Major Scientific Challenges

Seasonal to Interannual Climate Fluctuations
Establish a network of research and prediction centers, including an International Research Institute for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction, and develop, maintain and operate an ocean observing system to improve forecasts of the timing and geographic extent of extended weather and climatic events, such as droughts and floods, at least a year in advance.

Climate Change over the Next Few Decades
Distinguish the human influences on climate from natural variability, predict the rates and magnitudes of future climate changes with regional resolution, and understand the vulnerability and adaptability of societal and ecological systems to climate change.

Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Increased UV Radiation
Model the physical and chemical processes of the stratosphere and upper troposphere that will allow predictions of ozone change and the resulting change in UV radiation at the Earth's surface.

Changes in Land Cover and in Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems
Expand the range of high quality observations of global land cover and terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and increase understanding of interactions between human activities and natural processes that result in changes in land cover and in terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

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Last updated 04/10/96