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The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change." Thirteen departments and agencies participate in the USGCRP, which was known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program from 2002 through 2008. The program is steered by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research under the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, overseen by the Executive Office of the President, and facilitated by an Integration and Coordination Office.
- Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times are well-documented and understood.
- The atmospheric buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
- An unequivocal warming trend of about 1.0 to 1.7F occurred from 1906-2005. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (IPCC, 2007).
- The major greenhouse gases emitted by human activities remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from decades to centuries. It is therefore virtually certain that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to rise over the next few decades. Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet.
USEPA Climate Change: What You Can Do
Making a few small changes in your home and yard can lead to big reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and save money. Explore our list of nine simple steps you can take around the house and yard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA's Clean Air Research Program and Global Change Research Program in the Office of Research and Development collaborate to provide the science to address air quality issues related to climate change. It has become apparent that steps can be taken that both improve air quality (by lowering ozone and PM concentrations) and lessen man-made climate change (depending on which ozone precursors and particles are affected). The interactions of air quality and climate change issues also suggest that multipollutant strategies to air quality management should be considered. EPA is moving toward an approach that includes accounting for the impacts of many pollutants simultaneously, rather than individually.
The Global Change Research Program is a stakeholder-oriented research and assessment program in EPA's Office of Research and Development that addresses the potential consequences of global change--particularly on climate variability and change--on air and water quality, aquatic ecosystems, human health, and socioeconomic systems in the United States. EPA uses the results of these studies to investigate adaptation options to improve society's ability to effectively respond to the risks and opportunities presented by global change, and to develop decision support tools for resource managers coping with a changing climate.
This site describes the research priorities activities and accomplishments of the Clean Air Research Program in EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD). The research program provides the critical science to develop and implement outdoor air regulations under the Clean Air Act. The program puts new tools and information in the hands of air quality managers and regulators to protect the air we breathe.
The Transportation and Climate Change Clearinghouse is designed as a one-stop source of information on transportation and climate change issues. It includes information on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, analytic methods and tools, GHG reduction strategies, potential impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure, and approaches for integrating climate change considerations into transportation decision making.
The Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) holds more than 25,000 Earth science data set and service descriptions, which cover subject areas within the Earth and environmental sciences. The project mission is to assist researchers, policymakers, and the public in the discovery of and access to data, related services, and ancillary information (which includes descriptions of instruments and platforms) relevant to global change and Earth science research.
The Climate Change Research Division includes process research and modeling efforts to (1) improve understanding of factors affecting the Earth's radiant-energy balance; (2) predict accurately any global and regional climate change induced by increasing atmospheric concentrations of aerosols and greenhouse gases; (3) quantify sources and sinks of energy-related greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide; and (4) improve the scientific basis for assessing both the potential consequences of climatic changes, including the potential ecological, social, and economic implications of human-induced climatic changes caused by increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the benefits and costs of alternative response options.
The Climate Program Office manages the competitive research program in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science to advance understanding of Earth's climate system and its atmospheric, oceanic, land, and snow and ice components. This science contributes to knowledge about how climate variability and change affect our health, economy, and well-being.