SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
Page 1 TOP OF DOC78957PS
NEW DIRECTIONS FOR CLIMATE
RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
APRIL 17, 2002
Serial No. 10756
Printed for the use of the Committee on Science
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/science
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
HON. SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York, Chairman
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
JOE BARTON, Texas
KEN CALVERT, California
NICK SMITH, Michigan
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
DAVE WELDON, Florida
GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
GEORGE R. NETHERCUTT, JR., Washington
FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma
GARY G. MILLER, California
JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
TIMOTHY V. JOHNSON, Illinois
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
FELIX J. GRUCCI, JR., New York
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
RALPH M. HALL, Texas
BART GORDON, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
LYNN C. WOOLSEY, California
LYNN N. RIVERS, Michigan
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
BOB ETHERIDGE, North Carolina
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
MARK UDALL, Colorado
DAVID WU, Oregon
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
JOE BACA, California
JIM MATHESON, Utah
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
DENNIS MOORE, Kansas
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
C O N T E N T S
April 17, 2002
Statement by Representative Sherwood L. Boehlert, Chairman, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives
Statement by Representative Ralph M. Hall, Minority Ranking Member, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives
Statement by Representative Mark Udall, Member, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives
Prepared Statement by Representative Constance Morella, Member, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives
Prepared Statement by Representative Nick Smith, Member, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Prepared Statement by Representative Jerry F. Costello, Member, Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives
Radford Byerly, Jr., Visiting Scholar, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado at Boulder
Article Entitled ''The Policy Dynamics of Global Change''
Eric J. Barron, Director, Earth System Science Center, Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute, Pennsylvania State University
Edward L. Miles, Principle Investigator, Pacific Northwest Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments, University of Washington
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBiography
James A. Edmonds, Senior Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Scott Bernstein, President, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Power Point Presentation
Top Priorities for Climate Change Research
The Importance of Accurate Predictions
Administration Coordination of Climate Research
NIST and JILA Facilities in Boulder, CO
How Much Has the Climate Changed and Why?
Beginning Mitigation Efforts
Quantifying the Human Impact
No Regret Strategy
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAffects of Climate Change on the Economically Disadvantaged
Localizing Climate Science
Deployment Rates as an Indicator of Success
Population Density and Energy Consumption
Carbon Emissions From Natural Sources
Natural Climate Change
NEW DIRECTIONS FOR CLIMATE RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2002
House of Representatives,
Committee on Science,
The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
New Directions for Climate
Research and Technology Initiatives
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2002
10:00 A.M.12:00 P.M.
2318 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
On Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 10:00 a.m., the House Science Committee will hold a hearing to receive suggestions on how to focus the Federal Government's climate change research and technology programs. The hearing will assess how the new climate research initiative, intended to complement ongoing federal global change research activities, could be structured to yield more useful information for decision makers and how the new climate technology initiative can be designed to be more effective than past programs at developing technology options that can assure our future energy security and at delivering those technologies to the marketplace.
The Committee plans to explore several overarching questions:
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
1. Are our climate research efforts focused on the right questions?
2. How could a new climate research initiative best be focused to yield shorter-term climate and weather information of greater relevance to local end-users, such as regional resource managers, land use planners, water authorities, insurance actuaries, emergency management agencies, and the like? Can the existing global change research program offer science results that could inform local and regional policy questions?
3. Is our current portfolio of energy technology research and development likely to result in technology solutions that can assure our future energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new opportunities for economic growth? Is our portfolio balanced with respect to short-term (incremental improvements) and long-term (revolutionary technology improvements) goals?
4. How should we design energy technology programs to assure that new and existing technologies are more quickly and widely adopted?
2. Recent Events
Last June, the President announced an agenda to advance climate change science, promote the development of climate technologies to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and implement clean energy technologies. As part of the announcement, he unveiled a new Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) to fund high-priority scientific research, and a new National Climate Change Technology Initiative (NCCTI) to develop cutting-edge energy technologies.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC President Bush also directed the Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Commerce to review the existing climate research and technology programs across the Federal Government.
Those reviews have prompted a vigorous debate within the Administration over the future of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), begun in 1990 under legislation passed by the Science Committee, and the multitude of energy programs within the Department of Energy (DOE).
While the President's FY 2003 budget request contained $40 million for CCRI and $40 million for NCCTI, how each initiative will meet the goals the President outlined last Juneand how each will relate to existing climate research and technology programsstill remains unsettled.
At the same time, a number of climate scientists and policy experts have suggested that the Administration redirect at least a portion of the climate research program toward developing information that is more useful to policy-makers in making decisions about responding to global change.
Meanwhile the Administration continues its internal deliberations as to the possible directions of climate change research, climate change technology development, and how those efforts will be managed and coordinated.
3. Summary of Issues
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The hearing will explore the following major issues:
Increasingly, federal climate research programs are being called upon to deliver information more relevant to policy-makers. While USGCRP has been highly successful in advancing our understanding of the Earth's climate system, it has not been as successful in providing information that decision makers can readily use. For example, climate research yields predictions about changes in average yearly precipitation but, in some regions of the country, water managers care more about how the rain and snow are distributed throughout the year (does it come all at once as in a monsoon or is it spread evenly) than they do about the total annual amount.
President Bush called for an evaluation of climate change technology programs and for a new National Climate Change Technology Initiative (NCCTI) to support ''breakthrough technologies.'' The President's review of existing climate technology programs and the NCCTI are intended accelerate U.S. efforts to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is unclear how NCCTI, which is to be run under the authority of the DOE, will differ from existing climate and energy technology programs, or even how the $40 million requested in the President's budget will be allocated.
Many climate technology programs at DOE can be better evaluated by taking into consideration the multiple quantitative and qualitative benefitssuch as the economic, energy security, clean air and climate change benefitsthat the programs offer. According to a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences(see footnote 1) regarding the benefits of energy efficiency and cleaner fossil fuels, DOE should evaluate its research and development (R&D) programs based on all the quantitative and qualitative benefits of the investments. The same study reviewed 20 percent of DOE's energy efficiency technology portfolio carried out between 19781999 and found economic benefits of $30 billion. Other studies agree, and have suggested that further investments in clean energy could have even more dramatic benefits.(see footnote 2)
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Because of the inherent risk in individual technology development projects and the dramatic reductions in carbon intensity that will be needed to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions, investments in federal climate and energy technology should be diverse and flexible. Numerous experts, drawing on a philosophy well established in the financial arena, point to a diversified portfolio as critical for success.(see footnote 3) The National Academy of Sciences recommended that technology development activities be balanced between short- and long-term projects and simultaneously pursue a variety of technologies. Many other studies have pointed to the significant technological breakthroughs that will be needed to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Including technology users in the development of the research agenda has improved the effectiveness of DOE's energy programs, and should be expanded to additional program areas. At one time DOE alone was largely responsible for setting the energy technology research agenda and making technologies available for others to adopt. In the 1990s, however, it began to shift towards ''customer-driven'' research programs like the Partnership for the Next Generation of Vehicles and the Industries of the Future program, in which the department and private industry collaboratively develop a research agenda.(see footnote 4) According to a variety of observers, including the National Academy of Sciences, DOE should continue to expand this approach for setting its research agenda.
One of the most widely recognized weaknesses of DOE's energy technology R&D programs is its track record for deploying new technologies. Many experts believe that DOE has developed many cost-effective existing technologies that have yet to achieve substantial market penetration. DOE has an opportunity to think creatively about expanding on past successes and developing new, more effective strategies.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
U.S. Global Change Research Program
The USGCRP was established by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, Public Law 101606, to ''understand and respond to global climate change, including the cumulative effects of human activities and natural processes on the environment.'' From the beginning it was organized as a multi-agency effort to coordinate a research program to study various aspects of the world's changing environment. For the past several years the total budget for USGCRP has averaged $1.7 billion per year. More than $1 billion of these funds support space-based observation systems and research at NASA, and the remainder is spread among a number of federal agencies.
Because it is a large-scale, multi-agency effort, USGCRP has always been difficult to coordinate. The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates policy coordination through the promulgation and implementation of a 10-year research plan, and budget coordination during the annual process of submitting budget and appropriations requests. In the past, the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, the panel that oversees USGCRP, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget have reinforced policy and budget coordination with varying degrees of success. More recently, coordination at the highest levels has weakened and some critics have characterized the program as a bookkeeping entry that merely adds up the contributions of participating agencies. In order to address this specific concern the White House is drafting a reorganization plan that will place substantial authority for global change research and technology development in the hands of the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Energy.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
USGCRP has been highly successful in developing the big picture of the Earth's climate system and in identifying both the human activities and the natural processes that influence long-term climate change. To cite one example, our understanding of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that drives El Niño and La Niña weather patterns has come from extensive research, observation and modeling conducted within the program.
The program has been less successful, however, at developing information that is useful to policy-makers and resource managers in making informed decisions. The program is designed by scientists to address the big scientific questions related to global change. It has never considered the needs of users on the ground who may have to make decisions about environmental resources that are affected by weather and climate. Other than a relatively small program at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is currently no structure or process within USGCRP to identify potential users, understand their needs, and connect them to the research agenda.
One approach to producing policy-relevant information is the regional assessment model, developed within NOAA and other agencies, that attempts to build a regional-scale picture of the interaction between climate change and the local environment from the ground up. By funding research on climate and environmental science focused on a particular region, NOAA's Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program currently supports interdisciplinary research on climate-sensitive issues in five selected regions around the country. Each region has its own distinct set of vulnerabilities to climate change, e.g., water supply, fisheries, agriculture, etc., and RISA's research is focused on questions specific to each region. The regional assessments are developed in consultation with local stakeholders such as resource managers, farmers, and emergency responders. RISA has been called a step in the right direction by some, although the program is small (approximately $4 million in FY 2003), while others view it as a model that could guide some of the larger efforts within USGCRP.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Climate Change Research Initiative
In June of 2001, the President announced a new Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) to fund high-priority research areas and to translate research into usable information and products for decision makers. In February 2002, the President proposed $40 million to fund CCRI activities in the fiscal year 2003 budget request.
The goal of the CCRI, as articulated by the Office of Management and Budget, is to focus climate science on questions that can provide useful answers to policy-makers and deliver meaningful results within 25 years, but the allocation for CCRI in the President's FY 2003 budget request does not appear to further this objective. Besides the request for an additional $1 million for NOAA's RISA program, mentioned above, and $5 million for NSF to support research into human decision-making rationale, most of the requested funds would go toward projects and programs that already exist under USGCRP. For example, the CCRI budget requests $10 million for an expansion of current atmospheric and ocean observation systems, and $15 million to continue research into whether forests and soils in the U.S. absorb more CO than we emit through industrial processes. This important question has been the basis of many USGCRP programs and funding. The relationship between CCRI and USGCRP has not been clearly defined and there is no publicly available plan to explain how the initiative will direct new funds in a way that is different from ongoing programs.
Energy and Climate Technology Programs
In general, DOE's climate change R&D programs focus on improving energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy, including transportation and residential energy use, developing renewable energy sources that do not emit CO, developing techniques to remove and sequester carbon from fossil energy sources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Many of these programs were established in reaction to the oil embargoes of the1970s, when the Federal Government significantly increased its investments in energy research to achieve greater energy independence. Over time, the goals and rationales for research have shifted with changing national priorities. Today, advocates offer many justifications for energy research and development investments, including enhancing the nation's energy security, improving economic competitiveness through energy efficiency, reducing air pollution, and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, DOE characterized its programs as energy R&D programs. By the mid- and late-1990s, some of the very same programs were being relabeled as climate change programs. Through all of this time, DOE programs attracted controversy, and political pressure sometimes resulted in dramatic shifts in focus. At times, DOE has focused on a single technology such as synthetic fuels or clean coal, while at other times, the department pursued a broader set of technologies and goals. Today, DOE spends approximately $1 billion annually on its climate change-related energy programs. A precise accounting is difficult because of the regularly changing labels. Despite these changes, many of the programs have proven to be effective.
Benefits of Climate Change R&D Investments
Over the years, many studies have tried to estimate the benefits of energy and climate change projects and programs. The most definitive study to date was published last year by the National Academy of Sciences, which examined DOE's energy efficiency and fossil energy programs. In the report, ''Energy Research at DOE: Was it Worth It?'' the Academy evaluated a broad sample of DOE's programs. The evaluation included quantitative and qualitative benefits, recognizing direct economic benefits as well as clean air, energy security, and other less tangible benefits. The report examined 16 projects, or 20 percent, of DOE's energy efficiency projects conducted between 1978 and 1999 and found approximately $30 billion in economic benefits, considerably more than the $7.3 billion spent on the entire program during those years. The Academy found that while most projects had a positive return, three projectsefficient lighting, refrigeration, and low emissions (low-e) windowsaccounted for the majority of the benefits. Fossil energy investments also produced important benefits, mostly arising from reductions in air pollution, particularly for the period between 1986 and 1999.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The value of multiple benefits was also pointed out in the report, ''Clean Energy Future,'' by the DOE's laboratories. The report concluded that ''smart policies can significantly reduce not only carbon dioxide emissions, but also air pollution, petroleum dependence and inefficiencies in energy production and use.'' The economic benefits alone, the report also concluded, would likely result in economic benefits exceeding the costs of implementing those programs. However, it acknowledges that its estimates do not account for other important benefits, such as reduced vulnerability to oil disruptions, cleaner air, and an improved trade balance.(see footnote 5)
Looking to the future, DOE sponsored a public-private collaboration called the Global Energy Technology Strategy Program. Organized by the Battelle Memorial Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility industry group, and involving a broad array of energy technology researchers, the program recently published a ''Global Energy Technology Strategy.'' Among its many findings, the Strategy report found that funding for U.S. technology research and development programs has declined significantly since the 1980s and that the U.S. will need to ''increase investment in energy research and development to improve the performance of existing technologies and to develop the next generation of technologies that are required to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations.''(see footnote 6)
The Technological Challenge and the Importance of Portfolio Management
One of the complications of developing a strategy to address the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the significant technological improvement that will be needed. Given U.S. Energy Information Agency projections of energy use, technology change, and GDP and population growth in the coming years, a doubling of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere appears likely, and a tripling is possible. If we are to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we would be required to do more than merely stabilize emissions of those gaseswe would have to reduce emissions. Because of the long lifetime of CO in the atmosphere, even if we stabilized emissions at today's levels, concentrations would continue to rise indefinitely. Reducing concentrations of CO in the atmosphere, therefore, would require the development and deployment of significant technological improvements at a pace much faster than has ever been achieved before.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Since we expect that breakthrough technologies will be required and we can't know in advance which research programs might lead to them, the National Academy of Sciences and other energy and climate change researchers have strongly recommended that the DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintain a diverse research portfolio. Specifically, the Academy recommended that DOE's programs include (1) ''a mix of exploratory, applied, development and demonstration research related activities, (2) different time horizons for the deployment of any resulting technologies, (3) the pursuit of multiple technologies for each of its program goals, and (4) a mix of economic, environmental and security objectives.''(see footnote 7)
The Global Energy Technology Strategy reached a similar conclusion. The report argued that the nation needs a diverse portfolio of investments. The report points to three technology areas that are not receiving enough attention: hydrogen technology, natural carbon sequestration, and carbon capture, use and storage technologies.
Setting the R&D Agenda
At one time, DOE's laboratories were largely responsible for setting the energy technology research agenda and making technologies available for others to adopt. In the 1990s, DOE began to shift to customer driven research programs like the Partnership for the Next Generation of Vehicles and the Industries of the Future program.(see footnote 8) These trends have been cited as important for ensuring successful adoption. The National Academy of Sciences has urged DOE to maintain its current policies of encouraging collaboration in setting the research agenda, and to explore ''creative and adaptive'' approaches to collaboration.(see footnote 9)
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
One of the most widely recognized weaknesses of DOE's energy technology R&D programs is its track record for deploying new technologies. Many cost-effective existing technologies have yet to achieve substantial market penetration. The National Academy of Sciences recognized this issue when it suggested that it is often necessary for DOE to integrate its R&D efforts with market conditioning activities such as setting standards, providing information, carrying out demonstrations and government-led voluntary actions.(see footnote 10) The Global Energy Technology Strategy calls on DOE to ''fund all stages of the innovation process from basic research to market deployment of the most promising technologies.''(see footnote 11)
The EPA has housed one of the most highly regarded deployment programs. The Energy Star program, managed largely by EPA in a partnership with DOE, expends relatively small amounts of funds to carry out sophisticated and voluntary approaches to technology deployment. The program taps into customers' needs and provides tools to simplify the process so they can easily and willingly adopt the new technologies. It has demonstrated large returns on federal and private sector dollars.
Climate Technology Review and National Climate Change Technology Initiative
When President Bush announced his National Climate Change Technology Initiative (NCCTI) last year, he directed the Secretary of Energy to evaluate the state of U.S. climate change technology R&D and make recommendations for improvement. He also called on DOE to strengthen basic research, including development of advanced mitigation strategies, develop opportunities to enhance public-private partnerships in applied research, make recommendations for funding demonstration projects for cutting-edge technologies, and evaluate technologies for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the President's FY 2003 budget requested $40 million for the NCCTI to build on the existing base of R&D climate change technologies at the DOE, with some involvement of the EPA and the Department of Agriculture.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The Administration has not yet released the findings of the technology evaluation, plans for how the $40 million will be spent, or potential changes that may be proposed to the base program.
The following witnesses will address the Committee:
Dr. Radford Byerly, Jr., Visiting Scholar, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado
Dr. Eric Barron, Director, Earth Systems Science Center, Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Edward Miles, Principal Investigator, Pacific Northwest RISA, JISAO Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington
Dr. James Edmonds, Senior Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Battelle Memorial Institute
Mr. Scott Bernstein, President, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The following questions were addressed to the witnesses in the invitations they received to testify before the Committee:
Questions addressed to Dr. Radford Byerly, Jr.:
1. In your view, are our climate research programs focused on the right questions?
2. How could a new climate research initiative best be focused to yield shorter-term climate and weather information of greater relevance to local end-users, such as regional resource managers, land use planners, water authorities, insurance actuaries, emergency management agencies, and the like? Please offer examples from your experience working with resource issues in Colorado. How should such an initiative interact with the U.S. Global Change Research Program?
3. What kind of additional legislative direction do climate research programs need to improve their utility?
Questions addressed to Dr. Eric Barron:
1. In your view, are our current climate research programs focused on the right questions?
2. What is your view of the Administration's Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI)? How would you structure such a program and what would be its goals? How should CCRI interact with the base U.S. Global Change Research Program?
3. How could a new climate research initiative best be focused to yield shorter-term climate and weather information of greater relevance to local end-users, such as regional resource managers, land use planners, water authorities, insurance actuaries, emergency management agencies, and the like? Please give examples of how research at Penn State has developed useful information for the types of end-users mentioned above.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
4. What kind of additional legislative direction do climate research programs need to improve their utility?
Questions addressed to Dr. Edward Miles:
1. What kinds of climate and weather information are needed by ''consumers,'' such as regional resource managers, farmers, land-use planners, insurance actuaries, and emergency management agencies?
2. Do federal research programs now produce such information, and, if not, what kinds of changes in the federal research agenda are needed to develop such information?
3. How would such an expanded research agenda be coordinated with other global change research activities?
Questions addressed to Dr. James Edmonds:
1. Is our current portfolio of energy technology research and development likely to result in technology solutions that can assure our future energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new opportunities for economic growth? Is our portfolio balanced with respect to short-term (incremental improvements) and long-term (revolutionary technology improvements) goals?
2. How should we design energy technology programs to assure that new and existing technologies are more quickly and widely adopted?
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Questions addressed to Mr. Scott Bernstein:
1. How should we design energy technology programs to assure that new and existing technologies are more quickly and widely adopted? Please give examples of what has worked at your Center.
2. From your perspective, is our current portfolio of energy technology research and development likely to result in technology solutions that can assure our future energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new opportunities for economic growth? Is our portfolio balanced with respect to short-term (incremental improvements) and long-term (revolutionary technology improvements) goals?
Chairman BOEHLERT. The hearing will come to order. I want to welcome everyone here today for this important hearing which should help us set the agenda for science and technology research related to global change. This is a critical moment for global change research programs. While in many ways the successes of these programs are unarguable, their future contours have never been more uncertain.
For starters, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which was created by this Committee in 1990 is undergoing a thorough and needed review by the Administration, and it is being reorganized in ways that may prove significant. At the same time, the Administration has proposed two new research endeavors, both promising, but ill-definedthe Climate Change Research Initiative and the National Climate Change Technology Initiative. The creation of these two new programs indicates a desire to change, or at least to intensify, the focus on the Federal Government's global change science and technology research programs.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Outside the government, the existing program is also being scrutinized and reassessed. Some experts suggest that the science program is focused on the wrong issues entirely, paying too much attention to long-range questions that will always be hard to resolve, while resource managers who raise shorter-range climate questions go begging for answers. Others suggest the need for a heightened attention to a small set of long-range questions, such as the nature of the carbon cycle, and to providing the modeling and observational tools needed to answer them.
Similar issues have been raised about focusing the government's technology programs, which have led to significant incremental technical improvements, but haven't usually been as successful at great leaps forward or market penetration.
So all these research programs are at a crossroad, making this hearing especially timely. What we haven't asked our witnesses today is to weigh in on the specifics of the review or proposals that are currently on the table. Instead, we have asked them, in effect, what they would do if they were put in charge of the science and technology programs. What research goals would they set out and how would they set up an agenda to achieve them? I look forward to hearing thoughtful, provocative, and varied responses.
We will then follow up on today's hearing with a hearing in late May or June to hear from government witnesses to learn exactly how the Administration plans to proceed with a climate program the President laid out in speeches last June and this February and in his proposed budget. Our questions at that hearing, and the answers, too, one would hope, will be informed by the ideas we gather today.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I have to say that the Administration would be wise to listen. So far, it has spent much too much time reorganizing and not enough time thinking through substantive issues. Additional time has been wasted because of a reluctance to begin by reviewing the USGCRP 10-year plan which is required by law and was finally prepared about a year-and-a-half ago.
It has been especially frustrating dealing with the Department of Energy, which, so far, has been either unwilling or unable to tell us how the $40 million proposed by the President of the United States for NCCTI actually would be spent by DOE. I guess we can't even agree whether it should be NCCTI or necktie, but we will let you take your choice.
But that said, the Administration deserves credit for bringing up top-level attention to the science and technology programs, and for asking tough appropriate questions about them. And we all have to remember that these issues aren't easy. Global change research questions, which seek to understand, in effect, earth, fire, air, and water, and to link them systematically, is mind-bogglingly complex. Maybe instead of dismissing a simple matter by saying, it isn't rocket science, we really ought to be saying, it isn't climate science.
Figuring out whatwhich research questions to pursue isn't easy either, as today's hearing will demonstrate. And, of course, resolving the policy disputes that the research is supposed to inform, is perhaps toughest of all.
But that is beyond what we are here to discuss today. Today, we want to listen on the ideas our experts can provide to ensure that we have a properly focused, effective research portfolio for both the science and technology related to global change. I look forward to the testimony. The Chair is now pleased to recognize Mr. Hall.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Mr. Boehlert follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SHERWOOD BOEHLERT
I want to welcome everyone here today for this important hearing, which should I help us set the agenda for science and technology research related to global change.
This is a critical moment for global change research programs. While in many ways, the successes of these programs are unarguable, their future contours have never been more uncertain.
For starters, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which was created by this Committee in 1990, is undergoing a thorough and needed review by the Administration, and it is being reorganized in ways that may prove significant.
At the same time, the Administration has proposed two new research endeavorsboth promising, but ill-definedthe Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) and the National Climate Change Technology Initiative. The creation of these two new programs indicates a desire to changeor at least to intensifythe focus of the Federal Government's global change science and technology research programs.
Outside the government, the existing program is also being scrutinized and reassessed. Some experts suggest that the science program is focused on the wrong issues entirely, paying too much attention to long-range questions that will always be hard to resolve, while resource managers who raise shorter-range climate questions go begging for answers. Others suggest the need for heightened attention to a small set of long-range questions, such as the nature of the carbon cycle, and to providing the modeling and observational tools needed to answer them.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Similar issues have been raised about focusing the government's technology programs, which have led to significant incremental technical improvements, but haven't usually been as successful at ''great leaps forward'' or market penetration.
So, all these research programs are at a crossroad, making this hearing especially timely.
But we haven't asked our witnesses today is to weigh in on the specifics of the reviews or proposals that are currently on the table. Instead, we've asked them, in effect, what they would do if they were put in charge of the science and technology programs. What research goals would they set out and how would they set up an agenda to achieve them? I look forward to hearing thoughtful, provocative and varied responses.
We will then follow up on today's hearing with a hearing in late May or in June to hear from government witnesses to learn exactly how the Administration plans to proceed with the climate program the President laid out in speeches last June and this February and in his proposed budget. Our questions at that hearingand the answers, too, one hopeswill be informed by the ideas we gather today.
I have to say that the Administration would be wise to listen. So far, it has spent much too much time reorganizing and not enough time thinking through substantive issues. Additional time has been wasted because of a reluctance to begin by reviewing the USGCRP 10-year plan, which is required by law and was finally prepared about a year and a half ago.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It's been especially frustrating dealing with the Department of Energy, which so far has been either unwilling or unable to tell us how the $40 million proposed by the President of the United States for NCCTI actually would be spent by DOE.
But, that said, the Administration deserves credit for bringing top-level attention to these science and technology programs, and for asking tough, appropriate questions about them.
And we all have to remember that these issues aren't easy. Global change research questions, which seek to understand, in effect, earth, fire, air and water, and to link them systemically, is mind-bogglingly complex. Maybe instead of dismissing a simple matter by saying it ''isn't rocket science,'' we really ought to be saying ''it isn't climate science.''
Figuring out which research questions to pursue isn't easy either, as today's hearing will demonstrate. And, of course, resolving the policy disputes that the research is supposed to inform is perhaps toughest of all.
But that's beyond what we're here to discuss today. Today we want to focus on the ideas our experts can provide to ensure that we have a properly focused, effective research portfolio for both the science and technology related to global change. I look forward to their testimony. Mr. Hall.
Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman, thank you. As usualand, you know, it is unusual, I guess, in that you are the Chairman because there are more Republicans than there are Democrats in the Congress, and you get first shot every time, and you usually cover the waterfront pretty doggone good.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It reminds me a little of, you know, right after World War II. And people wonder how all of our World War II marriages last so long. I have been married 58 years to the same woman, and happily married. And we got together at the end of World War II and made an agreementall of us husbands and wivesand the agreement was from that point forward that us men would make all the major decisions that were made, and the women make the minor ones. Of course, to satisfy the lady who just said, ah-hem, there ain't been a major decision now in 50-something years. So he has done a good job of covering the waterfront.
Now, let me touch a few things. First, I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing. I congratulate you on the success in managing to coordinate this hearing with the early onset of summer weather we are experiencing. This shows that we are having some changes. I don't know if that constitutes proof that climate is changing, but it does illustrate the fact that weather and climate are variable, and I think that is part of what we are talking about.
And I believe the Administration's policy is designed to do that. I support the President's policy and commend him for continuing the support for research to better understand and predict weather and climate. I also support the Administration's goal of promoting the development of technologies to produce energy more cleanly and efficiently and to sequester carbon. I hope the Administration will work with this Committee and I hope they will work with this Chairman as he leads us to develop a research and technology program that is going to move the Nation forward on this issue.
We have a distinguished Panel of witnesses this morning, including one who is very familiar to a lot of us. Rad Byerly is well-known to this group. He is a fellow Texan and I like that. And he is the former Chief of Staff who served this Committee in a variety of positions. But, you know, most notable, he is really a gentleman and a scholar. He has a Ph.D. in physics from Rice University. I couldn't even get into Rice University, much less get out of it. It is one of the really great schools anywhereand I have been practicing saying this all morningin experimental atomic and molecular physics. See, I even have a hard time studying it, and he knows what I am talking about.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
He was here with us for about 15 years. George Brown, who was Chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, appointed him Committee Chief of Staff in 1991. Did a great job for us. Thank you and the other four gentlemen for working with us.
Mr. Chairman, I couldn't help but recognize Don Ritter too, who is a distinguished former member of this Committee, who is in the audience and has been very helpful. At this time, I would like to yield the four minutes that I have left to Congressman Udall for a two-minute speech. Is that all right?
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE RALPH M. HALL
Good morning. I thank the Chairman for holding this hearing today and I congratulate him on his success in managing to coordinate this hearing with the early-onset of summer weather we are experiencing this week. I don't know if that constitutes proof that the climate is changing, but it does illustrate the fact that weather and climate are variable and we need to be prepared to deal with that variability. I believe the Administration's policy is designed to do that.
I support the President's policy and commend him for continuing support for research to better understand and predict weather and climate. I also support the Administration's goal of promoting the development of technologies to produce energy more cleanly and efficiently and to sequester carbon. I hope Administration will work with this Committee to develop a research and technology program that will move the Nation forward on this issue.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We have a distinguished panel of witnesses this morning, including one who is familiar to a number of us. I would like to welcome Dr. Rad Byerly, a fellow Texan and a former Chief of Staff who served this Committee in a variety of positions, including Staff Director of the Space Subcommittee, for 15 years. Welcome back. I thank all of our witnesses for appearing this morning and I look forward to hearing your testimony.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Without objection, the Congressman is recognized for 120 seconds plus or minus.
Mr. UDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank my colleague, Judge Hall, as well, for continuing to enlighten us on an ongoing basis and for yielding his time. He mentioned my friend, Dr. Rad Byerly, and I wanted to make sure that everybody knows he is a constituent of mine. He is now a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado in Boulder. And, as Judge Hall mentioned, he is a former Staff Director of the Science Committee, and also a fellow Williams College graduate. And I wanted to welcome Dr. Byerly, and, of course, the rest of the Panel.
The Chairman mentioned that this hearing is taking place in a context of change. He mentioned that the Administration has proposed its own Climate Change Research Initiative and now is proposing to reorganize the U.S. Global Change Research Program. And, I am not sure what all these proposals entail. I am not sure any of us truly do.
So I am looking forward to the testimony today and also the next hearing that we are going to hold, which the Chairman mentioned. And I am hopeful we will have some Administration witnesses at that hearing to answer some specific questions. I know the Chairman is working on legislation to refocus and rethink our climate change programs, and I look forward to working with him in this very, very important effort.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And I think, Mr. Chairman, you know that recently that members of the Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee, Dr. Ehlers and Representative Gutknecht and I, recently traveled out to my district to meet with the personnel at the NOAA labs and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which are based in Boulder, and it was time very well spent and it only made me believe more strongly in the need for good policy to address the challenge of climate change.
And, again, I thank the Chairman and the Ranking Member for yielding me time, and I yield back whatever time I have left.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Morella follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE CONSTANCE MORELLA
Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling this important hearing to review the structure and focus of our nation's climate change programs. It is a daunting and onerous task to evaluate governmental projects of this size and scale, but no less important for its difficulty. I appreciate the Chairman's willingness to tackle such issues and sincerely hope he will continue to set his sights on such lofty targets.
The multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is both a boon and a boondoggle. Its $1.7 billion/year budget supports some of the most groundbreaking climate research in the world, yet its policy and budget coordination is weak and critics have long characterized the program as a bookkeeping entry that merely adds up the contributions of the various participating agencies, rather than a cohesive program with a coherent focus. Even more importantly, despite the unquestioned quality of the research, questions about its usefulness have arisen. Its bottoms up approach has generated a program that focuses exclusively on the researchers and the questions posed by the scientists rather than a more broad inclusion of all of the interested parties.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
All too often, a research program is misidentified as exclusively a research endeavor. An integrated planning process and a thoughtful evaluation are equally important aspects. Research is not done in the abstract. It must be conceived to further specific policy goals and must be evaluated to see if these goals are being met. Like all government endeavors, research should be in service to society, not the other way around and I am concerned that the USGCRP has lost its direction.
I do not mean to be overly critical of the program. The broad-based research that this program undertakes has provided numerous benefits and I have no doubt we will here about many specific examples today. Overall the program has been very successful and the scientific output has been first rate. However, I believe we can do better.
I also do not want to appear critical of basic research. Free inquiry to pursue questions of interest is a bedrock principle of our scientific enterprise and I would never suggest substituting the decisions of policy makers for those of our scientists. However, practical concerns must be part of the planning process. These concepts are not inconsistent. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has been using a research management approach that incorporates scientists, policy-makers, and end users into the entire planning, research, and evaluation process. The pure science output of this agency has not been limited by this arrangement, it has won two Nobel Prizes in physics in the last five years, and its value to the community has been greatly enhanced. Goals-focused research is not a dirty word and I believe these concepts are particularly applicable to the problem of climate change.
Others obviously agree. The administration has proposed and funded a new Climate Change Research Initiative to fund high-priority research and focus climate science on questions that can provide useful answers to policy makers. They have also undertaken a comprehensive review of the overall climate portfolio in order to make it more responsive to both scientific and practical needs. I applaud these efforts. There is some concern about how these ideas are being implemented, but nevertheless the administration is clearly beginning to ask the right questions. We in the Congress need to do likewise. I look forward to hearing from today's witness on these and other matters, and I look forward to working with the Chairman and the Administration on this critical issue.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE NICK SMITH
I would like to thank Chairman Boehlert for holding this hearing to review the Federal Government's climate change research and technology programs.
If there is one thing scientists could unanimously agree on regarding our knowledge of the earth's climate, it would be that we need to understand a great deal more. Further, much of what we do understand is embedded within a great deal of uncertainty and disagreement. Scientists disagree about the extent that man-made gases contribute to global warming, the amount of warming, or even if the planet is warming at all.
In a debate that can often become emotional and heated, it is worthwhile for both sides to take a step back and begin where at least some agreement lieswhich is that we need to learn more about the earth's climate. There are simply too many things we still do not understand about the climate system to be making policy decisions that could significantly affect the economy and many other aspects of American life. Indeed, there are risks involved with not taking steps to address global climate change, but there is also significant risk associated with taking the wrong steps.
That is why I support continued research to increase our understanding of climate variability and the potential human impact of greenhouse gas emissions. I also believe that we need to do encourage research, such as sequestration and other methods to minimize negative consequences of any climate change. We also need to find ways to better allow sound science to drive our policy decisions. I hope this hearing will provide the Committee with a better understanding of what our federal agencies are doing in the area of climate research and where we go from here, and I look forward to hearing the witnesses share their thoughts on this issue today.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Mr. Costello follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE JERRY F. COSTELLO
Good morning. I want to thank the witnesses for appearing before our committee to discuss science and technology research for global climate change. A variety of both natural and human processes can influence the rate and magnitude of climate change. Until recently, changes in climate occurred solely through natural processes, such as volcanic activity and forest fires. It is now widely accepted that human activities, such as combustion of fossil fuels, various land-use practices, and certain industrial practices are having an effect on global climate. There is much concern that gases being added to the atmosphere by humans will cause warming at a rate and a level unprecedented in history.
Climate change plays a role in my district because of the combustion of fossil fuels. The coal industry is of great importance to my district in Southern Illinois, which, as you may know, is rich in high-sulfur coal. The shifting of production to low-sulfur coal has cost many of my constituents high-paying jobs. I support research and development of cleaner fossil fuel initiatives, which includes a program to develop new technologies for cleaner, higher efficiency coal combustion with the hopes of achieving a healthier environment. Clean coal research must be part of a balanced energy plan for this country. Over 50 percent of current electricity in the U.S. is produced from coal, and there is no present alternative to coal to meet our energy needs. We must burn it more efficiently and cleanly and I authored provisions in the House energy plan to accomplish this goal.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the hopes of furthering research and technology for climate change, this committee passed the National Global Change Research Act in 1990, which later became law and created the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a multi-agency program, to focus U.S. research efforts on climate change and other global environmental changes, such as deforestation and ozone depletion. However, the technology programs under the USGCRP have not resulted in more new technologies reaching the marketplace, many of which would have the potential to greatly benefit the coal industry in Southern Illinois. In addition, questions still loom about how to provide information that is more useful for policy-makers and other potential users. I am interested to know if our witnesses believe the President's new climate research initiative will complement current climate change research and whether or not the USGCRP is designed in such a way as to yield viable technology options.
I welcome our panel of witnesses and look forward to their testimony.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much. And it is a pleasure to welcome this distinguished Panel that we have assembled today for a very important discussion on a very important subject. It is always a pleasure to welcome back Rad Byerly, our good friend and former comrade in arms up here on the Science Committee. He is a Visiting Scholar, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
And we have Dr. Eric Barron, Director of the Earth System Science Center, Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute at Penn State. Dr. Edward MilesDr. MilesPrincipal Investigator, Pacific Northwest Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments at the University of Washington. Dr. James A Edmonds, a Senior Staff Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. And Mr. Scott Bernstein, President of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. A very distinguished Panel.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And, gentlemen, we would ask that you try to summarize your statement. We won't be arbitrary, but somewhere in the neighborhood of five minutes or so and then we can get right to the questions and the interexchange that we look forward to and profit so much from. Rad, you are up first.
STATEMENT OF RADFORD BYERLY, JR., VISITING SCHOLAR, CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER
Dr. BYERLY. Thank you. It is too high tech for an old-timer here. After those introductions, my statement is bound to be an anticlimax, but I will go ahead and read it anyway, and it should be approximately five minutes.
Thank you for inviting me to testify on the U.S. Global Change Research Program. For over 20 years I have participated in this program and earlier programs because I believe global warming is a serious problem. The program advances our scientific understanding of earth systems. Also, it made global warming a policy issue. These outcomes are good, but insufficient.
You asked if the program addresses the right questions, and I believe my answer is no for two reasons. First, because the program and its authorizing legislation implicitly assume that predicting future climate will make policy decisions easy. Second, because the research is not aimed at supporting decisions, but at answering scientific questions. Let me explain this.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The first reasonto assume that accurate predictions of future climate will lead to easier decisions today is wrong. A prediction does not tell us what to do. Consider an issue you are all familiar withSocial Security. Based on demographics, we can accurately predict that 1 day in the future the fund will go broke. That does not tell us what to do today.
Suppose we had a perfect climate prediction. For example, ''If CO doubles, our regional average temperature will increase 3.14 degrees centigrade.'' As with Social Security, a prediction indicates a problem, but does not point to solutions. A climate prediction provides little usable information for decision-makers who face difficult choices today on issues in water resources, agriculture, public health, energy, transportation, disaster planning, foreign policy, and national security.
Any definitive statement about future climate change would be insufficient and, perhaps, irrelevant information for decision-makers facing climate problems. Yet, we could provide some relevant information now.
Moving to the second reason. Because the program focuses on predictive science and not on the information needs of decision-makers, it remains insulated from societal needs. It should be no surprise that it does not support decision-making.
This leads to the second question you askedhow could a climate initiative yield information of greater relevance to end users who make decisions related to climate? My answer is, users must be involved in planning and evaluating the research. They must have a say in what research is done and in what counts as a success. That is, users must be able to ensure that research addresses their problems and delivers usable results.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Who are these users? A suggested above, the list of potential users of the program is long. Yet, we remain ignorant about how the program might best help them. This ignorance cries for research, but not for business as usual.
Rather, the needed research would find decision-makersthat is, potential userssee what information they want, provide it, if possible, see if they use it, and if it makes a difference. Think about what you learn from this. Use the results to repeat the cycle and learn more. As you do this for several different kinds of users, you will begin to gain a general understanding of users of climate information and can feed this into research planning. We don't know enough now to launch a large program of such research. It would waste money. Rather, we should build on the few successful user-focused research projects and grow by iterating this process. Officials say the program is moving in this direction. I hope so. It still seems focused on science and prediction versus users.
Finally, you asked about legislation. I have three suggestions. First, authorize two new research efforts. One that is like that described above, to find and serve the information needs of users. Also, authorize a program of small research centers, each focused on a user-defined problem. Evaluate the research in both these programs on the progress in solving its problem.
Two, establish an external program evaluation board having a majority of users and not scientists. Three, add status to user-focused research. Establish cash prizes for research demonstrating clear societal benefit and user-defined problem areas. A several-year waiting period after the research would allow clear results to emerge.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In conclusion, one, the program incorrectly implies that we need more scientific understanding before we can support policy decisions. Actually, we already know enough for some decisions and, in other areas, need to know what users want. Two, the present program does not address relevant societal problems, but could do so by committing resources to user-defined research.
Mr. Chairman, I have given Mary Derr a paper for consideration for inclusion in the record and also I noted this morning, to my chagrin, in looking over in my written testimony, I forgot to cite two important references, and I wonder if I might provide those later for the record.
Chairman BOEHLERT. By all means. Without objection, so ordered.
Dr. BYERLY. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Byerly follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RADFORD BYERLY, JR.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee;
Thank you for inviting me to testify on the U.S. Global Change Research Program. For more than twenty years I have observed and participated in the program and predecessor efforts. For example, I was the principal House staffer drafting and handling the National Climate Program Act, which this committee reported out and which eventually became public law in 1978. Similarly, I was the lead staffer in this committee's work on the ''ozone-Freon'' issue and drafted the language on ''Stratospheric Protection'' which the committee put into the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977. I participated in the regional meeting at Colorado State University for the National Climate Impact Assessment in 1997 and the national meeting the next year in Washington. I was a reviewer of the recent National Research Council ''Pathways'' report. [NRC 1998] Finally, in 1989 I wrote an article on ''The Policy Dynamics of Global Change'' which still seems relevant. I would like to submit it for consideration for inclusion in the record. [Byerly 1989] Were I to write it today I would give more emphasis to the involvement of users.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The reason I have worked in this program is that I believe global warming is a serious threat. That we are significantly increasing atmospheric CO is incontrovertible, and it would be surprising if this had no effect, or only benign effects. And of course, like many if not most citizens, I have personally experienced the greenhouse effect: In Colorado where I live the air is very dry; it contains little water vapor (and of course water vapor is a greenhouse gas). Because of this when the sun goes behind the mountains to the west of Boulder, the temperature quickly begins to drop. In the summer it can be in the high nineties, and it takes a while for the buildings, the ground, and pavements to cool, but by the next morning the temperature is 50 degrees. In Houston where I grew up, the air is full of water vapor, so when the sun goes down the night remains warm. Of course there is some cooling, but by morning the temperature may be still in the seventies. This is a greenhouse effect. The difference between water vapor and CO is that water vapor is regularly removed from the atmosphere as rain or snow, while CO is not, it remains and accumulates. So greenhouse warming seems likely.
Further the physical record of the past, including ice cores, and pollen and fossil records, makes clear that climate changes all the time, sometimes fairly rapidly. Even before humans were a factor there were large swings in climate. The human historical record tells of climate changes, e.g., it records the coming and going of glaciers. So even those who are skeptical of greenhouse warming should be interested in gaining information that will help us deal with a changing climate. We are going to have to deal with climate change with some mix of mitigation and adaptation.
Before answering the specific questions you asked about the USGCRP, I should make a few general, background comments about the program.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The program has its virtues. Scientifically it is excellent and continues to contribute to our understanding of earth systems and why climate changes. Perhaps increasing our understanding will convince some skeptics that greenhouse warming is a real threat (but see below). Concerning policy, it has made global warming an issue. The hot summers of the late '80s generated the attention and urgency necessary for the issue to get on the public agenda, but climate research gave a scientific basis for believing that the heat was more than a random variation or an act of God. It might have been a harbinger of something we might be causing but might be able prevent. Thus today's hearing.
All of the above is a point of departure from which I will address the questions posed in your letter inviting me to testify.
You first asked if the program addresses the right questions? My answer is No, for two related reasons.
The first reason is that the program operates under an assumption, explicit in program documents and in the authorizing legislation, that if we do good research and accurately predict future climate, then making policy for climate problems will be easier. This is a flaw because it misleads in several ways:
It is misleading because we may never have definitive, credible climate predictions. In such a complex system the more we learn the more complexity we recognize, and our uncertainty may increase until we observe definitive warming. Note that global average temperature predictions haven't changed fundamentally in 1015 years, but the range of uncertainty is slightly larger. The global climate system is much more complex than the global economyindeed it encompasses the economyand we do not fully understand and cannot predict the economy. Why do we think we can predict the climate? The more we know about systems like the Earth and everything that influences itfrom the sun to U.S. energy policythe more complicated things become, and the more uncertain predictions become. Even if we had a good prediction of what the climate will be in say 10 years, we have no way to know if it is accurate, except to wait ten years. So, what difference would that good prediction make? Would anyone believe it enough to make different decisions? On what assumptions is it based? Are the assumptions believable?
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The discussion in the preceding paragraph shows why increasing our understanding of the climate system is not certain to convince skeptics. There will just be more things to argue about. There is always a chance that, as in politics, the mainstream scientists will divide into quarreling schools, paralleling politics, as Pielke implies is a possibility. [Pielke 2002]
Second, and this is most important, a prediction will not tell us what to do in terms of mitigation and adaptation. To understand this, consider a familiar example: Social security. We can predict the problem very well. It is a matter of well-understood demographics. More and more people will be taking money out of the trust fund and fewer and fewer will be putting money in. We can accurately predict when the fund will go broke. But that tells us nothing about what to do today.
''What to do'' involves politics and policy. Politics is not a dirty word. In a democracy it is how we resolve conflicts of values, which certainly describes the issues comprising the global warming policy situation.
Third, the assumption that prediction will make decisions and solutions easy extends into areas, that is, politics and policy, in which climate scientists have little expertise. This assumption may be unconscious and therefore unexamined.
Finally, to illustrate the unhelpfulness of prediction, let us assume we have a perfect prediction of future climate. Assume next year or five years from now the USGCRP concludes ''If CO doubles, our regional average temperature will increase exactly 3.14 degrees centigrade. That's it, we're done. Goodbye.'' We also make the assumption that the prediction is somehow known to be accurate, i.e., that it will be believed. This is a very big assumption.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Now, what does such an accurate prediction mean in terms of mitigation and adaptation? As with Social Security, a prediction indicates a problem, but does not point to solutions. A climate prediction provides little usable information for decision-makers who face difficult choices today on issues in water resources, agriculture, public health, energy, transportation, disaster planning, foreign policy, and national security, to name a few issue areas.
Any definitive statement about future climate change would be insufficient and perhaps irrelevant information for decision makers facing climate problems. It would be only a starting point for looking at these kinds of societal and policy issues. The important point is that we presently can provide information that is relevant to such issues, without achieving perfect prediction of the future.
There is historical precedent for believing that science can solve large policy problems. After World War II the scientists who had built the atomic bomb worried that they had created a monster and launched an international movement to control atomic power, including bombs. They believed intelligence and goodwill would resolve conflict. ''Underlying the scientists' movement was a belief in the power of fact to compel assent in the political realm no less than in the laboratory.'' Boyer  assesses the scientists' movement as politically naiAE4ve, as seeing atomic energy control as an event rather than a process. There are parallels here.
My second reason for saying that the program is not addressing the right questions is that the USGCRP does not focus on the many needs for information to support mitigation and adaptation that could be identified and met now. Rather, it is a long-term scientific program to understand, model, and predict the behavior of the Earth System. Its research is planned to answer scientific questions, and is evaluated in terms of progress on those questions.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
This leads to the second question you asked: How could a climate initiative yield information of greater relevance to end-users, people who make decisions related to climate?
To assure that a research program generates information of great relevance to end-uses, the users must be involved in planning and evaluating the research. That is, they must have a say in what research is done and in what counts as a success. Users must be able to ensure that research addresses their problems, and delivers usable results.
In the present program climate scientists typically develop information they want to develop, i.e., answers to scientific questions, and then try to get bewildered users to use it (the users may never have heard of the scientific question). Research results become a solution looking for a problem.
Sound research programs dedicated to problem solving typically have three phases: A beginningplanning, a middlethe research, and an endapplication and evaluation. The present program is almost all in the middle phase, that is, it is scientific research on scientific questions.
A better program, i.e., a program that would do more toward solving identified problems, would be conducted as follows: Research would be preceded by a planning phase in which users and scientists would identify and define specific problems to be attacked, as well as specific questions and information needs, and would look ahead to the application of the results. At this planning stage the primary sources of information about the problems are future users, the owners of the problems, not climate scientists. This planning process can be thought of as the researchers taking joint ownership of the problem with the users. The researchers do not relieve the users of responsibility, but together they take responsibility for solving the problem. Then in the middle the research is done, and new information is obtained and published. This second phase is often erroneously considered the entire project. Finally, in the third phase the results are applied in the field by the users on their problem and the research is evaluated in terms of how it helps solve the problems.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We hope that users will eagerly, fruitfully use the information, since they participated in planning the research. But such planning is hard and unfamiliar. Users may not express their needs clearly, or researchers may not hear them, and not every project will succeed. This is why the projects must be evaluated based on success in the field. Research projects unsuccessful in addressing the problem are terminated and successful ones are continued or replicated in a new context, as appropriate. That is, you correct and iterate. Of course provision is made for projects that are making good progress in a demonstrably practical direction. In this way a program of projects solving real problems is grown. Along the way good science of a different kind is done.
Of course, this sort of research does not replace basic research that might produce unexpected breakthroughs. Some amount of basic research is needed, but not all in climate science. For example, basic research might be needed to provide a better understanding of how ordinary people think about formless, distant threats such as greenhouse warming.
We have spoken of users as if they are a well-defined class. Who are these users? On the one hand they are each of us who may be asked to change behavior and who will want to know why. We do not know what information will convincingly explain why.
But who are the specific users, owners of the problems to be served by the program? Unfortunately, after two decades and billions of dollars we don't know fully who they are. The list of potential users of the program is very long, as suggested above, yet we remain ignorant about how the program might best help them. If we don't know the users we can't know their problems well enough to know who needs what information to make what decisionpolicy decisions, water decisions, investment decisions. . ., the same endless list of questions given above. This ignorance cries out for research, but not business-as-usual.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Rather, the research is to find real decision makers, potential users of climate information, see what information they want, provide it, see if they use it and if it makes a difference in their decisions. Think about what you learn. Use what you have learned about the users and how they use information to repeat the cycle to learn more. It must be emphasized that these users are not found by a survey questionnaire, but through research observing them use climate information to make decisions. It is hard, slow work at the start. As successes accumulate and are promoted, users may ''come out of the woodwork.'' As you repeat this cycle for several different kinds of users you will begin to gain a general understanding of users of climate information and can feed this into all research planning. We don't know enough now to launch a large program of such research, because it would waste money. Rather, we should build on the few successful user-focused research projects and grow by iterating the process.
A Federal agency familiar to the committee uses such a research management approach. The National Institute of Standards and Technology involves users in its research planning processes. It has a system of panels of outside experts who oversee and evaluate each of its major divisions. The panels are composed of roughly half industry (that is, NIST's users) and half university researchers to provide scientific ballast and keep the industry folks from asserting special interests. [NRC 2000] It also does formal studies of the economic impact of its work, although admittedly not for every project. [see e.g., Link 97] For six years I served on the NRC Board of Assessment of NIST Programs, an umbrella group to which the panels reported. The Board integrates the panel reports and makes a comprehensive report to the NIST director. I saw their system work. Besides doing work its users want and need, NIST also has won two Nobel prizes in the last several years, for work directly supportive of its mission.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The USGCRP says it is moving in the direction I have recommended, i.e., more user-focused research. The RISA program which Professor Miles will describe is a step in the right direction, but to me it appears still too focused on prediction and scientific questions.
Finally, you asked about legislation. I have three suggestions:
One, authorize a program of research like that described above to find and serve the information needs of users, and also a program of small research centers, each focused on a user-defined, societal problem. The centers should be evaluated based on their progress in solving their problem. A recent NRC report (in which I participated) on DOE research to support its cleanup of radiation-contaminated sites recommends exactly such small, problem-focused centers. [NRC 2001] In operation, the research to find-and-serve users could be the focus of one or more of the first problem-focused research centers: The mission of these early-established centers would be to identify users who need and use climate information in their decisions, and to feed this information back into the program's planning effort. If they uncovered a user-defined problem needing research it could become the focus of one of the next generation of the small research centers. The important thing is to involve decision makers who use climate information in practical situations. And to learn by doing and correct what you are doing based on the experience gained.
Two, establish an external program evaluation board with a majority of its members being users not scientists. This board would be somewhat analogous to the NIST Evaluation board described above. It would especially oversee the selection of user/problem-focused research and the evaluation of practical results. It would complement the Federal interagency committee that guides the program's management. It should report to the Congress and to the head of the USGCRPperhaps the chair of the interagency committee.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Three, add status to user-focused research: Establish a set of substantial cash prizes for research that has shown clear societal benefit in important climate-related problem areas. As the prize would be based on practical results, a several-year waiting period would be necessary after completion of the research to allow those results to emerge. Currently scientific status comes primarily from outstanding work on scientific questions. We need not tamper with this, but should provide a different channel for recognition of excellence in solving climate mitigation or adaptation problems.
1. The program incorrectly implies that we need more scientific understanding and predictive capability before we can support policy decisions. Actually, we already know enough for some decisions and in other areas need to know what users want.
2. The present program does not address relevant societal problems, but could by committing some of its resources to user-defined research.
NRC 1998. National Research Council, Global Environmental Change; Research Pathways for the Next Decade, Committee on Global Change Research, Board on Sustainable Development. Natl. Academy Press, 1998.
NRC 2000. National Research Council, An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards Measurement and Standards Laboratories, Fiscal Year 2000, Board on Assessment of NIST Programs, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, NRC, Natl. Academy Press, 2000.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
NRC 2001. National Research Council, A Strategic Vision for Department of Energy Environmental Quality Research and Development, Committee on Building a Long-Term Environmental Quality Research and Development Program in the Department of Energy, Board on Radioactive Waste Management, Division of Earth and Life Sciences. NRC, Natl. Academy Press, 2000.
Byerly, R., The Policy Dynamics of Global Change, EarthQuest, Spring 1989, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 11. Office of Interdisciplinary Earth Sciences, Univ. Corp. for Atmospheric Research.
Pielke, R., Policy, politics and perspective. Nature, Vol. 416, 28 Mar. 2002, p. 367.
Boyer, P. By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, UNC press, Chapel Hill, 1994. Quote is from p. 51.
Link, A., Economic Evaluation of Radiopharmaceutical Research at NIST, Planning Report 972. National Institute for Standards and Technology, Sept. 1997.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBIOGRAPHY FOR RADFORD BYERLY, JR.
Visiting Scholar, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, 3870 Birchwood Drive, Boulder, CO 80304; 3035466654; email@example.com
Phi Beta Kappa at Williams College, Ph.D. in Physics at Rice University in 1967 in experimental atomic and molecular physics. After a postdoctoral fellowship at JILA, Byerly moved to science management and policy at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. There he worked mainly on environmental measurement and fire research. He joined the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in 1975 with responsibility for environmental research programs (e.g., climate research, stratospheric ozone). In 1980 he took on space science and applications programs, and became staff director of the Space Subcommittee in 1985.
In 1987 Byerly moved to the University of Colorado and built a space policy research program as director of its Center for Space and Geosciences Policy, an interdisciplinary research center supported in part by grants from the Sloan Foundation and NASA.
Rep. George Brown, (DCA), new chair of the House Science and Technology Committee, appointed him Committee chief of staff in 1991. He was responsible for all operations of the Committee from staff and budget to policy development and the development and passage of legislation. Byerly retired in 1993, and now writes on science policy and serves on various committees (e.g., Board of Directors, Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy, NRC Board of Assessment of NIST Programs, NRC Comm. on DOE EQ Res., AAAS Comm. on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, NSF review panels). In 2001 AAAS elected him a Fellow.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Book editor (w. Sarewitz and Pielke) and chapter author, Prediction; Science, Decision Making, and the Future of Nature, Island Press, April 2000.
Beyond Basic and Applied, with R. Pielke, Jr. Physics Today, Feb. 1998, p. 42.
A Path Beyond the Ecology of Science, AAAS Science and Technology Yearbook 1998, A.H. Teich, S.D. Nelson, and C. McEnaney, eds, AAAS, 1997.
The Changing Ecology of U.S. Science, with R. Pielke, Jr., Science, Sept. 15, 1995, p. 1531.
U.S. Science in a Changing Context: A Perspective, in U.S. National Report to the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics (19911994), Reviews of Geophysics, Supplement, p. A1A16, July, 1995.
''Managing the Federal Investment in Research and Development,'' in Science and Technology Policy Yearbook, 1991, M.O. Meridith, S.D. Nelson, and A.H. Teich, eds, AAAS, 1991.
Research in EPA: A Congressional Point of View, with G.E. Brown, Jr., Science, 211, p. 1385, 1981.
Book editor and author of chapters in two books: Space Policy Alternatives, 1992, Space Policy Reconsidered, 1989, both Westview Press.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much. Dr. Barron.
STATEMENT OF ERIC J. BARRON, DIRECTOR, EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE CENTER, EARTH AND MINERAL SCIENCES ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Dr. BARRON. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to speak. I would like to first state clearly that I believe that the Nation's climate research programs are founded on well-articulated and important science questions. And these have been based on extensive debate and discussion. And I am convinced that continued support of the U.S. Global Change Research Program is going to result in important scientific results that will serve this Nation's need.
I would also like to say that I find the Administration's new Climate Change Research Initiative equally well-founded and supported by the debate and discussions of the National Research Council. The strength of this program is as a supplement to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. It addresses certain weaknesses in funding that allow us to look at a better job of developing long-term climate predictions or enhancing our ability to look at the carbon cycle or to make improvements in our observing system.
So I would hope that this Committee would endorse these important elements and the science questions that they address. There is always room for improvement and we really would like to take this opportunity in the renewal of USGCRP to look down the road a little bit. And for that, I would really encourage you not to looknarrowlyglobal warming is an extremely important problem, but let us not look too narrowly at that as a particular focus. Climate change is an important problem, but, again, let us not look too narrowly at that focus.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
My belief is the time is that we should really adapt a much broader goal and objective, and that is to have the knowledge base that enables us to do a better job of protecting life and property and then simultaneously promote economic vitality and also enable us to be environmental stewards. And I think if you look at that, you see that there are elements of our current program that lead usand the strategic plans for USGCRP and the President's initiativethey lead us in that direction.
But we need a little change, a little addition, to the types of topics that we are focusing on in terms of the science. One of those issues is multiple stresses. We don't want to look too narrowly at just climate being the focus of our attention. We really need to look at the full range of climate, how humans are modifying the land cover, what our resource use and the implications are. In order to make decisions, we have to move from a single factor that is influencing the system to look at the full context of that system.
We won't successfully serve our Nation's needs if we don't add a stronger human dimension to this research program. We really need to know: how do human's react; how do humans adapt; how resilient are human systems to change? I argue that we have to get a lot closer to our decision-makers, and the only way we are going to do that is if we deliberately connect climate and environmental science, we deliberately connect it to water resources, to human health, to agriculture, to energy. Those are things that USGCRP and CCCRI provide a foundation for.
But, if you would allow me, I would like to use an analogy, and I have to be careful, because it immediately brings up a set of other connotations. The analogy that I would use comes from the Department of Defense and the war room. Now, I don't want you to think about a conflict. Instead, I want you to think of the concept of how that works. Because what you are doing is, you are creating what the Defense Department calls an infosphere. Every bit of data and informationmap, weather prediction, scenario, forecast, is all included into one hands-on ability for the decision-maker to pull on that information to enable, in this case, someone in the battle space to make a better decision.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I would like to look at this same type of concept, not a conflict, but this same type of concept to create an infosphere for the earth system. And you can imagineI nicknamed this an Environmental Intelligence Center, an Environmental Intel Center. You can imagine what it would be like if all the wealth of observations that we are collecting, we could make that accessible to a scientist or to any kind of decision-makers.
And you could imagine what it would be like if all of a sudden this investment in models to anticipate the futureand the power in making decisions is our ability to anticipate the futureif we could have those models moved to a framework where we could focus on water and water resources or mosquitoes and human health. Imagine if we put the decision-maker in the room with us so that we watched how they use that information and we enabled that decision-maker by explaining the uncertainties, and, in turn, we use that information to decide how better to do our science. I don't think we can do this on a global basis. I do believe we can do this on a regional basis where we can put all of this information together in order to make decisions.
In summary, I hope that you will endorse the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the enhancement proposed as part of the Climate Change Research Initiative. And I hope that you will also look at this program as an opportunity for this science to be in greater service to society, looking at multiple stresses, adding the human dimension and human focus, making sure we are deliberate in our connection to decision-makers.
And one way that we might do this is to have the scientific community prove that we can actually integrate all of this information and bring that power of forecasting and the discipline of forecasting to a broad set of objectives ranging from agriculture, water resources, energy, human health. And one way to do that, I believe, is to focus on this concept of an environmental intelligence center. Thank you very much.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Dr. Barron follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ERIC J. BARRON
(1) In your view, are our current climate research programs focused on the right questions?
Much of the Nation's current climate research is included within the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and other specific, directed activities of the participating federal agencies. These programs trace their heritage to the extensive advice found within the reports of the National Research Council, as well as the strategic plans developed by the expert scientific advisory boards of participating federal agencies. The programs and program plans address key uncertainties about changes in the Earth's global environmental systems. The emphasis placed on atmospheric composition and chemistry, and climate variability and change are warranted both by their importance and by the number of remaining uncertainties. The growing emphasis on the carbon cycle, water, and terrestrial ecosystems reflects the increased importance of integrating our knowledge about key components of the Earth system and of linking human activities and natural processes.
Consequently, the scientific questions being addressed by current climate research programs are largely very appropriate, and for that reason, rarely challenged. In my view, the current climate research programs are essential for serving the needs of the Nation.
(2) What is your view of the Administration's Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI)? How would you structure such a program and what would be its goals? How should CCRI interact with the base U.S. Global Change Research Program?
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The Administration's Climate Change Research Initiative also has its heritage in the reports of the National Research Council. The CCRI is a recognizable distillation of a broad set of advice from the scientific community. In particular, the CCRI focus on (a) climate forcing by aerosols, (b) the carbon cycle, (c) investments in the climate observing system, (d) computational resources designed to enable long term climate model experiments for assessment, and (e) greater emphasis on developing decision support systems is responsive to many of the research needs outlined in the NRC report (2001) entitled ''Climate Change Science'' (as well as a variety of other reports). These are important enhancements to current research and the investment proposed in the Administration's budget is a welcome addition to current programs and funding.
However, the value of the CCRI funding would be largely negated if we did not have a strong USGCRP, with the additional contributions of specific complimentary programs within the different federal agencies. Only the USGCRP strategic plan incorporates much of the science required to gain a more integrated view of the Earth system that extends beyond a focus on specific climate uncertainties.
I believe that the combined USGCRP and CCRI should address a variety of goals and objectives. Most importantly, the goal should be to gain the knowledge base required to simultaneously enhance our ability to protect life and property, promote economic vitality, and enable environmental stewardship. This goal is one of placing environmental science in greater service to society, rather than just adding emphasis to climate science. In order to achieve this broader and more important goal, we must:
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Substantially reduce key uncertainties about changes in the Earth system.
Improve our capability to observe and monitor the Earth system.
Increase our capability to anticipate or predict change on a variety of time scales.
Create a sound scientific basis for national and international decision-making, and
Enable the broad use and application of environmental information.
The combination of USGCRP and CCRI addresses many of these elements. Again, these programs provide essential contributions to our knowledge base. However, we also need greater emphasis in at least three areas:
(1) The research of the last decade has demonstrated that ecosystems and human systems are influenced by multiple stresses, including climate, land use, and the by-products of resource use. We can no longer consider climate change in isolation of these other influences if we are truly going to understand the importance of climate change and its potential impacts. Huge uncertainties exist because of our inability to address multiple stresses simultaneously. The CCRI does not address this issue and the draft USGCRP strategic plan (as debated by the NRC) just begins to address the issue of multiple stresses.
(2) Interdisciplinary research that couples physical, chemical, biological and human systems is at the core of a research agenda required to make progress in global change research. Both CCRI and USGCRP incorporate an emphasis in critical areas of required in interdisciplinary research, particularly in the important areas of the water cycle and the carbon cycle. However, the importance of human responses and adaptations to change does not yet have the prominence required to serve the needs of decision-makers fully.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
(3) The questions being posed as a result of our attempts to link climate with agriculture, human health, water quantity and quality, forestry, energy needs, and other critical facets of human endeavors are becoming of increasing importance because they connect climate with decision-makers. We must also recognize the fact that progress in many areas of climate research will take decades. Therefore, an assessment of the vulnerabilities and resilience of the components of the Earth system becomes even more essential to decision-makers. The interface between these disciplines represents some of the most fertile ground for scientific advancement and service to society.
The CCRI underscores the nature of the Administration's commitment to increase our ability to address uncertainties in climate change science. However, I believe that once CCRI initiatives are funded, they should become an integrated national program (i.e., the USGCRP and USGCRP management). If CCRI and USGCRP remain as separate entities it increases the risk that the President's initiatives will reflect a narrowing of the focus of research to climate rather than an integrated approach to global and regional change, and it increases the likelihood that the difficulty in coordinating CCRI, USGCRP, and agency programs will only exacerbate current issues related to the integration of the Nation's environmental research programs.
(3) How could a new climate research initiative best be focused to yield shorter-term climate and weather information of greater relevance to local end-users, such as regional resource managers, land use planners, water authorities, insurance actuaries, emergency management agencies, and the like? Please give examples of how research at Penn State has developed useful information for the types of end-users mentioned above.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Climate and weather information have their strongest connection to decision-makers when the information enables you to anticipate both positive and negative outcomes. There must also be a vigorous connection between the development of this scientific information and the end-user or decision-maker. This involves a greater emphasis on providing ''climate and weather services'' (see the recent NRC report entitled ''Climate Services') and deliberate efforts to promote the transition from research to operations (see also the recent NRC report entitled ''The Transition from Research to Operations: Crossing the Valley of Death). Both of these reports provide guiding principles that extend well beyond the specific foci of the reports. Greater relevance can also be achieved by ensuring that the observation systems, development of predictive models, and the development of data and information systems serve multiple purposes.
Initially, such a set of objectives is difficult to achieve on a global basis. The intersection between climate and weather knowledge and its use is much stronger at the regional level, at a spatial scale that is appropriate for making decisions about water, agriculture or health. Importantly, this ''intersection'' of knowledge at its use is at a much finer spatial scale than is tractable by global predictive models. The accessibility and reliability of information is of key importance to decision-makers, and they must be able to place the climate and weather information into the same context as a variety of other relevant environmental, demographic, and economic information. Combining the activities of the numerous agencies and partners that collect weather and climate information is already a challenge on a global scale and this data is far from matching the ''information sphere'' that needs to be available to decision-makers.
Both the development of a data and information system and the development of the coupled, predictive models become tractable on a regional scale. At this scale we can connect with many decision-makers. Information becomes valuable on many time scalesnot just long-term change. In my view, the best mechanism to promote greater use of climate and weather information is to begin to develop regional ''environmental intelligence centers.'' Penn State University is diligently working on such a concept as a mechanism to enable decision-makers. As a proof of concept, this ''environmental intelligence center'' focuses on the intersection of weather, climate and human health. Importantly, this example demonstrates the value of historical weather information, short-term climate predictions and long-term climate projections.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Creating a Regional
''Environmental Intelligence Center''
Scientific and societal approaches to many environmental issues have largely been reactive, yet it is the ability to ''anticipate'' that makes knowledge powerful. In addition, the lack of an ability to assess the response of the Earth system to multiple stresses has limited our ability to assess the importance of specific human perturbations, to assess advantages and risks, and to enhance economic and societal well being in the context of environmental stewardship. The nature of the issues facing our nation and the globe demand a greater capacity to address environmental change. We propose a significant addition in our nation's strategy to address these issuesthe creation of a regional Environmental Intelligence Centerwith the objective of bringing the discipline of forecasting to a wide variety of environmental issues by creating a powerful, user-centric, observation, prediction and information management capability.
Initially, the Intelligence Center will focus on a specific issue in order to demonstrate its potential. Understanding the links between weather, climate and human health outcomes is emerging as one of the most compelling challenges for science and society. In order to meet this challenge, we need to create an innovative alliance between climate and weather science, information science and technology, ecosystem science, public health, education and outreach. The objective is to provide advanced information and early warning on the spread of infectious diseases in the Northeastern United States in order to enable better strategies for managing potential adverse health outcomes. This proposed effort will serve as a foundation for a regional Environmental Intelligence Center, which in turn becomes a prototype for a more comprehensive national capability to address a wide variety of environmental issues.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The Nature of the Problem. A number of specific problems have limited our effective use of environmental information. First, multiple stresses alter environmental quality and integrity. These are widely recognized, involving primarily weather and climate, patterns of land use and land cover change, and resource use with its associated waste products. Yet, scientific and management approaches have largely focused on specific ''causes and effects.'' A key feature of most regions is that more than one of these driving forces is changing simultaneously. Multiple, cumulative, and interactive stresses are clearly the most difficult to understand and hence the most difficult to manage. Second, the information with direct bearing on environmental research and decision-making is far from accessible. Relevant data is collected by diverse agencies with different missions, and is collected with different spatial and temporal resolutions. Attempts to create global data and information systems have failed because of the magnitude of data involved. Third, predictive models involving weather and climate have largely been global in scope. Yet, many environmental impacts and decisions are local or regional, creating a significant mismatch in scales. Attempts to address this mismatch overwhelm our computational capabilities and this has limited our ability to couple ecosystems, water, land use, and human health to climate and weather models. Finally, much of the scientific effort is uncoupled with the needs of stakeholders and decision-makers, and this has limited our ability to put environmental knowledge to work for the benefit of society.
A New Strategy. The specific issues described above tend to be problems of scale not capability. We propose to create the foundation for a regional ''Environmental Intelligence Center'' designed to address the specific problems cited above. With a regional focus, data integration and management and the development of predictive models become tractable at the scale of human decision-making. Its expected success stems from a partnership of scientists and decision-makers with a commitment to focus on five key elements:
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
(1) Integration of regional observationsincluding physical, chemical, biological, and socioeconomic factors that link existing data into a coherent framework and enable new observations to be developed within the overall structure. The objective is to create more effective and efficient use of current and past observations and to create greater utility for addressing environmental issues.
(2) Creation of a regional modeling foundation for constructing increasingly complex coupled system models at the spatial and temporal scales appropriate for the examination health outcomes. We propose to take advantage of the enormous increases in our ability to forecast weather and project climate in order to tailor and expand upon model forecast products, ranging from weather forecasts, to seasonal outlooks, to trend projections, specifically to address environmental issues.
(3) Development of an integrated and comprehensive regional information system. Our objective is to make reliable information easily accessible to a wide variety of researchers, operational systems, and decision-makers.
(4) Formulation and completion of directed process studies designed to examine specific phenomena through field study to address deficiencies in understanding.
(5) Creation of a vigorous and continuous link to users and decision-makers. We propose to create a vigorous connection between the research and decision-makers by (a) incorporating the variety of space and time scales and the diversity of variables that are important to decision-makers, (b) emphasizing the education of the user in the meaning and significance of climate and land use information in order to promote greater use and more robust applications, (c) focusing on communication and accessibility of information, (d) continuously evaluating and assessing information use and effectiveness, (e) employing active mechanisms to enable the transition from research discovery to useful products.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Initially, the focus is on two health issues of immediate and significant concern in the NortheastWest Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. This becomes a prototype for an ''Intelligence Center''an Environment-Health Alliance that joins science with a variety of health decision-makers. We believe that this strategy forms the basis of a more comprehensive capability to address a large variety of environmental issues well beyond the boundaries of the northeastern United States. The potential benefits from this initial study are considerable in their own right because of the nature of the links between climate, the transmission of these diseases, and the adverse health outcomes. For example, mild winters allow mosquitoes infected with West Nile to ''over-winter,'' creating conditions for larger spring and summer populations. A dry spring may cause bird populations, a key component in the transmission cycle, to congregate at water resources and also cause a reduction in the natural predators of mosquitoes. Summer warmth and high rainfall create breeding sites and conditions for rapid mosquito population growth. This enables rapid spread of the disease.
Weather and climate already define some public health response strategies, including the initiation and conclusion of surveillance and control activities. However, current control activities do not anticipate changes in transmission agents or increased risk, nor do they take full advantage of the wealth of climate, weather and land use information that can assist decision-makers. Further, we have not fostered the development of the interdisciplinary partnerships required to define the full set of linkages between environment and health. Our strategy is to develop these innovative partnerships, with a commitment to make decision-makers a key element of the Alliance.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The potential benefits for health are significant. For example, by making weather information immediately accessible (e.g., precipitation, ponding potential) decision-makers can determine whether to use a larvacide to control mosquito populationslarvacides are far more environmentally benign and cost-effective than following a mosquito/West Nile virus outbreak with an airborne insecticide. By taking advantage of our increased ability to anticipate weather and climate on the time scales of several months or a year in advance, we can enable public health officials to anticipate resource needs, provide different levels of ''alerts'' to health providers, and marshal public information to help the public avoid adverse health outcomes. By demonstrating the connections between environment and health, the same tools and methodologies that enable health decision-makers will also serve to enable a better health assessment for climate change on decadal scales.
The potential of the above Alliance is enormous. The ability to recognize and/or predict an outbreak of illness and its relation to the environment yields the capability to take effective action to limit adverse health outcomes. The Alliance is an important step in realizing this considerable societal value because it will:
Address deficiencies in our scientific knowledge needed to link climate, and other elements of the environment, to health outcomes
Achieve tangible near-term benefits by focusing health issues of immediate concernthe West Nile virus and Lyme disease
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Create the sustained sharing of data and knowledge among government decision-makers and scientists that are geographically distributed over the region
Improve our capability to rapidly and precisely identify and respond in a crisis
Create the opportunities to ''anticipate'' potential adverse health outcomes and thus enable a more effective societal response and,
Develop a foundation for exploring a wide variety of environment and health issues, including the impacts of severe weather, health risks associated with air and water pollution and materials in the environment, the contamination pathways of water and food-borne illnesses, bioterrorism, as well as the transmission of other infectious diseases.
Importantly, the Environment Health Alliance serves as a prototype for a more comprehensive capability to address a large variety of environmental issues. By proving the concept of an Environmental Intelligence Center through such an important specific example we will demonstrate the viability a new strategy for environmental research and applicationone that is designed to apply the discipline of forecasting to a wide variety of environmental problems by creating a powerful, user-centric, observation, prediction and information management capability. By developing this prototype, much of the groundwork is completed for a more comprehensive regional capability. The integration of diverse data sets, the information science applications designed to make information more accessible to researchers and decision-makers, and the emphasis on high-resolution coupled predictive weather and climate models will all serve broader environmental objectives for research and decision-makers. The proof of such a concept at the regional level is likely to catalyze a national and international transformation in our approach to environmental issues. This approach serves to anticipate rather than react to environmental change in a manner that is designed to limit the impacts of threats to people and property, and promote economic vitality and environmental stewardship.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The Environment-Health Alliance described above is rapidly developing from a very successful conference that brought together the full breadth of the scientific community, information science specialists and health decision-makers. Already, we are helping to provide better weather and climate data sets to the PA Department of Environmental Protection for the West Nile Virus program. The Penn State efforts to assist the U.S. EPA in assessing the impact of climate change on the mid-Atlantic region was also lauded for its connection to a wide variety of stakeholders.
Both the CCRI and USGCRP, and NRC reports such as ''The Science of Regional and Global Change: Putting Knowledge to Work'' call for a greater emphasis on regional pilot programs. In my view, such an emphasis is critical to demonstrating how diverse information and predictive capability can be combined to serve the Nation.
(4) What kind of additional legislative direction do climate research programs need to improve their utility?
USGCRP has been highly successful in generating new and important information about the Earth system. But, in the midst of substantial scientific progress, there has been a strong sense that our federal management systems are inadequate to handle the scope of the integration of the observation and modeling elements of the USGCRP. Initially, USGCRP budgets were growing, and once agencies agreed on a set of programs, those programs were protectedin short the budget was ''fenced.'' Both of these factors promoted a cohesive program leadership willing and able to cross agency boundaries for the good of the enterprise. Over the last several years, budgets have become more constrained and budget losses or priority shifts in one agency have jeopardized or limited programs or priorities that require multiple agency participation. Large-scale issues such as the development of integrated climate observing systems and coordinated climate modeling and assessment activities appear to be major challenges. In a budget constrained environment, creating new initiatives, especially if they are highly interdisciplinary and do not match specific agency mandates, is equally difficult. As a result, the reviews of the USGCRP by the scientific community have increasingly included complaints about our inability to develop cohesive programs that cross agencies. In turn, this has tarnished the image of the USGCRP as a model for interagency collaboration.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The Administration's focus on improved management of the USGCRP is highly promising because they appear to be serious in addressing the on-going concerns of our community, but there remains substantial concern about the nature of the proposed management. The most significant concerns include:
(1) A more cohesive set of programs that cross agencies implies either the ability to ''fence'' budgets, pool resources, or enable transfers between agencies. The early evolution of the USGCRP proved that it is possible to fence budgets for a common purpose. The ability to pool resources has been demonstrated for small efforts. However, an ability to transfer resources between agencies will have to overcome inevitable turf issues between agencies and an appropriations process that involves several different congressional committees.
(2) If we move to a lead agency model, how do we ensure that the full suite of federal agencies will participate? The missions of the various agencies differ substantially, but each contributes importantly to the diverse needs of an integrated analysis of the Earth and its systems. What is the incentive for a mission-oriented agency to participate if its participation results in the potential for a loss of control over mission-oriented resources?
(3) Historically, NOAA's mandates and mission have tended to exceed the availability of its resources. Even promoting a transition of proven research outcomes into useful operational products has proven a challenge in a resource constrained environment. Despite the importance of its mission, NOAA budgets have been frequently targeted for reductions or limitation. To what extent will these limitations impair future continuity and advances in climate research and applications?
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
(4) How do we ensure that the mission of a lead agency does not influence the mandate of the climate research and application endeavor? What programs will slip through the cracks in the process? If consolidation occurs, will it create strengths in some research programs while sacrificing or disrupting other important efforts because they lack an agency champion?
How the Administration and Congress approaches these issues is crucial to the accomplishment of climate and global change research objectives.
The key areas of needed legislative direction include:
Endorsement the contributions of the USGCRP and the complimentary strengths of the CCRI
Endorsement of the importance of extending current programmatic efforts to include efforts that make this research more useful for decision-makers (including an emphasis on regional environmental intelligence centers).
Assistance in creating a structure that promotes collaboration across agencies while preserving the breadth of the agency missions that contribute to our understanding of environmental change.
BIOGRAPHY FOR ERIC J. BARRON
EMS Environment Institute, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802; Phone: (814) 8651619; Fax: (814) 8653191; firstname.lastname@example.org
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Eric Barron received his Bachelor's degree in Geology from Florida State University in 1973. He then began the study of oceanography and climate at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami, receiving his master's degree in 1976 and his Ph.D. in 1980. His career in climate modeling was initiated with a supercomputing fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 1976. In 1980 he accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado; in 1981 he joined the staff in the Climate Section at NCAR. In 1985 he returned to the University of Miami as an Associate Professor. In 1986 he became a member of the Pennsylvania State University faculty as Director of the Earth System Science Center and an Associate Professor of Geosciences. Currently he is the Director of the EMS Environment Institute, home of the Earth System Science Center, and he is Distinguished Professor of Geosciences. Areas of specialization include, global change, numerical models of the climate system, and study of climate change throughout Earth history.
Areas of Technical Specialization
Numerical models of the climate system
Study of climate change throughout Earth history
Appointments (professionalexamples only)
1997- Chair, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
19941997Chair, NASA, Earth Observing System, Science Executive Committee
1993Chair, NASA Earth Science and Applications Advisory Committee
19901996Chair, Climate Research Committee, National Research Council
19881996Editor, Global and Planetary Change
19851991Editor-in-Chief, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
1999PSUCLIM. (E. Barron, L. Frakes and 15 Graduate Students) The Sensitivity of Severe Storms to Climate Forcing Factors on Geologic Time Scales, Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 104, Number D22, pp. 27, 27727, 294.
2000Jenkins, G.S. and E.J. Barron. Regional climate simulations over the continental United State during the summer of 1998 driven by a GCM and the ECMWF analyses. Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 25, No. 12, pp. l938.
2000Dutton, J.F. and E.J. Barron. Intra-annual and interannual ensemble forcing of a regional climate model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 105:29, 52329, 538.
2001Seidov, D., B.J. Haupt, E.J. Barron, and M. Muslin. Ocean bi-polar seesaw and climate: Southern versus northern meltwater impacts. In: D. Seidov, M. Maslin and B.J. Haupt (editors) The Oceans and Rapid Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future, Geophysical Monograph 126, American Geophysical Union, pp. 147167.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
2001Haupt, B.J., Seidov, D., and E.J. Barron. Glacial to interglacial change of the ocean circulation and eolian transport, In: D. Seidov, M. Maslin and B.J. Haupt (editors) The Oceans and Rapid Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future, Geophysical Monograph 126, American Geophysical Union, pp. 169197.
Selected other publications
1997Jenkins, G.S. and E.J. Barron. Global climate model and coupled regional climate model simulations over the eastern United States: GENESIS and RegCM2 simulations, Global and Planetary Change, June, pp. 332.
1999Yu, Z., M.N. Lakhtakia, B. Yarnal, R.A. White, D.A. Miller, B. Frakes, E.J. Barron, C. Duffy, F.W. Schwartz. Simulation of the river-basin response to atmospheric forcing by linking a mesoscale meteorological model and hydrologic model system. Journal of Hydrology, 218, 7291.
1999Yu, Z., M.N. Lakhtakia and E.J. Barron. Modeling the River-Basin Response to Single-Storm Events Simulated by a Mesoscale Meteorological Model at Various Resolutions. J. Geophysical Research, 104, No. D16:19, 67519, 689.
1999Poulsen, C.J., E.J. Barron, C.C. Johnson and P. Fawcett. Links between major climatic factors and regional oceanic circulation in the mid-Cretaceous, Chapter in Barrera, E. and C. Johnson (eds), Cretaceous Ocean Climate System, Geological Society of America, Special Paper 332.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
1999PSUCLIM. (E. Barron, L. Frakes and 15 Graduate Students) Storm Activity in Ancient Climate: An analysis Using Climate Simulations and Sedimentary Structures, Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 104, Number D22, pp. 27, 29527, 320.
Eric Barron has received a Provost Award for Innovation in Teaching in 1993 for his efforts in developing a course on the Earth-as-a-System, followed by the Wilson Teaching Award in 1999. He received the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Wilson Research Award for his research in climate modeling throughout Earth history in 1992. His history of contribution in this area resulted in his being named Fellow of both the American Geophysical Union (1993) and the American Meteorological Society (1995). His efforts at collaboration in combining modeling and observations to examine modern problems in climate and hydrology is demonstrated by his leadership of a ten year effort of more than 20 scientists as part of NASA's Earth Observing System, and he currently leads a multi-institutional partnership funded by NSF to model Earth System History.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Dr. Barron. Dr. Miles.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD L. MILES, PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGIONAL INTEGRATED SCIENCES AND ASSESSMENTS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. MILES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I would like you to know that not only do I speak for my own team(see footnote 12), but I speak also for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Arizona, and the Florida Consortium, which consists of the University of Miami, University of Florida, and the Florida State University. We are the five RISA programs. RISA is the acronym for a new NOAA program sponsored by the Office of Global Programs, called the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program, which is akin to the concept that Dr. Barron just described.
We think this program is a highly significant innovation. It is, in fact, the last link in the chain which connects the basic research based on observations and modeling to real people and their interests in real places. It caters to regional variation, but the link to stakeholders in each case is a fundamental building block of the program. The stakeholders do help to define the research program on a continuing basis.
This program has proved its concept, but is seriously underfunded at $3.3 million a year for fiscal year '02. RISA also need to fit into an institutionalized national climate service as the experimental and regional research arms, but such a program has not yet been designed and implemented.
We have made major steps forward in understanding the kinds of climate information needed by different kinds of consumers. For example, the most critical climate information in the Pacific Northwest is winter snowpack because the Columbia Basin is a snow-melt system. The most important climate drivers there are the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, on the seasonal/interannual time scale, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on the decadal/interdecadal time scale. The major surprise of this research is that the most powerful climate driver for the Pacific Northwest is the interdecadal PDO.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
For Florida, on the other hand, ENSO is by far the most important climate driver. It absolutely swamps every other. For Arizona, the most demanded information is seasonal rainfall forecast months in advance. No other Federal programs produce this kind of climate information.
If we look at the National Center for Environmental Prediction, or NCEP, forecast as the wholesale product, RISA research uniquely fills the retail niche. We connect the NCEP forecasts to typical climate impacts and their outcomes on various sectors of human activity, facilitating planning to increase resilience and decrease vulnerability of social systems and economic activities.
With respect to the controversial issue of whether or not USGCRP is too long-run in its perspective, Mr. Chairman, we feel that we could not have made such rapid advances without the basic research produced by the first phase of USGCRP. I have time for only a couple of examples.
For instance, the community can predict ENSO up to a year in advance because of the implementation of the Toga-Tao array, the comprehensive array of instruments in the equatorial Pacific. The utility of general circulation models, the global models, is of great relevance to the regional effort. Those models get temperature right. There is more uncertainty with precipitation, but we have learned how to down-scale those models to the regional level and tothe results are quite promising with respect to precipitation. We have learned also to connect the regional models to hydrological models, and produce stream-flow forecasts of high utility to users.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
If I had more time, Mr. Chairman, I could make similar comments about the TOPEX/Poseidon System, about the Argo System, but I don't have that time. I think, in summary, I would say that with respect to climate, the RISA Program has maximized the societal benefit that can be derived from basic research conducted under USGCRP auspices. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Miles follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF EDWARD L. MILES
TEAM LEADER, CLIMATE IMPACTS GROUP,
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Testimony of the Five Pilot Projects of the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program of NOAA's Office of Global Programs (OGP)
CLIMATE IMPACTS GROUP (CIG), UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
CALIFORNIA APPLICATIONS PROGRAM (CAP)
SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWESTERN WATER ASSESSMENT (WWA) CIRES,
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER
CLIMATE ASSESSMENT OF THE SOUTHWEST PROJECT (CLIMAS),
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
THE FLORIDA CONSORTIUM (FLC):
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA,
THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
The Importance of the RISA Program
The Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program of NOAA's Office of Global Programs (OGP) represents an important innovation in how our nation conducts science related to climate variability and society. The program, according to NOAA/OGP (NOAA Office of Global Programs, ''The Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program,'' n.d.) involves
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
the intersection of three major coordinates, (1) Climate and environmental monitoring and research, (2) Economic and Human Dimensions research, especially on trends and factors influencing climate-sensitive human activities, and (3) Applications and decision support, i.e., the transformation and communication of relevant research results to meet specific needs in a region. The objective of the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program is to contribute to informing the development of place-based decision support and services in responding to climate-related risks. Enabling such services at any point in time requires a critical mass of knowledge and of capacity to apply knowledge, e.g., tailoring information to meet local needs, within each region.
Explicit in the RISA program at its core is real partnership between the scientific community and the users (decision-makers or ''stakeholders'') of scientific knowledge. Close stakeholder involvement is new to the climate research enterprise, but the RISA's clearly demonstrate the value of this involvement. All RISA effort is focused on climate research and communication of information required by stakeholders to support their decision-making, as well as to reduce their vulnerabilities to climate variability. The RISA's focus on regional- and local-scale science and information, and thus form the critical link between national science programs and the inherently regional (''place-based'' or local) users of scientific knowledge.
Why Regional Climate Assessment and Science?
The RISA Program is a crucial link in a large chain designed to give the United States an ''end-to-end'' capability in climate science and its applications. The chain begins with basic climate dynamics research and the ways in which global dynamics inform understanding of how these dynamics shape or constrain patterns of climate variability over the U.S. as a whole and its sub-regions. Underlying this understanding is a substantial infrastructure related to observations in the ocean, in the atmosphere, and over the land surface and to modeling those relationships.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The RISA's complete the chain by connecting a growing capability to forecast climate on seasonal/interannual, decadal/inter-decadal, and even centennial scales. These forecasts can be applied to the concerns and activities of real people, i.e., stakeholders, in a wide range of economic sectors which are sensitive to climate variability. Demonstrably, there is significant benefit for both stakeholders and local to national economies if both can optimize the use of ever-improving climate/environmental knowledge. Viewed in this way, the RISA program produces critical learning on the difference climate makes in a world of multiple environmental, cultural, and institutional stresses. This learning can then inform planning to increase human adaptability in the face of climate variability, and resilience in the face of vulnerability. The improved generation and use of regional climate knowledge will be essential to maintaining economic growth and human health in a world of increasing environmental limitations. The five RISA projects to date have been experiments that have conclusively provided proof of concept. For this proof to be transferred to the level of routine operations, the society needs a national climate service with regional arms and legs. That is an additional link in the chain that is not developed in detail here.
Regional Climate Assessment and SciencePilot Results
Since 1995, NOAA OGP has launched five pilot RISA's, each of which is briefly profiled below. The entire OGP RISA program presently amounts to only FY '01$2.4M, '02$3.3M. Each of the RISA's takes a somewhat different pilot approach to conducting integrated climate assessment, but each has made substantial progress in bridging the gap between national climate science and stakeholders in society. Collectively, the RISA's have also made important progress toward making the understanding of global-to-continental-scale climate useful at the regional to sub-regional scales needed by the stakeholder community. The current multi-RISA pilot arrangement provides opportunities to test different assessment approaches, assess different sectors or entities within those sectors, and build a foundation of information allowing cross-regional comparisons. The pilot RISA's have also all been successful in building strong partnerships between researchers, forecasters and stakeholders. This represents a critical breakthrough on one hand, but it also places a major imperative to raise the resources to sustain and expand the partnerships. A central theme of this imperative is that funding is needed for basic regional climate science, including observations and modeling, as well as climate assessment and climate information services.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The profile presented is based on a set of five questions:
What do we know now that we did not know five years ago?
What are the major climate-related policy issues facing the region over the next five years?
How are projects designed to meet stakeholder interest?
How is the money used and leveraged?
What resources do we need to do the job?
On the basis of the information presented in the profile of the five RISA's, the Summary and Conclusions section will specifically answer the three questions posed by Chairman Sherwood L. Boehlert of the House Science Committee:
1. What kind of climate and weather information are needed by ''consumers,'' such as regional resource managers, farmers, land-use planners, insurance actuaries, and emergency management agencies?
2. Do federal research programs now produce such information, and, if not, what kinds of changes in the federal research agenda are needed to develop such information?
3. How would such an expanded research agenda be coordinated with other global change research activities?
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
The CIG was established on July 1, 1995 to assess the impacts of climate variability and to project the likely impacts of climate change on four sectorshydrology/water resources, forests and forestry, aquatic ecosystems, and coastal zonesin the Pacific Northwest (PNW), defined to include the three states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Since its inception, the CIG has made major advances in the scientific understanding of climate and its impacts in the region of concern. Therefore, to the question:''What do we know now that we did not know five years ago?'' We can say that the CIG has:
Identified the natural patterns of climate variability in the PNW.
Demonstrated that these patterns are dominated by two predictable, large-scale patterns of climate variation over the Pacific Ocean: The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (which varies on a time scale of 27 years) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (which seems to vary on an inter-decadal time scale. Warm phases of ENSO or PDO often bring warmer, drier weather in winter and spring, and cool phases have the opposite effect. The predictability of ENSO combined with the PDO 312 months ahead thus provides advance warning about winter and spring climate in the PNW.
Demonstrated that PNW snowpack ad streamflow are higher in cool phases of ENSO and PDO and lower during warm phases; extremes (droughts or floods) are much more likely to occur when ENSO and PDO are in phase.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Simulated the projected effects of climate change on the hydrology and water resources of the Columbia River Basin, one of the largest in North America, and the source of much of the electricity generated in the PNW Climate change would primarily result in changes in snow accumulation and melt, and a shift in streamflow timing toward increased winter runoff, earlier spring snowmelt, and reduced summer flows.
Developed a tool for making ensemble (multiple) forecasts of Columbia River streamflow up to 12 months in advance, using predictions of ENSO and PDO phases. Initial estimates suggest that such forecasts could result in an average annual benefit of over $100 million/year for hydropower alone, while preserving or enhancing fisheries protection and flood prevention capabilities.
Discovered the enormous impact of the PDO on the distribution and abundance of Pacific Northwest salmon from Oregon to Alaska. During warm phases of the PDO, salmon are more plentiful than usual off the coast of Alaska but less plentiful off Washington/Oregon. During cool phases of the PDO, the opposite is true.
Suggested a connection, later verified, between episodes of increased coastal erosion and El Niño events. The key factors are a more southerly direction of storm-driven waves and higher than normal sea level in the northeast Pacific Ocean.
Demonstrated a connection between the PDO and the rate of forest growth, and showed that forest fires are larger and more frequent during the warm phase of PDO.
Suggested a connection between climate and the spread of an invasive species (Spartina spp.) which threatens shellfish culture in coastal estuaries, and a connection between ENSO and commercial shellfish growth and quality.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What are the major climate-related policy issues facing the region over the next five years?
The team's research has shown that the regional hydrology and the water resources which the physical characteristics make possible are both central to the ecological and the economic life of the region and that winter snowpack is the single best integrated signal of climate variability. However, for the Columbia and other rivers in the PNW there is little or no room for growth in supply while demands on water systems continue to grow. This level of water scarcity is relatively new and it has triggered intensifying conflict between users on both sides of the Cascade Mountains. On the East Side the principal conflict is between hydropower, irrigated agriculture, and maintaining adequate in-stream flows for fish. On the West Side the conflict is between municipal and industrial demands, hydropower, and in-stream flows for fish.
In cool-wet periods of the PDO, the intensity of the conflict can be ameliorated by the fact that larger amounts of streamflow may be available. On the other hand, in warm-dry phases of the PDO we can expect conflict to intensify because significantly less water is available. While the regional management system can cope well with floods, it is not well suited to deal with periods of drought, particularly multi-year drought, because the system is highly fragmented, no single entity is in charge, and there is little or no inter-use coordination. The region is very much at risk to a changing climate which may result in significant reductions of winter snow-pack at the same time that population growth and urbanization are increasing on the West Side.
The fish conflict represents a different dimension of the same problem. It has grown in intensity and importance because the Federal Government has applied the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to 17 ecologically sustainable units (ESU's) of salmonids in the region, giving demands for larger allocations of water a legal cast with penalties for non-compliance. This application of the ESA represents in fact a shift in the priorities for how the Columbia is to be managed as between the interests of flood control, hydropower, and fish. In real terms, the first two priorities are still dominant and the system displays considerable inertia in moving towards an accommodation for fish.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Water, fish, and trees all go together in nature, so the first two conflicts raise questions about how forests are to be managed in the region. These questions relate both to restoration and maintenance of essential fish habitat and augmenting the natural supply of water for fish. Since forested lands retain greater amounts of groundwater than unforested lands, it is possible to manage forests to augment water supply as well as trees. Once again, changing priorities imply significant shifts in strategies.
These three difficult issues have to be faced up to in the next five years, even if the climate doesn't change. But since the most serious consequence of global and regional warming is very likely to be a significant reduction in winter snowpack, the region needs to ''buy some insurance'' in the form of planning to deal with both present conflicts and the probabilities of climate change.
How are projects designed to meet stakeholders' interests?
The very first act of the project was to convene a meeting, at the request of NOAA/OGP, between stakeholders in the region and climate diagnosticians within NOAA and several universities to talk about the new science of climate forecasting, a focus on impacts, and what the stakeholders wanted the program as a whole to deal with. Following this meeting, the CIG engaged in a continuous dialog with stakeholders in the four sectors of primary interestexperimenting with various formats. The subsequent research agenda has always been a blend of work the team has thought necessary combined with problems of significant concern to stakeholders. In certain cases, the work has been done on contract with the CIG. In other cases, the agencies have contributed high-level operational and managerial personnel to work with the team on designated problems.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Very close and continuous relationships have been developed between the CIG and a large number of regional stakeholders, including the Bonneville Power Administration, the regional offices of the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Park Service. CIG is also involved with the Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission and the Northwest Intertribal Fisheries Commission, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the water departments of all three states, Washington Department of Ecology Shorelands Division (one senior member of which serves as the leader of the CIG's coastal zone sub-group), Washington Department of health (the state epidemiologist serves as the leader of the CIG's human health sub-group), Washington Department of Natural Resources, Oregon Department of Lands, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle City Light, the Portland Water Bureau, and many other agencies/organizations.
How is the money used and leveraged?
The money is divided among the CIG's sub-groups to work on projects of highest priority. Overall, the hydrology/water resources sub-group constitutes the largest team effort given its importance in the region. The CIG has attempted over time to fund both a human health sub-group and an agriculture sub-group in collaboration with Washington State University but has been unsuccessful in raising the necessary funds.
The team is highly leveraged. There are only six full-time employees (two administrative) in a 25-member team, along with nine graduate research assistants and faculty from five Colleges at the University of Washington in addition to faculty at Oregon State University and the University of Idaho. Faculty are covered for only a small fraction of their time. The UW contributes substantially to the CIG's public outreach work while contracts for particular investigations have been provided by the Water Department of Seattle Public Utilities, the Portland Water Bureau, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What resources do we need to do the job?
In order to add the human health and agriculture sub-groups to the four sectors so far covered, and looking solely at the link in the chain represented by the RISA program, it would take $2M/yr of 2001 dollars to support the CIG.
CALIFORNIA APPLICATIONS PROGRAM
What do we know now that we did not know five years ago?
The interest level of state officials in California in topics relating to climate change has increased markedly over the last year. Simple, clear illustrations of model results that translate atmospheric changes into regional hydrologic changes have been important ''props'' that have been key elements in conveying to state agencies and the public some likely impacts of climate change in the region. The estimated loss of spring snowpack has been singularly important in this regard. Also, the observed trend over recent decades toward earlier Sierra runoff and the diminishing percentage in late spring, whether caused by global human activity or not, have at the very least given to water managers a tangible face to what is often considered a hypothetical possibility. Several sectors have expressed interest from the State Resources Agency (water, forests, wildlife), Environmental Protection (water and air quality), Energy Commission as well as legislators who are interested in impacts in their own districts. Since we are a coastal state, the potential for accelerated sea level rise is an important issue. Having a credible climate simulation model(s) at our disposal 1) to make such estimates, and perhaps as important, 2) present the results using formats and techniques more readily understood by practitioners, has been invaluable in supplying information.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Concerning seasonal forecasts, stakeholders ''care'' about forecasts quite intensely in some years when it is perceived that climate anomalies would produce a large effect (e.g., after two years of drought). However, in other years when conditions are thought to be more ''normal,'' there is not as much interest.
We found that temperature indicators other than thermometer readings are quite effective in translating the meaning of climate change to the public or to decision-makers. Phenological stages (e.g., first bloom of lilacs) and spring snowmelt runoff timing have furnished important, entirely independent and mutually corroborative evidence that spring has been arriving earlier across the West for the past three decades.
In some sectors like water resource management, in order to convince operational institutions that there is value to be gained from only modestly skillful climate forecasts, it is crucial to work closely with these agencies over an extended period. It may be necessary to run their operational models side-by-side with alternative new models to demonstrate utility It is not enough to simply provide forecasts of precipitation or streamflow; the user needs to be involved and engaged interactively throughout the various steps from climate model output to his particular application/decision.
The process of assessing and integrating climate services and forecasts into local resource management procedures and agencies requires much luck and patience. Agencies, especially local agencies, are buffeted by many stresses each year and often place climate issues low among their priorities. When climate rises towards the top of their priorities, however, they are eager for help, advice, and hard facts; during these periods, much progress can be made in establishing connections and in developing long-term users of climate services. The timetable for such advances, however, is most often set by the user, and not the purveyor, of climate services.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We have a much-improved understanding of wildland fire management decision-making and a much-improved understanding of wildland fire management information needs. Climate information, though used in some strategic planning, is still not fully utilized in wildland fire management practices; especially time scales of decadal change and longer. Climate forecasts are utilized in some management applications, however, forecast skill causes many managers to be skeptical of prediction usefulness. We are convinced, though, that there is a range of forecast products beyond the short range time scales that can be of benefit to fire management. For example, statistical seasonal fire forecasts can be made with modest skill using prior years' moisture indices. The fire community has been somewhat skeptical of the value of this tool but is beginning to pay more attention. The Climate-Fire Workshops held by the University of Arizona RISA have been instrumental in promoting dialogue with the fire community. Allied with this issue, it is clear that a better organized central fire data facility would be invaluable to understand and predict climate links to anomalous fire activity across the West.
Much of our seasonal forecast attention has been placed on winter season issues (precipitation, temperature), and we have often confined our attention to regions at the scale of large watersheds (Sacramento/San Joaquin). But, climate anomalies are not confined to one season, and the footprint of climate anomalies is often super-regional in scale. For example, California draws water and power from the Colorado River system as well as from Northern California watersheds. Also, summer climate anomalies impact summer electrical air conditioning demand, and their cross-regional interconnections have not received much attention. CAP, UW, and NOAA Climate Diagnostics Center have begun to discuss this issue and how this should be dealt with in a whole-West perspective.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC California has begun the largest restoration program in the world, CALFED. This $30 billion 30-year effort is an attempt to involve a broad range of stakeholders in a comprehensive plan to restore the Sacramento/San Joaquin delta and San Francisco Bay and improve water quality and ecosystem function. Climatic processes are the most important external drivers of these hydrologic systems, and climatic variability can be expected to cause myriad consequences. CAP has been quite influential in raising the climate connection to a significant level of visibility within the CALFED program. We have used a unique biological indicator of winter precipitation, blue oaks, to discover that wet and dry episodes of 6- to 8-year and approximately 15-year duration are a significant feature in the Central Valley climate of the past 400 years. These heretofore largely unrecognized shorter periods are familiar to those who have recently lived through the late 1980s/early 1990s drought, and the subsequent very wet six years of the mid-1990s. CAP and collaborators have been commissioned by CALFED to summarize the role of climate variability and change in CALFED issues and to propose areas that need dealing with by CALFED science activities. We have also provided input to the current update of the California Water Plan to guide and coordinate beneficial use of California's water resources. Gaining the notice and trust of key individuals has enormous importance in our ability to inject scientific information into institutional decision making processes.
Climate data archives are struggling to keep up with volumes of data that are collected by an assortment of observational networks. There is a new generation of remote sensing anal numerical model data that needs to be properly archived and made accessible. On the other hand, crucial parts of the western climate (broadly interpreted from atmosphere, ocean, hydrology and ecology) are very poorly monitored. For example, we know that spring snowmelt runoff is occurring earlier in recent decades but don't have the fundamental information to elucidate how this is occurring in mountain snow zone. Often there is little support for these measuring and monitoring activities even though these are resources that are critical for making decisions of ours and of future generations.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
During a series of visits to the major California agencies affected by climate, it became clear that the state, with the 7th largest economy in the world, has poor access to its own climatic history, and in particular to carefully de-biased diagnostic measures of recent climatic trends in temperature and precipitation, and how these vary on a seasonal basis and geographic basis within this extremely diverse state. We have taken preliminary first steps to develop a suite of such indicators in a new effort coordinated by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Also, together with Henry Diaz (DCD and Western Water Program in Boulder) and others, we have crafted a plan to organize a high elevation monitoring and research effort across the West (named ''CIRCMONT'') and have arranged for the inaugural meeting of key investigators and agency officials this fall.
In California, we have also used seed funds from CAP funds to build up a high elevation climate monitoring network for the Sierra Nevada, along its 400-mile length, and several cross-range transects at different latitudes. Such information is crucial to the state for present and future decision-making.
Regional numerical models are still in a state of development, but are beginning to provide information at the regional and local scales. Work is needed to produce simulations and interpolations at die local and regional scale fidelity necessary for managers and policy-makers.
Global model runs for both long (seasonal-decadal) and short (14 weeks) forecasts are needed to investigate predictability and process-related questions relating to climate impacts. CAP is working with J. Whittaker at CDC to run and assemble a historical medium range forecast dataset and has achieved approximately 10 years of 10+ member ensemble forecasts for 115d time leads, but this requires a lot of computer resources, considerable data management and progress is incremental.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
ENSO has become accepted as a major driver of Western weather and climate patterns. However, the ''flavors'' of different ENSO events and the uncertainty associated with ENSO forecasts are still not well understood and need to be clarified. We have spent (and will continue to spend) considerable time in explaining this to media, the general public and agencies.
Human Health data are available for analysis in terms of its climate effects, but in many cases are short duration, parochial, embargoed because of confidentiality issues, and difficult to acquire. It is almost essential to work with experts in the medical or epidemiological area to provide meaningful advice and collaboration in this area.
What are the major policy issues facing California over the next five years?
1. The State Water Plan (Bulletin 160) Update will be completed in the next few years. For the first time, it has acknowledged that climate change poses issues that should be taken into account, but it is not yet clear how seriously this will be addressed.
2. CALFED needs climate advice to inform the State/Federal Government on San Francisco Bay/Delta. In designing environmental and water use policy over the 30 years (and beyond), CALFED will be a major force in developing approaches to solving water problems within the state over the next decade or two. There are very significant needs to understand variations in climate and its extreme manifestations. As an adaptive management program, CALFED also affords major opportunities for learning how climate information is incorporated into decision-making.
3. There is a great opportunity to increase the role of science in implementing fire management plans and programs, such as a) Implementation of the national wildland fire policy; b) Implementation of increased fuels treatments; c) Implementation of rehabilitation and restoration programs; d) achieving ecosystem sustainability.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
4. California will be gradually weaned from its over-withdrawal from the Colorado River, in-stream and ESA issues will continue to dominate, groundwater pumping will continue, and population growth is expected to increase at an even faster rate, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. Competition for water will continue to escalate the entire time. People will continue to flee to the forested slopes, and fire issues will remain prominent, as well as to the arid desert communities and to the lush north coast. Energy concerns will remain a long-term issue. Inter-regional connections through water and power will remain a significant force. Agriculture will continue to be pressed to reduce its water consumption. Reservoir construction is not likely to occur to any significant degree. Concern about air quality is likely to increase as new findings about its ill effects emerge. If warming continues, new diseases and pathogens will put in appearances from the south.
5. With a doubling of California's already burgeoning population being projected over the next 30 years, each of the environmental stresses facing the State can only be expected to increase. Thus, in addition to the immediate policy issues listed above, California will probably have to revisit issues such as air quality changes, habitat preservation, human disease, and the security of its ground-water resourcesall in the face of changing and variable climates. Issues that seem comfortably under control with present policies are like to flare into prominence as the environmental setting and human pressure on the environment changes in the next 30 years. Which of these will flare up in the shorter, 5-year time frame remains to be seen.
How are projects designed to meet stakeholder interests?
In deciding on thrust areas, we made value judgments based on interactions over several years with California interest groups, and our ability to provide useful information.
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
a) Water resources is an obvious onehuge issues face the state in this Mediterranean climate in order to serve domestic, commercial, and agricultural uses;
b) Wildfire has not been looked at carefully from a seasonal forecast perspective. There is great interannual-decadal variability and there are massive expenses and impacts;
c) Human health is relatively unscathed from a climate perspective and there are potentially large benefits from better climate information;
d) Besides seasonal-decadal impacts, all three of these are likely to be strongly affected by climate changes.
How is the money used and leveraged?
Concerning what stakeholders we work with, we require that:
the work will lead to widespread benefit
the partner will provide meaningful interaction so that we learn how to better apply information and how it can/will be used
The great majority is used for researcher and staff support salaries. We used a small amount last year to seed a new observational network to establish hydro/met sensor transects across the South Sierra Nevada which is representative of vital mountain watersheds that are vulnerable to climate change, and not well monitored.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We are leveraged to the hilt! Only fractional salary is available for PIs and staff and we are using other contracts to fill these in and provide for other collaborators such as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. $500K per year doesn't go very far!
What resources do we need to address these issues?
More funding is needed. CAP is funded at $500k/yr (round number). We could easily use 4× that. Parts of these problems are getting worked on, but many aspects are not. Energy, coastal, agricultural and recreational sectors have not been addressed, and we are just scratching the surface in beginning to work with human health. We do not have the funding necessary to achieve the one-on-one and end-to-end collaboration that is required to develop better information, models and transfer technology. We have begun an observational program on a shoestring budget, and are convinced that much more can be achieved, but it will require a few $100k per year to do this meaningfully.
Linked to the point above, some key partners are needed. A few specific areas include human health and social science (economics, policy). Some natural cross-RISA links can help to satisfy this; e.g., CAP has discussed prospects of teaming with University of Arizona social scientists in studying how California water resource managers utilize climate information. Other areas like coastal ocean, forestry, urban weather/climate, transportation and agriculture seem like natural additions if funding was available.
In the next few years, we probably need to learn how to better market what we know, what we can do. We are doing this in homespun fashion, but this could be done a lot more effectively.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
WESTERN WATER ASSESSMENT
What do we know now that we did not know five years ago?
The vision for the Western Water Assessment (WWA) project is to work within an evolving social context and increase the relevance and value of scientific information in order to improve decision-making strategies. In this approach, the research focuses on the decision-making processes of the individuals, groups, and organizations in the Interior West that have responsibility for managing water resources, as well as those who use the water, and those responsible for its treatment and the protection of the aquatic environment. By understanding the decision making processes, the stresses, and the constraints of this diverse community, researchers can develop hydro-climate products that meet a suite of user needs, allowing the user community to make the best possible decisions.
A number of important research findings are emerging from this endeavor. One example addresses the problem of scarcity of water resources under conditions of sustained regional population growth and climate variability. Leaders of the Colorado water management community are concerned about their ability to satisfy the new and competing demands for water, particularly in light of increased difficulties in obtaining water from neighboring basins, constraints imposed by interstate obligations, the increasing value placed on environmental protection, and the impacts of regional growth on water quality. These concerns are exacerbated by climate variability. For example, in-stream water rights for environmental protection are comparatively junior, and cannot be relied upon to maintain water levels during times of drought. Many regions in the West are currently experiencing drought, and some cities in the Denver-metro area (e.g., Aurora) are concerned about the adequacy of supplies for meeting demands in the summer of 2002. This research emphasizes the unquestionable necessity to properly plan for the combined impacts of regional growth and climate variability in a basin-wide framework that appropriately balances the competing demands for water. In response, WWA scientists are currently developing a comprehensive model-based methodology for regional planning. The intent is to understand the benefits and pitfalls (and third-party effects) of various strategies that may be used to cope with water shortages under different climate regimes, and identify innovative management practices that will both sustain economic prosperity and protect the environment.
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Another highlight is the WWA research on the potential use of climate information to improve annual reservoir operating plans. Reservoir managers in the Interior West are currently faced with the challenge of providing water for new uses (e.g., in-stream flows, recreation), while still meeting the needs of traditional rights holders and uses (e.g., irrigation, hydropower). Better use of climate information is one tool that may enable reservoir managers to meet these new uses while minimizing conflicts. WWA researchers have focused on specific problems of current concern to reservoir managers (e.g., the increasing need for environmental protection), and organized climate information needs in terms of an annual calendar of decisions. This decision calendar delineates the times of the year that specific types of climate information are most relevant and most useful. The decision calendar has provided a springboard that has encouraged WWA scientists to develop partnerships with reservoir managers to improve the quality, relevance, use, and value of climate information. These partnerships are resulting in improved methods for climate monitoring, development of procedures to use seasonal climate outlooks in reservoir operating plans, and improved short-term streamflow forecasts to optimize the management of water and increase in-stream flows for environmental protection. More uses of climate information are emerging, leading to both higher efficiencies and improvements in environmental protection.
What are the major climate-related policy issues facing the region over the next five years?
Future climate-related policy issues in the Interior West are many and varied. While water supply availability for municipal, agricultural and industrial uses is likely to remain the primary concern in most locales, several related concerns exist pertaining to the relationship of water resources to environmental protection, fire management, energy production (and demand), recreation and tourism, and, more generally, public lands management. This suite of issues is growing in breadth, complexity, and urgency for a variety of reasons, including the stress on resources associated with rapid population growth and urbanization in the West.
Page 97 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In order to better link scientific understanding of climate variability to the water-related laws, policies and decision processes of the West, a long list of institutional issues demand greater attention. This is a core message of a recent National Research Council study entitled Envisioning the Agenda for Water Resources Research in the Twenty-First Century (2001) which describes water institutions research as ''particularly urgent'' (page 33), with research and reforms needed to ''emphasize flexibility and facilitate the management of water scarcity'' (page 35). In most cases, these institutional issues are not new, nor are they expected to soon vanish from the public policy agenda. These are long-term concerns, and despite local nuances, are issues found in relatively similar form across the entire West. A general inventory of water policy issues with particularly strong linkages to (and implications for) western climate variability includes:
Exploring legal, political, and other institutional obstacles that discourage the conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater as a means of moderating water supply variability;
Accommodating and protecting public values in water resourcesincluding environmental considerationsin the face of growing demands, privately controlled water transactions, and climatic variability;
Reconciling federal laws and programs for environmental protection and public lands management with the varied authorized purposes of federal water projects, and with state water laws and programs primarily designed to promote development and guide allocation;
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Exploring regulatory and economic tools for drought response, mitigation, and avoidance;
Addressing water management challenges associated with the trans-boundary nature of water resources, including the lack of congruence between political regions and hydrologic regions, and the more general problem of fragmented institutions for resources management and decision-making;
Enhancing the ability of decision-makers and decision-making forums to establish programs and policies in the face of scientific uncertainty, and given the political, legal and logistical impediments to adaptive management approaches; and,
Evaluate the use of economic incentives, price signals, and market mechanisms to manage water demands, to manage risk, and to promote greater flexibility and reliability in water management.
CLIMATE ASSESSMENT FOR THE SOUTHWEST PROJECT (CLIMAS)
What do we know now that we did not know five years ago as a result of CLIMAS work?
We have developed an initial methodological approach to doing ''usable science,'' integrating social and natural science while including stakeholders in user-driven basic and applied research. These new approaches have led to the accomplishments listed below.
We have documented the processes central to the interaction between stakeholders and producers of climate-related information, and how such interaction shapes decision-making on both sides.
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Our assessments indicate that human vulnerability (and perceptions of vulnerability) to climate is unevenly distributed within and among community livelihood structures in Arizona; it is unlikely that most community members will make extensive use of climate services directly; rather the information will be transmitted through existing institutional/organizational structures such as the Cooperative Extension and stakeholder organizations.
We now know the types of regional and site-specific climate information that are helpful in the decision-making process of multiple stakeholder groups: surface water users/managers, farmers, ranchers, forest and fire managers, public health officials; in the SW, the most common need is seasonal rainfall information, forecast months in advance. However, we have documented a wide diversity of detailed climate information needs that go well beyond this most general information requirement.
We have identified some of the institutional constraints to use of climate information, how climate knowledge is used, and why some stakeholders do NOT use climate forecasts.
We have determined that there is significant SW stakeholder interest in seasonal climate forecasts for locations outside the Southwest; this interest is tied to efforts to establish and maintain competitive advantage.
We have determined skill levels associated with a range of experimental and operational winter and summertime rainfall (and streamflow) forecasts and outlooks; in general, winter-time rainfall can be predicted in the SW region with significantly better skill than summer, although in some situations (e.g., weak El Niño or La Niña), forecast skill in winter goes down significantly. The most useful new knowledge is that tailored information on forecast skill, previously unavailable, is useful for multiple types of stakeholders.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We now have improved diagnostic and predictive information for the understanding and forecasting of North American monsoon (summer rainfall) variability, especially for the SW region. In particular, we have identified the variable synoptic controls on intraseasonal SW regional precipitation variability and coupling/decoupling to Great Plains precipitation-variability. Moreover, we have identified key non-ENSO SST regions in the Pacific and Atlantic that add forecast skill 16 months in advance. Our experimental monsoon forecast outperformed other experimental and operational forecasts in the first year of its application.
We have determined that most national and international climate forecasts/outlooks are presented in ways (e.g., on the www or hardcopy) that are confusing and misinterpreted by stakeholders. As a result of dialogs with stakeholders, we have determined ways to make climate forecast/outlook information more useful. We have also determined how to ''downscale'' climate information in ways that enhance usability by stakeholders, and have begun to understand controls on the sub-regional precipitation that is so important to stakeholders. Continental-scale forecast/outlook products produced by existing experimental and operational programs are not optimal for users.
We documented for the first time the links between climate variability, land-use and valley fever disease; valley fever is the leading serious (i.e., sometimes fatal) infectious disease of the region. Established that climate can influence valley fever over a 24 year period, via monthly variation in temperature, precipitation and soil moisture conditions. Developed an experimental predictive model of valley fever incidence.
Special focus on Sulphur Springs Valley (SSV) case study of groundwater dependent agriculture in the SW:
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
z Access to water is the principal limiting factor for farm owners in the region. Its availability is largely determined by depth to which water has to be pumped and the costs of pumping that water. Climatic conditions and events (i.e., temperature, cloud cover, solar radiation, and wind) influence the water needs of plants and determine to a large extent the availability of water, evapotranspiration rates, and soil moisture levels. Technological adaptations across sectors have focused on increasing the efficiency of water extraction and use.
z High water costs place SSV farmers at an economic disadvantage vis-a-vis farmers in other parts of the U.S. and the world. To reduce this vulnerability farmers in the SSV look for climate forecasting information in competing regions within the U.S. and around the world.
z Unexpected and short-term extreme climatic events are a common concern to all stakeholders. On the one hand, frost, heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and floods can be more damaging that a season-long drought. On the other hand, farmers expect and have adapted to a great deal of climatic variability from one year or season to the next. While there is profound interest in better forecasts of an unusual event, concern about changes in annual average conditions is relatively low. Thus, forecasting information that ties climate to specific events is most useful.
z There is a general distrust of climate and weather information in relation to Monsoon rains. As explained by a farmer: ''we can watch all the reports we want. We might get a lot of rain here and our neighbor might not get a drop.''
Page 102 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCz Farmers tend to combine information from forecasts with their own experience; those who have been in the region for a long time and come from farming families are at an advantage.
z Farmers expressed the need for climate information more finely tuned to the local area, including historical data. They emphasize that the SSV falls in between the locations typically given on the prediction models (Tucson and El Paso). They also emphasize that the valley's 4,000-foot elevation results in significant differences in temperature from Tucson.
z There is interest in the longer-term changes in climate that would affect the water table and irrigation. Since farmers perceive that winter precipitation is the main source of aquifer recharge, they want winter precipitation forecasts that extend into the future (two to five years).
z Farmers would like a list of available climate information websites that is easily accessible. In the words of one farmer: ''In the NOAA website you have to stumble around for a couple days to find what you really need. It would be nice if NOAA had a link on their home page for agricultural predictions.''
z Farmers concerns about climate are influenced by their perceptions of their own adaptive capacity. In most cases, they perceive that the vulnerability of agriculture has declined because of available technology and larger societal-scale adaptations such as crop insurance.
z Farmers rely on both vertical (institutional), and horizontal (social capital) networks to reduce vulnerability to climate variability. These formal and informal networks provide access to climate information and to financial and other assets that allow farmers to respond to climate and adapt.
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What are the major policy issues facing each region over the next five years that have been identified as priority for stakeholders?
We will need a thorough understanding of the opportunities and constraints to policy implementation and change in view of the need to respond and adapt to climate variability/change. For that we need to understand stakeholders' (policy-makers) decision-making processes, especially considering the array of formal institutional arrangements existing at the federal, state, and binational level (in relation to the U.S.-Mexican border).
We need to understand the interactions between climate variability and climate change, with particular reference to predictability and the potential for surprise climate behavior that has large negative impacts on stakeholders of the region. Ensuring the sustainability of SW economic growth in the face of climate change needs to be a focus of RISA research.
We need a stronger education and public outreach infrastructure to help various stakeholder groups understand and plan with climate variability in mind; this has to be done in a ''multi-stress'' decision-support framework that includes not just climate, but other issues as well.
Similarly, we need to do more with regard to studying and targeting information to ''middlemen'' and ''boundary organizations.'' How, when, where and why does climate and other environmental information enter the decision-making process? This will vary significantly among stakeholder groups' both commonalties and differences need to be identified and tapped.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The roles of the private versus public sectors in climate research, assessment and services need to be addressed. Each sector has its roles, and each is needed to serve the stakeholders in a cost-effective manner.
We need continued work on nature and causes of summer monsoon variability with a goal of improved forecast skill (we work with the North American Monsoon Experiment science program, as well as on applied stakeholder-oriented aspects in our region). Similarly, the skill of non-summer rainfall forecasting also needs substantial improvement in order to meet the needs of stakeholders.
We need to address the wider range of stakeholder climate needs beyond precipitation. For example, numerous stakeholders need better forecasts of wind, relative humidity, frost, extreme events (droughts, floods), and lightning.
We must improve understanding and predictability of sub-regional climate variability and impacts for the SW.
Significant research and improvements are needed in the area of climate information product style, content, format, and visualization; this work will likely lead to steady increase in climate information use by stakeholders.
z Agriculture and Ranching. Much remains to be done as described in general above, but in particular, we need to improve our understanding of the physical impact of ENSO phenomena on agricultural livelihoods. Moreover, it will be important to assess the ways in which ENSO signals are portrayed in the media and the corresponding effects on farm-level decision-making. A new issue will be assessing the impact of the New Farm Bill on the ability of farmers to adapt to climate variability and change.
Page 105 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
z Public Health. We need to improve valley fever predictive skill, and also investigate other emerging climate-health issues, particularly in the face of continued rapid population increases. Focused research, forecast development, and mitigation programs are needed for dengue, encephalitis, influenza, Hantavirus and possibly other infectious diseases that threaten humans in the SW region.
z Public Health. Focused efforts are needed to understand the linkages between climate variability and air quality planning, particularly with regard to SW regional urban smog, desert dust and wildfire issues.
z Water. Greater focus on water management in an era of Colorado and Rio Grande Basin contests; prospects of stronger regulation in certain areas where growth may be outstripping water supply. More specifically, need to 1) develop management strategies appropriate for agriculture, municipal and industrial water-using sectors in response to changes in water supply variability; 2) identify cost effective public policies to protect water dependent fish and wildlife and water quality under conditions of increased water supply variability; and 3) develop policy tools to respond to drought and water supply uncertainty, facilitate resilient and flexible water use across water using sectors and encourage appropriate investments in water conservation and infrastructure improvements.
z Water and Agriculture. Urban water users can manage their vulnerability to climate variability in part by purchasing agricultural water or water rights. However, any reduction in agriculture will have other impacts on rural communities. These issues must be assessed in a multi-stress context that includes climate variability and change.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
z Border Issues. Need to develop and use knowledge on climate variability linkages with international migration, transboundary water and air quality management.
z Wildland Fire. An increased focus on urban-wildland interface expansion, biodiversity impacts and air quality issues will be required.
z Conservation/biodiversity. Many stakeholder decisions increasingly must incorporate consideration of conservation and biodiversity concerns, and these issues thus constitute critical stresses that must be considered in concert with climate in the decision-making process. Research in this area is needed, particularly given the rapid ongoing economic and population growth in the SW region.
z Mining. Climate-related impacts on large active and historic mineral mining operations will be increasingly critical for effective pollution mitigation.
z Energy. Climate-related pressures on energy availability and costs must be assessed, particularly in the face of continued rapid climate change (regional warming) and population growth.
z Rural Livelihoods. Tourism and climate interactions exist and need to be assessed, along with climate forecasting in the context of irrigated agriculture and ranching.
z Urban Areas. Urban growth in the region is the fastest in the nation, and research/assessment efforts must be made to aid in the coping of multiple environmental stressors (e.g., climate, air quality, water, infectious disease, biodiversity) in managing large, sprawled urban areas.
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
How are projects designed to meet stakeholder interest in your region?
CLIMAS was designed to meet stakeholders interests (and needs) in two innovative ways. First, CLIMAS has explicit social science research strategies to assess what stakeholder interests/needs are, and how best to meet them. When information products are developed, CLIMAS then assesses the success of the products and how to make improvements. Second, CLIMAS is not just a partnership between social and natural scientists, it is also a partnership between scientists (and students) and the stakeholders themselves. We are in regular communication with the stakeholders to carry out our assessments of needs and ability to meet these needs. We also make every effort to listen, and to be responsive to what we hear. This approach is different, particularly given the fact that we avoid the ''love 'um and leave 'um'' approach the stakeholders are used to when dealing with researchers or agency peopleour goal is to sustain partnerships, and to always be learning from them (this goes both waysall partners learn). The need to sustain partnerships, and in particular be responsive to partner (stakeholder) needs creates larger demand on resourcesboth for ''service and information'' activities, but also for accelerated knowledge creation (e.g., for improvements in climate prediction and multi-stress integrated knowledge).
How is money used and, in particular, leveraged?
Our NOAA RISA funds are greatly leveraged in many ways. First, the stakeholder (user) driven nature of CLIMAS work leverages much of the other environmental science going on at the university (and broader scientific community). Our goal is to tap basic science for use by stakeholders. Thus, projects funded by NASA, NSF, EPA and other agencies are heavily leveraged. In this way we provide stakeholders with increasingly integrated knowledge and agency ''payoff.'' Moreover, we leverage against the wealth of university programs that also are funded by state, private and other sources. A great deal of student and faculty time is leveraged by the other sources of funding that underwrite this participation. When it comes to working with stakeholders, we find substantial leverage in working with operational entities that are charged with working with stakeholdersCooperative Extension, National Weather Service, Forest Service, etc. Working with these entities also help us build and sustain partnerships with stakeholders.
Page 108 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What resources will we need to do the job?
To meet the growing and anticipated stakeholder demand, we estimate that a total of $7.5M of new funding will be required for the SW region as detailed below. This would be on top of increased national infrastructure in the areas of climate observations, modeling and process study research.
SW Climate Science and Assessment. The critical mass for SW regional user-driven (stakeholder-driven) climate science and assessment is about $2.5M/yr for the heavily intertwined research and assessment. Of this total, we anticipate that ca. $2M is needed for the core University of Arizona activities, along with ca. $0.5 to fund partners at other universities and federal labs. CLIMAS has already has NOAA-funded (awards pending) links with Scripps, Desert Research Institute (Reno), Climate Diagnostics Center and The University of New Mexico.
Experimental Regional Climate Services. An estimated $0.5M/yr are required at the University of Arizona to develop an experimental regional climate services capability for routine and sustained interaction with stakeholder groups, for developing prototype information products, and for training operational climate services staff (e.g., NOAA NWS). No funds are yet available for experimental or operational stakeholder services, so this responsibility now falls 100 percent with CLIMAS research/assessment. We are successfully transitioning our wildland fire-climate outlook activity to the National Interagency Fire Center, and are seeking for NOAA funding (the first installment of the above-mentioned $0.5M for stakeholder services) for a climate-oriented UA Extension Specialist to integrate climate knowledge and information into services provided to farming and ranching stakeholders. However, demand for experimental products and services is rapidly outstripping our ability to meet this demand.
Page 109 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Basic Regional Climate Science. In addition to all of the above climate assessment and services resources, increasing stakeholder demand will require greater funding for both the traditional ''global'' climate science (observing systems, modeling and process studies), as well as more focus on regional scale climate dynamics and predictability. For example, the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) is focused on understanding summertime climate variability in the SW and is thus critical for our stakeholders. Also, more effort is needed in the area of high-resolution ''regional'' climate modeling focused on the topographical complex SW region. The funding needed for regional initiatives like NAME and regional modeling will have to be made available to the national and international climate dynamics research community in order to accelerate the process of making climate science useful. We estimate that this SW-region-specific basic climate research will require an additional $7.5M/year.
THE SOUTHEAST ASSESSMENT
The Florida Consortium of Universities (FLC), consisting of the University of Miami, University of Florida, and The Florida State University, was created in 1996. The purpose of the consortium is to combine resources and expertise of the three Universities to work on the application of climate information (including seasonal-to-annual climate forecasts) to support decision-making in agriculture in the southeastern United States. Our objective is to bridge the knowledge and methodology gap that exists between those who supply climate information and those who make decisions related to agricultural production or other climate-sensitive sectors.
Florida is the Nation's ninth ranked agricultural state, with sales of $6.7 billion in 1998. Agriculture had a $20 billion direct impact on the state economy. Florida leads the Nation in citrus production, ranks second in vegetables and horticulture production, and fourth in overall crop production. The magnitude and variety of agricultural production in Florida raise questions of which commodities and regions are most influenced by climate. Also, the diversity of Florida's agriculture will place strong demands on a climate information system.
Page 110 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What do we know now that we did not know five years ago?
The Southeast U.S. experiences particularly strong climate shifts, with Florida feeling the greatest impacts. El Niño typically brings 30%40% more rainfall and cooler temperatures to Florida in the winter, while La Niña brings a warmer and much drier than normal winter. Other oscillations and indices affect the climate of North America on decadal and multi-decadal time scales (PHO, NAO, AMO), but their impacts apparently are overwhelmed in Florida by the interannual variability of ENSO.
ENSO impacts many aspects of Florida's climate other than average temperature and precipitation. Studies at Florida State University have shown that:
(a) El Niño (La Niña) greatly decreases (increases) the number of hurricanes that make landfall in the U.S.;
(b) tornado activity is greater in the Deep South during La Niña episodes;
(c) damaging freezes in Florida are up to three times more likely during neutral ENSO conditions; and
(d) wildfire activity in Florida is dramatically increased in the spring of La Niña episodes.
As far as agricultural impacts are concerned, we analyzed the influence of INSO phases on historical yields of annual field crops (maize, soybean, peanut), sugarcane, vegetables (potatoes, eggplant, strawberry, celery, pepper, tomatoes, snap bean and sweet corn) and citrus (oranges, limes, grapefruit, temples, tangelos and tangerines). We found that several of Florida's high-valued crops are influenced by ENSO:
Page 111 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
During El Niño events, winter yields decreased for tomato (77 percent of long-term average in neutral years), bell pepper (77 percent), sweet corn (83 percent) and snap beans (83 percent) yields;
Prices increased for bell pepper (31 percent of average) and snap bean (31 percent) during El Niño episodes;
In the harvest following El Niño events, yields of grapefruit increased (109 percent) and tangerines (116 percent) but lime yields decreased (86 percent);
Following La Niña events, sugarcane yields increased slightly (107 percent).
As far as wildfire is concerned, the impacts of ENSO in Florida are dramatic. The burn damage across the state during La Niña events averages over 200,000 acres per year, more than twice the average annual amount. While the ENSO signal is quite robust in the historical burn data, the limited number of warm and cold events and human intervention such as controlled burns, land use changes, and effective suppression can bias the results. For this reason, a surrogate variable, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), KBDI was chosen for use in an experimental forecast of fire risk. Beginning in 2001, we have prepared a monthly forecast of the KBDI on a county by county level for the entire Florida wildfire season.
There is also a significant ENSO signal in ''impact freezes'' in Florida. We have identified a dozen ''impact freezes'' over the last century. Surprisingly, all but one of these events happened during the neutral ENSO phase. This discovery motivated the FC to explore the impacts of ENSO on the occurrence of freezes in Florida. In parts of Northeast, Central, and South Florida, damaging freeze events are up to three times more likely to occur in Neutral years than during El Niño or La Niña events, with La Niña being the least likely. Based on results and the forecast for neutral ENSO phase during the winter of 2001/2002, the FC issued a warning of the increased freeze risk to agriculture, which was broadly disseminated.
Page 112 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Our research results relate not only to how nature works, in the form of the underlying regional climate dynamics and the impacts they produce on Florida's agricultural investments, but they include as well what we have learned about the most effective ways in which scientists can and should communicate with farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. The team, for instance, engaged in a series of rapid surveys to learn from extension agents, farmers and ranchers about agricultural productions systems in Florida, about decisions made by producers that could potentially benefit from climate information, and whether and how climate information is currently being used.
Several general lessons were derived from the various modes of interaction with Florida agricultural stakeholders. Some of these lessons are:
The very diverse nature of agricultural production in Florida (ranging from row. crops to citrus, vegetables, tropical fruits, and ornamentals) will place very strong demands on a climate information system.
Interest in climate forecasts varied widely among Florida farmers, ranging from no confidence to a high level of optimism.
Farmers are well aware that weather and climate variability are important in all agricultural production systems. Weather and climate invariably appear on farmers' list of concerns, but climate is never at the top of the list in any commodity.
Farmers producing different commodities generally raise the same issues and indicate a need for similar information before they would use climate forecasts.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There seems to be varying flexibility to adjust management in response to climate information among farm sizes and types of production.
We found only a few cases where farmers had already used climate forecasts in their decisions.
While growers of rain-fed crops were concerned about climate fluctuations, market conditions tended to dominate decisions for high-value crops.
Many growers were sensitive to price impacts of increasing globalization, and wanted climate forecasts for their competitors' regions (in the U.S. or overseas).
The agricultural Extension Service is viewed by farmers and trade groups as a highly trusted source of information and technical recommendations.
A successful and sustainable program for application of climate information must attract the interest of Extension specialists and agents in the field.
A Statewide Major Program (SMP) is a mechanism that legitimizes participation of Extension personnel in activities such as applications of climate information.
In addition, to understand how climate information/predictions can be used, we developed detailed case studies involving four important commodities in Florida: livestock, tomatoes, and peanuts. Each of these studies originated directly from our interactions with farmers and extension agents in these commodities, and built on information from our earlier assessments of ENSO impacts on agriculture in Florida.
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Many lessons learned from the case studies relate to specific commodities, sub-regions, and to the characteristics of grower groups, and are described in the white paper. However, some general lessons have been gleaned that are worthy of mention.
Value of Personal Interaction. Involving the Extension system, growers' groups, and other intermediary organizations in the research design and solicitation of additional support not only establishes the legitimacy of our activities in the eyes of decision-makers (e.g., the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture), but also gives us a realistic outlook of possible activities.
Trust in Provider of Information. The main factor defining trust by the farmers was their previous experience with the information provider. This supports our decision to partner with Extension service. It also implies a careful scoping of potential partners as we expand into water resources.
Balancing Research and Intervention. Research identified possible unintended consequences of introducing climate information for certain groups. For example, some smaller scale farmers were concerned that a climate forecast of upcoming bad conditions might lead to insurance companies canceling coverage ahead of time. This illustrated the need to study who might be the 'winners and losers' under different forecast scenarios prior to widespread dissemination efforts.
Models and Common Sense. We have found it useful both to employ formal modeling that may elicit counter-intuitive results and allow quantification of important variables, and to apply common sense to the problems at hand. Although the modeling framework is very useful for organizing knowledge, other approaches must be pursued, so no relevant body of learning is excluded.
Page 115 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Patience. Much of our work involves education of end users, and of the next generation of researchers, and the results of these efforts are not likely to be immediately evident, and it is often months, or years later when we realize that we have made a change in decision-making among some groups, or in various academic fields and their interface.
What are the major climate-related policy issues facing the region over the next five years?
There is a need to expand our agricultural application effort across the SE USA so that after five years, agricultural extension services in at least seven states in the region are routinely providing climate information for decision-making to their clientele and education programs to inform them of this new technology.
There is also a need to extend our focus to water resources management, to investigate how decision-makers in this sector might respond to climate information. Water resources management is the next logical step for the FLC to transition towards a regional climate service because of its economic importance, the clear influence of climate variability on available water resources and the forecast responses inherent in the annual decision cycles of the sector. As a shared resource, water integrates many of the sub-regions and economic sectors of Florida. The goal of initial activities is to scope the current and potential uses of climate information by the institutions that manage Florida's hydrologic resources.
The future mission and goals of the FLC are strongly grounded on our vision of how a climate information system would serve effectively agriculture and water resource management in the SE USA. A useful regional climate information system should involve an interdisciplinary team of physical and social scientists and extension/education specialists which would engage stakeholders in all aspects of planning, implementation, and assessment of its activities. The makeup of the team would evolve over time from one with a predominant research focus to another with a balanced program of research, education, and information delivery to clients.
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The regional climate information system we envision would provide downscaled climate forecasts and other climate information to local areas, using variables relevant to decision-makers in the sectors and region involved. It also would develop new methods for linking diverse types of scientific knowledge (climate, social, economic, and sector-specific) for use by decision-makers, providing information on the potential value and associated risks. The system would provide a sustained education and training program for landowners, water managers, cooperating institutions and policy makers. It would incorporate outreach and operational institutions as partners, such as the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service and Florida Water Management Districts, to reach end user decision-makers through trusted channels.
How are projects designed to meet stakeholders' interests?
The Florida Cooperative Extension Service is a major statewide institution with offices in each county and responsibilities to provide scientifically-based information for use in agriculture and natural resource management throughout the state. It has both dedicated faculty who are engaged with the citizens of Florida, and mechanisms for delivering relevant information to them. For these reasons, the Extension Service is an important partner of the FLC work.
Florida's agriculture is highly diverse and complex. Many markets, products, and institutions have a potential interest in using climate forecasts. For our work to have an impact, we need to prioritize and focus our research process, to explore mechanisms for creating a sustained interest in, and use of, climate information in the agricultural sector, and to evaluate the impact of our work. The Florida Cooperative Extension Service is an ideal partner of the FLC for achieving these goals. The utility of the extension mechanism to the team is enhanced by the information derived from our rapid surveys and case studies.
Page 117 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
We summarize now the main points of the paper before explicitly answering the three questions posed by the Committee.
1. The RISA Program of NOAA/OGP is an important innovation in the conduct of climate science in the U.S.
2. The new climate impact science has at its core a partnership between climate diagnosticians, impacts researchers, and users or potential users of climate forecasts and other information. As such, it is interdisciplinary, problem-focused, and societally robust.
3. At the same time, climate impact science is but a link in a large chain which is designed to give to the United States an ''end-to-end'' capability in climate science and its applications. The chain begins with basic climate dynamics research, downscaling of global models to regional and sub-regional spatial scales, understanding the forcing functions and patterns of climate variability at regional scales, understanding and explaining to users/stakeholders the impacts generated by these patterns, which are of interest to them, and making predictions on seasonal/interannual to decadal time scales. The process feeds back on itself to a large extent.
4. This chain rests on both an observational and modeling/computational infrastructure in which there are presently serious gaps. These issues have not been treated here.
5. While the RISA's have proved the feasibility and utility of the concept of climate impact science, a full reaping of societal benefits requires a much larger national investment than currently exists and the design and implementation of a National Climate Service with regional arms and legs to exist in parallel with the long-standing National Weather Service.
Page 118 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
6. Looking solely at the RISA link in the chain, the program is seriously underfunded at a level of FY '02 $3.3M for five programs, each of which is highly leveraged. This profile leaves a great deal of important work undone. Adequate funding for the present level of effort would be on the order of FY '03 $10M. This level would need to grow as new regional teams are crated in the future.
We turn now to the questions posed by the Committee.
1. What kind of climate and weather information are needed by ''consumers,'' such as regional resource managers, farmers, land-use planners, insurance actuaries, and emergency management agencies?
The climate information needed by stakeholders is comprehensively described for each RISA in relation to the question: ''What do we know now that we did not know five years ago?'' You might think of the climate forecasts issued by the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) focusing on temperature, precipitation, ENSO and the like as the suite of wholesale products. To make those predictions usable to stakeholders in specific places is the job of ''retailing'' the forecast. This entails often downscaling forecasts to specific regions and filling in the details. The details refer to how the climate forcing functions actually operate in specific places, what impacts they typically exert on various kinds of natural systems and economic activities which are sensitive to climate variability, and what levels of risk and uncertainly are embedded in the forecasts.
Page 119 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The crucial questions change by location, ecosystems, human ecology, level of economic development, and specific activity. Consequently, ''will winter snowpack and spring streamflow be above or below normal this year?'' might be a critical question in the PNW but will have no meaning in Florida where ''will it freeze?'' is definitely one of the critical questions. In the entire Western region of the United States, in fact, water is the central issue while the importance of wildfire shifts from region to region. Without a doubt, in Florida, the central question is the phasing and frequency of ENSO events.
ENSO is also important in the West but El Niño and La Niña events generate opposite impacts in the PNW as opposed to California. For the PNW it is not ENSO that is the most powerful climate driver as it is in Florida, it is in fact both the warm and cool phases of the decadal oscillation, the PDO. And the biggest impacts, like high probability of flooding and increased probability of multi-year droughts, occur when ENSO and the PDO are in phase.
In Arizona, the most demanded information across all stakeholder groups is seasonal rainfall forecast months in advance. In addition, the CLIMAS team has produced a major regional innovation in documenting the links between climate variability, land-use patterns, and valley fever disease, a leading infectious disease of the region. The California team, on the other hand, produced another significant innovation in funding effective temperature indicators other than thermometer readings, e.g., first bloom of lilacs or timing of Spring snowmelt runoff. The point here is that types of relevant information of use to stakeholders are not static. They grow as the research grows.
2. Do federal research programs now produce such information, and, if not, what kinds of changes in the federal research agenda are needed to develop such information?
Page 120 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The only Federal research programs which are centrally focused on and systematically produce such climate (as opposed to weather) information are the five RISA's, each of which is still an experimental activity. The changes required in the research programs are a greater national investmentinitially to an annual level of $10M and growing as the number of regional efforts expand, and expanding the observational and national modeling capabilities of the United States. We would repeat, however, that a full flowering of societal benefits from this investment will require the design and implementation of a National Climate Service to handle routine operations and expand service deliveries to stakeholders in specific regions.
3. How would such an expanded research agenda be coordinated with other global change research activities?
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) encompasses the entire chain we have described, from the basic climate dynamics research, through observational and modeling infrastructure, to local, place-based climate impacts research, and finally to working with stakeholders to understand their needs and to provide high quality climate information that is used in planning and decision-making.
One can find evidence for the statement above in a series of recent U.S. National Academy of Science reports which have been published:
I21Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade (1999)
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOur Common Journey (1999)
Making Climate Forecasts Matter (1999)
Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling (2001)
The overarching question on climate variability and change for the next phase of USGCRP has been posed in the following way:
How are the climate elements that are important to human and natural systems, especially temperature, precipitation, clouds, winds, and extreme events, affected by changes in the Earth system that result from natural processes and human activities?
It has been explicitly recognized that global changes do not proceed over the planet necessarily in a uniform way and that regional and sub-regional variability is high. Therefore, it is necessary to mount major investigations at regional space scales to provide integrated assessments of the climate system and its impacts in different locales and to provide real-time decision support to stakeholders of all kinds. In this respect, the RISA program of NOAA/OGP has shown the way. Moreover, RISA's are designed to tap, and provide enhanced value for, the large range of Federally-sponsored global change research which originated in the first Bush Administration in the late 1980's. For a relatively small investment, the whole of our global change effort becomes much more of a payoff for society.
Page 122 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC78957l.eps
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Dr. Miles. Dr. Edmonds.
STATEMENT OF JAMES A. EDMONDS, SENIOR STAFF SCIENTIST, PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY
Dr. EDMONDS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, for the opportunity to testify here this morning on science and energy technology for climate change. My presence here today is possible because the U.S. Department of Energy, EPRI, and numerous other organizations in both the public and private sectors, have provided me and my team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory long-term research support. And without that support, much of the knowledge base upon which I draw today would not exist.
That having been said, I come here today to speak as a researcher and the views that I express are my own alone, and they do not necessary reflect those of any organization. I have one simple point to make, and that is that science that enables the development of a revolutionary change in the global energy system holds one of the most important keys to addressing the long-term risks of climate change.
My written testimony develops my arguments more fully, but the basic logic is simple. The United States and more than 160 other parties are members of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. And that treaty has, as its goal, the stabilization of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at some, as yet, undetermined level. This and other uncertainties argues for a risk management strategy cognizant of important underlying principles.
Page 123 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The stabilization of the concentration of greenhouse gases at any level implies that the emissions of carbon dioxide, CO, the most important of the greenhouse gases, must eventually peak and then decline indefinitely thereafter, eventually falling to virtually zero.
At the same time, growth in the global energy system implies increasing demands worldwide for energy services. The present suite of energy technologies is based largely on the free venting of carbon to the atmosphere. And that paradigm is inconsistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases. Stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases will require a revolutionary change in the global energy system during the 21st century. And this change would be prohibitively expensive if undertaken with present technology.
While there is time to develop carbon management technologies and deploy them in an orderly manner, there is no time to delay the development of the scientific underpinnings.
Technology is the key to controlling costs and science is the key to facilitating the creation of revolutionary technologies.
I would like to give two examples of areas in which advances in scientific understanding could have a significant impact on our ability to manage the long-term risk of climate change.
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First, the successful development of technologies to capture and dispose of carbon in reservoirs permanently isolated from the atmosphere, implies that fossil fuelsin particular, domestic resources of fossil fuelscan continue as the backbone of the United States in global energy systems serving as an inexpensive primary source of energy, both for the production of electricity and hydrogen. But the development and deployment of carbon capture and disposal technology at that scalethat is, a billion tons of carbon per year, rather than a million tons as experimental facilities are now structured to capturerequires significant advances in science and technology. Better scientific understanding of the character of potential reservoirs and better techniques for measuring and monitoring reservoirs will be essential to the successful development of an important technology option.
Second, biotechnology offers particular promise. Biomass energy is not presently deployed at scale. Harnessing advances in the genomic sciences could enable the development of new plants with attractive features, such as the ability to be refined into high-energy density products in the field. And almost as important are continued advances in crop productivities. Without those continued advances, lands that will be needed for energy production would be tied up in food production. In that same vein, the development of rice strains with low methane emissions and no greater emissions of other greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide, may be important and made possible through biotechnology.
It may also be possible to develop bioreactors that can harness the potential of microbial organisms, such as photosynthetic bacteria, to produce clean fuels such as hydrogen. These bioreactors can exploit our increasing understanding of microbial enzymes and metabolic pathways.
Page 125 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Recent trends in the 1990's in the globe and in the United States public and private spending on energy research and development suggests that the role of technology in addressing climate changes may not be fully understood nor appreciated. And although public investment in energy R&D has increased very slightly in Japan, it has declined significantly during the 1980's and 1990's in the United States, and even more dramatically in Europe, where reductions of 70 percent or more since the '80's have been the norm.
Moreover, less than three percent of this investment is directed at technologies that, although not currently available commercially at an appreciable scale, have the potential to lower the cost of stabilization significantly.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to testify, and I will be happy to answer your and the Committee's questions.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Edmonds follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAMES A. EDMONDS
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, for the opportunity to testify here this morning on science and energy technology for climate change. My presence here today is possible because the U.S. Department of Energy, EPRI and numerous other organizations in both the public and private sectors have provided me and my team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) long-term research support. Without that support much of the knowledge base upon which I draw today would not exist. That having been said, I come here today to speak as a researcher and the views I express are mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of any organization. I have one simple point to make: Science that enables the development of revolutionary changes in the global energy system holds one of the most important keys to addressing the long-term issue of climate change.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The logic is simple. The stabilization of the concentration of greenhouse gases implies that the emissions of carbon dioxide, CO, the most important greenhouse gas, must peak and then decline indefinitely eventually falling to virtually zero. The timing of and scale of this pattern of emissions will be determined by the stabilization concentration, which to date neither science nor policy has identified. At the same time growth in the global economy implies increasing demands worldwide for energy services. The present suite of energy technologies is based largely on the free venting of carbon to the atmosphere. That paradigm is inconsistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases. Stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases will require a revolutionary change in the global energy system, which would be extremely expensive if undertaken with present technology.
Technology is the key to controlling costs, and science is the key to facilitating the creation of revolutionary technologies. For example, advances in the biological sciences, materials sciences (e.g., nanotechnology), and the computational sciences, could provide the foundations necessary to an energy technology revolution. The revolution in biological sciences, for instance, holds enormous promise for advances in energy technology. Biotechnology could make possible the development of a major biologically-based energy system in which crops were the feedstocks for modern fuels, or in which hydrogen was produced organically, or in which carbon was removed biologically from the atmosphere.
Stabilizing Concentrations, Not Emissions
The present structure for addressing climate change is the Framework Convention on Climate Change (the Rio Treaty). The Treaty has as its objective the ''stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.'' (Article 2) This is not the same as stabilizing emissions. Because emissions accumulate in the atmosphere, the concentration of carbon dioxide will continue to rise indefinitely even if emissions are held at current levels or even at some reduced level.
Page 127 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Stabilizing the concentration of CO has the very daunting implication that at some point net emissions from all sources (primarily fossil fuels plus land-use emissions) must eventually peak and subsequently decline indefinitely thereafter, eventually declining to virtually zero. In particular, limiting the concentration of CO, the most important greenhouse gas, to levels ranging from 350 ppmv to 750 ppmv, compared with pre-industrial concentration of 280 ppmv, implies a fundamental transformation of the global energy system by the end of the 21st century.
A popular myth is that the world is running out of fossil fuels and will therefore make a natural transition to an energy system based on renewables and conservation during this century, thus leading to a natural limit on cumulative carbon emissions. The reality is that while the most attractive grades of fossil fuel resources may be limited, fossil fuels as a class are abundant. In the absence of policies to limit cumulative carbon emissions, technology developments, driven by purely market forces, could enable fossil fuels to remain the core of the global energy system throughout the century ahead.(see footnote 13)
Growth in population and incomes can be expected to generate a concurrent growth in the demand for energy services. This growth in demand for energy services coupled with the abundance and usefulness of fossil fuels is anticipated to lead to a continued growth in cumulative global emissions of carbon to the atmosphere throughout the 21st century.
Limiting cumulative global emissions implies that the global energy system, not just the United States energy system, must sooner or later make a fundamental transformation. The suite of energy technologies that could affect this transition from continued emissions growth to peak and indefinite decline includes both non-fossil and, importantly, fossil-fuel energy technologies. Energy conservation, nuclear, solar, sustainable commercial biomass, hydroelectricity, wind and other renewable energy forms can provide energy without directly emitting carbon. But, so too can fossil fuels, if the associated carbon can be captured and disposed of in reservoirs that permanently isolate CO from the atmosphere. It is particularly interesting to note that if the carbon were removed from commercial biomass and permanently stored in isolation from the atmosphere, its energy would be associated with negative emissions. Both carbon capture and disposal and biotechnology hold special promise as avenues for R&D and technology development.
Page 128 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The Link Between Emissions and Concentrations
Unlike other greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere is not destroyed but is redistributed among the reservoirs that actively exchange carbon: plants and soils, the oceans, and the atmosphere. As a consequence, the long-term concentration of CO in the atmosphere is determined by cumulative emissions. The time path of emissions will have a profound effect on the cost of achieving atmospheric stabilization.
The Global Energy Technology Strategy Program to Address Climate Change is an international, public/private sector collaboration(see footnote 14) advised by an eminent Steering Group.(see footnote 15) Analysis conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as well as in collaborating institutions during Phase I supports the need for a diversified technology portfolio.
We have developed emissions paths that lower costs by avoiding the premature retirement of capital stocks, taking advantage of the potential for improvements in technology, reflecting the time-value of capital resources, and taking advantage of the workings of the natural carbon cycleregardless of which concentration was eventually determined to ''prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate.'' These emission reduction scenarios show that while there is time to develop carbon management technologies and deploy them in an orderly manner, there is no time to delay the development of their scientific underpinnings. Given that it takes decades to go from ''scientific research'' to the practical application of that research within some commercial ''energy technology'' and then perhaps another three to five decades before that technology is widely deployed throughout the global energy market, we will likely have to make begin laying the scientific foundations needed to under gird an energy technology revolution even if that revolution is not fully manifest until the second half of this century.
Page 129 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The cost of stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases will depend on many factors including the desired concentration, economic and population growth, and the portfolio of energy technologies that might be made available. Not surprisingly costs are higher the lower the desired concentration of greenhouse gases. They are also higher for higher rates of economic and population growth. And, they are lower the broader and more advanced the portfolio of energy technologies that are developed. This last point about the role of technology is very important, but not well appreciated.
Most long-term future projections of global energy and greenhouse gas emissions and hence, most estimates of the cost of emission reductions, assume dramatic successes in the development and deployment of advanced energy technologies. It is not well recognized, however, that the dramatic successes are assumed to occur for free, that is, from natural working of public and private sector R&D as usual. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change developed a set of scenarios based on the assumption that no actions were implemented to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The central reference case that assumes ''technological change as usual'' is called IS92a. This central reference scenario assumes that by the year 2100 three-quarters of all electric power would be generated by non-carbon emitting energy technologies such as nuclear, solar, wind, and hydro, and that the growth of crops for energy (commercial biomass) would account for more energy than the entire world's oil and gas production in 1985. Yet with all these assumptions of technological success, the need to provide for the growth in population and living standards around the world drive fossil fuel emissions well beyond 2000 levels of 6.9 billion tonnes of carbon per year to approximately 20 billion tonnes of carbon per year. Subsequent analysis by the IPCC as well as independent researchers serves to buttress the conclusion that even with optimistic assumptions about the development of technologies that the concentration of in the atmosphere can be expected to continue rise throughout the century.
Page 130 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Stabilizing the concentration of CO requires either greater deployment of technologies, which are already assumed to constitute a major share of the future global energy system, or the development and deployment of additional technology options. For example, technologies such as carbon capture and disposal, terrestrial carbon sequestration, fuel cells, hydrogen system, and biotechnology could play significant roles in future global energy systems, if cost-effective technology options are available that can simultaneously meet other societal requirements including: health, safety, reliability, other environmental concerns, performance, amenity, and cost. However, these and other carbon-management technology options are not likely to emerge by accident. They will be made possible by advances in science and technology.
There's No ''Silver Bullet''
No single technology controls the cost of stabilizing CO concentrations under all circumstances. To manage the risks associated with uncertainties in the future developments in science,(see footnote 16) economics, technology, and the regional diversity of technology needs requires a portfolio of investments in science and technology.
The portfolio of energy technologies that is employed in regimes that stabilize the concentration of atmospheric CO varies across space, time, and across concentration goals. Regional differences in such factors as resource endowments, institutions, demographics and economics, inevitably lead to different technology mixes in different nations, while changes in technology options inevitably lead to different technology mixes across time.
Page 131 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Technologies that are potentially important in stabilizing the concentration of CO include energy efficiency and renewable energy forms, non-carbon energy sources such as nuclear power and fusion, improved applications of fossil fuels, and technologies such as terrestrial carbon capture and sequestration by plants and soils, carbon capture and geologic disposal, fuel cells and batteries, and commercial biomass and biotechnology which holds the promise of enhancing a wide range of the above energy forms. At their present state of development, many of these technologies are undeveloped or play only a minor role in the global energy system.
Research and development by both the public and private sectors will be needed to provide the scientific foundations needed to achieve improved economic and technical performance, establish reliable mechanisms for monitoring and verifying the disposition of carbon, and to develop and market competitive carbon management technologies. However, the long-term nature of much of the technology development demands a substantial, and unique, leadership role for the public sector in the development of economically and environmentally acceptable carbon management technology. Finally, given the variety of regional market opportunities, and the need for global development, international research programs will be needed both to share the cost of development and prepare the infrastructure for a revolutionary carbon-neutral energy system.
The Role of Science
The transformation of the present global energy system based on free venting of carbon to the atmosphere to one in which energy services are provided by fossil fuels, renewable energy forms and conservation technologies with ever decreasing emissions is a daunting task. It implies a transition to a world where end-use energy services are provided increasingly by electricity and hydrogen, both of which in turn are increasingly associated with non-emitting technologies.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
As argued earlier, this does not necessarily mean a transition away from the use of fossil fuels. The successful development of technologies to capture and dispose of carbon in reservoirs permanently isolated from the atmosphere implies the continued attractiveness of fossil fuels as an inexpensive, primary source of energy both for the production of electricity and hydrogen. But, the development and deployment of carbon capture and disposal technology at scalea billion of tons of carbon per year, rather than a millionrequires significant advances in science and technology. For example, at present we cannot adequately predict the disposition of carbon in geologic reservoirs. Preliminary analysis indicates that if a cost-effective technology for carbon capture and disposal were available, that it could result in the accumulation of hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon in reservoirs over the course of a century. At such scales 99 percent retention is inadequate. Better scientific understanding of the character of potential reservoirs and better techniques for measuring and monitoring reservoirs will be essential to the successful development of an important technology option to address climate change.
Similarly, research in a wide range of areas could substantially improve the economics of stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases. Examples include:
Reaction chemistryespecially at the molecular level, for example, to help understand the mechanisms of chemical interactions in the conversion of cellulostic material to fuels and chemicals,
Solid-state materials and processingto provide knowledge on how to find, make, and process new semiconductor materials and how to scale up processing techniques for large scale manufacturing,
Page 133 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Nano-technologyto make, for example, to make miniature machines capable of providing energy services such as space conditioning with high efficiency and low cost, and
Materials analysis and characterizationto advance our fundamental knowledge of surface, bulk, and optoelectronic properties of materials, computational sciences, and catalysts.
While it is impossible to foresee precisely what technologies will ultimately be enabled by investments that build on the biological sciences revolution, several potential areas appear promising. For example, biomass energy is not deployed at scale. Harnessing advances in the genomic sciences could enable the development of new plants with attractive features such as the ability to be refined into a high energy density product in the field. Almost as important are continued advances in crop productivities. Without those continued advances, lands that will be needed for energy production will be tied up in food production. In that same vein, the development of rice strains with low methane emissions and no greater emissions of other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide may be made possible through biotechnology. It may also be possible to develop bioreactors that can harness the potential of microbial organisms, such as photosynthetic bacteria, to produce clean fuels such as hydrogen. These bioreactors can exploit our increasing understanding of microbial enzymes and metabolic pathways.(see footnote 17)
Advances in the above areas will be facilitated by parallel developments in the computational sciences, enabling the increasingly rapid and productive processing of knowledge and data.
Page 134 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCEnergy R&D
Recent trends in public and private spending on energy research and development in the world and in the United States suggest that the role of technology in addressing climate change may not be fully understood or appreciated. Although public investment in energy R&D has increased very slightly in Japan, it has declined significantly in the United States and even more dramatically in Europe, where reductions of 70 percent or more since the 1980s are common. This drop in investment is associated with a drop in patent activity and so appears to represent a real decline in technological progress. Moreover, preliminary analysis suggests that less than three percent of energy R&D is directed at technologies that, although not currently available commercially at an appreciable level, have the potential to lower the costs of stabilization significantly. It is worrisome that, as we look to advanced energy technology to provide options in dealing with the threat of climate change, the energy R&D enterprise seems to be in decline.
In summary, stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases at levels ranging up to 750 ppmv represents a necessary but daunting challenge to the world community. For any concentration goal, energy-related emissions of CO must sooner or later peak and begin a permanent decline. A portfolio of advanced technologies will be needed to manage the risks associated with an unknown goal, a wide array of potential outcomes in the areas of science and technology and the variety of regional circumstances and institutions into which the technology will be deployed around the world. A broad portfolio of science and technology investments can minimize the cost of eventually stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases, insuring the availability of both anticipated advances in present technologies and the emergence of technologies that are not presently a significant part of the global energy system. Their development and deployment will require enhanced energy R&D by both the public and private sectors.
Page 135 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to testify. I will be happy to answer your and the Committee's questions.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Let me commend you. You were right on targetexactly five minutes. Mr. Bernstein.
STATEMENT OF SCOTT BERNSTEIN, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And that will be a hard act to follow. I am Scott Bernstein, President of the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. And I was asked today to talk about how well we think the Federal energy technology program is doing in meeting environmental climate and economic goals, and whether there is more that the Federal Government could do to align the programs with those goals.
We believe that a better focus on a large number of small actions taken in communities would pay off. And I want to quickly review the current investments that DOE and EPA have in these areastake a look at how they do and don't stack up to that measure and then give an example in Chicago and conclude with a Federal set of suggestions.
Our review, as well as the review by the National Academy of Sciences recently, suggests that the current programs focus too much on new buildings and individual technologies and don't account for the slow rate of building turnover. Houses, for example, last, on average, 80 years. If we look at simply replacement of equipment in new homes, we would be waiting 50 to 60 years to get results for each individual technology and then it would have to add up.
Page 136 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The programs, as they are constituted, provide no real feedback on performances to end users and, therefore, learning doesn't occur. Focusing on electricity, which is a big part of greenhouse gas emissions, we have seen enormous growth in electrical usein electric heat, in air conditioning, in consumer electronics, and computers, and health and convenience concerns will continue to drive that. So we have seen this fantastic growth in electricity consumption.
The DOE survey suggests that while we saw big drops from the '70's to 1987, about 30 percent in household energy consumption, it has been flat since then. People have found new things to consume energy on and population has been growing. Homes have been getting larger even though households have been getting smaller. The turnover rates, as we have said, are slow. And so 85 percent of the 20/20 housing stock exists today. Decentralization is outpacing population, and the rate at which we are sprawling is 62 percent faster than the rate of household growth. This is also driving energy use. This chart is based on six million driving records in Chicago, LA, and San Francisco, and it shows that energy use is inversely related to density and convenience.
If you think about this in climate terms, you can sort of put this in two maps. This is Chicago, Illinois. The view on the left is the traditional one that says that where most of the people live is the hot spots for both criteria pollutants and for CO.
But if you ask the question on a household level, how are we doing, you get the opposite point of view. On a per household level, there is less energy being used in the smaller and more convenient sorts of places.
Page 137 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Household growth is outpacing home building in g of the United States counties now, according to the most recent census data. And what that means isit is a little hard to see on this chartbut if you could see those black dots, those are the hundred largest cities. Most of the places where this is true, are the largest MSAs in the country. So metropolitan America is where most of the household growth is occurring, and that gives us something to think about.
We think that an approach that would work, based on our own experience and others, is a focus on existing buildings and users, giving people real-time information on consumption, demand, and prices, something that organizes energy users to act as a group, not just individually, and something that would stimulate users to engage with each other, as well as with energy providers in government.
As an example, we want to focus the technology recommendation on what the Federal Government could do to help provide real-time information. It is critical to do this because deployment of technology is a function of decisions. This requires informationthat is what is driving the economy, but we are not treating a deployment problem as urgent. History shows us the value of doing so.
This picture is from the New York General Assembly archives. And in the early 1900's they were wondering how to keep automobile driving safe. They said let us regulate speed, but there were no speedometers and there were no standards for manufacturing them. They said, we will post speed limits and we will let cops, in effect, try and chase down the cars. As you can see, bikes had a hard time keeping up with even early cars. The General Assembly voted an emergency appropriation to buy motorcycles for the New York Police. This wasn't an optimal solution and standards got set and people started to get real feedback and the system could work. There is a principle there.
Page 138 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Today's electric meters are 1960's state-of-the-art models. They don't provide real-time information we could store or use. And so we don't get the benefits of peak demand at reduction. In Illinois, we estimate that only 1.2 percent of the year is the need for the newer peaking power plants actually there, but we pay enormously for it. This is true across the country.
What we did in Chicago about this, just to wrap upI know this isn't enough time to do this justicebut we formed a partnership with the local utility. We found areas where people were concerned about energy savings and reliability. We set up real-time meters. We showed that we could save really significant amounts of money and help lower peoples' bills. But in the aggregate, we got 25 percent penetration in the communities that we went into, in less than 18 months, by partnering with the community. That is the important point here. And so, the savings were big. It could be implemented quickly.
The Federal Government, we would recommend, couldyou couldthe Committee could invite a white paper to extend these particular kinds of ideas. It could promote better multi-agency collaboration around it, provide performance reporting requirements to the agencies, change the research and development focus to focus more on existing buildings and communities, explore tax policy to accelerate the turnover of the information system that we have right nowthese clunker metersinto a real modern information infrastructure and explore Federal authority to help local utilities and states consider unbundling metering and distribution services.
And I thank you very much for the opportunity to present these ideas.
Page 139 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bernstein follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SCOTT BERNSTEIN
''Moving from Split Incentives to Joint Stakes in Energy Technology and Climate Research Initiatives''
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, many thanks for the invitation to join you today to discuss ''New Directions for Climate Research and Technology Initiatives.'' I am Scott Bernstein, President of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and co-founder of the Community Energy Cooperative, based in Chicago, Illinois. CNT is a twenty three year old organization whose mission is to promote livable communities that work for everyone. Our practice and competencies are in developing insights into the hidden assets of existing communities and their institutional and technological underpinnings, then applying these insights into incentives for achieving greater resource efficiencies, promoting community durability and sustainability, and initiating new marketplace arrangements to help households and businesses capture these benefits. It's been our privilege to be a co-founder of national organizations that are promoting a sound energy future, such as the Surface Transportation Policy Project and Smart Growth America, and to participate in the federal policy formulation process on energy and climate strategy as a member of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, and the White House Policy Dialogue on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Personal Motor Vehicles (aka ''Car Talk.'').
It is in the context of our experience with successful community-based energy programsthat we are pleased to testify to the Committee. We were asked today to address two broad questions. [SLIDE]
Page 140 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Is Federal research and technology policy aligned to achieve national environmental and climate goals?
Is there more that the Federal Government could do to align those policies that would ensure our energy future, meet environmental goals and increase the opportunity for future economic growth?
From our perspective, we believe that the answer to the first question is no; changes to federal research and technology policy could be made that would more quickly achieve national environmental and climate goals.
And we believe that the answer to the second question is yes; if we could realign those policies it would create additional opportunities to ensure our energy future, meet environmental goals and increase economic growth.
To address these questions, we'd like first to review our experience in implementing large scale, rapid growth programs at the community level. The remainder of our testimony will describe the nature of the misalignment and provide some modest suggestions for change.
In that regard, we'd like to focus on four topics today. They include:
How a decades-long focus on the new buildings, technologies and communities at the expense of existing buildings, communities and technologies has led to a misalignment of Federal policy;
Page 141 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
How a focus on existing buildings and communitiesin conjunction with rapid application of information technologywould help correct this misalignment and is necessary to incent rapid adoption of energy efficiency technologies and behavior;
How the application of information technology is necessary to build a transparent system that would align the incentives for rapid change; and
Potential federal roles to create the incentives necessary to capture the benefits of this increased energy efficiency.
Background and Experience
CNT has extensive experience in implementing energy programs in urban communities. In the late 1970's we built the first community-based solar greenhouses in the country. By the mid-1980's, we were running a large energy efficiency program that retrofitted over 12,000 units of multi-family housing in Chicago, significantly reducing energy consumption and cost for building owners and tenants, with paybacks in the five to seven year range. Along with similar programs to address energy efficiency in community facilities and pollution prevention in small manufacturing, we were responsible for the successful retrofitting of over 1,000 facilities in Chicago. Two of our partners in these enterprises, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and the Community Investment Corporation, incorporated energy efficiency into their performance specification for thousands of additional homes and apartment buildings as a result of this experience. And as the natural gas markets began to deregulate, CNT organized the Gas Buyers' Club, to supply market-priced natural gas to small commercial and multi-family buildings. Our work earned special recognition awards from Secretary of Energy Donald Hodel, Renew America, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, Illinois Governor James Thompson, and the Grand Prize in a national Cost-Cutters Competition for Affordable Housing by Enterprise Foundation founder James Rouse. Throughout the subsequent years we have maintained a balanced approach to energy policy, helping four mayors of Chicago negotiate model franchise agreements; passing comprehensive municipal energy codes; developing market based approaches to accelerating adoption of energy efficiency technologies and practices; and our staff has also helped run Illinois Critical Trends Assessment Project for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Scientific Surveys. Recently, we established a data base service with a carbon emissions calculator, covering 70,000 consumer products; this led to our being awarded support by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences to deploy its use nationally.
Page 142 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In 1998, CNT began to work with Commonwealth Edison, the local Chicago utility, to develop and test programs that could benefit both the utility and the communities it served, in the context of the utility restructuring that was beginning in Illinois at that time. As a result of that work, we established the Community Energy Cooperative in January 2000 to develop and implement innovative strategies that address the need for Illinois energy consumers to get smarter about their energy use. The Cooperative established its goals as working to help improve electrical reliability, to reduce the costs of energy services and to enable community participation in new energy markets. Commonwealth Edison provided the initial startup funding for the Cooperative, with additional support from the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Community. In 2001 the Cooperative was established as its own organization, and is operated under a management contract with CNT. Additional support was received from the Association of Illinois Energy Cooperatives and the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation.
The Cooperative developed a model in which it could capture the value of geographically targeted peak demand reductions on the utility system infrastructure. The tools used in this model included setting up programs that addressed community-based energy efficiency, distributed resources, load management and customer aggregation. We selected communities based on two criteria: communities that were experiencing serious reliability problems, and demonstrated community capacity to organize around complex issues. From the Cooperative's launch in June 2000 in the Pilsen community of Chicago (the oldest standing community in the city), the Cooperative has expanded its targeted programs to three other communities: Elgin (both the oldest and fastest growing suburb), Park Forest (with no growth) and the Northwest Side of Chicago (rapid growth near O'Hare Airport). During this time, the Cooperative has built a membership base of 7,000 households and over 150 businesses and municipalities. [SLIDE DESCRIBING COOP]
Page 143 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In each community the Cooperative used a variety of community-based organizing methods that were tailored to that community and provided immediate incentives including energy efficiency kits to every new member. The major programs that the Cooperative offered during its first two years focused on providing immediate value to members through the subsidy of changes in energy usage. By aggregation of members who could share in the value of reduction of demand the Cooperative was able to offer members a variety of incentive programs. These offers included: [SLIDE]
Replacing 5,500 old inefficient window air conditioners with new Energy Star air conditioners. These have saved members an estimated $250,000 in energy costs, and permanently reduced peak electricity demand by approximately 3.7 megawatts.
Replacing nearly 400 central air conditioning units with higher efficiency units, reducing energy demand by about 50 percent or 0.5 megawatts.
Replacing 150 inefficient refrigerators with high efficiency units in Pilsen, and planning a wider-scale rebate program for Energy Star refrigerators in Elgin and Park Forest.
Enrolling 4,000 Chicago households in a financial hedging program to provide protection against unexpected increases in the price of natural gas.
Launching a lighting retrofit program for municipalities and small businesses, typically saving participants 30 percent on their lighting costs with investments that pay for themselves in about three years. Seventy Cooperative members reduced lighting electrical demand by about two megawatts and cumulatively will save approximately $400,000 per year.
Page 144 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Organized nearly 30 megawatts of feeder-based curtailable commercial, industrial and municipal load with technology that including real-time monitoring of energy consumption by members and the Cooperative.
Installed a sixty-kilowatt micro-turbine in an industrial facility in Pilsen to be used in conjunction with real time prices for peak reduction.
Assisted in installing 100 kilowatts of solar rooftop systems for community organizations and municipal buildings for peak demand reduction.
Provide real-time community based load shapes and informationsupplied from Com Ed substations for the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago at http://www.energycooperative.net/energy
Provided ancillary programs to meet stated community needs, including an after school computer skills tutoring program; a startup car sharing program; and initiated plans for delivering broadband communications through wireless technology.
[SLIDE SHOWING PILSEN COMMUNITY REAL TIME DEMAND METER]
These programs have given members of the Cooperative a convenient and affordable means to upgrade their outdated and inefficient equipment and reduce their energy demand and consumption. It has also supplied them with personalized information and feedback about their energy consumption. In addition, they reduced the utility's need to supply expensive peak power, and reduced the stress on the electric distribution system in the targeted communities. The Cooperative demonstrated that it could get large numbers of people and businesses to act to reduce demand, but that in doing so it needed to invest substantial upfront amounts to create the information and financial incentives required to achieve the results discussed above. [SLIDE SHOWING DEMAND REDUCTION RESULTS]
Page 145 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
It is because of this experience, and our previous experience in actually getting rapid participation in community energy initiatives, that we are able to help analyze the federal alignment of research and technology policy with national environmental and climate goals. Our analysis follows.
I. Federal Policy is Too Focused on New Buildings, New Technologies and New Communities.
A review of current authority under DOE's enabling legislation and more recently, provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, reveals a strategy that is not well aligned with community or marketplace reality.
Strategies exist to provide a variety of energy rating systems for residential energy efficiency, standards for new appliance manufacture, standards for the manufacture of mobile homes, processes for the establishment of model codes, and requirements for the Secretaries of the federal departments of Housing and of Agriculture to establish mandatory codes for new construction of publicly assisted housing and mortgages insured under the National Housing Act, and for new construction of single family homes subject to mortgages insured, guaranteed or made by these agencies. Utilities were encouraged to make investments in conservation and energy efficiency. Initiatives aimed at appliances were started, and these were dependent on stock turnover of home equipment with typical useful lives of 10 to 20 years.
When DOE legislation was first crafted, the Federal Government, through HUD, was a major source of financing for affordable housing projects. Since that time, the federal role has increasingly transitioned, and is characterized today by ''people'' based support, not project support, i.e., the federally assisted housing standards are for a type of housing that is experiencing a diminishing federal rolepolicy has been to reduce direct federal support of housing development and instead to support the ability of households to pay for housing. As a result, tax expenditures, for mortgage interest and property tax deductions, for low-income housing tax credits, and for rental housing development, outweigh direct federal housing assistance by over four to one. There are no energy performance measures required to earn the use of federal tax expenditures in residential property purchase or improvement.
Page 146 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Eighty-five percent of the buildings that will be standing in 2020 are standing today:
People live in buildings that are already built. Furthermore, the turnover in the building stock in the United States is very slow. The 1999 American Housing Survey reveals that there were 102.8 million occupied homes in the United States, of which approximately two-thirds were owner-occupied and one-third were renter-occupied. In any given year during the last few decades, growth in new homes rarely exceeds two percent. Studies by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Association of Home Builders, appliance manufacturers and the National Institute for Standards and Technology suggest that all major building elements last between ten and twenty years. Standards set by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are that permanent one- to four-unit homes have life expectancies of 80 years; larger multi-family buildings of 65 years; major renovations of 40 years, and mobile homes of twenty years. [SLIDETURNOVER HAPPENS SLOWLY]
Thus, in any given year, the potential housing available in which to address energy efficiency and associated emissions improvements is 50 to 100 times higher from the stock of existing homes than from the new structures.
If we had fifty years or more to capture the emission reductions from increased energy efficiency, a strategy that focused solely on the new structures would work. However, if our timeframe is less than fifty years, we need complementary strategies that focus on existing structures and existing communities.
Page 147 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Unfortunately, Federal policy over the past several decades has ignored this reality and has focused on the upgrading the energy efficiency of the new building stock and of new appliances, thereby missing the opportunity to capture the much larger benefits from the existing housing stock.
A good example of the kind of problem at hand is represented by multi-family rental properties in cold climates. These buildings' heating systems tend to be central equipment, gas fired, steam or hot water in nature. They are built to last for extremely long times, and there is no apparent incentive to replace them with newer equipment. In research performed for the Gas Research Institute (now the Gas Technology Institute) we found that in such systems, packages of distribution system and thermostatic controls could be introduced to these buildings at a price under $200 per dwelling unit with savings of 20 percent of an energy bill and simple paybacks on the investment of under three years. Adding this package to improved water heating, lighting, and building thermal efficiency brought the price up to $1,200 per dwelling, a 30 percent bill savings, and still a seven year payback, net of interest rate costs (which is the equivalent of a net return of 15 percent per annum on the investment). This kind of ''upgrade'' package was offered and accepted in a local program we operated, with hundreds of takersover offers to completely replace central heating systems at a much higher price and much lower return.
How Relatively Fast or Slow Is Fifty Years?
A recent study at UCLA probed the question of the potential value of requiring certain actions of homeowners to be ''due on sale.'' Studying first homes in southern California, and then extending their findings nationally, they found that 56 percent of all properties were sold at least once within seven years, 75 percent of all property were sold within the previous 13 years, and 90 percent were sold within the previous 27 years. The author, economist Don Shoup, used this rate of ownership turnover to suggest the creation of a requirement of planting trees at time of sale, and developed simulation tools to demonstrate the community, economic, environmental and visual benefits of the strategy. This model demonstrates that relating to stock turnover alone, would at best, give you 90 percent of a policy goal such as those described in EPACT 92, within 27 years.
Page 148 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
We sometimes forget, when looking at the relatively discouraging results associated with overall residential energy consumption trends, some things do change rapidly. Fifty years ago, franchising of small businesses was relatively unknown; today it accounts for the majority of small business startups. Home computers were exotic until the early 1980's, but today occupy close to half of all homes, and over half the homes with computers also have Internet service. Cell phone use is growing by leaps and bounds, and new wireless technologies may be able to close the gap of providing broadband service to ''the last mile'' better than standard telecommunications providers can.
Current Federal Policy Assumes Little Behavior Change
Current Federal energy policy assumes little behavior change on the part of consumers. The underlying assumptions of current policy is that by bringing new energy efficiency technologies on to the market, customers will adopt them at the point that they replace their existing units. This is the rationale for energy efficiency standards for appliances as well as building codes for individual structures.
Strictly on a numeric basis, this so-called replacement strategy, as we mentioned earlier, may well be successful if the timeframe for deployment was three or four generations. However, in so far as much of the strategy is voluntary, its success depends on people:
Actually choosing to use the new energy efficiency technologies and
Page 149 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Then not increasing their consumption once they have made those choices.
Unfortunately, as patterns of energy consumption in the residential sector over the past twenty years have shown, the success of these strategies has been variable at best.
While there are many incidental reasons why this result has occurred, we believe that one of the most fundamental reasons is the disconnect between consumers' consumption and investment behavior and the results of that behavior on the things that people care about: reducing their costs, improving their communities, and reducing emissions from power plants. In short, people see no reasonin their every day decision-makingto change their behavior. The information linksat a scale that would be meaningful to individual consumersbetween behavior and outcome have not been established. As a result, little direct learning has occurred.
II. Why a Focus on Existing Buildings and Communities Could Correct This Misalignment
Demographic and Migration Trends Are Determining Energy Demand
Household size has dropped almost continuously since it was first measured in the 1790 census; more recently, it has dropped from 3.3 persons per household in 1965 to 2.5 persons today. [SLIDEHOUSING SIZE GROWS AS HOUSEHOLD SIZE DROPS] We know from analysis of data provided by the Residential Energy Consumption Survey that as household size increases, total consumption goes up but consumption per capita drops. More than any other factor, the rapid aging of the American population is driving formation of smaller households.
Page 150 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC At the same time, the housing production market is offering products out of synch with demographic reality. While household size dropped by one-quarter, average new home size increased by one-third. In the current debate of are we sprawling or are we moving back in, the answer is a clear ''yes'' to both. From 1982 to 1997, the Natural Resources Inventory of the Department of Agriculture shows that the amount of land used for development increased by 35 percent, while the number of households increased by 21 percentsprawl outran household increase by 62 percent [SLIDELAND USE INCREASED 62 PERCENT FASTER THAN HOUSEHOLDS], for every one percent increase in households, there was a corresponding 1.6 percent increase in developed land, resulting in an increase from 1990 to 2000 from 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. population living in metropolitan areas. There is a return to central cities that reversed decades long population loss in places like Chicago and Atlanta, but not in Buffalo or Cleveland, most metropolitan growth is suburban and the majority of American households now reside in the suburbs. In the most populated metropolitan areas of the country, the rate of household formation is exceeding the rate of new building permits by 10 to 20 percent. [SLIDEHOUSEHOLDS NOW GROWING FASTER THAN HOUSING]
The Residential Energy Conservation Survey of the Energy Information Administration shows that from 1978 to 1987, there was a fairly steady drop in household energy consumption, from 138 million BTU's in 1978 to 101 million in 1987, and that it has stayed roughly at that level through the year for which the latest data is available, 1997. [SLIDETRENDS IN RESIDENTIAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION]
This is explained partly by the demographic and migration trends above, and partly by changes in the way we use time and use technology.
Page 151 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A good example of changes in building technology is air conditioning. Originally developed to help food, tobacco and printing industries increase productivity by controlling humidity, applications quickly spread to entertainment, offices and eventually residential uses. Without air conditioning, much of the southern United States would not have developed so quickly after World War II. Central air conditioning grew from 10.8 percent of the housing stock in 1970 to 55.6 percent in 1999; room air conditioners appeared in 25.9 percent of the housing in 1970 and 25.9 percent in 1999; all told, homes that had at least one form of air conditioning increased from 36.7 percent of housing in 1970 to 81.3 percent in 1999.
A similar story can be told about electric heat penetration, although with less spectacular rates. Homes that were heated electrically in 1970 were just 7.7 percent of the stock, 16.9 percent in 1979, 25.9 percent in 1989 and 31.6 percent in 1999.
The Apple personal computers were first manufactured in 1976. By 1997, 43 million households or 35 percent had at least one PC, and by 1998 or 42 percent had at least one, over half of whom had Internet service. Similar rates of growth obtain for other electrically intensive appliances such as home entertainment and time-savers such as microwave ovens.
Several surveys on how Americans use their time have been conducted during the past two decades. The results support the view that up to 90 percent of time is spent indoors. As a result of the findings that increased indoor time and increased decentralization lead to decreased physical activity, the Surgeon General of the United States declared a national health emergency in 1995. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention treat this crisis as partly the cumulative risk associated with pollutants that get concentrated in indoor air, and partly as actually reduced time spent in physical activity.
Page 152 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
These factors, along with increasing weather instability, excessive rates of heat deaths, increased rates of asthma and other respiratory disease have led to increased use of air conditioning and humidity control equipment at home. All these factors, along with increased aging, have led to increased home medical care, including home based inhalation therapy for the medically indigent. In sum, the combination of time savings, comfort and medical necessity are driving electrical use. Excessive sprawl and unnecessarily large homes are driving both building and transportation energy use. These factors are driving the level of emissions per household of both criteria pollutants and of greenhouse gases. [SLIDEHOMES AND EQUIPMENT GET MORE EFFICIENT, BUT SIZE AND USES GROW, WIPING OUT EFFICIENCY GAINS]
What These Patterns Mean for Greenhouse Gas Production and Climate Change
The increase in sprawl has led to an increased in automobile dependence and the extent of driving. For every one percent increase in measured land use, there was a measured increase nationally in annual vehicle miles traveled of 1.72 percent. However, the rate of automobile use varies within metropolitan areas mostly according to location and convenience. We've estimated the relationship between land use patterns and convenience to amenities versus rates of car ownership and extent of driving. Our regression model predicts the latter two variables accurately 92 percent of the time. Using this model, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences recognized the quality of the work with research support to develop an emissions calculator based on these factors. [SLIDECOMMUNITY QUALITY DETERMINES TRAVEL DEMAND]
As an example of the relevance of this research, the following two maps of the Chicago MSA demonstrate an important principle, If the question is asked, where does most of the greenhouse gas emissions in the region generated by transportation come from, the map on the left gives the standard answer, with ''hot spots'' in the most densely populated areas. This map aggregates emissions by area unit. However, if emissions are measured based on actual household use of transportation, a very different picture emerges. The map on the right is based on the regression model, and shows that the rate of emissions generation per household is much higher in the newest and least densely settled areas of the region. [SLIDEMAP OF TWO VIEWS OF CO2 AND CHICAGO]
Page 153 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
For household energy use in the home, unfortunately no such mapping is possible at this time. Energy use information is owned by utilities. Customer information is delivered on a monthly basis, not cumulative. The information on a bill can be based on as little as seven actual and five estimated monthly readings. Except in a few service territories where combined gas and electric service is offered, the uncertainty is doubled by the presence of multiple service providers. We'd like to be able to distinguish between cumulative energy use and time of day and time of year demand variations; only for large and usually non-residential customers is demand information available. EIA does not report disaggregated information by geographic area at any scale smaller than a state. The Residential Energy Consumption Survey is a national sample of households judged to be not statistically significant at any geography below the national, and in any event has no access to demand, as opposed to energy use information. Our best guess is that while home energy use will certainly be more related to household income than is energy used by households for transportation, the combination of home size and changing demographics will still show an overall pattern of energy efficiency as a function of location and density.
The lack of more generally available household energy utilization information is most unfortunate. Utilities experience peak demand, both during the summer and increasingly in the winter as well. Peak demand causes the need for extra fuel supply and for extra generation capacity. The ratio of peak demand to base-load for electrical generation can easily be two to one; given Chicago's economic and physical climates, peak electrical demand only occurs for approximately 500 hours per year. Without changes in the existing system, utilities will likely continue to experience a total of just 2.5 percent of the year that requires high cost supplemental peak load generation.
Page 154 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
III. The Application of Information Technology Is Necessary to Build a Transparent System Than Can Align the Incentives for Rapid Change
The current energy information system for consumers is an old, one-way system that does not provide people or communities with the information they need to know to make smart decisions:
Information is necessary for people to make smart decisions. Without good and timely information, people have no rational basis for changing their behavior. In other parts of the economy, Federal policy has acknowledged this need. For example, the ever-increasing complexity of our financial lives has produced an entirely new and rapidly growing credit-counseling industry, supported by Federal policy. The Internet has made information available to the digitally connected individual at a scale that was unimaginable only ten years ago. How disconnected is the energy world between supply and demand, between producer and consumer?
Let me try and describe this phenomenon by analogy.
Imagine a world where everyone needs to own a car, and, as a result, it is in the public interest to have speed limit regulation. In this world, lawmakers establish speed limits, transportation departments dutifully post speed limit signs and even take out full page ads in newspapers to tell drivers about the speed limits. But because there are no real-time speed measurement devices (known as speedometers), drivers have no way of knowing how fast they are going. Without the accurate real-time information about their individual speed, they have no way of making a knowledgeable and thoughtful decision as to whether they are complying with the law.
Page 155 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
[SLIDEA LESS THAN OPTIMAL ENFORCEMENT METHOD]
Imagine another world where health authorities told people that they should reduce their caloric intake in order to be healthier. But with no measurement device to tell people about the calorie content of food, people simply didn't have the information to make the choices that would have made them healthier. This actually was the case back in the 1890's until Ellen Swallow Richards formulated a scientific basis for a dietetics based on the caloric content of food.
That, then, is the state of the energy information system for residential and small commercial (approximately two-thirds of the electricity and natural gas load). Home energy use is metered in ways that have not changed for a very long timethe typical meter in the home and small business is a state-of-the-art 1960's model. Energy use is measured in cumulative units, usually kilowatt-hours for electricity and ''therms'' for natural gas. The meter that measures use is an electromechanical device, with no information storage or telecommunications capability. The device can be retrofitted for radio frequency or power-line carrier capability, but only at a very high price. This kind of communications is used to avoid the high cost of actually having to read a meter, but does not provide stored information, provides no information on instantaneous peak demand, is not accessible, and is only really useful for expediting a billing function.
We take for granted the idea that someone out there is measuring what we need to know. Weather provides an interesting example. Until a short decade ago, weather reports originated from stations based at airports. More recent reports on the evening news show an even distribution. But this was not due to an increase in NOAA certified weather stations, rather, an entrepreneurial company started selling slightly less accurate monitors for a modest $5,000 to schools and cultural institutions, and brokered a relationship between these institutions and local media outlets. The firm, Automated Weather Source, now boasts the largest network of weather stations in the world, which they use to provide real time baselines and augmented forecasts for large scale energy planning.
Page 156 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
This brings us to an observation and a proposition.
It is widely acknowledged in the utility industry and in energy policy analysis circles that reducing peak demand is highly desirable. If it were possible to reduce peak demand, the price volatility that the nation has seen in both the gas markets and in the electricity markets would be dramatically reduced and old, polluting power plants would likely be retired. Even if peak demand could not be completely reduced, it is technically possible today to supply that demand from small, distributed energy supply systems, including micro-turbines, fuel cells or solar rooftop photovoltaic systems.
The benefits of peak reduction reach beyond rationalizing the generation side of the business, but also to rationalizing the distribution or ''wires'' side. By reducing peak demand, the reliability of electric service would improve and distribution utilities would spend significantly less on seldom used but very expensive substations, feeders and transformers, designed to meet demand that only occurs a few hundred hours out of the year. In addition, consumer costs would fall as consumption and demand were reduced and rationalized. Finally, a less ''peaky'' system would be more reliable and the more distributed system that would evolve would be less susceptible to massive failures caused by sabotage or terrorism. [SLIDETHE BENEFITS OF LOCALIZED PEAK DEMAND REDUCTION]
Unfortunately, most experts also acknowledge thatgiven the current information and feedback system in the electric utility businessnone of this is likely to occur. Unless individual consumers get timely access to information they need to understand how much energy they consume, when they consume it and what the actual market prices are, they will have little incentive to change their behavior.
Page 157 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Why are the information systems so antiquated?
The answer, unfortunately, is simple. None of the current actors have any incentive to upgrade it. Small commercial and residential customers have no incentivein fact, are legally precluded in most jurisdictions from owning their own meter. State regulatory agencies, the public entity that largely oversees the metering and distribution functionare largely reactive institutions; loathe to impose costs on utilities on a proactive basis. And the utilities themselves have little incentive, as the current technology serves what they see as their main functionbillingas well as it has for the last seventy years. Even within utility companies, there are split incentives, with the wishes of the billing department generally trumping other requirements.
This is the nature of the dilemma we face from misaligned incentives and policies. We want increased energy efficiency and consumer behavior change, we want climate stabilization, we want rational energy markets where consumers respond to price, we want energy distribution systems that aren't over-built and far more expensive than they have to be. But we are at a standstill. Until we upgrade the information system so that people receive the information they need to make good decisions, all of those benefits are beyond our collective reach.
What can we do to correct this situation and move toward a modern information system?
Let's start by positing a scenario. In this scenario, joint announcements are made simultaneously across the nation by utility executives, civic, local government and community leaders. They announce the creation of a network of networks. Each local network is an association of place-based cooperatives, that is, membership organizations of energy users. The places they are organized around are the substations and feeders that serve them electricity. Each local community starts with a baseline analysis of its energy use characteristics, in total energy, in peak demand, for the community as a whole and disaggregated by customer and by type of end use. Budgets and goals are established for each place around end-use energy and end-use peak demand reduction. Reliability goals are jointly established between the utility, the community and the customer; in turn these goals are aggregated up territory-wide, and an association of communities is created to support the information infrastructure necessary to market the individual actions and investments to community residents and businesses. [SLIDESHIFTS NECESSARY, FROM A CUSTOMER CLASS ORIENTATION TO A NETWORK OF PLACES, FROM STRICT BUYER/SELLER TO PROVIDER/COMMUNITY/USER FRAMING]
Page 158 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In effect, each community becomes a ''micro-grid.'' Each micro-grid section of the utility service territory has its own requirements for maintenance, reinvestment, upgrading, and its own cost of service considerations. Under the plan, partnerships can be set up in each of several hundred micro-grid territories to manage the process of[SLIDE]
Establishing baseline energy use and energy demand profiles;
Identifying opportunities for demand management and for site-specific generation;
Developing methods of organizing electricity users into ''energy maintenance organizations'' to offer the benefits of least cost energy, joint procurement of energy efficient appliances, and low emissions power;
Providing calculators to help estimate energy savings and potential emissions reductions;
Establishing market aggregation mechanisms to enable crediting for greenhouse gas reduction; and
Promoting environmental and energy education in the local schools and other community settings.
Nationally, it becomes advantageous to share practices, both to promote rapid learning and to reduce transaction costs. What results is[SLIDE]
Page 159 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A network of learning regions
Place-based tools for rapid learning an enhanced marketplace participation
Resulting in high-performance, continuous improvement of
Better decisions and faster outcomes, measured across economic, ecological and equity dimensions, and
A clear shift from split incentives to joint stakes and mutual benefits.
Creating a Scorekeeping Method That Works
We want to provide insights into methods for achieving rapid improvement in energy efficiency and emissions reduction.
Sometimes, when involved in evaluations of rates of deployment of single technologies, it seems that change is doomed to death by slowness. But even though population and building stock levels change very slowly, many aspects of the U.S. economy and of household behavior do change quite quickly. Small business franchises account for the largest fraction of business formation, but were virtually unknown 40 years ago. Desktop microcomputers were a luxury in the seventies, a startup in the 80's but ubiquitous by the 90's. Internet communications, cellular telephones and broadband are but the latest innovations to rapidly achieve market prominence.
Page 160 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This latter set of achievements offers intriguing possibilities for the topic at hand. One reason that deployment of efficiencies is slow is that the necessary information for making informed decisions is neither easily available nor affordable. Households, communities and businesses generally face three kinds of barriers to achieving the kind of rapid change envisioned for a climate stabilization scenario.
To address these three challenges, we propose engaging in activities that have the following objectives
Design and develop methods that use economic analysis and geographic information to break out of artificial categories and examine places at the right scale to find the value within them.
Create systems that allow communities to capture the value of the assets.
Aggregate neighborhood-based groups of consumers to achieve widespread benefits.
These recommendations even aggregate up to the national level. The kind of durability promoting, place-based orientation these numbers are based on, can help correct for an unfortunate bias in national income accounting. Charles Hulten of the National Bureau of Economic Research recently pointed out that innovation and efficiency are systemically undercounted in GDP account formation. Imagine two national economies (or two versions of the economy of a single nation), both of which have the same technology and start with 100 units of input, so that both produce 100 physical units of output. Suppose, now that some ingenious person in economy A discovers a way to double the amount of output that 100 units of input can produce. At the same time, an innovator in economy B discovers a way to double the utility of the 100 physical units of output that are produced. A measure of total factor productivity based entirely on physical units will double in A but remain flat in B even though the inhabitants of both countries are equally well off as a result of their respective innovations. So there's a paradox: efficiency and returns to investment, particularly by small users, can go up without showing in measures of national economic well being. The relevance of this observation to the task at hand is striking. Too often, setting an aggressive efficiency goal is claimed to be counter to national economic interest. Programs that can achieve deeper and more rapid efficiencies by focusing on localized opportunities will reveal themselves to be of local value, but that value will be undercounted in measures of national well being.
Page 161 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
IV. Potential Federal Roles to Create the Incentives Necessary to Capture the Benefits of Increased Energy Efficiency and Address Climate Change Adequately
A system that would meet the challenge of the vision painted above would need to: [SLIDE]
1. Help shift the basis and point of view for energy policy from a customer class view (residential, commercial, industrial) to a place-based basis
2. Shift the target market from the annual change in building and building technology inventory (the ''new'' market) to the existing stock of buildings and building technology (the ''existing'' market)
3. Shift the information available to energy users from an arbitrary billing cycle (monthly) to continuous and ''real time'' data
4. Shift the information available to energy users from an instantaneous and unstored sample to a stored and continuously available database
5. Shift the publicly available data on energy use in communities from large administrative areas (states) to small areas that relate to how people see their own lives and how utilities actually manage energy delivery (communities, neighborhoods, substations and feeders)
6. Expose the incentives in current policy and practice for maintaining an obsolete and misleading information system (inherent profitability of current metering practice, the continued bundling of metering with distribution, the apparent low first cost of continued use of obsolescent meters, tax incentives and state rate base allowances for continued use of existing technology, the apparently longer life of electromechanical meters compared to the new electronic systems)
Page 162 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
7. Expose the low rates of market deployment for efficiency technologies compared to computer and communications
8. Suggest the relative efficacy of hooking efficiency decisions to investment decisions that people are willing to make, e.g., to local telecommunications service
Recent reviews by NAS and others help us move in the right direction:
The recent National Academy of Sciences review panel of the Department of Energy's research and development activity found that on net, the department's activities were cost-effective. However, their recommendations are worth considering, in light of the finding that on average, DOE's investment accelerated deployment of such ''hard'' technologies as low-e windows and compact fluorescent lamps by five years. (Note: this statement itself is difficult to evaluatewhat's worth more, a five year advance in market penetration for compact lamps or a five year head start for converting antiquated meters to real time place-based networks?)
But the committee went on to note, ''the importance of standards pulling technological innovation in buildings and transportation cannot be exaggerated. Often, DOE energy efficiency research has been used to provide a proper basis for standards.'' They also noted, ''programs seeking to support the development of technologies for rapid deployment are more likely to be successful when the technological goals of these programs are consistent with the economic incentives of users to adopt such technologies. They observed, ''the large realized benefits accrued in areas where public funding would be expected to have considerable leverage. The buildings sector is fragmented, and the prevailing incentive structure is not conducive to technological innovation.'' They also called for broader industry collaboration, as well as collaboration with at least one other federal agency: ''DOE should work to establish improved communication with EPA and the private sector, with the goal of accelerating deployment of environmentally clean technologies.''
Page 163 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Perhaps the most profound observation was about the relationship between the development of energy technologies and the need to rapidly deploy what we know how to do:
''Where its research, development and demonstration programs seek to develop technologies for near-term deployment, DOE should consider combining support. . .with the development of appropriate market incentives for the adoption of these technologies based on an understanding of market conditions and consumer needs. These incentives span the gamut from product standards to tax incentives. Conversely, it is unrealistic to expect immediate deployment of technologies developed with public funds that are suited to a very different environment of energy related costs and prices. But such technologies may provide significant option and knowledge benefits, and they represent appropriate targets for DOE. . .programs.''
The call for collaboration with industry could also include consideration of collaboration with the energy using public, and with the communities within which they reside. Success in deployment in the buildings and transportation sectors clearly depends on partnerships with end users, their communities, and with the organization to which they belong.
A good model for a principle exists in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. In Section 134, it states: ''Citizen participation shall be early and continuous.'' This planning section also calls for plans to precede budgets, and includes consideration of the transportation demand effects of land use, including energy impacts and must be conducted in conformity with section 108 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990; this latter section calls for each Metropolitan Planning Organization's and State's Transportation Improvement Plan to be in conformity with state's State Implementation Plan for bringing metropolitan areas into attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards. DOE could adopt the principle of ''early and continuous,'' and should develop processes to participate in state and metropolitan planning, with an eye to improving the quality and pace of technology deployment.
Page 164 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Much more is likely needed in the way of inter-agency collaboration beyond just EPA and DOE. The divisions at the Department of Transportation responsible for implementing ISTEA are an essential partner; there are opportunities to take advantage of the Federal Government's capacity to enhance credit and financing through HUD, DOT and with the Small Business Administration; regulatory agencies that oversee the financial services industry are in a position to look favorably on lending institution activities that advance national energy and environmental goals. There is a pilot program housed at HUD with the participation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology at the Department of Commerce known as the Program for Advanced Technology in Housing, or PATH. Operated jointly with the National Association of Home Builders, it is almost exclusively focused on new housing and receives an appropriation of just $9.5 million; but it is a start. The Committee should consider strategies to motivate a broader and more meaningful collaboration with the necessary federal and private sector actors, including non governmental, to more fully address the need noted by the NAS committee to de-fragment the buildings industry.
Specific actions that the Federal Government can do to meet these specifications and considerations include[SLIDE]
A. Use tax policy to stimulate meter technology turnover
B. Explore federal authority to help states consider unbundling metering and distribution service
C. Explore use of existing federal credit enhancement mechanisms to help create community scale energy services
Page 165 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
D. Change federal research and development budgets on buildings and energy commensurate with the opportunities inherent in working with existing buildings and community scale benefits
E. Identify coordinated strategy that results in a place-based infrastructure for real time alignment and community decision support.
To get started, we recommend that the Committee consider the following actions[SLIDE]
1. Invite a white paper to extend these ideas. In particular, ideas for using existing federal authority (provision of information, direct financing or credit enhancement, regulatory authority, tax policy) to further these goals should be identified
2. Authorize funding for the creation of a task force to explore these ideas on a priority basis, to report back to the Committee by the end of the year, with recommendations for further action
3. Request the cooperation of and collaboration between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Commerce and EPA in furthering these goals
4. Consider adding requirements for these departments to address progress in addressing these shifts (toward existing buildings, community basis, rapid learning, incentive correction, market transformation for learning systems) to the annual performance reports of these agencies submitted pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act.
Page 166 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On behalf of the Center for Neighborhood Technology and its affiliated partners, and the thousands of members of the Community Energy Cooperative and all other organizations who believe that community and place matter in energy and climate policy, our sincere thanks for the opportunity to testify to the committee today. This concludes my testimony, and I'd be happy to answer any questions.
A Preliminary Exploration of the Potential for Real Time Pricing to Stimulate the Development of the Mass Demand Reduction Market. Chicago, Il. Center for Neighborhood Technology. February 2002
Bernstein, Scott, and Ryan Tracey Mooney. Detour Ahead: When the American Dream Prevents the American Dream. Testimony to the Millennial Housing Commission. April 30, 2001. www.mhc.gov
Bernstein, Scott. Distributed Equity and Energy Efficiency: Putting the Benefits Where They'll Do the Most Good. Washington, DC. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Proceedings of the 1994 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Volume 4, Global and Environmental Issues.
Bernstein, Scott. The Hidden Assets of Cities, Regions and Communities. Washington, DC. Housing Policy Debate. Forthcoming 2002.
