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Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Pathways for the Next Decade Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Committee on Global Change Research Board on Sustainable Development Policy Division National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, selfperpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by Contract Nos. 50-DKNA-5-00015 and 50-DKNA-7-90052 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. Additional copies of the report are available from National Academy Press , 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet www.nap.edu International Standard Book Number 0-309-06592-5 Printed in the United States of America Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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COMMITTEE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE 1997–1998 Diana M. Liverman (Chair), Department of Geography, University of Arizona John Antle, Department of Agricultural Economics, Montana State University Paul Epstein, Center for Health and Global Environment, Harvard Medical School Myron Gutmann, Department of History, University of Texas, Austin Paul Mayewski, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire Emilio Moran, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University Elinor Ostrom, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Edward Parson, JFK School of Government, Harvard University Ronald R. Rindfuss, Department of Sociology and Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Robert Socolow, Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Princeton University Susan Stonich, Department of Anthropology and Environmental Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara Elke Weber, Department of Psychology, Ohio State University Edward Frieman (ex officio), Chair, Board on Sustainable Development, National Research Council; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego Oran R. Young (ex officio), Liaison, International Human Dimensions Program; Institute of Arctic Studies, Dartmouth College Paul C. Stern, Study Director Heather Schofield, Senior Project Assistant
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COMMITTEE ON GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH BERRIEN MOORE III (Chairman), University of New Hampshire, Durham JAMES G. ANDERSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts GREGORY H. CANAVAN, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico ROBERT COSTANZA, University of Maryland, Solomons W. LAWRENCE GATES, University of California, Livermore PRISCILLA C. GREW, University of Nebraska, Lincoln MARGARET S. LEINEN, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett PAUL A. MAYEWSKI, University of New Hampshire, Durham JAMES J. MCCARTHY, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts S. ICHTIAQUE RASOOL, University of New Hampshire, Durham EDWARD S. SARACHIK, University of Washington, Seattle DAVID S. SCHIMEL, University Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado W. JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH, University of Arizona, Tucson KARL K. TUREKIAN, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut PETER M. VITOUSEK, Stanford University, Stanford, California Ex-Officio Members Liaison Members, Board on Sustainable Development EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Chairman, Board on Sustainable Development ROBERT A. FROSCH, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts Cochairman, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate ERIC J. BARRON, Pennsylvania State University Chairman, Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data FRANCIS P. BRETHERTON, University of Wisconsin, Madison Chairman, Ocean Studies Board KENNETH BRINK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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Chairman, Committee on Atmospheric Chemistry WILLIAM L. CHAMEIDES, Georgia Institute of Technology Chairman, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate JOHN A. DUTTON, Pennsylvania State University Chairman, Climate Research Committee THOMAS R. KARL, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina Chairman, Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change DIANA M. LIVERMAN, University of Arizona, Tucson Chairman, Panel on Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Timescales DOUG MARTINSON, Columbia University, Palisades, New York Chairman, Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Panel SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of Arizona, Tucson Chairman, Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System PETER WEBSTER, University of Colorado, Boulder NRC Staff SHERBURNE B. ABBOTT, Executive Director DAVID M. GOODRICH, Project Director (ending January 16, 1998) SYLVIA A. EDGERTON, Senior Research Fellow (April 8, 1998, to April 9, 1999) LAURA SIGMAN, Research Associate (beginning February 17, 1998) LESLIE McCANT, Project Assistant (beginning January 22, 1999)
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BOARD ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT EDWARD A. FRIEMAN (Chairman), University of California, La Jolla ROBERT W. KATES (Vice-Chairman), Independent Scholar LOURDES ARIZPE, UNESCO, Paris, France JOHN BONGAARTS, The Population Council, New York, New York RALPH J. CICERONE, University of California, Irvine WILLIAM C. CLARK, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts ROBERT A. FROSCH, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts MALCOM GILLIS, Rice University, Houston, Texas RICHARD R. HARWOOD, Michigan State University, East Lansing PHILIP J. LANDRIGAN, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JERRY D. MAHLMAN, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey RICHARD J. MAHONEY, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri PAMELA A. MATSON, Stanford University, Stanford, California WILLIAM J. MERRELL, H. John Heinz III Center, Washington, D.C. G. WILLIAM MILLER, G. William Miller & Company, Inc., Washington, D.C. M. GRANGER MORGAN, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PAUL RASKIN, Tellus Institute, Boston, Massachusetts JOHN B. ROBINSON, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada VERNON W. RUTTAN, University of Minnesota, St. Paul THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park MARVALEE H. WAKE, University of California, Berkeley WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado M. GORDON WOLMAN, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland Ex-Officio Member Chairman, Committee on Global Change Research BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire, Durham NRC Staff SHERBURNE B. ABBOTT, Executive Director LAURA SIGMAN, Research Associate (beginning February 17, 1998) LESLIE McCANT, Project Assistant (beginning January 22, 1999)
