Volume 5, Issue 5
Welcome to the new format of the USGCRP newsletter! We've switched the newsletter from PDF to the web to make it easier to search, share, and jump to the content that interests you most. Coming soon—web access to our newsletter archive.
The USGCRP newsletter primarily focuses on programmatic news and updates. If you’re looking for more Federal climate science news than what you see here, visit our main news page or subscribe to our RSS news feed.
In this issue:
- IPCC launches full report on climate impacts, responses
- Multimedia Gallery and more new resources on GlobalChange.gov
- The latest Global Carbon Budget
- Empowering states and communities with climate science
- New Federal efforts to strengthen climate resilience
- The Global Change Information System: tracing National Climate Assessment findings back to the data
- Climate and health activities:
- Upcoming events featuring the National Climate Assessment
- Staff news:
Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its full contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The Working Group II report, entitled "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability," provides the most comprehensive look to date at the worldwide impacts of climate change and the opportunities for response. In addition to the final versions of the 30-chapter report, cross-chapter materials, technical summary, and summary for policymakers, this latest release includes high-resolution graphics, frequently asked questions, and process information such as early drafts and searchable comments from reviewers. This comprehensive release was made possible through coordination by the IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit, which is hosted and funded by USGCRP.
- Read our full news story on the Working Group II release
- Explore the Working Group II website to access the report and other materials
GlobalChange.gov has a new Multimedia Gallery with graphics from various USGCRP reports, including the 2014 National Climate Assessment. Graphics can be filtered by topic and by U.S. region. Users can also explore a collection of global change visualization tools and resources—including data animations, illustrations, satellite imagery, and more—produced by USGCRP’s member agencies.
In addition, graphics from the National Climate Assessment are now available to download by chapter, along with customizable presentations. Presentations for each chapter were prepared by USGCRP staff and are meant to be used by anyone wishing to include information from the Assessment in lectures.
Also new on GlobalChange.gov is a centralized collection of available resources in Spanish. Included are partial translations of the National Climate Assessment Highlights, climate and energy literacy resources, and others.
According to the 2014 Global Carbon Budget, recently released by the Global Carbon Project, carbon dioxide emissions reached a record high in 2013 and are on track to do so again this year.
- Read our full news story on the Budget and what its findings mean for international efforts to reduce climate change
- Explore the Global Carbon Atlas to interact with country-by-country emissions data
More carbon cycle science news:
- Urban carbon – Papers resulting from last year’s workshop on Human–Carbon Interactions in Urban Systems will be published in a special issue of Earth's Future, an open access journal of the American Geophysical Union.
- Coastal carbon – The North American Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) community workshop was held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in August, with representation and support from multiple USGCRP agencies including NASA, USGS, NOAA, and NSF. Sixty participants distilled near-term coastal carbon science priorities, including observations, modeling, and process studies. These will be summarized in a science plan to be developed this fall.
- North American carbon – The joint North American Carbon Program (NACP) and Ameriflux PI Meeting will take place in Washington, DC in January. Abstract submission for posters is still open. The NACP Scientific Steering Group, which coordinates closely with USGCRP’s Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group, convened in DC in September.
- To learn more and keep up with U.S. carbon cycle science news, visit carboncyclescience.us.
This fall, continuing our involvement in the Administration’s Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience Exercise Series, USGCRP is contributing to the Series’ regional pilot workshops in Houston, Texas (supported by the City of Houston and NASA) and Fort Collins, Colorado (supported by the State of Colorado and DOE). The regional pilots, announced in July 2014, bring together Federal agencies and local communities to assess and plan for their specific vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change. The pilots aim to advance preparedness planning on the ground and can serve as models for other communities and agencies to follow.
The regional pilot workshops kicked off on October 6 in Houston at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Using climate science from the 2014 National Climate Assessment as a foundation, supplemented by information from local experts, the Houston workshop focused on the effects of climate change, the associated challenges and opportunities, and specific immediate actions to prepare, plan for, or help [no-lexicon]mitigate[/no-lexicon] projected impacts in the Houston-Galveston area. Similarly, the Colorado workshop, which took place on October 9 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, used the National Climate Assessment and the Climate Change in Colorado report as a basis to discuss the risks and vulnerabilities that the state faces. Participants in both workshops worked through location-specific scenarios to consider the effects of climate change on sectors like agriculture, water, infrastructure, health and social services, and natural assets and ecosystem services. Workshop participants (93 in Houston, 80+ in Fort Collins) included local, state, and Federal government representatives, as well as private sector and academic partners. The next regional pilot workshop will take place on October 27 in Anchorage, Alaska.
