Page images


National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self perpetuating society of disanguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the Natonal Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal govemmeat. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the supenor achuevements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Enginecong.

The lostitute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropnate professioas in the examinadon of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The lasotute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal goverment and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized bf the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furtherng knowledge and advising the federal government Functioning in accordance with general pohcies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and enginceang communities. The Council is administered joindy by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.



CHARLES F. KENNEL (Chairman), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla,

California JAMES G. ANDERSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts SANDRA BROWN, Winrock International, Corvallis, Oregon JULIA COLE, University of Arizona, Tucson ROBERT C. HARRISS, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado JEFFREY T. KIEHL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado WILLIAM KUPERMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California STEPHEN LEATHERMAN, Florida International University, Miami JOHN J. MAGNUSON, University of Wisconsin, Madison GREGG MARLAND, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, CIESIN, Columbia University, Palisades, New York JOHN REILLY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EDWARD SARACHIK, University of Washington, Seattle WILLIAM SCHLESINGER, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina ALBERT J. SEMTNER, JR., Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California W. JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH, University of Arizona, Tucson KEVIN TRENBERTH, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

Ex-Officio Members

ERIC J. BARRON (BASC), Pennsylvania State University, University Park
KENNETH BRINK (OSB), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole,

TOM DIETZ (CHDGC), George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
W. LAWRENCE GATES (WCRP), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore,

J. BERNARD MINSTER (CGED), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla,

BERRIEN MOORE III (IGBP), University of New Hampshire, Durham
EUGENE RASMUSSON (CRC), University of Maryland, College Park

This report was written while the CGCR was under the auspices of the NRC's Policy Division. The CGCR is now located in the NRC's Division on Earth and Life Studies. 2 The ex officio members provided substantial input to the report and have been involved in all of the committee's deliberations on it, but the final responsibility of authorship rcsts with the regular members. 3 Appointed to the committee after the report had been completed.



WILLIAM C. CLARK, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
JANE LUBCHENCO, Oregon State University, Corvallis
PAMELA MATSON, Stanford University, Stanford, California
LISA SHAFFER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

NRC Staff

PETER SCHULTZ, Program Director
SHARROD PERRY, Project Assisiani

• The consultants were instrumental in formulating the committee's inicial approach to the report and provided advice to che committed throughout the writing process.


This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report

RICHARD GOODY, Harvard University
EAMON KELLY, National Science Board
DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Policy Lostitute
THOMAS MALONE, North Carolina State University
SUSAN SOLOMON, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research
ROBERT WHITE, Washington Advisory Group

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations not did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Frosch, Harvard University, appointed by the NRC's Report Review Committee, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.


The National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Board (NSB), and many other planning bodies have worked to identify the scientific understanding needed to foster a productive relationship between society and the environment. Three recent reports, themselves syntheses of many other studies, are useful guides to the state of knowledge and the requirements for future progress. Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Nest Decade, produced by the NRC's Committee on Global Change Research, summarizes che past 10 years' accomplishments of global change research and proposes a strategy for global-scale research in the next 10 years. In this context, global change research attempts to improve understanding of those natural and human-induced changes in ecosystems, the atmosphere, and the oceans that are appreciable at the global scale. Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability, a report of the NRC's Board on Sustainable Development, presents a strategy for the research needed to more closely link the evolving scientific agenda of global change research, addressed in the Pathways report, with growing social concerns for progress toward a transition to environmentally sustainable development the reconciliation of society's developmental goals with its environmental limits over the long term. The comprehensive challenge is to meet the needs of a larger global population, substantially reduce hunger and poverty, and sustain the environmental support systems and biological diversity of the planet. Meeting this challenge will require closer, more interactive linkages between those who create new knowledge through natural and social sciences research, together with technology development, and those who use that knowledge in direct support of decision making and management. Completing this survey is Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21" Century. This is a strategic analysis by the NSB of orientation, organization, and funding of the research enterprise that will be necessary to meet the challenges explored in the NRC reports and other recent analyses.

This report, The Science of Regional and Global Change Putting Knowledge to Work, is intended to promote a dialogue between the scientific community and the government officials who will lead our nation in the coming years. Part I is a brief description of the challenges and proposed responses needed from the highest levels of the government. Part II provides more detailed discussion and is directed to agency-level issues and responses. Part III is a detailed bibliography that lists many of the specific reports on which the views outlined here are ultimately based.

nges in

Charles F. Kennel, Chairman Committee on Global Change Research

« PreviousContinue »