Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) are the primary USGCRP vehicles for implementing and coordinating global change research activities within and across agencies. These groups are critical to integration and assessment of progress throughout the Program. The working groups span a wide range of interconnected climate and global change issues and address major components of the Earth's environmental and human systems, as well as cross-disciplinary approaches for addressing these issues.
IWGs are designed to bring agencies together to plan, develop, and implement coordinated activities, and to identify and fill gaps in the Program’s plans. They allow public officials to communicate with each other on emerging directions within their agencies, their stakeholder needs, and best practices learned from agency activities. Together, these functions allow the agencies to work in a more coordinated and effective manner.
The IWGs are overseen by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research and are composed of representatives from Federal departments and agencies responsible for activities in each research area.
USGCRP was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to develop and coordinate “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.”
In consultation with White House officials and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR), USGCRP's Executive Director ensures that the Program meets all mandated requirements, which are summarized in the table below.
Such representatives shall be high ranking officials of their agency or department, wherever possible the head of the portion of that agency or department that is most relevant to the purpose of the title described in section 101(b).
The budget table below represents those funds self-identified by the USGCRP agencies as their contributions to USGCRP research. This budget "crosscut" does not include the costs of many agency investments that are relevant and necessary to USGCRP's ability to address national objectives related to global change (for example, many of the observing networks and satellite systems critical to documenting trends were originally carried out by their sponsoring agencies for current operational purposes, and these typically are not included in the budget crosscut).
Funding amounts are rounded to the nearest millions (totals reflect the rounded sum of the unrounded agency amounts). DOD does not report activities or funding through the USGCRP budget crosscut. DOS and USAID funding supports USGCRP and the Climate Change International Assistance effort. In the past, some of this funding was counted under both categories. These efforts do not add to the USGCRP total, and DOS and USAID are considered "Non-Add Agencies." DOS did not report USGCRP funding during this time period.
*DOS has been included as a non-add agency in the past, but reported no USGCRP funding during this time period.
The National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Environment coordinates interagency activities relevant to environmental research and policy, domestically and internationally. The Committee on Environment encompasses several subcommittees, including the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (the steering body for USGCRP) as well as other subcommittees with which USGCRP works closely.
President Obama signed Executive Order 13653 on November 1st, 2013, establishing a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force members include state, local, and tribal leaders from across the country who will use their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to inform their recommendations to the Administration.
Executive Order 13653 also established an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, chaired by the White House and composed of more than 25 agencies. The Council considers recommendations developed by the above Task Force; coordinates Federal climate preparedness and resilience activities; and supports state, local, and tribal actions to increase climate preparedness and resilience of communities, critical economic sectors, infrastructure, and natural resources.
The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), which consists of representatives from 16 agencies, departments, and offices across the Federal Government, is charged with enhancing scientific monitoring of and research on local, regional, and global environmental issues in the Arctic.
The National Ocean Council (NOC) is charged with implementing the National Ocean Policy, which covers actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. The Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST; a subcommittee of the Committee on Environment) works closely with the NOC to foster the implementation of the National Ocean Policy, including through the development and execution of national ocean research priorities.
The Air Quality Research Subcommittee (AQRS; a subcommittee of the Committee on Environment) works to enhance the effectiveness and productivity of U.S. air quality research, and to improve information exchange between research and policy on air quality issues, including the scientific knowledge base for air quality standards and for assessing compliance.
The Subcommitee on Water Availability and Quality (SWAQ; a subcommittee of the Committee on Environment) focuses on science issues and associated policy options related to the availability and quality of water resources in the U.S., within the context of the global hydrologic cycle and changing climate.
The Subcommittee on Ecological Systems (SES; a subcommittee of the Committee on Environment) focuses on national ecological research priorities and includes the Working Group on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Informatics.
The Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction (SDR; a subcommittee of the Committee on Environment) facilitates national strategies for reducing disaster risks and losses that are based on effective use of science and technology, including in many climate-related areas.
Through the U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO), the U.S. supports cooperative, international efforts to build the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). GEOSS is being developed through the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a partnership of 80 countries, the European Commission, and nearly 60 international organizations.
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