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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 1, NUMBER 5, NOVEMBER 1988

NEWS...
MAJOR EPA REPORTS NEAR COMPLETION


Item #d88nov4

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing two major reports on global climate change, mandated last year by Congress, that have been informally called the effects and stabilization reports. A draft of the first, The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States, is undergoing outside review by the agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB). According to a summary of the draft in Science ("Planning for Climate Change," M. Crawford, p. 510, Oct. 28, 1988), it concludes that large-scale human intervention will be required in the next century to preserve threatened animal and plant species, and it will be difficult to mitigate damage to natural systems and society if change occurs rapidly. Based on about 50 research papers and incorporating work by other federal agencies, the report examines how climate change could influence agriculture, forests, water supplies, human health, biological diversity, and demand for electricity in four regions of the country--the Southeast, Great Plains, California and Great Lakes. It will make policy recommendations for adapting to change that involve wildlife management (assisting species adaptation), shoreline habitation (refraining from erecting bulkheads and levees), water management (increasing ability to cope with variable conditions), and for new crop development. (See also "EPA's Greenhouse Study Predicts Dire Consequences for the Environment," Air/Water Pollut. Rep., p. 369, Oct. 31.)

The other report is expected at the end of this year and will address policy options for stabilizing current levels of greenhouse gases through energy policies, alternative fuels, chlorofluorocarbon reduction and the like. Both reports will be reviewed by the newly assembled SAB Global Climate Change Subcommittee, chaired by Warner North of Decision Focus, Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif.), which met most recently in mid-November. Another new subcommittee on global climate research will soon review a major, multi-year research strategy being prepared by the agency's Office of Research and Development. It is aimed at increasing understanding of consequences of climate change for ecosystems, human health, and air and water quality, and how to best control emissions to reduce climate change.

For information on the progress of the effects or stabilization reports contact EPA's Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation (202-382-4335), or the SAB staff office (202-382-2552).

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