National Science Foundation

Areas of Global Change Research. NSF global change research programs support research and related activities that advance fundamental understanding of dynamic physical, biological, and socioeconomic systems as well as interactions among those systems. In addition to research on Earth system processes and the consequences of changes in those systems, NSF programs facilitate data acquisition and data management activities necessary for basic research on global change, promote the enhancement of modeling designed to improve representations of Earth system interactions, and develop advanced analytic methods to facilitate fundamental research. NSF also supports fundamental research on the general processes used by governments and other organizations to identify and evaluate different types of policies for mitigation, adaptation, and other responses to changing global environmental conditions.

NSF Program Title FY97 FY98 FY99
Request
Antarctic Ecosystems 1.0 1.0 1.0
Arctic System Science 14.5 15.2 16.0
Climate Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction 11.5 12.0 13.4
Climate Variability and Predictability 10.9 11.0 13.2
Coastal Long-Term/Land Margin Ecological Research 2.9 2.2 2.4
Earth System History 10.4 11.2 14.1
Ecological Diversity 4.8 5.0 6.7
Ecological Rates of Change 3.0 3.2 3.2
GEODATA 1.4 1.8 2.2
Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics 8.8 10.0 12.3
Global Tropospheric Chemistry Program 12.5 12.8 14.3
Greenhouse Gas Dynamics 0.2 0.2 0.2
Human Dimensions of Global Change 14.3 12.1 14.3
Joint Global Ocean Flux Study 18.8 17.2 15.6
Methods and Models for Integrated Assessment 3.4 3.4 3.4
Ocean Observation, Data Assimilation, and Modeling 0.0 0.0 4.6
Polar Ozone Depletion/UV Radiation Effects 3.5 4.2 4.2
Regional Research Institutes 3.2 3.2 3.4
Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiments 3.3 3.3 3.3
Sea Level Changes 5.8 5.8 5.9
Solar Influences 6.8 6.8 7.7
Water & Energy: Atmospheric-Vegetative-Earth Interactions 8.6 8.8 10.2
World Ocean Circulation Experiment 16.7 16.8 15.8
Total  166.3 167.2
President's Request  183.4 170.0 187.4

FY99 Program Highlights. During FY99, NSF will continue to support research and related activities across all of its global environmental programs. A significant share of the agency's efforts will focus on continuation of major international collaborative field programs. The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) will see enhanced analysis and synthesis of data gathered during previous years. As with other major international field programs, WOCE and JGOFS analyses and syntheses activities will be linked with data-assimilation and modeling activities. Significant growth is expected in the Earth System History (ESH), Ecological Diversity, GEODATA, and Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) programs.

Among the most significant new emphases will be the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX), which will investigate natural and anthropogenic climate forcing by aerosols. Over the Indian Ocean, during winter, polluted, aerosol-rich air flowing off central Asia encounters clean, pristine air from the southern Indian Ocean, the two air masses meeting at the highly convective intertropical convergence zone near the equator. The Indian Ocean thus provides a natural laboratory for studying the effects of aerosols on climate. INDOEX will contribute to CLIVAR, the Global Tropospheric Chemistry Program (GTCP), and the Water and Energy: Atmosphere-Vegetative- Earth Interactions (WEAVE) program.

The Ocean Observations, Data Assimilation, and Modeling Program (OODAM) will address the pressing need for the integration of products of the major global ocean field programs as they approach the end of their experimental observational phases. This activity will seek to develop global- and regional-scale coupled ocean predictive models. This will require, in turn, data assimilation research and identification of long-term observations necessary to support these activities.

NSF will continue to support the development, testing, and application of climate systems models and methods to improve model representations of related Earth system processes. In addition to continuing to accelerate the development of the community-use Climate System Model (CSM) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NSF will continue to make available advanced computational facilities to a wide range of scientists for USGCRP- sponsored Earth system modeling. NSF also will maintain support for research on fundamental understandings of human contributions and responses to global change.

Related Research. In addition to focused global change research, NSF conducts contributing research on many topics, including laboratory and field studies of the atmosphere and the factors that affect it; the physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of ocean waters; the composition, structure, and history of ocean floors; geophysical, hydrological, geological, and geochemical processes operating at and below the Earth's surface; the generation, transport, and fate of chemicals in natural systems; global environmental history; and data management for scientific research and modeling.

Many NSF-sponsored research projects examine interactions that link ecosystems and human activities with other factors, of which climate variability and change are only one specific set. As a result, much of NSF's support for research that relates to the consequences of global change does not focus specifically on global change but falls into the "contributing research" category instead. For example, data-collection activities and field experiments at many of the nearly two dozen Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites provide insights into the ways that different ecosystems respond to short- and longer term changes in climate, but they provide equally valuable perspectives on ecological responses to other kinds of environmental changes. In a similar way, NSF provides support for research projects that examine economic, cultural, and behavioral responses to different conditions that include, but are not restricted to, global environmental change. Especially noteworthy are studies of the ways that people and institutions anticipate and respond to risks, because risk assessment and risk management invariably entail making trade-offs among a large number of factors.

Mapping of Budget Request to Appropriations Legislation. In the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill, National Science Foundation USGCRP activities are funded under the NSF section of Title III-Independent Agencies, within the NSF Research and Related Activities account.