U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Vision for the Program and Highlights of the Scientific Strategic Plan   [open pdf - 4MB]

"Climate shapes the environment, natural resources, the economy, and other aspects of life in all countries of the world. Natural and human-induced changes in climate, as well as the options suggested for adapting to or slowing changes, may have substantial environmental, economic, and societal consequences. Decisionmakers, resource managers, and other interested citizens need reliable science-based information to make informed judgments regarding policy and actions. Figure 1 illustrates some of the range and complexity of the climate system elements that must be considered in addressing short- and long-term climate change issues. In May 2001, the Administration asked the National Academy of Sciences " National Research Council (NRC) to provide an updated evaluation of key questions about climate change science. Upon receipt of the NRCs report in June 2001, the President directed the relevant agencies and departments of the federal government to build on the extensive U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to accelerate research on the most important uncertainties in climate science, enhance climate observation systems, and improve information available to decisionmakers."

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