U.S. Global Change Research Program
The United States Global Change Research Program or USGCRP coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The program began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was codified by Congress through 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.
During the past two decades, the United States, through the USGCRP, has made the world's largest scientific investment in the areas of climate change and global change research. Since its inception, the USGCRP has supported research and observational activities in collaboration with several other national and international science programs.
These activities led to major advances in several key areas including but not limited to:
- Observing and understanding short- and long-term changes in climate, the ozone layer, and land cover;
- Identifying the impacts of these changes on ecosystems and society;
- Estimating future changes in the physical environment, and vulnerabilities and risks associated with those changes; and
- Providing scientific information to enable effective decision making to address the threats and opportunities posed by climate and global change.
These advances have been documented in numerous assessments commissioned by the program and have played prominent roles in international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Program results and plans are documented in the program's annual report, Our Changing Planet.
 Participating Agencies
The following is a list of participating agencies:.
- Agency for International Development
- United States Department of Agriculture
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology
- United States Department of Defense
- United States Department of Energy
- National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services
- United States Department of State
- United States Department of Transportation
- United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- National Science Foundation
- Smithsonian Institution
 Program Elements
The USGCRP's thirteen participating agencies coordinate their work through Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) that span a wide range of interconnected issues of climate and global change. The IWGs address major components of the Earth’s environmental and human systems, as well as cross-disciplinary approaches for addressing issues under the purview of the USGCRP. The IWGs are composed of representatives from federal departments and agencies responsible for activities in each area. The IWGs are overseen by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
Interagency Working Groups
- Atmospheric Composition
- Climate Variability and Change and Modeling
- Communications and Education
- Global Carbon Cycle
- Global Water Cycle
- Human Contributions and Responses
- International Research and Cooperation
- Land Use and Land Cover Change
- Observations & Monitoring
Decision support activities---including the development of assessments and other tools and information to support adaptation and mitigation decision making---are coordinated in a distributed fashion across the program and are part of the mandate of all IWGs and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research.
 Strategic Planning
The USGCRP has been guided over time by the following strategic plans:
* 2008: Revised Research Plan: An Update to the 2003 Strategic Plan * 2003: Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program * 1989: Our Changing Planet: The FY 1990 Research Plan * 1989: Our Changing Planet: A U.S. Strategy for Global Change Research
The program has recently undertaken a series of "listening sessions" with a variety of stakeholder groups around the country to gain a better understanding of the emerging needs for climate information and ways in which federal research might be shaped to meet those needs. Stakeholder engagement that was a central element of the program's first national assessment
The program and its member departments and agencies have also commissioned a number of reports from the NRC to help guide it in its current activities and future planning. Some of the more recent of these reports, available from www.nap.edu, are the following:
* 2009. Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change. 254 pp. * 2009. Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate. 200 pp. * 2008. Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft. 180 pp. * 2008. Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making. Pre-publication. * 2008. Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation: Special Report. 296 pp. * 2008. Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary. 304 pp. * 2008. Hydrologic Effects of a Changing Forest Landscape. 194 pp. * 2008. Observing Weather and Climate from the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks. * 2007. Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond. 456 pp. * 2007. Assessment of the NASA Applied Sciences Program. 160 pp. * 2007. Evaluating Progress of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Methods and Preliminary Results. 170 pp. * 2007. Analysis of Global Change Assessments. 182 pp. * 2007. Understanding Multiple Environmental Stresses: Report of a Workshop. 141 pp. * 2007. Research and Networks for Decision Support in the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program. 96 pp. * 2007. Environmental Data Management at NOAA: Archiving, Stewardship, and Access. 130 pp. * 2007. NOAA’s Role in Space-Based Global Precipitation Estimation and Application. 142 pp.
 Definition of Global Change
The Global Change Research Act of 1990 defines global change as: "Changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life."
 See also
- "US Government Agencies Participating in the USGCRP". Participating US Agencies. USGCRP. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
- 2008 Revised Research Plan: An Update to the 2003 Strategic Plan
- 2003 Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
- 1989 Our Changing Planet: The FY 1990 Research Plan
- 1989 Our Changing Planet: A U.S. Strategy for Global Change Research
- USGCRP Listening Sessions
- Link to First National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change