Environmental Protection Agency
The core purpose of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Global Change Research Program is to develop scientific information that supports stakeholders, policy makers, and society at large as they respond to climate change and associated impacts on human health, ecosystems, and socioeconomic systems. EPA’s research is driven by the Agency’s mission and statutory requirements, and includes: (1) improving scientific understanding of global change effects on air quality, water quality, ecosystems, and human health in the context of other stressors; (2) assessing and developing adaptation options to effectively respond to global change risks, increase resilience of human and natural systems, and promote their sustainability; and (3) developing an understanding of the potential environmental impacts and benefits of GHG emission reduction strategies to support sustainable mitigation solutions. This research is leveraged by EPA Program Offices and Regions to support mitigation and adaptation decisions and to promote communication with external stakeholders and the public.
EPA relies on USGCRP to develop high-quality scientific data and understanding about physical, chemical, and biological changes to the global environment and their relation to drivers of global change. EPA’s Global Change Research Program connects these results to specific human and ecosystem health endpoints in ways that enable local, regional, and national decision makers to develop and implement strategies to protect human health and the environment. In turn, EPA’s research provides USGCRP agencies with information about the connections between global change and local impacts and how local actions influence global changes.
Research activities include efforts to connect continental-scale temperature and precipitation changes to regional and local air quality and hydrology models to better understand the impacts of climate change on air quality and water quality, and to examine how watersheds will respond to large-scale climate and other global changes to inform decisions about management of aquatic ecosystems and expand understanding of the impacts of global change. Satellite and other observational efforts conducted by USGCRP are crucial to supporting EPA’s efforts to understand how land use change, climate change, and other global changes are affecting watersheds and ecosystems, and the services they provide.