Our Changing Planet: The FY 2013 U.S. Global Change Research Program

Since 1990, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has developed and submitted an annual report, 'Our Changing Planet,' to Congress describing the current state of the USGCRP and ongoing Federal research activities focused on global change. This Fiscal Year 2013 edition summarizes the Program’s achievements, progress made, future priorities, and budgetary information.

Recent activities by the 13 Federal member agencies of the USGCRP are presented. These projects are designed to strengthen the scientific understanding of global changes - including climate change - the threats and opportunities they present, and how they are likely to evolve over time. The report presents tangible results of work carried out by the program's agencies, including, for example, some of the most detailed, data-rich maps of Alaskan permafrost ever generated; the most precise map ever produced of carbon stored in Earth’s tropical forests; critical information about the number and magnitude of extreme weather events in the U.S.; and updated maps that help gardeners and growers plan for harvesting seasons.

USGCRP’s new strategic goals are to (1) Advance Science; (2) Inform Decisions; (3) Conduct Sustained Assessments; and (4) Communicate and Educate. These broad categories are interpreted in the first half of the report, demonstrating the program's focal areas and accomplishments in 2012 for each goal.  For example, "Advancing Science" concerns integrated earth observations, multidisciplinary understanding of earth systems, and integrated earth system modeling. To demonstrate the functionality of these scientific pursuits, the related section which follows highlights USGCRP interagency activities and research results in key areas of study including extreme weather, oceans, the cryosphere, climate modeling, and many others. Each of the four goals are presented with such detail, followed by explicit FY 2013 priorities, and "Budget Highlights" by both agency and project.  

This report responds to the requirements of the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 (GCRA; Section 102, P.L. 101-606) for an annual report on “Federal global change research priorities, policies, and programs."



Publication Date: March 7, 2013

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  • Progress report

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