Federal Government Programs, Labs and Reports — Climate Change Guide

June 18, 2012

Federal Government Programs and Labs

US Global Change Research Program (Interagency)
The coordinating point for all federal agencies working on climate science, the USGCRP reports to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Science and Technology Policy via NOAA and the Commerce Department. This program, presidentially mandated in 1989, coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The 2009 report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, summarizes current science and focuses on impacts in different regions of the U.S. and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health.

NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies
One of the largest, oldest, and best-respected federal labs working on climate, GISS is headed by Dr. James Hansen. It is in New York City.

NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Another pioneering climate lab that specializes in computer modeling of climate. No longer headed by the now-retired Dr. Jerry D. Mahlman, it is keeping a lower public profile these days. It is near Princeton University.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center
This is the repository ("world's largest") of much of the raw data about the U.S. and planetary temperature record and other climate data. It is in Asheville, North Carolina. Director: Director: Tom Karl. Press Contact: Jana Goldman (NOAA HQ Public Affairs).

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory - Global Monitoring Division
This research component of NOAA conducts all kinds of basic monitoring programs to compile long-term series of measurements and observations of the conditions that may be involved in climate change. The CMDL has now been merged into the Global Monitoring Division of the Earth System Research Laboratory.

NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
NOAA's PMEL focuses primarily on the connections between ocean and atmosphere that can produce changes on timescales ranging from hours to decades. Located in Seattle, PMEL has a close relationship with the University of Washington through the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO). Staff directory. Media Contact.

National Snow and Ice Data Center The National Snow and Ice Data Center is headquartered in Boulder, Colo. Although part of CIRES, it is sponsored by NOAA, NASA, and the NSF. It is a research center and data clearinghouse for climate-related subjects such as sea ice extent, snowpack, ice sheets, and glaciology. Press contact.

NOAA Arctic Report Card
The Arctic Report Card update released in 2011 indicates that "persistent warming has caused dramatic changes in the Arctic Ocean and the ecosystem it supports."

NOAA National Severe Storms Lab
NOAA's National Severe Storms Lab, headquartered in Norman, Okla., where the Univ. of Oklahoma is located, is notorious as the home of tornado research and stormchasers. But the possible connections between climate change and other forms of severe weather have gained more attention in recent years --for example, since the derecho of July 2012. Staff Directory. Press contact.

DOE Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
An arm of the Energy Dept.'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the CDIAC focuses on research and data collection about carbon dioxide and the Earth's carbon cycle. It also tracks other greenhouse gases through its World Data Center for Atmospheric Trace Gases.

US Forest Service Research and Development — Climate Change
USFS has an extensive ongoing R&D program regarding climate change. The program provides long term research, scientific knowledge, expertise, regional resources and tools that can be used to manage, restore, and conserve forests and rangelands.

US Global Change Research Information Office
The US is required by a 1990 law to maintain the GCRIO to disseminate scientific research and other information useful in preventing, mitigating, or adapting to the effects of global change. Unable to disband the office, the Bush administration has given it little funding support. Its online library of key studies and documents from past years is still valuable.

USGS Office of Global Change
The US Geological Survey offers information on various climate change topics, publications, news, FAQs, related links, briefings, podcasts, and more.