U.S. Global Change Research Program

*U.S. Global Change Research Program (1989; Wahsington DC; 30 staff; 13 member agencies; https://www.globalchange.gov/)

A federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate research and investments aimed on an understanding of global changes to human and natural environments and their impacts on society. It comprises 13 federal agencies that are connected through interagency working groups.

Research is focused on the “Earth system—including the oceans and atmosphere, ice, land surface, and ecosystems” and how the US “and the world can plan for and respond to processes of global change.” They provide vast amounts of data and publications to inform policies and the public.


  • Many regular reports, indicators, visualizations, datasets;
  • Targeted on: Educators, Federal Agencies, Researchers;
  • State Climate Summaries; U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit; Climate Data Initiative;
  • Global Change Information System.
  • Annual report called Our Changing Planet;
  • The National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021
  • Highlight: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Vol. 1 (2017, 470p; Summary, 23p). An authoritative report that offers a great overview of US and global climate change, past, present and future. Chapters on our globally changing climate, physical drivers of climate change, scenarios and projections, temperature and precipitation change in the US, droughts and floods, extreme storms, Arctic change, sea level rise, and potential surprises and tipping elements. Each chapter includes Key Findings, likelihood, and a confidence statement for each finding. Among the key findings: 1) heavy rainfall is increasing in intensity and frequency; 2) annual average temperature in the US has increased by 1.8oF since 1901, and is expected to rise by about 2.5oF for the US by 2050; 3) global average sea level has risen 7-8” since 1900, and is expected to rise 1-4 feet by 2100, possibly more.

Leadership: Dr. Michael Kuperberg  (Executive Director), Dr. Virginia Burkett  (Chair)

Budget: $2,8bn (Not available to the program but mostly dedicated to related issues by the member agencies)

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