In September, President Obama signed a new Executive Order directing Federal agencies to systematically consider climate resilience in international development work. The White House also announced a series of U.S. Government efforts to strengthen global climate resilience using science and data, including (among others):
- Developing extreme weather outlooks that are reliable 15–30 days in advance
- Expanding NOAA’s international Training Desk program to equip meteorologists in developing countries with the latest tools and knowledge
- Launching a new public–private partnership to connect decision makers in developing countries with actionable climate science
More recently, the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced a suite of scientific and policy initiatives to support resilience in natural systems and advance green infrastructure.
A recent paper by members of USGCRP’s Global Change Information System (GCIS) team and their colleagues explains how the GCIS was engineered to support traceability for the findings of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. Working with the draft report, the team developed and tested an ontology representing the content structure of the Assessment and its associated provenance (or source) information. The resulting design of the GCIS allows users to trace provenance in the Assessment—for example, users can find the journal article and/or dataset from which a figure was derived.
- To try it out, click the Details button for a figure—for example, Figure 2.2—in the web version of the Assessment. The GCIS dynamically populates the available provenance information in the Figure and Image tabs.
November 18, 6:30–9:30 pm
New Orleans, LA
USGCRP's Interagency Crosscutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health (CCHHG) is hosting a Town Hall at this year's American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Members of the CCHHG will present information and updates on Federal activities, such as the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the President's Climate Action Plan, the Climate Data Initiative, the Climate Resilience Toolkit, and the Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities initiative. Most importantly, the Town Hall is intended to gather input, ideas, and suggestions from researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders on a broad range of intersections between climate and health. APHA attendees will have the opportunity to join a panel of Federal grantees in discussing their climate and health research, communication, and adaptation data needs. All APHA attendees are welcome to attend the Town Hall and engage with this crosscutting issue.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Conference on Health and Climate took place on August 27–29 in Geneva, Switzerland. It was attended by 360 participants, including health and environment ministers, other senior civil servants, technical experts, UN agencies, NGOs, chief executives from health authorities, and private sector representatives. Members of USGCRP’s CCHHG presented some of the U.S. Government’s current climate and health initiatives. The conference covered the state of climate science as it relates to health; the public health response to climate change; the economics of health and climate change; and promoting health in climate change mitigation. A full recap of the event is available.
USGCRP National Climate Assessment staff and NCA report authors will be at a number of conferences this winter. Sessions that focus primarily on the National Climate Assessment are listed below, although some NCA authors may be presenting individual talks and posters assigned to other sessions.
American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting
- December 4, 11:00 am-12:45 pm EST | The National Climate Assessment: The Role of Anthropologists in Building Assessment Capacity and Implementing a Sustained Assessment Process
ACES: A Community on Ecoystem Services 2014 Conference
- December 9, 3:45–5:30 pm EST | The National Climate Assessment and Decision-Making about Ecosystem Services
- December 11, 5:45–6:50 pm EST | Leveraging Partnerships to Enhance Preparedness and Resilience for Climate Change and Ecosystem Services
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
San Francisco, CA
- December 15, 1:40–3:40 pm PST | Climate Literacy: The National Climate Assessment as a Resource for Decision Making and Education at Multiple Scales
- December 16, 4:00–6:00 pm PST | The Third National Climate Assessment: Remaining Climate Science Questions
- December 19, 8:00–12:20 pm PST | Climate Indicators: Developing and Testing Indicators to Convey Information to Support Decisions (Posters)
- December 19, 4:00–6:00 pm PST | Climate Indicators: Developing and Testing Indicators to Coney Information to Support Decisions (Oral)
- January 5, 11:00 am–5:30 pm MST | The 2014 US National Climate Assessment: Science, Policy, and the Future – Part I, Part II, Part III
For more information, see the NCAnet Partners calendar.Weather.gov and NOAA.gov.
Job Opportunity: The USGCRP National Coordination Office is seeking a Student Assistant support the Global Change Information System. The incumbent will assist with programming, code development, and structured data entry. This is a part-time, paid position located in Washington, DC. Priority will be given to applications received by October 24. Learn more and apply.
[no-lexicon]The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates Federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for "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."
The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which requires a report to the President and Congress every four years that evaluates, integrates, and interprets USGCRP findings. The NCA aims to incorporate advances in the understanding of climate science into larger social, ecological, and policy systems, thereby providing integrated analyses of impacts and vulnerability, helping the Federal Government to prioritize climate science investments, and delivering science that can be used by communities throughout our Nation to plan for a more sustainable and environmentally sound future.[/no-lexicon]