building institutional entities that control their own faculty appointments and other key resources that will enable them to attract the interest and resources of individuals who are already present but not yet committed to global change as a research agenda. One way to address the problems of establishing a new area of interdisciplinary research is to create national centers for research. Centers on the human dimensions of global change could be funded by a consortium of government and private sources that would make a commitment to maintain them on a long-term basis. They should be rooted in environmental social science but should also maintain a commitment to collaborative work with natural scientists. Incentives are also needed to encourage collaboration between natural and social scientists. Any research proposal that includes only natural scientists or only social scientists should be required to justify its decision, and grant review panels should be designed to ensure that disciplinary criteria do not bias evaluations of interdisciplinary proposals. Training Funders should make special efforts to promote interdisciplinary communication and cooperation with fellowship and travel grants and possibly by holding annual meetings of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from different disciplines to build a sense of community and collegiality. Training efforts should

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions also consider the fact that for most young researchers, career development will require that their interdisciplinary work be grounded in a disciplinary framework that potential employers will recognize. We recommend that proposals for substantive research, especially for graduate and postdoctoral research, be evaluated on their ability to synthesize interdisciplinary questions about global change with the theoretical and programmatic agendas of existing disciplines. The committee also recommends that federal and private funding sources make resources available on a competitive basis to professional associations to initiate programs to strengthen the links between the core theoretical concerns of individual disciplines and the human dimensions of global change. Organizational Barriers to Research in the Federal Government Due to the historical missions of federal agencies, there is an almost complete mismatch between the roster of agencies that support research on global change and the roster of agencies with strong capabilities in social science. Consequently, with the exception of the National Science Foundation, no entity in the federal government has the expertise to develop and manage a comprehensive research agenda on human interactions with the global environment, and many important research needs are likely to go unmet for lack of an agency with the mission and personnel needed to meet them. The federal government should develop a strategy to ensure that the human dimensions research agenda is designed and administered by organizations committed to excellence in understanding both environmental and human systems. The Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences might, as appropriate, assign important areas of human interactions research to the National Science Foundation, to particular mission agencies with the requirement that they take on new staff or make use of outside expertise to handle the assignment, or, if no existing agency is appropriate, to a new organizational entity, staffed with social and natural scientists. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A NATIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAM The social and behavioral sciences have a vital contribution to make to enhancing understanding of global environmental change. This contribution can best be made through an effective partnership between the natural sciences and the social and behavioral sciences, but two key problems obstruct development of a strong research program: intellectual and organizational barriers to in-

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions terdisciplinary collaboration and inappropriate organization within the U.S. government for managing the research effectively. The committee recommends that the United States develop a comprehensive national research program on the human dimensions of global change consisting of five major elements: investigator-initiated research, targeted or focused research on selected topics, a federal program for obtaining and disseminating relevant data, a program of fellowships to expand the pool of talented scientists in the field, and a network of national research centers. Recommendation 1 The National Science Foundation should increase substantially its support for investigator-initiated or unsolicited research on the human dimensions of global change. This program should include a category of small grants subject to a simplified review procedure. The National Science Foundation program of investigator-initiated research on the human dimensions of global change should be established on a long-term basis, structured to include the full range of social and behavioral sciences, and expanded substantially in terms of funding. The following evaluation criteria should be applied in selecting among high-quality proposals and should inform the thinking of those preparing proposals for submission. Studies of the anthropogenic sources of global change deserve priority to the extent that they address human actions that have a large impact on one or more of the major global environmental changes. Studies of the anthropogenic sources of global change should receive priority to the extent that they emphasize interactions among social driving forces. While there is a place for global-level studies, the emphasis in the near term should fall on comparative studies at the national, regional, and local levels. This approach will promote fuller understanding of the processes at work in human interactions with global change—an understanding that must form the basis for generalizations at the global level. Although there is room for analyses on different time scales, there is a need to be especially supportive of studies dealing with the environmental effects of human actions on time scales of decades to centuries. Understanding global change requires an examination of long-term changes in human systems as well as environmental systems.

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions There is a need to support studies that compare interventions at different points in the cycle of human-environment relationships and make empirical assessments of their relative effects. Research should make a systematic effort to compare and contrast the responses of human systems at different levels of social organization. There is much to be gained from studies that differentiate among distinct methods or mechanisms for influencing human behavior. There is a need for studies of the robustness of human systems (including social, technical, agricultural, economic, and political systems) in the face of global environmental change. Proposals deserve priority to the extent that they are likely to enhance understanding of processes of decision making and conflict management in response to global environmental changes. Given the widespread frustration associated with policy making concerning environmental issues and the magnitude of the human responses that may be needed, a concerted effort to improve the quality of collective decision making in this area is warranted. Special attention should be given to proposals that suggest effective methods of enhancing the partnership between the natural sciences and the social sciences or encouraging interdisciplinary research among the social sciences relating to global environmental change. Proposals deserve serious consideration to the extent that they include effective plans for increasing international collaboration. Recommendation 2 The National Science Foundation, other appropriate federal agencies, and private funding sources should establish programs of targeted or focused research on the human dimensions of global change. There is a national need to establish an ongoing program of targeted or focused research—that is, a program that will concentrate resources to advance understanding of topics selected by the funding sources for their obvious significance for global environmental change. All topics selected for focused research should meet the following criteria: (i) they deal with matters of first-order significance to understanding causes, consequences, and responses to global environmental change, (ii) they raise questions that typify larger classes of concerns relating to the human di-

