The Proposed USGCRP Budget for FY 1995

For FY 1995, the President is requesting a budget of $1.81 B for the integrated, multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program. This request includes $316 M of new funding for the Program, the details of which are shown in the enclosed tables. In addition, the President's request includes $55 M in funding for already established programs that have, as a consequence of the broader vision of global change, been recategorized into the focused part of the USGCRP.

The significant increase in funding for global change research in these stringent budgetary times is a consequence of the growing world wide recognition of the importance of global change and of the need for the United States to be one of the leaders in addressing the many aspects of this issue. In preparing this budget, the USGCRP agencies reviewed all projects making up the Program, focusing on the scientific quality of the research, its linkages to important national and international research efforts, and its contribution to improving the understanding of global change fundamental to policy development and evaluation. As a result of this review, gaps in the Program were identified. A number of agencies redirected their program requests, and additional funds were included in the National Science Foundation budget to assure a concerted response to recommendations for an increased emphasis on social, economic, and policy sciences research; integrated assessment methodologies; terrestrial ecology; global modeling; and support for international research programs.

Of the 124 individual projects which have been part of the USGCRP, 37 show a significant increase, 70 are essentially unchanged, and 17 have been reduced to provide funds for higher priority activities, or are being scaled down after meeting their objectives. In addition, five new programs are being added to the suite of focused USGCRP activities, and 11 agency programs have been recategorized into the focused USGCRP.

Budget highlights by research area are given below. The subdivision into research areas for FY 1995 has been altered from last year to more accurately represent program thrusts; as such, direct comparisons with earlier editions of Our Changing Planet cannot be made.

a. Observing the Global System: To ensure that there are global observational systems which will provide long-term information about global change, $733 M, an increase of $128 M, is proposed for the Observations component of the USGCRP. Most of this increase is proposed to maintain the schedule for the launch of the Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites starting in 1998. These satellites will be an essential testbed for the international Global Observing System that is being planned to document changes that are occurring and to understand why these changes are occurring. New funding has also been provided to augment the existing land and ocean observation networks, and for a coordinated network of ultraviolet (UV) radiation measurement stations.

b. Managing and Archiving Information: To ensure that data are preserved and that the national and international research community has access to information about how the world is changing, $382 M, an increase of $105 M, is proposed for the Data and Information component of the USGCRP. Most of the increase will support the EOS Data Information System (EOSDIS), which is essential to rapidly and meaningfully making available the measurements that will be taken by EOS and related satellite systems. This increase will also support the development of a Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS) to provide the infrastructure of the interagency data and information management program.

c. Understanding Global Change Processes: Research on processes ranging from clouds and hydrology to atmospheric ozone and terrestrial ecology is proposed at $531 M, an increase of $74 M. This increase is primarily for supporting the intensive field and special observing phases of major international research programs. These programs, planned cooperatively by scientists and governments around the world, are directed at providing the information to understand why and how change is occurring. The budget will significantly increase funding for focused studies on terrestrial ecology, which are essential to understanding the potential impacts of global change on natural and managed ecosystems.

d. Predicting Global Change: An increase of $18 M, to a total of $67 M, is proposed to improve predictive capabilities. The USGCRP plans to move aggressively to take advantage of new capabilities for predicting the departures from the normal seasonal climates that lead to droughts and floods and to hotter than normal summers and colder than normal winters. The increase will also support new efforts to model the long-term changes in the climate and ozone that are the subject of international protocols and agreements.

e. Evaluating the Consequences of Global Change: The increase of $28.5 M in this area is primarily the result of including recategorized research programs of the National Institutes of Health dealing with the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. The USGCRP will review the needs for expanded efforts in this area over the coming year, as part of the process of developing the multi-year research plan.

f. Developing Tools for Assessing Policies and Options: The USGCRP has built an increasingly impressive base of research information on global change. It will now intensify its focus on the development of capabilities for putting this information to use in the exploration and evaluation of national and international policies. This budget proposes $35 M, an increase of $18 M, in order to improve the integrated assessment and policy science activities within the Program.

In addition to these research program activities, the USGCRP will be increasingly involved in public outreach and education activities. Support for the education of young scientists takes place primarily through the research programs themselves. Development of educational materials is a combined effort of the research programs and agency education programs. Public outreach efforts are being developed in part by Project Earthlink, an interagency effort that will support development of global change education programs and provide systems for community access to global change information.

Go to Appendix B

Return to Chapter 5

Return to Table of Contents