Review of Global Change Research Program plan



The draft 10-year strategic plan for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which proposes broadening the scope of the program from climate change only to climate change and climaterelated global changes, “is an important step in the right direction,” according to a 5 January review of the plan by a committee of the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies. However, the committee also said that the program's legislative mandate is even broader in allowing USGCRP to address many aspects of global change including climate change, the global hydrological cycle, and widespread land use changes. “The Program's legislative mandate is to address all of global change, whether or not related to climate. The Committee concurs that this broader scope is appropriate, but realizes that such an expansion may be constrained by budget realities and by the practical challenge of maintaining clear boundaries for an expanded program,” the report states. “We encourage sustained efforts to expand the Program over time, along with efforts to better define and prioritize what specific topics are included within the bounds of global change research.”