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global change--even if we do nothing to curtail carbon emissions--will provide a pathway to help us make the transition in an economically efficient manner. Some of these adjustments may be substantial.
The policy we have followed of targeting environmental research, belittling the possibility of any impacts, and so on will not make the problem go away, it will only put us on a slower track to understanding the problem. Meanwhile, the Europeans are making major investments in energy conservation and alternative energy sources, the Japanese are making major investments in environmental technologies, and the rest of the world is positioning itself for the future. We will not only lose the intellectual lead, we will lose markets that may never be regained.
Mr. Chairman, once again, I commend you for having this hearing although I personally wish we could have had this hearing nine months ago before we committed ourselves to a course of action on this Committee. I look forward to the testimony today.
US Global Change Program Cuts
The cut to the Mission to Planet Earth Budget eliminates all funding for the Chem-1 platform for FY96. Some funding for PM-1 platform is retained, but it is to be delayed. The TopexPoseidon follow-on Mission is terminated. (Dr. Nierenberg identifies Topex satellites in his testimony as having provided crucial data for reducing uncertainty in sea level rise estimates.)
The PM and Chem satellites would provide information on atmospheric chemistry including aerosols. The Topex satellite provides data on
ocean circulation and sea level measurements.
The Committee eliminated the Global Climate Change research account and merged it with the Interannual and Seasonal Climate research account. This was done despite the Committee's recognition that "OAR research on important climatic processes, such as El Nino, has benefitted from research done under the broad heading of climate and global change." (p.32 of the Committee Rpt. on H.R. 1815) NOAA is directed to focus their research only on understanding nearand mid-term climatic events.
The Committee also decreased the funding for High Performance Computing by $5.5 M as compared to the FY 95 level (an 85% decrease). This cut will cause NOAA to default on its contract to procure a Supercomputer to improve global change modelling and other modelling needs of the Agency.
DOE programs are focussed on understanding the global carbon budget and evaluating potential impacts to ecological systems from climate change. The Biological and Environmental research account was decreased by 29% from the FY 95 funding levels.
The Committee made cuts in the Environmental Research program of 17% as compared to the FY 95 funding levels. This included a cut to the Ocean Margins Program of $7.2 M. Research in this program is directed toward understanding the uptake of carbon dioxide in particular regions of the ocean where the rates are thought to be greater than in the open ocean. This is a natural mechanism for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Committee also cut $5.3M from the Ecosystem Functioning and Response program which is directed toward determining the adaptability of plants and ecosystems to increasing carbon dioxide levels and climate changes.
Specific program cuts in the Carbon Dioxide Research program decreased funding in this area by 35% as compared to the FY 95 funding levels. The program cuts include: 1) a reduction of $10.8 M in the Computer Hardware, Advanced Mathematics and Model Physics (CHAMMP) program. This program is intended to adapt existing climate models for transfer to a new generation of massively parallel computers. This will increase the computational capability of climate models and enable more simulations to be run. This program was also endorsed by Dr. Nierenberg in his testimony. 2) a $4.7 M reduction for global change capital equipment. 3) a $4.47 cut for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment which is a cooperative international project to measure carbon dioxide uptake in the ocean. The U.S. contributes a portion of the total funding through this program. 3) a $3.3 M cut to the Global Change Integrated Assessment program which is intended to provide an analysis of the impacts of global change on our economy. 4) a $1.5 M cut to the Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment program which is a cooperative project between USDA and DOE to determine whether forests
DOE - Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency Research Programs
Cuts of 40% and 55% were made to programs for solar and renewable energy technologies and to the energy conservation research and development accounts. While these areas do not contribute to diminishing the uncertainty in global climate change estimates, they provide technologies that can assist us in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Other nations are investing heavily in these areas of R&D. They see large potential markets in the developing world (e.g. China and India). These countries will increase their fossil fuel consumption as their economies expand. By providing more energy efficient technologies to these nations, global carbon dioxide emissions in the future can be reduced over the amounts that are projected if they utilize existing energy technologies.
EPA is directed to terminate ORD's global climate change research program in H.R. 1814 (p. 13-14 of the Rpt.). EPA's program focusses on assessing the potential social and economic impacts of global climate change.