Pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels and wood has contributed to climate change in complex ways, with some pollutants causing cooling and others causing warming, accompanied by effects on patterns of atmospheric circulation and precipitation. To better understand these complex relationships, the Atmospheric Chemistry Climate Model Intercomparison Project, part of the international 5th-phase Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), conducted a series of pollution-focused modeling experiments to reveal spatial patterns, sectoral influences,
Since 1989, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has submitted annual reports to Congress called Our Changing Planet. The reports describe the status of USGCRP research activities, provide progress updates, and document recent accomplishments
In particular, Our Changing Planet highlights progress and accomplishments in interagency activities. These highlights represent the broad spectrum of USGCRP activities that extend from Earth system observations, modeling, and fundamental research through synthesis and assessment, decision support, education, and public engagement. Highlights describe the state of science at the time of publication of each yearly report, and may not reflect more recent advances in understanding. The date of publication of the source report is noted on each highlight page.
Predicting climate conditions anywhere from two weeks to a season in advance is critical for making informed decisions and safeguarding infrastructure across various sectors of the U.S. economy, including water resources, energy supply, public safety, and agriculture, among many others.
USGCRP agencies are supporting improved climate forecasts on these relatively short timescales through field campaigns coupled with model development and analysis efforts. DOE, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and DOD’...
Agricultural production is a critical sector of the domestic and global economy that is affected directly by climate change. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)—supported in part by DOE, NASA, USAID, and USDA—is a major international effort linking the climate, crop, and economic modeling communities to produce improved projections of climate impacts on the agricultural sector, thereby enhancing capacity to prepare for and respond to these climate-driven changes. To learn more about AgMIP, visit: http://goo.gl/ZmU82S
“Indicators” are variables that can be used to measure the status or trend of a system. Indicators of climate-related global change—whether ecological, physical, or societal—can be used to track and communicate key aspects of the changing environment, point out vulnerabilities, and inform decision making at local, state, and national levels.
A pilot set of climate indicators is being developed collaboratively by USGCRP agencies including NASA, NOAA, EPA, USDA, DOE, DOD’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), CDC, and DOI. The
Drought is a significant hazard for the United States, with potentially severe and long-lasting impacts on the Nation’s economy and food and water supplies. USGCRP agencies are advancing our understanding of the causes and consequences of drought, an FY 2015 interagency research priority (see Section 4). They are also collaborating in efforts to support drought preparedness and recovery, such as the National Drought Resilience Partnership (a deliverable of the President’s Climate Action Plan) and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
A number of USGCRP agencies such as NSF, DOE, NOAA, NASA, USGS, and SI are investing in understanding the history of Earth’s climate, known as “paleoclimate.” Paleoclimate data extend records of climate
The North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME)—led by NOAA in partnership with DOE, NSF, NASA, and U.S. and Canadian research institutions—is an experimental climate forecasting system that combines a suite of different models. Using a combined system of models, each with different individual strengths in predicting phenomena, can enhance the overall success of a
Climate and Earth system modeling supported by USGCRP agencies such as DOE, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and others was foundational to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on the scientific basis for climate-change, released in 2013. Along with international partners, Federal and Federally supported modeling centers
Indicators are measurements or calculations that represent the status, trend, or performance of a system (e.g., the economy, agriculture, air quality). USGCRP, with the participation of 9 of its 13 member agencies—NOAA, NASA, EPA, USDA, DOE, DOD’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), HHS’s
The 2011–2012 U.S. drought was the most severe and extensive in at least 25 years, and the effects are still being felt in some areas of the Nation. Recently, USDA partnered with local governments, colleges, and state and Federal partners— including NOAA and FEMA—to conduct a series of regional drought workshops. Hundreds of farmers, ranchers, business owners, and other stakeholders met with government officials to discuss needs