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Updated 12 October, 2003
International Research and Cooperation
Links to Related Web Sites

International Programs


Recent Accomplishments

Near-Term Plans

Related Links

CCSP / USGCRP International Working Group Members


See also:
Climate Change and Clean Energy.Postings from the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

Because global change is an international environmental issue and is broadly encompassing, the U.S. participates in research in coordination with other nations on a bilateral and multilateral basis and through international organizations. The categories listed below provide a starting point for learning about these organizations.

Working Group on International Research and Cooperation (WG/IRC).  Working Group of the US Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR), which is one of the seven environmental issue subcommittees established by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR). The CENR is one of the 9 committees organized under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).. The primary purpose of the Working Group is to provide international affairs support for the USGCRP. The WG/IRC has representatives from interested government agencies and departments and acts as a forum to keep the various agencies and departments informed on international global change research and funding issues.

International Research Programs

  • Arctic Ocean Sciences Board (AOSB).  "A non-governmental body that includes members and participants from research and governmental institutions in Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  The long-term mission of the AOSB is to facilitate Arctic Ocean research by the support of multinational and multidisciplinary natural science and engineering programs."
  • Committee on Earth-Orbiting Satellites (CEOS)
  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).  The goal of the IGBP is to describe and understand the interactive physical, chemical, and biological processes that regulate the total Earth system, the unique environment that this system provides for life, the changes that are occurring in this system, and the manner in which these changes are influenced by human actions. U.S. programs coordinated through IGBP include the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics project, and the Past Global Changes project.   
  • The International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research (IGFA).  An informal group of agencies and ministries that fund global change research. It facilitates international global change research in the natural, social and economic sciences by bringing the perspective of these national funding agencies to strategic planning and implementation of such research.
  • International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP).  How humans interact with the environment, how individuals and societies can mitigate or adapt to environmental change, and how policy responses to such changes influence economic and social conditions are at the center of research on the human dimensions of global environmental change within the IHDP. Key IHDP programs underway address Land Use and Land Cover Change and the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change.
  • International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI).  Issues seasonal to interannual climate forecasts based on global and regional coupled ocean/atmosphere models. The IRI disseminates this forecast guidance to nations and groups vulnerable to such climate variability phenomena as El Niño and La Niña so that they might prepare for and respond to impacts on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, health, and water resources. The IRI is a USGCRP initiative led by NOAA and housed at the Columbia University/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of California, San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The IRI is forging international partnerships for multilateral sponsorship and management of its programs.  See Video introduction to IRI, posted (Dec 2000) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).  The purpose of the WCRP is to develop the fundamental scientific understanding of the climate system and climate processes that is needed in order to determine the extent to which climate can be predicted, and the extent of human influence on climate. The U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program and Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment are coordinated through WCRP.
  • The Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership.  Brings together a wide range of international, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organizations to develop a global observing strategy to meet the needs of global change research and of operational science programs. Key partners include the WCRP, IGBP, and potentially the IHDP; the WMO/UNEP, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and the Food and Agriculture Organization; the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research (IGFA) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites; and the International Council of Scientific Unions.

Multilateral Organizations, Intergovernmental Programs and Related Activities

Regionally Focused Research Activities

Efforts in Observation, Data and Information Dissemination

Ocean Observing System.  Audio segment from National Public Radio's Morning Edition (broadcast on 27 July 2001).  "Host Bob Edwards talks with scientist Robert Weller of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts about a new project that could help scientists better understand how the ocean influences weather. The Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS), currently in development, would use satellites and other technology to help predict climate phenomena like hurricanes and El Nino." (3:44)

Other National Programs


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