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The report reviews a draft strategic plan from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, a program formed in 2002 to coordinate and direct U.S. efforts in climate change and global change research. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program incorporates the decade-old Global Change Research Program and adds a new component -- the Climate Change Research Initiative -- whose primary goal is to "measurably improve the integration of scientific knowledge, including measures of uncertainty, into effective decision support systems and resources."
The report reviews a draft strategic plan from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, a program formed in 2002 to coordinate and direct U.S. efforts in climate change and global change research. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program incorporates the decade-old Global Change Research Program and adds a new component -- the Climate Change Research Initiative -- whose primary goal is to "measurably improve the integration of scientific knowledge, including measures of uncertainty, into effective decision support systems and resources."
The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a collection of 13 Federal entities charged by law to assist the United States and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change. As the understanding of global change has evolved over the past decades and as demand for scientific information on global change has increased, the USGCRP has increasingly focused on research that can inform decisions to cope with current climate variability and change, to reduce the magnitude of future changes, and to prepare for changes projected over coming decades. Overall, the current breadth and depth of research in these agencies is insufficient to meet the country's needs, particularly to support decision makers. This report provides a rationale for evaluating current program membership and capabilities and identifying potential new agencies and departments in the hopes that these changes will enable the program to more effectively inform the public and prepare for the future. It also offers actionable recommendations for adjustments to the methods and procedures that will allow the program to better meet its stated goals.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is an interagency program, established by the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990, mandated by Congress to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global changeâ€. Since the USGCRP began, scientific understanding of global change has increased and the information needs of the nation have changed dramatically. A better understanding of what is changing and why can help decision makers in the public and private sectors cope with ongoing change. Accomplishments of the U.S. Global Change Research Program highlights the growth of global change science in the quarter century that the USGCRP has been in existence, and documents some of its contributions to that growth through its primary functions of interagency planning and coordination, and of synthesis of research and practice to inform decision making.
This report reviews the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s new draft assessment product on characterizing and communicating uncertainty information for climate change decision making, one of 21 climate change assessment products that the program is developing to meet the requirements of the 1990 Global Change Research Act. Although the draft assessment is effective in discussing methods of characterizing uncertainty, it falls short in several ways. It is written for researchers involved in assessment efforts and will likely be of use to them, but does not address other key audiences, particularly policymakers, decision-makers, and members of the media and general public. In addition, it does not assess the full range of "best practice approaches" for characterizing, incorporating, and communicating uncertainty. These weaknesses were due in part to a change in the prospectus after the process had begun to include new target audiences and a different scope of work. It will take a substantial revision of the current draft or production of a companion document, both requiring additional authors, to address these issues.

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