Climate indicators show trends over time in key aspects of our environment, such as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, temperatures across land and sea, and the extent of Arctic sea ice, as well as metrics of social or economic exposure to the impacts of climate variability and change. Indicators are based on long-term, consistently collected data and can be used to assess risks and vulnerabilities from a changing climate and to inform response actions. USGCRP’s Indicators Interagency Working Group (IndIWG) leverages existing agency research, data, and indicators in support of...
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.
A national system of physical, ecological, and societal indicators is considered a foundational component of the sustained assessment process, serving to help users understand the changing environment, assess risks and vulnerabilities, and make informed decisions to build resilience to change. A 2019 Federal–academic workshop sought to advance the development of socio-environmental systems indicators of climate change to support adaptation and resilience decisions at various scales in the United States.
This work was supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (...
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).