Introduction: In order to improve understanding ofthe national-scale consequences of global climate change, the Office ofScience and Technology Policy and the US Global Change Research Program(USGCRP) are sponsoring a series of regional workshops. The purpose ofthese workshops is to examine the vulnerabilities of various regions ofthe United States to climate variability and climate change and to aggregateinformation across regions to support national-scale scientific assessment(called for in the Global Change Research Act).
Participants: These workshops will include thebroad research and stakeholder community, drawn from federal, state, andlocal governments; universities and laboratories; industry, agriculturaland natural resource managers; non-governmental organizations; and others.Regional organizers will issue workshop invitations.
Outputs: The workshops, while reflecting specialregional needs, will have some common outputs:
Description of the regionís environmental, demographic, and economicconditions.
Identification of vulnerabilities to climate variability and climatechange.
Identification of adaptation and resource management options.
Definition of research needs for improving estimates of regionalvulnerabilities, understanding the consequences of climate variabilityand change, and analyzing viable response options.
Input for regional scientific assessment.
Locations: An initial set of 8 regional workshops was held in 1997. Additionalworkshops in 1998 will include Rocky Mountains/Great Basin, Gulf Coast,Southwest Border, Hawaii and Pacific Islands, California, MetropolitanEast Coast, Great Lakes, Appalachians, Caribbean and Southern AtlanticCoast, Eastern Midwest, Southern Great Plains, and Native Peoples/NativeHomelands.
The workshops are part of a larger process:
An Aspen Global Change Institute meeting of technical experts, July29-August 7, 1997, synthesized initial regional workshop results and beganthe planning for a national scientific assessment.
A National Forum on Climate Change Impacts, held in Washington, DCNovember 12-13, 1997, related regional and national-scale impacts and continuedthe planning for a national assessment.
The national scientific assessment, to be completed during 1999, will becomea contribution from the US to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) Third Assessment Report.
USGCRP Background: The USGCRP was established bythe President in 1989, and codified by Congress in the Global Change ResearchAct of 1990. The program=sfundamental purpose is to increase understanding of the Earth system andthus provide a sound scientific basis for national and international decisionmaking on global change issues. The USGCRP is currently focused on fourkey areas of Earth system science: Seasonal to Interannual Climate Variability;Climate Change over Decades to Centuries; Changes in Ozone, UV Radiation,and Atmospheric Chemistry; and Changes in Land Cover and Terrestrial andAquatic Ecosystems.