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About this Issue

EPA Climate Change Research

Graphic of Earth, Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring


Heat waves. Drought. “Super” storms. Flooding. How do we put such events into perspective? And more importantly, how do we take collective action to mitigate and adapt to the increasingly clear evidence that the effects of climate change are unfolding? As the nation did decades ago when faced with threats to its air, water, and land—the first steps toward meeting environmental challenges start with science.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program emphasizes the foundational role of science in understanding global change and its impacts on the environment: “Research, along with an array of increasingly sophisticated tools for collecting and analyzing data, can provide essential knowledge to governments, businesses, and communities as they plan for and respond to the myriad manifestations of global change, including sea-level rise and ocean acidification, heat waves and drought, and the severe storms, floods, and forest fires that pose an ever-growing risk to life, property, and agriculture.”

The Global Research Program coordinates scientific research across 13 Federal departments and agencies whose missions include understanding changes in the global environment and their implications for society.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an integral and important part of that effort.

“Global change is a priority for EPA, as it is directly related to the Agency’s mission: to protect human health and the environment. Our global change research program is designed to support that mission—to advance the understanding of the impacts of global change specifically to provide the science that the Agency and the nation need to best plan for and respond to climate change and its related impacts,” says EPA’s Dr. Andy Miller, the Associate Director for Climate for the U.S. EPA’s Air Climate and Energy Research Program. Dr. Miller is also a member of the interagency Subcommittee on Global Change Research, which directs the U.S. Global Change Research Program.  

This issue of EPA’s Science Matters features stories on how Agency researchers and their partners are helping decision makers, communities, and individuals incorporate the latest science into strategies and actions designed to protect public human health and the environment in the face of a changing climate.  

What they are learning is bringing a strong scientific foundation to the expanding conversation on climate change. While such change and its effects present some of the greatest environmental challenges the nation—and the world—have faced since the establishment of EPA some 40 years ago, the science and engineering it will take to meet those challenges are well under way.

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