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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Revisiting US Climate Science and Impacts

The US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) has recently gotten into the spirit of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 and released a synthesis assessment report of the state of climate change science in the United States. Although largely a cut-and-paste job of IPCC reports and prior products from the CCSP, at least it's a one-stop-shop for a US-specific update on the state of the science. However, while this report (as well as another recent release specifically on impacts) is designed to be policy-relevant, the effective lack of discussion of mitigation or adaptation provides us with greater understanding of the problem, but with little insight into possible solutions. The CCSP appears to think that its mandate does not extend into the realm of rapidly advancing public policy. But without discussion of policy options and their implications for reducing vulnerability and risk and the associated costs, will decision-makers be properly equipped to act?

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