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Climate Change Strategic Plan Issued by Federal Science Panel - Knowledge Sought to Answer Questions, Shape Policy Decisions

Release Date: 07/24/2003
Contact Information:

CONTACT: David Deegan, 202-564-7839

(07/24/03) A multi-agency Federal panel has issued its strategic plan to answer some of the most complex questions around the climate variability and change issues. The document describes a strategy for developing knowledge of variability and change in climate and related environmental and human systems, and for encouraging the application of this knowledge. The plan is the result of months of intensive effort by federal experts, independent scientists, non-governmental organizations, members of the general public and interested international specialists who make up the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), a joint federal program of President Bush’s Committee on Climate Change Science and Technology Integration.

The strategic plan builds on the expertise of 13 federal departments and agencies, including EPA. The plan will advance the state of knowledge of climate variability and potential responses of the climate system to human-induced changes in the atmosphere and land surface, and the implications of these potential changes and management options for natural environments.

EPA’s effort is being spearheaded by Dr. Paul Gilman, who serves in the dual roles of EPA Science Advisor and Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development. “This plan will support scientific discovery and excellence. The partnerships will produce high-quality, science-based knowledge that we will use as the platform for policies that protect the Earth’s environment. Through this work, we will ensure a safer, healthier planet for future generations,” Gilman commented.

The plan outlines five scientific goals aimed at addressing key questions and uncertainties:
        • Extend knowledge of the Earth’s past and present climate and environment, including its natural variability, and improve understanding of the causes of observed changes.
        • Improve understanding of the forces bringing about changes in the Earth’s climate and related systems.
        • Reduce uncertainty in projections of how the Earth’s climate and environmental systems may change in the future.
        • Understand the sensitivity and adaptability of different natural and managed systems to climate and associated global changes.
        • Explore the uses and identify the limits of evolving knowledge to manage risks and opportunities related to climate variability and change.

For more information on the CCSP and the new strategic plan, see: