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Climate Change

As climate change grows in importance as a societal and environmental issue affecting the nation and the world, FYI is committed to covering climate research policy and funding. FYI tracks policy developments that have implications for the conduct of climate science and congressional oversight of federally funded climate science.

18 Dec 2002

The Bush Administration recently issued a draft strategic plan to guide its climate change research strategy and directions. Over a thousand scientists, government officials and other stakeholders, both domestic and international, gathered together December 3-5 at a workshop to review the draft plan and provide comments and suggestions. Additional public comments will be accepted through JANUARY 13, 2003.

26 Jul 2002

Hearings held two weeks ago by House and Senate committees revealed both consensus and conflict surrounding the Bush Administration's global climate change policy. With rare exception, almost all agreed that the world's climate had warmed. The causes of this warming trend and what should be done to counteract it remain in contention.

22 Dec 2003

As reported in FYI #163, on December 16 the American Geophysical Union released a new position statement discussing the scientific evidence for human impacts on global climate change. The text of the statement follows:

Human Impacts on Climate:

22 Dec 2003

Human activities - including adding to the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere - are "altering the Earth's climate," according to a new position statement by the American Geophysical Union. The increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are likely to "remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years," the statement continues, and "it is virtually certain that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will cause global surface climate to be warmer."

19 Nov 2003

Citing evidence suggesting that the Earth is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, members of the House Science Subcommittee on Energy challenged the White House's emphasis on climate change mitigation technologies with a long time horizon. At a November 6 subcommittee hearing, an Administration official testified that the federal government was supporting a diverse array of technologies for both the near- and long-term that would allow policymakers to decide what to implement "as the scientific certainty advances."

29 Jul 2003

Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and OSTP Director John Marburger were among a panel of senior Bush Administration officials who released the "Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program" at a July 24 briefing. Presented as the Administration's outline for the conduct of research into climate change, and not as a policy document, the report sets forth a lengthy series of research goals over the next ten years to guide and coordinate the activities of thirteen federal departments and agencies.

14 May 2003

Last week, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) brought S. 14, the National Energy Policy Act of 2003, to the Senate floor. All indications point to the legislation being there until September. One of the major reasons for this protracted consideration will be what the federal government should do about the control of greenhouse gases.

9 Sep 2004

On August 25, the Bush Administration submitted to Congress its annual report on the science supported by the federal government to better understand climate change. The report, "Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program [CCSP] for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005," summarizes the government's strategic plan for climate change science, highlights some recent research results, and lays out future plans for accomplishing the program's research goals. It does not offer any policy recommendations.

6 Apr 2004

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics has endorsed a position statement on climate change adopted by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Council in December 2003. AGU is one of ten Member Societies of the American Institute of Physics. The statement follows:

"Human Impacts on Climate

3 Oct 2005

Last week's hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee provided fresh evidence of the wide disagreement there is about whether the Earth's climate is changing, and the extent to which human activity is responsible for this change.