US Global Change Research Program

Founding Year:

Staff: 27

Budget: $2.79bn

 Dr. Michael Kuperberg (Executive Director)

It is “mandated by Congress to coordinate Federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society.” To this end, it “facilitates collaboration and cooperation across its 13 Federal member agencies to advance understanding of the changing Earth system and maximize efficiencies in Federal global change research “; aiming to “build a knowledge base that informs human responses to climate and global change through coordinated and integrated Federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support.” For that it integrates climate change research and analysis with other dimensions, e.g., changes in land use and land cover and human alteration of key biogeochemical cycles. The portfolio of Earth observations includes satellite, airborne, ground-based, and ocean-based missions, platforms, and networks.

Strategic Foci:

  • Advance scientific knowledge of the integrated natural and human components of the Earth system to understand climate and global change
  • Provide the scientific basis to inform and enable timely decisions on adaptation and mitigation
  • Build sustained assessment capacity that improves the nation’s ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to global change impacts and vulnerabilities
  • Advance communication and education to broaden public understanding of global change and develop the scientific workforce of the future.


  • News and open notices
  • A blog with highlighted research
  • Webinars that “draw on select content from the Fourth National Climate Assessment and are hosted by the participating agencies.
  • A library with 200+ authoritative reports on relevant topics
  • Creates and maintains the Global Change Information System, a “curated gateway to global change information, publications, data, and metadata” produced by the USGCRP agencies, which includes 2000+ reports, 400+ books, 1700+ figures, 1200+ journals, 7400+ articles, 8000+ organizations, 13,000+ people, 3,200+ data sets, 190+ tables, 7 scenarios, etc. Examples of USGCRP’s work: a set of maps and other tools that illustrate coastal flooding risks associated with future sea level rise, intended to help communities plan for the future and build resilience through infrastructure following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, and scenarios for the National Climate Assessment.


The Fourth National Climate Assessment, a massive two-volume effort from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, was mandated by the U.S. Congress, and thus escaped the head-in-sand climate change denial of the Trump administration.

  • Volume 1: Climate Science Special Report (2017, 470p; 23p Summary), provides a non-technical overview of US and global climate change–past, present, and future–with projections and scenarios of temperature and precipitation change, drought and floods, extreme storms, Arctic change, sea level rise, and potential surprises.
  • Volume 2: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (Nov 2018, 1,515p; 86p Report-in-Brief; 8p Summary) provides an excellent survey of economic and social areas that will be increasingly imperiled, as well as detailed assessment of projected changes in 10 U.S. regions.  Growing impacts and risks are described for water and energy supply, land use, forests, ecosystems and biodiversity, oceans, high tide flooding of coastal areas, agriculture and rural communities (productivity decline expected, especially in the Midwest), built environment and cities, infrastructure and property losses, transportation, air quality, threats to human health, threats to indigenous peoples, U.S. international interests, and sector interactions.  Although Volume 2 is limited to the U.S., the framework for assessing rising costs of climate change, and where encountered, could be applied to any large country or region.


No items found

US Global Change Research Program contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.
    View archive
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
    View archive
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
    View archive
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
    View archive
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
    View archive
  • SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
    View archive
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
    View archive
  • SDG 8 -Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
    View archive
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
    View archive
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
    View archive
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
    View archive
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
    View archive
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
    View archive
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
    View archive
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
    View archive
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
    View archive
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
    View archive

Related Content

A collaborative initiative and platform that addresses global issues like global warming and biodiversity loss by identifying over 70 key shifts across sectors. It tracks progress towards science-based targets for…

MANY RISKS AND REMEDIES: PEACE, CLIMATE, AGI, AND MORE Polycrisis and Existential Threats Different organizations use different terms for the compound concepts of “polycrisis” and “existential threats and/or risks.”  And…

A UK public body established to strengthen democracies globally. Operating in over 30 countries and territories, WFD collaborates with parliaments, political parties, electoral bodies, and civil societies. The organization is…