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions mensions of global change, (iii) they address the major categories of global environmental change (for example, ozone depletion, climate change, and the loss of biodiversity), and (iv) they show promise of yielding timely advances regarding questions of broad interest to the social sciences. The topics must also be sufficiently well defined to provide a basis for targeted research. Mission agencies that usually support only applied research in social science but have basic research programs in natural science related to global change, should initiate support of basic research in the social sciences related to their global change missions. Following are examples of topics that meet our criteria for inclusion in the initial phase of focused programs dealing with the human dimensions of global change: Energy Intensity Why do economies differ so markedly in their energy intensity? How and why does the consumption of energy per unit of GNP change over time? What do the answers to these questions imply about opportunities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Land Use and Food Production What factors change systems of land use and food production toward either rapid degradation of resources or sustainability? How do such changes correlate with population growth, technological development, and the evolution of social institutions? Valuing Consequences of Environmental Change What alternative approaches can be used to place values on those consequences of environmental changes that are not well reflected in market prices? What institutional arrangements could ensure the effective use of the most promising of these approaches? Technology-Environment Relationship What determines whether the technologies developed and adopted in major economic sectors mitigate or exacerbate global environmental change? What are the roles of factor prices, regulatory practices, legal and institutional arrangements, standards of performance or practice, and other characteristics of the decision environment in determining which technological options are pursued and adopted? Decision Making in Response to Global Environmental Change How do individuals, firms, communities, and governments come to perceive changes in environmental systems as requiring action? How do they identify possible responses and assess the probable consequences of such responses? Are there cultural differences in the way human communities deal with such issues? Environmental Conflict How might global environmental

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions changes intensify existing social conflicts or engender new forms of conflict? What techniques of conflict resolution or conflict management are likely to prove effective in coming to terms with these conflicts? International Environmental Cooperation What can we learn from the recent experience with ozone depletion that is relevant to international efforts to deal with climate change or the loss of biodiversity? When do governments resort to international cooperation in dealing with environmental changes, and when are the resultant regimes likely to prove effective? Recommendation 3 The federal government should establish an ongoing program to ensure that appropriate data sets for research on the human dimensions of global change are routinely acquired, properly prepared for use, and made available to researchers on simple and affordable terms. There is a national need to (i) inventory existing data sets relevant to the human dimensions of global change, (ii) critically assess the quality of the most important of these data sets, (iii) make determinations concerning the quality of data required for research on major themes, (iv) investigate the cost-effectiveness of various methods of improving the quality of critical data sets, and (v) make decisions regarding new data needed to underpin a successful program of research. A federal program is warranted because public agencies collect the bulk of the relevant data and because the task is so large that individuals or private groups cannot hope to handle it effectively or efficiently. The federal government should seriously consider the establishment of a national data center on the human dimensions of global change parallel to the centers that already exist for data on climate, oceans, geophysics, and space science. An independent advisory committee, composed of researchers working on the human dimensions of global change and including strong representation of social scientists, should be set up to oversee the work of the federal data program. Recommendation 4 The federal government, together with private funding sources, should establish a national fellowship program. Through it, social and natural scientists prepared to make a long-term commitment to the study of the human dimensions of global environmental change could spend up to two years interacting intensively with scientists from other disciplines, especially scientists from across the social science-natural science divide.

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions It is imperative to find ways to allow individual scientists to push beyond the boundaries of their home disciplines in thinking about global change without jeopardizing their career trajectories. A prestigious nationwide fellowship can induce students and researchers to enhance their knowledge of global change issues and to interact intensively across disciplines. The fellowships should be open to graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, and mid-career scientists on a competitive basis and carry competitive stipends. Recommendation 5 The federal government should join with private funding sources to establish about five national centers for research on the human dimensions of global change and to make a commitment to funding these centers on a long-term basis. Because of the interdisciplinary, problem-oriented nature of the topic, the human dimensions of global change constitutes an emerging field of inquiry that is ripe for this sort of treatment; about five centers should be established over the next 3-5 years. National research centers should be established at locations that employ scientists with a proven track record in this or related areas, to avoid the problem of intellectual opportunism. In the committee's judgment, there is a persuasive case for maintaining relatively close ties between universities and the national centers. However, topics that lie at the intersection between basic and applied research may be most appropriately investigated at a government-operated research center. Recommendation 6 The federal government should increase funding for research on the human dimensions of global change over a period of several years to a level of $45-50 million. This cost estimate assumes that the program would be phased in over time and that, because all five program elements are necessary to the comprehensive national research program, the program will strike a proper balance among the program elements with regard to funding. We believe that investigator-initiated research on human interactions, currently funded at a level of $3.6 million per year through the National Science Foundation, can and should be tripled to a level of about $11 million. Targeted or focused research on the human dimensions of global change should be funded at a comparable level with investigator-initiated re-

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Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions search. A fellowship program in full operation that awarded 100 two-year fellowships per year would cost $10 million per year if the average annual cost were $50,000 per fellowship, including indirect costs. Five national centers could be maintained with small but strong core staffs for about $1 million per center per year. Funding for data acquisition and dissemination should remain, as in the fiscal 1991 budget, at about 20 percent of the funds allocated to human interactions research. On that basis, we recommend that funding for the data program be increased over the transition period to a level of $8-10 million. The committee believes that this level of support would make possible the establishment of a balanced national research program on the human dimensions of global change and that the research community will be able to take on such a commitment over a three-year period if the funding is available. This level of funding would represent about 5 percent of the fiscal 1991 budget for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) or 4 percent of the proposed fiscal 1992 budget, in contrast to the 3 percent currently budgeted. In light of the National Research Council's conclusion that the human interactions science priority is ''the most critically underfunded in the FY 1991 budget for the USGCRP'' (National Research Council, 1990b:95), an increase of this magnitude over a short time period seems fully justified. Support for appropriate parts of the research program outlined here could come from an emerging Mitigation and Adaptation Research Strategies program as well as from the Global Change Research Program.