After years of resisting such findings, the White House acknowledged this week that humans have caused the spike in global warming over the last three decades. The report, “Our Changing Planet,” finds that warming in the first part of the 20th century was likely due to natural climate variation, but that the 0.5?C rise over the second half of the century can only be explained by human activity, such as carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.
From U.S. Climate Change Science Program :
U.S. Climate Change Science Program Releases Our Changing Planet:
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005
Press release from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
25 August 2004
Cover of ”Our Changing Planet”Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005 , a report released today by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) highlights recent research accomplishments and plans for future research necessary to manage the risks and opportunities of changes in climate and related environmental systems.
A requirement of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-606), the report is an official U.S. Government publication, issued as a Supplement to the President’s Fiscal Year 2004 and 2005 budgets and submitted to Congress.
According to Dr. James R. Mahoney, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and CCSP director, ”The report documents our continued commitment to providing the public and decision makers with the best possible scientific information to address climate variability and change, and related aspects of global change. It includes highlights of research on climate and global change, such as aerosols, temperature trends, and land cover changes. This research will help decision makers and managers in the United States and other countries evaluate and respond to climate change.”
The report includes highlights of recent research conducted or sponsored by the thirteen Federal agencies that participate in the CCSP, as well as research plans for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005. This research is organized in seven primary scientific areas, including atmospheric composition, climate variability and change, the global water cycle, land use/land-cover change, global carbon cycle, ecosystems, and human contributions and responses.
The report also describes numerous activities to promote cooperation between the U.S. scientific community and its counterparts worldwide, such as the July 2003 Earth Observation Summit, hosted in Washington, DC, by the U.S. secretaries of Commerce, Energy, and State. The report also contains descriptions of principal areas of focus and program highlights for each of the CCSP participating agencies and a detailed set of CCSP budget tables.
The report outlines how the CCSP is moving forward to implement the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which was released in July 2003. A key implementation component is a set of scientific synthesis and assessment reports on a wide range of topics to support informed discussion among decision makers and the public. Having recently completed its public comment period, Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences, is among the first of these reports. Prospectuses for additional synthesis and assessment reports on topics as diverse as emissions scenarios, the carbon cycle, and potential effects of climate variability and change in the transportation sector are in preparation and will soon be made available for public comment.
This edition of Our Changing Planet encompasses both FY 2004 and FY 2005. In July 2003, CCSP transmitted to Congress a 200-page Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, along with a shorter companion document, The U.S. Climate Change Science Program: Vision for the Program and Highlights of the Scientific Strategic Plan. When beginning to prepare the next CCSP report to Congress, we sought concurrence from the CCSP Principals and relevant members of Congress to combine FY 2004 and FY 2005 program data in a single version of OCP.
The next edition of Our Changing Planet , to be published in 2005, will return to the annual format, covering FY 2006. In addition to continuing to provide overviews organized by research area and agency, it will include new information focused on the five goals of the CCSP strategic plan, together with expected deliverables and milestones.
The CCSP incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), established under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Climate Change Research Initiative, established by the President in 2001. The CCSP coordinates and integrates scientific research on climate and global change supported by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. government in collaboration with relevant elements of the Executive Office of the President.
References and Links:
Our Changing Planet. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005 . A Report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. A Supplement to the President’s Budgets for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005. The report is available online at: www.climatescience.gov and www.usgcrp.gov. Hardcopy versions of the report can be ordered online at www.gcrio.org/orders.