Climate Change Prediction Project Begins

WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) — Three U.S. government agencies say they have formed a joint research project to better predict climate change and its resulting impact.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture said the goal of the program — called Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction Using Earth System Models — is to produce high-resolution computer models that can help decision-makers develop adaptation strategies addressing climate change.

Officials said the models are to be developed through a joint, interagency solicitation for proposals.

“This extraordinary and exciting multi-agency research program will enable a major step forward in our ability to understand and predict both climate change and its impacts on people — at the spatial and temporal scales relevant to human life and societal decision making,” said Timothy Killeen, the National Science Foundation’s assistant director for the geosciences.

Officials said the development of high-resolution, interdisciplinary predictive models is important because the consequences of climate change are becoming more immediate and profound than anticipated. The consequences, officials said, include prolonged droughts, increased ecosystem stress, reduced agriculture and forest productivity, altered biological feedbacks, degraded ocean and permafrost habitats and the rapid retreat of glaciers and sea ice.

Proposals may receive up to $1 million in annual funding.

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