Since 1990, the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has developed and submitted an annual report, Our Changing Planet, to Congress describing the current state of the USGCRP and ongoing Federal research activities focused on global change. This Fiscal Year 2013 edition summarizes the Program’s achievements, progress made, future priorities, and budgetary information. It thereby responds to the requirements of the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 (GCRA; Section 102, P.L. 101-606) for an annual report on “Federal global change research priorities, policies, and programs.
The report highlights recent activities by 13 Federal agencies to strengthen our scientific understanding of global changes—including climate change—the threats and opportunities they present, and how they are likely to evolve over time. In addition, the Our Changing Planet report showcases tangible results of work carried out by USGCRP agencies, including, for example, some of the most detailed, data-rich maps of Alaskan permafrost ever generated; the most precise map ever produced of carbon stored in Earth’s tropical forests; critical information about the number and magnitude of extreme weather events in the United States; and updated maps that help gardeners and growers plan for harvesting seasons.
The USGCRP is committed to building a knowledge base that informs human responses to global change through coordinated and integrated federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support.