Environmental Protection Agency
Areas of Global Change Research. EPA's Global Change Research Program supports the emphasis the USGCRP is placing on a National Assessment of the consequences of climate change and climate variability. The goal of the National Assessment is to determine the local, regional, and national implications of climate change and climate variability within the United States in the context of other existing and potential future environmental, economic, and social stresses. Of particular importance is understanding the regional mosaic of what has been and will be occurring as a result of global change. EPA's global change research was reorganized in FY98 to reflect the emphasis on the National Assessment, and the increase requested in FY99 continues to support this effort:
- Indicators of Change. EPA will enhance research in the development of ecosystem indicators as sentinels of global change. The focus will be on the terrestrial, aquatic, and coastal indicators that can detect and quantify the effects of climate change on ecosystems and will include research into indicators that integrate ecosystems with human health. Some of the candidate integrative indicators are rodent and mosquito populations as they cycle and respond to climate change and variability. EPA will continue to monitor UV-B radiation in rural sites as an indicator of global change.
- Ecosystem Services. EPA has major responsibility for assessing the impacts of global change on ecosystem services. Ecosystem services include a wide range of ecological functions that are highly regarded by society, yet are often difficult to value economically. This area of research includes evaluating the impacts on storage of water, nitrogen, and other nutrients, including carbon; mitigation of floods; air and water purification; generation and renewal of soil and soil fertility; pollination and seed dispersal; and maintenance of biological diversity. There is little information on the impacts of global change on natural ecosystems and associated services and the economic valuation of these services. This work needs to be advanced to better understand the full economic impacts of lost or diminished ecosystem services.
- Assessment of Consequences. As an initial step in the National Assessment, a series of regional workshops, encompassing every state and territory, is identifying the distinctive regional characteristics and potential consequences of climate change and variability. The workshops will lead to a set of regional-scale assessments, led by the various USGCRP participating agencies. EPA has the lead coordinating responsibility for the Mid-Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and Great Lakes regions.
|ORD||Assessment of Consequences||0.0||2.8||7.5|
|ORD||Indicators of Change||0.0||6.0||7.0|
|ORD||Developing Predictive Models||1.8||0.0||0.0|
|ORD||Integrated Assessment Research||1.4||0.0||0.0|
|ORD||Stratospheric Ozone Depletion||1.3||0.0||0.0|
|President's Request ||13.7||21.1||20.5|
|ORD||Office of Research and Development|
FY99 Program Highlights. Under the USGCRP, EPA conducts research to understand the consequences of global change, especially on ecosystem services, and develops indicators of global change. In FY99 EPA will evaluate indicators that integrate ecosystem and human health. Some likely examples include rodents and mosquitoes. Research in ecosystem services will be conducted to understand the role of ecotones--intersections of different ecosystem types--in providing ecosystem services, and how ecotones are impacted by global change. EPA will also look at the impacts of global change on the pollution-control infrastructure--for example, the impacts of sea- level rise and hydrologic alteration on water quality and the effects of temperature increases on air pollutants such as fine particulate matter. Assessment of the consequences of global change will be initiated at three regional-scale locations: The Mid-Atlantic, the Gulf Coast, and the Upper Great Lakes. EPA will also participate in the overall synthesis of regional-scale assessments as part of the National Assessment.
Related Research. In addition to the focused USGCRP research activities, EPA conducts contributing research to characterize and understand risks to ecosystems and to understand and predict ecosystem exposures, responses, and vulnerabilities to high-risk chemicals and non-chemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and geographic scales. Other related research includes monitoring of ozone and research on atmospheric chemistry.
Mapping of Budget Request to Appropriations Legislation. In the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill, Environmental Protection Agency USGCRP activities are funded under the EPA section of Title III-Independent Agencies, within the Science and Technology account.