Indicators are measurements or calculations that represent how a complex system is changing over time—for instance, the unemployment rate is an indicator of overall economic health. For the climate system, indicators offer a simple representation of how a highly complex system is changing, providing a benchmark for decision makers that can be used as a gateway into more complex and context-specific information. Indicators allow multiple audiences—including scientists, planners, policy makers, educators, and the public—to better understand and communicate the causes and effects of climate...
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.
In 2013, the vast majority of worldwide climate indicators—including greenhouse gas concentrations, sea levels, and global temperatures, among others—continued to reflect evidence of a warming planet. That was the conclusion of the State of the Climate in 2013, a report published in July 2014 by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). Scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) served as the lead
Citizen science—or the engagement of volunteers in scientific investigations—is a fast-growing field. By collecting data on natural phenomena such as the timing of bird migrations and plant flowering—sometimes from their own backyard—citizen scientists provide essential baseline information about key environmental indicators, in addition to strengthening their own awareness of and connection to their local environment. Citizen science has long been an important component of scientific endeavors and public engagement at USGCRP agencies such as DOI (particularly NPS and...
“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
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