Background on the GCRIO
In 1990, Congress passed Public Law 101-606, the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The purpose of the legislation was "...to require the establishment of a United States Global Change Research Program aimed at understanding and responding to global change, including the cumulative effects of human activities and natural processes on the environment, to promote discussions towards international protocols in global change research, and for other purposes."
Under Title II of the Act (International Cooperation in Global Change Research), Section 204 requires that a Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO) be established. The stated purpose of the GCRIO is "...to disseminate to foreign governments, businesses, and institutions, as well as citizens of foreign countries, scientific research information available in the United States which would be useful in preventing, mitigating, or adapting to the effects of global change."
In June 1991, the Working Group on Global Change of the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences, which is now the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) of the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability (CENRS), convened a Task Group representing several Federal agencies to analyze the requirements of the Law and to establish a Global Change Research Information Office.
In November 1991, the Task Group produced a report of its recommendations, including direction to expand the target audience of this library to include U.S. citizens and organizations.
In May 1992, the SGCR designated that the GCRIO be implemented within the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network, now at Columbia University, under the direction of a GCRIO Oversight Panel established within the SGCR. The GCRIO began formal operation in May 1993.
A decade later, in February 2004, operational responsibility for the GCRIO shifted to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which is now known as the U.S. Global Change Research Program.