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Contents Preface xiii Summary 1 Introduction 3 Case Studies: Contributions of Human Dimensions Research in Addressing Global Change 6 Human Dimensions Research and the IPCC 6 Consequences of Climate Change and Variability at the Regional Level 9 Key Scientific Questions 10 What Are the Major Human Causes of Changes in the Global Environment? 11 What Are the Human Consequences of Global Environmental Change? 20 What Are the Potential Human Responses to Global Change? 25 What Are the Underlying Social Processes, or Driving Forces, Behind the Human Relationship to the Global Environment? 34 Lessons Learned 41 The Relative Importance of Socioeconomic Uncertainty 41 Complex Determination of Environmentally Significant Consumption 41
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Importance of Vulnerability Analysis in Impact Assessment 42 Importance of Institutional Design to Environmental Resource Management 42 Importance of Both Analysis and Deliberative Procedure in Environmental Decision Making 43 Importance of a Broad-Based Infrastructure 43 The Significance of Improved Observational Methods and Data Systems 44 Research Imperatives 45 Social Determinants of Environmentally Significant Consumption 46 Sources and Processes of Technological Change 49 Regionally Relevant Climate Change Assessments and Seasonal to Interannual Climate Predictions 50 Social and Environmental Surprises 53 Effective Institutions for Managing Global Environmental Change 54 Changes in Land Use/Land Cover Change and Patterns of Migration 56 Methods for Improving Decision Making About Global Change 59 Improve Integration of Human Dimensions Research with USGCRP Science Themes and with Other International Research 61 Improve Geographic Links to Existing Social and Health Data 63 Conclusion: Key Research Issues for the USGCRP 65 Notes 66 References and Bibliography 69 The table of contents of the entire report of which this is a part can be found on the following pages.
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Contents Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade Preface ix 1 Introduction and Background 1 Summary 1 Background 2 The Road Ahead 7 The Pathways Framework 8 Review of the USGCRP 10 2 Changes to the Biology and Biochemistry of Ecosystems 19 Summary 19 Introduction 21 Case Studies 34 A Research Agenda for the Next Decade 42 Lessons Learned 56 Research Imperatives 67 3 Changes in the Climate System on Seasonal to Interannual Timescales 87 Summary 87 Introduction 88 Case Studies 89 A Research Agenda for the Next Decade 98 Lessons Learned 109 Research Imperatives: Priorities for Observations, Modeling, and Theory 111
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4 Changes in the Climate System on Decade-to-Century Timescales 127 Summary 127 Introduction 129 Case Studies 130 A Research Agenda for the Next Decade 140 Lessons Learned 177 Research Imperatives: Priorities for Observations, Modeling and Theory 178 Conclusions 184 5 Changes in the Chemistry of the Atmosphere 191 Summary 191 Introduction 192 Case Studies 194 A Research Agenda for the Next Decade 199 Lessons Learned 206 Research Imperatives: Priorities for Observations, Modeling, and Theory 209 6 Paleoclimate Overview 237 Summary 237 Introduction 239 Case Studies 240 Key Scientific Questions and Issues 268 Lessons Learned 272 Research Imperatives 274 7 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change 293 Summary 293 Introduction 295 Case Studies: Contributions of Human Dimensions Research in Addressing Global Change 298 Key Scientific Questions 302 Lessons Learned 333 Research Imperatives 337 Conclusion: Key Research Issues for the USGCRP 357 8 Observations 377 Introduction 377 Observations Required for the Science Elements of the USGCRP 379
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A Multipurpose, Multiuse Observing System for the USGCRP: Elements of System Design 416 Case Studies 421 Toward a Permanent Observing System 424 9 Processing and Distributing Earth Observations and Information 435 Introduction 435 The EOS Data and Information System: Implications for the USGCRP 435 Moving Toward a New EOS Information System 441 10 Modeling 445 Introduction 445 The Terrestrial-Atmosphere Subsystem 457 The Land-Ocean Subsystem 464 The Atmosphere-Ocean Subsystem 473 The Atmospheric Physical-Chemical Subsystem 487 The Human Linkage to the Earth System 495 Summary 497 11 Findings and Recommendations 517 Research Imperatives and Scientific Questions—Drivers of Observations Research 517 Annex 1 537 Annex 2 542 Annex 3 544 Appendix A 551 Appendix B 563 Appendix C 569
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Preface This publication is extracted from a much larger report, Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade, which addresses the full range of the scientific issues concerning global environmental change and offers guidance to the scientific effort on these issues in the United States. This volume consists of Chapter 7 of that report, ''Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change,'' which was written for the report by the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change of the National Research Council (NRC). It provides findings and conclusions on the key scientific questions in human dimensions research, the lessons that have been learned over the past decade, and the research imperatives for global change research funded from the United States. This publication demonstrates the emergence of a mature research agenda based on an established framework of questions and published findings. It shows how social science provides insights, models, and data of immediate relevance and application to research in earth science (such as projecting carbon emissions or land use change and estimating climate's effects). It also notes progress in understanding of the basic social processes and driving forces underlying the human relationship to the environment (such as public attitudes and population dynamics). In addition, it shows ways in which the social sciences can help direct the priorities of the overall global change program towards more integrated, policy relevant, and effective research imperatives. Although most of the material on human dimensions research in the larger report appears in this volume, our committee also contributed material on human dimensions to other parts of that report, particularly Chapters 8 and 10, on observations and modeling, respectively. The observations chapter includes a section highlighting the significance of social, economic, and health data to global change
