The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The 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."
Thirteen departments and agencies participate in the USGCRP, which was known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program from 2002 through 2008. The program is steered by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research under the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, overseen by the Executive Office of the President, and facilitated by an Integration and Coordination Office.
During the past two decades, the United States, through the USGCRP, has made the world's largest scientific investment in the areas of climate change and global change research. Since its inception, the USGCRP has supported research and observational activities in collaboration with several other national and international science programs.
These activities led to major advances in several key areas including but not limited to:
The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is being conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which requires a report to the President and the Congress that evaluates, integrates and interprets the findings of the $2.6 billion federal research program on global change (USGCRP) every four years.
National climate assessments act as a status report on climate change science and impacts. They are based on observations made across the country and compare these observations to predictions from climate system models. The NCA aims to incorporate advances in the understanding of climate science into larger social, ecological, and policy systems, and with this provide integrated analyses of impacts and vulnerability. The NCA will help evaluate the effectiveness of our mitigation and adaptation activities and identify economic opportunities that arise as the climate changes. It will also serve to integrate scientific information from multiple sources and highlight key findings and significant gaps in our knowledge. The NCA aims to help the federal government prioritize climate science investments, and in doing so will help to provide the science that can be used by communities around our Nation try to create a more sustainable and environmentally-sound plan for our future.
The previous Assessment (Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States) produced a report that was completed in 2009, and the first National Assessment was completed in 2000. To see either of the previous reports, please click here.
NASA has listed the following selected resources from governmental organizations that provide information about options for climate change mitigation.
Energy policy options