About The USGCRP Resource Library

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Resource Library, which serves as the Global Change Research Information Office as put forth in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990, offers an array of products and services to its users, most free of charge.  Some of the key attributes of the library include the following:  

  • The library acts as a clearinghouse for selected key documents and reports that are either generated or sponsored by the U.S. Government or by specific Federal Agencies.  Requests for copies of these documents will be responded to either directly by USGCRP Library staff, or indirectly by forwarding the user request to the proper Government/Agency contact. Most documents are available on-line in their entirety.
  • The library performs outreach services to domestic, including Federal, state, and local stakeholders, and international target audiences, such as governments, institutions, researchers, educators, students, and the general public.  This is done in an effort to showcase relevant activities and results of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and to help increase the awareness of the availability of data and information resources of the participating Federal Agencies.
  • The USGCRP Resource Library website provides links to helpful websites at the participating Federal Agencies; access to the USGCRP Image Gallery, which houses images from USGCRP and other agency supported reports; and links to reports housed on external websites.



In 1990, Congress passed, and the President signed, Public Law 101-606, The Global Change Research Act of 1990. The purpose of the legislation was: 

. . . to require the establishment of a United States Global Change Research Program aimed at understanding and responding to global change, including the cumulative effects of human activities and natural processes on the environment, to promote discussions towards international protocols in global change research, and for other purposes. 

Under Title II (International Cooperation in Global Change Research) of the Act, Section 204 requires that a Global Change Research Information Office be established. The stated purpose of the Research Office is: 

. . . to disseminate to foreign governments, businesses, and institutions, as well as citizens of foreign countries, scientific research information available in the United States which would be useful in preventing, mitigating, or adapting to the effects of global change. 


In June 1991, the Working Group on Global Change of the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences, which is now the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) of the Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainability (CENRS), convened a Task Group representing several Federal agencies to analyze the requirements of the Law and to establish a Global Change Research Information Office. 

In November 1991, the Task Group produced a report of its recommendations, including direction to expand the target audience of this library to include U.S. citizens and organizations. In May 1992, the SGCR designated that this Information Office be implemented within the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network, which is now the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University, under the direction of a GCRIO Oversight Panel established within the SGCR. A Global Change Research Information Office began formal operation in May 1993. 

A decade later, in February 2004, operational responsibility for this Resource Library shifted to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program , which is now known as the U.S. Global Change Research Program