Consensus Report

Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final US Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan (2004)

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The report finds that the strategic plan for the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is much improved over a previously reviewed draft and should be implemented as soon as possible. However, commitments to fund many of the newly proposed activities are lacking; CCSP and participating agencies need to set priorities in order to meet the ambitious overarching goals. The program will also face challenges in ensuring a balanced and societally relevant program, enhancing observation and modeling capabilities, establishing effective management, maintaining scientific credibility, and addressing capacity needs.

Key Messages

  • A clearer strategic approach is needed to achieve the necessary expansion of observation systems and modeling capabilities.
  • Given the political sensitivities associated with climate and associated global change, special measures may be needed to ensure the scientific independence and credibility of the program and its products.
  • Meeting all program goals will require advances in previously underemphasized but societally relevant elements of the program.
  • The CCSP needs to evaluate the available capacity within the community to implement the plan, and address any capacity gaps that are revealed.