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research. It notes, for example, the importance of agricultural and population census data in land use research and the need for data on energy production and consumption in research on the carbon cycle. Major challenges include the difficulties of linking social and biophysical data across different scales and spatial units and the lack of data comparability across different political jurisdictions. The chapter also notes that most of the key social data in the United States are collected by agencies, such as the Census Bureau and Department of Health and Human Services, that do not have environmental responsibilities, and such data are not precisely georeferenced. The chapter also addresses issues of confidentiality and privacy raised by detailed human dimensions observations. The chapter on modeling contains a section that discusses the challenges of including human processes in integrated modeling of the earth system. Noting some progress in integrated modeling, the section highlights the very large uncertainties and great diversity within social systems that limit the predictability of both the human system and the overall earth system. We refer you to these chapters to see the human dimensions issues in context. The larger report also includes major chapters on ecosystems, seasonal to interannual climate change, decade to century climate change, atmospheric chemistry, and paleoclimate. It makes important recommendations to focus the efforts of the global change research in the United States on central scientific questions and urges the creation of a coherent observational strategy to help answer these questions. We commend the entire report to the social science research and policy communities. Our committee decided to publish Chapter 7 separately in order to reach a community of scholars, students, and policy makers in the United States and elsewhere who have a focused interest in human-environment interactions. The Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change began working a decade ago, at the same time that the U.S. government established the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. National Science Foundation established a formal program to study the human dimensions of global environmental change. Over that decade, U.S. government support for human dimensions work has expanded modestly, an increasing number of scholars have identified themselves with the field, and efforts have been made to integrate social science into the broader global change programs. Our committee has offered advice from the scientific community to these efforts within the government. It has worked to develop the intellectual basis for progress in understanding human-environment interactions and to set research directions for the future. The committee's 1992 report, Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions, established a framework and research agenda for studying the human causes, consequences, and responses to changes in the global environment such as changes in climate and biodiversity. Since then, the committee has published several reports on specific topics (Environmentally Significant Consumption: Research Directions , People and Pixels: Linking Remote Sensing and Social Science , and Making Climate
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Forecasts Matter ) and one report on science priorities—Science Priorities for the Human Dimensions of Global Change (1994). However, until the present publication, the committee had not taken the time to reflect on overall progress, the evolution of research questions, and important lessons learned since the 1992 report. In 1995 the Committee on Global Change Research began a major review of the status of the U.S. research effort on global change. Early in the process, it became clear that human dimensions research was a critical crosscutting activity across the four themes of the national research program: seasonal to interannual climate prediction, decadal to centennial climate change, atmospheric chemistry, and terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Because our committee had expertise spanning these and other areas, we chose to devote considerable time as a group to developing a chapter for this major review that would identify key science questions, lessons learned, and research imperatives in the field of human dimensions of global change. I would like to acknowledge the outstanding support and contributions of Paul Stern in helping to prepare the chapter that comprises this report as well as the work and ideas of both present and past members of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. Human dimensions researchers Robert Chen, Hadi Dowlatabadi, Greg Knight, Roger Pulwarty and Marvin Waterstone and Robert Costanza of the Committee on Global Change Research also made suggestions of material to be included in the chapter. Very sincere thanks are also due to Berrien Moore and Ed Frieman, chairs of the Committee on Global Change Research and the Board on Sustainable Development, respectively, who encouraged our efforts. I am grateful for the support and encouragement of Barbara Torrey of the NRC's Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Robert Kates of the Board on Sustainble Development, and very appreciative of the assistance and editorial work of David Goodrich, Shere Abbott, Sylvia Edgerton, Laura Sigman, and other NRC staffers who worked so diligently on the report from which this chapter is taken. DIANA M. LIVERMAN, CHAIR COMMITTEE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE (1995–1998)
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