Biederman, Nicholas and John Katrakis. Space Heating Improvements in Multi-Family Buildings. Chicago, Il. Center for Neighborhood Technology and Gas Research Institute. December 1989
Page 167 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Commonwealth Edison Investing $14.7 Million in New Venture. Press Release. June 6, 2000. www.ucm.com/news
''DRAM, Alliance Partner to 'Advance' Advanced Metering Technologies.'' E-fficiency News. Washington DC. Alliance to Save Energy. January 17, 2002. www.ase.org/e-fficiency/documents/0102c.htm
Eto, J; C. Marnay, C. Goldman, et. al. An R&D Agenda to Enhance Electricity System Reliability by Increasing Customer Participation in Emerging Competitive Markets. Berkeley, California. Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 2001
''European Automated Meter Reading Shipments to Reach 20 Million Units in 2005.'' Metering International. www.metering.com/imsreport.htm
Executive Office of the President. Office of Budget and Management. Budget of the United States 2003. www.omb.gov
Galison, Peter. ''Einstein's Clocks: The Place of Time.'' In James Gleick (ed.), The Best American Science Writing 2000. 213238 and personal communications with the author.
Goett, Andrew; Kathleen Hudson and Kenneth Train. Customers' Choice Among Retail Energy Suppliers: the Willingness to Pay for Service Attributes. Berkeley, Ca. Department of Economics, University of California at Berkeley. March 8, 2002
Page 168 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGoldman, Charles; Willett Kempton et. al. Impact of Information and Communications Technologies on Residential Customer Energy Services. Berkeley, Ca. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL39015. October 1996
Hirst, Eric. The Financial and Physical Insurance Benefits of Price-Responsive Demand. Manuscript. January 2002.
Hoff, Thomas E. and Matthew Cheney. ''The Potential Market for Photovoltaics and Other Distributed. . .''
Holtzclaw, John; Robert Clear, Hank Dittmar, David Goldstein and Peter Haas. ''Location Efficiency: Neighborhood and Socio-Economic Characteristics Determine Auto Ownership and Use-Studies in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.'' London UK. Transportation Planning and Technology. 2002 (forthcoming).
Hulten, Charles R. ''Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography.'' In Charles R. Hulten, Edwin R. Dean, and Michael J. Harper, New Developments in Productivity Analysis. Chicago, Il. University of Chicago Press. 2001. 155
''Insights on Automated Meter Reading Deployments in the United States.'' Metering International. Issue 4, 2001. At http://www.metering.com/archive/014/061.htm
John, DeWitt. Building Better Communities and Regions: Can the Federal Government Help? Washington, DC. National Academy of Public Administration. 1997
Page 169 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Kueck, J.D. et. al. Load as a Reliability Resource in Restructured Electricity Markets. Berkeley, California. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. ORNL/TM2001/97, LBNL47983. June 1, 2001.
Kushler, Martin. Using a Community Energy Co-Op to Address Electric Distribution System Reliability: A Description and Assessment of Initial Experience in Chicago. Washington, DC. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. 2001
Lents, Jim, and Julian Emmons Allison. Can We Have Our Cake and Eat It Too? Creating Distributed Generation Capacity to Improve Air Quality. San Francisco, Ca. The Energy Foundation. 2000
McGraw, Jennifer, Jessica Drenth and Rosalyn Scaff. Including Small Sources in Emissions Markets: Developing a Small Source Emissions Model to Overcome the Barriers of Measurement, Verification and Reporting. Chicago, Illinois. Center for Neighborhood Technology. February 1, 2002
National Academy of Science. Committee on Engineering and Technical Systems. Energy Research at DOE: Was It Worth It? Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000. Washington, DC. National Academy Press. 2001. http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309074487.html
Oi, Walter J. ''The Welfare Implications of Invention.'' In Timothy F. Bresnahan and Robert J. Gordon, The Economics of New Goods. Chicago, Il. University of Chicago Press. 1997
Page 170 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOren, Shmuel S., and Stephen A. Smith. Service Opportunities for Electric Utilities: Creating Differentiated Products. Boston, Ma. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1993
Oren, Shmuel; Stephen Smith and Robert Wilson. ''Capacity Pricing.'' Econometrica, Volume 53, Issue 3. May 1985. 545566
Pfeifenberger, Johannes P., Philip Q. Hanser, and Paul R. Ammann. What's in the Cards for Distributed Resources? The Energy Journal. Cleveland, Ohio. International Association for Energy Economics. Special Issue. 1997. 116
Raloff, Janet. ''Democratizing Science: Science Shops are Tackling Research for and With Communities.'' Science News. November 7, 1998. At www.sciencenews.org/snarc98/11798/Bob1.htm
Reade, Julia. Remodeling Spending in Major Metropolitan Areas. Cambridge. Ma. Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University. September 2001
Resources in Rural Electric Cooperatives.'' The Energy Journal. Cleveland, Ohio. International Association for Energy Economics. Volume 21, Number 3, 2000. 113128
Ross, Marc. ''Energy and Transportation in the United States.'' Annual Review of Energy. Volume 14, 1989. 131171
Shoup, Donald. ''Regulating Land Use at Sale.'' Journal of the American Planning Association. Volume 62, No. 3, Summar, 1996. 354372
Page 171 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Stilgoe, John R. Metropolitan Corridor: Railroads and the American Scene. New Haven. Yale University Press. 1983
Targeting DSM for Transmission and Distribution Benefits: A Case Study of PG&E's Delta District. Palo Alto, Ca. Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI TR100487. 1992
Transportation Research Board
Understanding the Global Carbon Cycle. Woods Hole Research Center. Woods Hole, Ma. 2001
United States Department of Agriculture. National Resource Inventory. At www.usda.gov
United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. The Statistical History of the United States: From Colonial Times to 1970. Washington, DC. 1973
United States Department of Energy. Energy Information Administration. Residential Energy Consumption Survey. At www.eia.doe.gov
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. American Housing Survey. Washington, DC. 1970, 1979, 1989, 1999
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Improving Durability in HousingBackground Paper. Program on Advanced Technology in Housing. Washington, DC. March 1999
Page 172 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Statistical Abstract of the United States 2000. At www.census.gov/statab/www
United States House of Representatives. Committee on Commerce ''Energy Policy Act of 1992.'' In Compilation of Selected Energy Related Legislation. January 1997
''U.S. Utility Plans to Automate 1.3 Million Meters.'' Metering International. Issue 1, 2002. www.metering.com/archive/021/091.htm
WeatherBug Surpasses Seven Million Registered Users. Gaithersburg, Md. AWS Convergence Technologies. February 4, 2002. At www.aws.com
''Wi-Fi: It's Fast, It's Hereand It Works.'' Business Week Online. April 1, 2002. www.businessweek.com
Page 173 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
BIOGRAPHY FOR SCOTT BERNSTEIN
Page 174 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Scott Bernstein is President of the Center for Neighborhood. Technology (CNT), which develops resources to promote healthy, sustainable communities; and publisher, The Neighborhood Works, winner of the Peter Lisagor Award for Public Service Journalism. Other publications include Sustainable Manufacturing: Saving Jobs, Saving the Environment; School Reform Chicago Style; and Working Neighborhoods: Taking Charge of Your Local Economy; among others.
A native Chicagoan, Bernstein studied engineering and political science at Northwestern University and served on the staff of its Center for Urban Affairs & Policy Research. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at UCLA, an Environmental Fellow of the Institute for Transportation Studies at UCDavis, a trustee of the Institute for the Regional Community, and Board Member, Brookings Institution Center for Urban & Metropolitan Policy. He is a founding Board Member of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, and Smart Growth America. He also serves as a Board Member of the State and Local Public Policy Program at the Hubert Humphrey Institute and Imagine Chicago, and is a Fellow of the Center for Small Business and the Environment.
Mr. Bernstein was appointed by President Clinton to the President's Council for Sustainable Development, on which body he served as the co-chair of its task forces on State, Local & Regional Initiatives, and its Metropolitan Strategies Working Group. He also chaired a working group on Cross-Cutting Climate Issues intended to specify a U.S. domestic strategy.
CNT has spent the last twenty years analyzing the relationships between regionally scaled economic and political systems, and the status of communities within these regions. Demonstration work in the 1980's in the fields of housing abandonment prevention, energy efficiency, pollution prevention, storm water management, and recycling helped fuel a generation of community development institutions and learning.
Page 175 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In community development: CNT co-convened a working group of civic and community leaders to prevent housing abandonment. Their recommendations led to the creation of community equity funds and housing finance partnerships that became the dominant method of community housing finance nationally, and led to an increase of some 2,000 community development corporations.
In information technology: CNT's Neighborhood Early Warning System (NEWS) has provided critical right-to-know data to disadvantaged communities seeking responsible reinvestment. NEWS has become the core of a network of over 70 organizations using this system to achieve affirmative access to the ''information superhighway.'' The NEWS approach has been emulated from Los Angeles to New Haven (see www.cnt.or news). Mr. Bernstein is currently Secretary of the Institute for Location Efficiency, which works to have bank underwriting fairly reflect the benefits of transit-based communities as a way of recognizing their cost-of-living advantages for first-time home buyers, and as a path to poverty alleviation (see www.locationefficiency.com). Recently, this had led to a $125 Million commitment by the Federal National Mortgage Association to demonstrate this program in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
In transportation and air quality: CNT was the first organization to demonstrate the joint air quality and economic benefits of transit-oriented design around existing inner-city rapid transit stations. This work led to decisions by the Chicago Transit Authority to rebuild Chicago's oldest elevated line, the Green Line, and the City of Chicago subsequently crafted its winning empowerment zone strategy around the resulting community-based station plans. Bernstein is a co-founding Board member of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, a national coalition working for progressive national transportation policy. And he convened the Chicagoland Transportation and Air Quality Commission, a coalition involving hundreds of organizations and municipalities created to ''bring home the benefits of transportation reform to our region's communities.'' For its efforts to link transportation efficiency with community improvement, CNT was awarded the first ''Mobility Partners'' award by USEPA at the White House Conference on Climate Change, and was recognized with the national award for transportation efficiency by Renew America in 1996.
Page 176 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
In community energy initiatives: CNT secured investment and facilitated energy retrofitting in over 1,000 Chicago facilities, ranging from community centers to low income housing to the Sears Tower. Its own building was rated the most energy efficient adaptive reuse in Illinois by a leading engineering society, and was Illinois' first intentionally non-toxic work place. Mr. Bernstein has advised the last four Mayors of Chicago on energy, environmental and economic development policy and programs. CNT recently formed a strategic planning partnership with the Commonwealth Edison Company to identify the benefits of place-based investment to the future of the company, its customers and its serviced communities (www.energycooperative.net). This includes perhaps the first systematic analysis in the nation of the stakes of utilities in ''smart growth.'' CNT this year will also develop a new approach to identifying new ways to specify market-based strategies for emissions reductions that recognize that a large number of small sources can count more than a small number of large ones.
In environment, materials & manufacturing: CNT co-convened the new ''Wet Cleaning Partnership,'' to facilitate the transition of the commercial cleaning industry from hazardous solvents to water-based environment-friendly technology. Earlier, in the late 1980s, Bernstein conceived of and launched the Sustainable Manufacturing program to provide strategically important financial and technical assistance to the nation's metal finishing industry. This partnership earned both the coveted Renew America Environmental Leadership Award, and the National Association of Metal Finishers Special Merit Award, and is featured in the January 1993 issue of Audubon magazine. Mr. Bernstein is co-convener of the Alliance for a Sustainable Materials Economy, a national coalition working for a materials reuse policy to both protects the environment and support job opportunities.
Page 177 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In regional economic strategy: With Julia Parzen, he organized an Urban Sustainability Learning Group to identify principles for collective efficacy and comprehensive regional performance. This work helped specify the Metropolitan Initiative, supported by foundations and inspired by the PCSD to re-craft the relationship between the Federal Government and local regions. In 199798, the program engaged 1,000 civic leaders in twelve urban regions, to address the possibilities and identified new strategies for building effective partnerships to take advantage of both policy changes and market rules; findings are posted at www.cnt.org/mi. More recently, the creation of a Partnership for Regional Livability resulted from this workPRL is a network of regional initiatives in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Chicago and Denver, seeking to build inclusive, high performance solutions to urban metropolitan challenges. The work includes strategies to address air quality, workforce, transportation, investment and information economy opportunities (see www.prlonline.org).
Mr. Bernstein is involved in an advisory capacity to the Federal government on a variety of issues; current assignments include: National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, Committee on Industrial Competitiveness and Environmental Protection; National Science Foundation, Human Capital Initiative Advisory Committee; Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress, Study Assessment on Cities, Technology and Infrastructure; President's Council on Sustainable Development, Task Forces on Eco-Efficiency and Sustainable Communities; Transportation Research Board, Committee on Transportation Investment & Economic Productivity; Office of the President, Policy Dialogue on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Personal Motor Vehicles (a.k.a. ''Car Talk'') and National Homeownership Partnership Initiative.
CNT's and Mr. Bernstein's work has earned recognition awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects; Renew America; the Enterprise Foundation; People for Community Recovery; the Governor of Illinois; the U.S. Secretary of Energy; the League of Women Voters; the National Information Infrastructure, and Utne Reader, among others.
Page 178 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
His current interests include: (1) Making regional smart growth real with targeted demonstrations in Chicago and South Florida. (2) Developing market-based approaches to regional economic and environmental performance which ''bring home the benefits of sustainable development where they can do the most good,'' including homeownership and asset development, air and water quality, and job development as priorities. (3) Application of least-cost approaches to materials policy; environmental restoration, transportation and air quality and job creation. (4) Creating an agenda of convergence between environmental, industrial and neighborhood development policy; launching of new intermediary institutions which support neighborhood job creation through environmentally driven investment. (5) Development of initiatives to combat global warming through ''local cooling.'' These interests are covered in a new publication, The Hidden Assets of Cities, forthcoming.
Mr. Bernstein is 50, and he and his wife, Christine Imhoff, live in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood with their daughters, Serena and Rebecca, where they are active in community affairs.
A list of publications, works in progress, annual reports and newsletters of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, is available on request. For these or any other information, please contact: Center for Neighborhood Technology, 2125 West North Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647; 7732784800 (tel); 7732783840 (fax); email@example.com (e-mail). CNT can also be reached through the Internet at http://www.cnt.org
Page 179 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCDiscussion
Top Priorities for Climate Change Research
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Bernstein. I would like to ask each of you to tell me what your top priority item would be for the research agenda of the science or the technology programs and then whether your priority is adequately addressed by the current programs. So RadDr. Byerly, we will start with you. Microphone, please. We want to hear you.
Dr. BYERLY. Thank you. My top priority is connecting to users in research planning. I think Scott talked about doing that, and I think that is a good example of what I was talking about. What we have now is basically people doing the research they want to do, good research, scientifically excellent, advancing our understanding, but it may only accidentally be useful to a user. And I think we should keep doing that. I am not against that. But I think we could spend a little bit of money in connecting the users and planning research to meet their needs instead of planning ways to find the results of existing research and try to bend things around so that the users would use the research that is being done now.
It is awhat we have now are solutions looking for problems, a man with a hammer seeing everything look like a nail, that sort of thing, instead of planning the research to deliver the information that is needed.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Dr. Barron.
Page 180 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. BARRON. Well, I am taking your question as assuming that the science we have is very important, and the thing that we have to add to that is this ability to integrate across these disciplines in order to better serve society. And I think in the strategic plans of the USGCRP, at least the draft that so far the community has been able to look at, and in the outlines for CCRI, this type of integrated focus is there, but the resources are not yet there.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Dr. Miles.
Dr. MILES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We have users involved in planning the research at every step. We have learned how to integrate across a wide variety of scientific and social scientific disciplines. We need to be able to cover all climate-sensitive sectors within the region. We cannot do that now with the resources available. Thank you.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you. Dr. Edmonds.
Dr. EDMONDS. Well, in preparing my oral remarks, I asked myself that same question, ''What is the thing that I would point to first?'' So, in my oral remarks you heard me call out carbon capture and disposal as being a potentially very important technology to add to our portfolio, particularly, enhancing our ability to monitor and measure what is put into reservoirs. So that is the first thing.
The second is the area of biotechnology, which has potential for paying very large dividends, both in the realm of risk management portfolio and climate change, but also in enhancing energy security. So if you will forgive my two-handedness, those are my answers.
Page 181 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman BOEHLERT. Mr. Bernstein.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Since energy consumption happens in places, coming up with a technology that would help us better understand how energy is actually used in places would allow us to organize rapidly. So I would put the first money on that into accelerating the deployment of end-use, real-time metering in places. If we had that, then people could organize rapidly around it because they can see the benefits.
One chart I went through too quickly ends up aggregating up to a potential of between 600 and $800 million a year savings within a few years in northeastern Illinois alone by the introduction of that. That would do it. If you would link in peoples' mind that attacking a climate as an issue is going to put that much money in their pockets, I think that goes a long way toward getting over the skepticism and the confusion that happens when they read about this. So linking those things as important information makes that possible.
Chairman BOEHLERT. I couldn't agree more. Dr. Barron, what level of funding is needed to accomplish your vision?
Dr. BARRON. You know what I think we should do is begin with some pilot studiesprove that we can do it.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Uh-huh.
Dr. BARRON. And so, for example, there is a growing northeast environment health connection alliance. And what you are discovering is that this investment and observations that we have are helping us decide whether water is ponding and whether or not you should go out there and put a larvicide in a pool to remove mosquitoes that are delivering West Nile virus before they hatch. And then it is not nearly so environmentally benign to use an airborne insecticide.
Page 182 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And the same focus on USGCRP that enables us to use El Niño to anticipate a season in advance, is allowing us to start to anticipate what resources we need and what kind of season for mosquitoes or ticks we might have. And the same science has enabled you to think about the longer term impacts.
Now, my feeling is that if you start investing tens of millions of dollars into pilot studies that prove that we can integrate this and serve the needs of decision-makers, that you will discover that this becomes contagious, that we will have a certain amount of information envy and we will end up with a new model for how we provide information in this country.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much. My time is up. Dr.Mr. Hall.
Mr. HALL. You can call me doctor if you want to.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Dr. Hall.
Mr. HALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Several of you have noted the importance of enhanced interdisciplinary research. I would like for you to elaborate on that a little. For example, why it is so hard to produce good interdisciplinary research, and who ought to fund it, and does NSF do a good job of funding it andon climate research. Dr. Byerly, do you want to kick off on that?
Page 183 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. BYERLY. I think you ought to let somebody else go first next time, but I will start here. NSF has difficulty of that, just starting with your last question. I have served on some review committees, reviewing interdisciplinary proposals for the National Science Foundation. And, at least at that time, if it was interdisciplinary between physics and social science, it had to separately pass peer review in the physics community and the social science community. And, of course, if it were truly interdisciplinary, the physicists didn't like it and the social scientists didn't like it. So interdisciplinary projects had a hard time getting through the review system. So it is difficult because of the disciplinary structure of NSF as an agency and the way they run reviews.
Butand I don't want to be Johnny-one-notewell, I guess I do want to be Johnny-one-note here. I think that if you define your research around a problem, you let the disciplines emerge that need to be done to address that problem. If you evaluate the success of the research based on solving the problem, your interdisciplinarity comes out more or less automatically or you don't get renewed in your funding for the next year. So you begin weeding people out.
So it is hard in our system. Universities are organized around disciplines and that is where a lot of this research is done. Professors get their tenure and their promotions by disciplinary research, so it is a big cultural problem doing it. And one way to do it is to try to focus around problems rather than disciplinary research. We need to disciplinary research to advance science, but this program, it seems to me, is a problem program, not a science, or should be a problem program, not a science program.
Page 184 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HALL. Dr. Barron.
Dr. BARRON. Well, I think it should be both. And I think one of the challenges is, if you just ask people to do it, you start to accumulate a lot of faculty members from different disciplines, and all of a sudden that budget becomes something that is large and significant. And that makes it a challenge for NSF or for some other agencies.
So I think the key there is you really want to target that opportunity. You want to state it as a priority that thethis focus is to bring the physical sciences and the biological sciences and the human dimensions and put the decision-maker right there in the room. It will help drive the science and it will help drive the decisions.
And I think if you have a targeted enterprise with that as its objective, and as soon as you get those people in the room, in this environment health alliance, the number of people that were sitting in that room from CDC, NIH, across the board, decision-makers in the State of Pennsylvania that focus on mosquito control programs, right to the scientists doing the climate prediction, you can discover that it can be really exciting and successful. You have got to get people in the room and you have got to show a commitment that putting people in the room, they are going to end up to be successful.
Mr. HALL. And you have to get them all in the same room.
Dr. BARRON. Well, unfortunately, I think you really do, because we have a lot to learn from each other. I need to watch how that decision-maker acts and how they use that information. So that instead of my taking climate information and, in a sense, throwing it over the transom thinking that it is the most wonderful thing in the world and everybody will realize my latest climate simulation is just great, you have got to see exactly how it is they use that information so you can start predicting the things that are really useful.
Page 185 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. HALL. Dr. Barron, how long have you been at Penn State?
Dr. BARRON. For 16 years.
Mr. HALL. Well, maybe you can answer a mystery that I have got. After, oh, two flights before the Challenger exploded, we sent up the equipment called electropheresis in space
Dr. BARRON. Yeah.
Mr. HALL [continuing]. And produced crystals in a weightless environment and
Dr. BARRON. Uh-huh.
Mr. HALL [continuing]. Came back and landed and bacteria destroyed the effectiveness of them, and they were to go back, but the Challenger exploded and no one went back for a couple of three years. And I got to looking for that equipment and found it at Penn State.
Dr. BARRON. Is that right?
Mr. HALL. I have always wondered which strong senator or which strong Member of Congress got it there. And how it
Page 186 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. BARRON. I don't know.
Mr. HALL. And what you
Dr. BARRON. I really don't know.
Mr. HALL. And what you did with it there.
Dr. BARRON. Yeah. I am afraid that is out of my college realm.
Mr. HALL. I have written
Dr. BARRON. I could certainly ask.
Mr. HALL. I have written to Unsolved Mysteries. They are working on it andall right. Is my time up? Yes.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Your time is indeed up.
Mr. HALL. Thank you.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Dr. Ehlers.
Mr. EHLERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Dr. Byerly, I have a number of questions and comments for you, and not because you are first, but because of what you said. First of all, on your comments on interdisciplinary research, you are right on. And when I prepared a policy statement for this Committee and the House of Representatives several years ago, which was approved by both this Committee and the House, I made that point. That NSFnot only NSF, but the other granting agencies should set up interdisciplinary patterns topanels to review interdisciplinary research and not send it to two panels, because it is not working that way.
Page 187 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But we have here a topic which is incredibly interdisciplinary. Probably need about six to ten disciplines represented in really analyzing the climate change issues.
The Importance of Accurate Predictions
First, your comment that accurate predictions do not give policy solutions, which is certainly true. But it isn't important for us to have fairly accurate predictions in order to make good policy decisions?
Dr. BYERLY. Well, I would go back to the Social Security example
Mr. EHLERS. Yeah.
Dr. BYERLY [continuing]. Because it is pretty straightforward. If we had better demographics, it might change the date a couple of years, but it still doesn't help us. Let me
Mr. EHLERS. May I just interject? That is a case where we do have accurate information and we can make good predictions. We can't in the climate area.
Dr. BYERLY. Well, the point is that there is a decoupling between a prediction. The prediction just says there is a problem, and what to do about it comes from totally different considerations.
Page 188 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Let me give an example of a program that is in the RISA program that Dr. Miles talked about, and that is the Western Water Association, which is located in the center where I am now a resident scholar. They are looking at Western Water and, in part, they have connected with users in the area and they have found out, for example, that Denverand they were looking at the Denver water regionDenver has a lot of water that goes right through Denver, out onto the prairie where it is used to irrigate farms. Denver also sits on top of a very large aquifer which has several hundred years' water in that aquifer and is untapped.
Now, policy decisions need to be made today about water and, yet, when you look at water, we have got a ton of water in the area. The problem is not a climate-related problem. It is not that we don't have water, that we are going to lose water. The problem is we have made a conscious decision to support small farms by letting the water go out to them. We are essentially irrigating alfalfa with drinking water. We are subsidizing the beef industry, if you will. Now, that was a conscious policy decision.
At some point, the stream flow may be reducedcould potentially be reduced by a climate change. But a prediction is not likely to be nearly as important as the policy decisions of whether we want to continue to support agriculture, whether we want to continue to support the right of city dwellers to irrigate their bluegrass lawns which are not native to that area and don't belong in that area. So we are alsoand the city is irrigating lawns with drinking water.
So we have got so many low-cost, low-value uses of water that we are a long ways from really running against a limit on the amount of fresh water that might be affected by climate change. So that is where I say prediction doesn't maybe not help you in that
Page 189 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. EHLERS. No. I agree. But you can't make good decisions without good data. And so what I amwhat I basically say, and I don't want to dispute this point any further, but, simply, I think we have to do both. We have to pursue the long-range science, but we also have to fund the shorter-range problem-solving issues and do both.
Administration Coordination of Climate Research
Let me get back to the interdisciplinary aspect as it relates to the whole climate program, and I am very concerned about that. This is a very interdisciplinary program in terms of government funding and structure. It is what is called a crosscutting program that gets across a large number of departments. The President's proposal is to integrate this to some extent.
And I have before me the chart that has been developed of how this is going to be managed. I frankly find it confusing with the yellow boxes, the gray boxes, the blue boxes, the green box, etcetera. I understand what they are trying to do, but I am really concerned that the government does not generally do a good job of this. And I have talked about OMB, that they should develop a methodology for governing these interdisciplinary projects.
The President tried to solve homeland security by appointing one individual in charge who has responsibility over broad areas. I hope that works. But I think we may need that type of coordination for the climate change issues, as well. Right now it strikes me as a who is on first situation where you have who is on first, what is on second, etcetera. And it isthe real key is to make certain that people work together and that the funding is appropriate for each area and that the work is coordinated. That is a horrendous problem. And if any of you have any insight on that, I would certainly appreciate it, if you can give a quick response because my time has expired.
Page 190 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. BYERLY. Well, I would just say that one of the keys with that in coordinated management is to make sure that all those Federal agencies really want to be at the table and want to participate. And we can combine both the mission-oriented and the exploratory elements. And I know when we fenced budgets, that went very well, and then it kind of weakened over the process. So the ability to pool resources, but make sure everybody wants to be at the tablethat is what counts.
Mr. EHLERS. Yeah. But they also have to stop defending their own turf.
Dr. BYERLY. They do. It is a challenge.
Mr. EHLERS. My time has expired. I
Chairman BOEHLERT. Mr. Bernstein, you wanted to comment on that?
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Just a quick follow-on to Dr. Ehler's suggestion about OMB. It would be possible, it seems, for OMB to issue guidance on Dr. Byerly's suggestion of having end-user groups involved in setting the priorities, as well as overseeing the quality of the interdisciplinary work. So it ends up actually aimed in some degree in something that the public, that other professions could actually understand. The Federal Government requires all sorts of participating in everything from community planning and occasionally in science and technology programs. There are no quality standards for participation. And unless a central agency like OMB could enforce that, you are not likely to get performance. So that is something that could be done, and I believe they have the authority to do it.
Page 191 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. EHLERS. And it has to be user-oriented. And let me give you a specific example. I think it is a crucially important questionis how do we contain carbon dioxide emissions or a greenhouse gas emission. Methane is almost as bad in totality because it is cross-sectioned so much bigger. We have to do it. If we don't, it just continues as a problem for years. And how do we attack that specific problem? And that is where I think we need a multi-disciplinary interdepartmental approach.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much. Your time has expired. Mr. Udall.
Mr. UDALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This discussion has been very interesting and very helpful. I had a question I wanted to direct to Dr. Barron, Dr. Miles, and Dr. Byerly. Maybe we will let Dr. Barron go first, Rad, and take you off the hot seat for a minute or two. Dr. Barron, and, Dr. Miles, you both talked about current difficulties with data management, and we have been talking around this and about this over the last few minutes. What recommendations would you have to improve the data management for all of these various programs? And the second questionare the data sets now accessible and functional for multiple-user groups?
Dr. BARRON. Yeah. I don't think the data sets are fully accessible, and there is a wealth of observations and there is continual pressure to add more. And the pressure is exerted by the fact that we take a successful observationNASA puts a new instrument up there and it brings wonderful data sets forth and you want to continue that. And so it becomes a challenge to put your arms around the entire data set and to create a comprehensive observing system.
Page 192 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
The more we do that gets NASA and NOAA together in the same room, the efforts like NPOES, those things really enable us to do a better job. But we really have to also start to add the data sets that are on the ground as that part of the integration to put the agencies that are involved together. But I would go back to this idea of can you prove that you really can put every single piece of data at someone's fingertips? And I think that if you started to think that this is, first, our national data sets, not just the global ones or regional ones, and prove that we could actually make it accessible to everybody. Right now, they are accessible to the scientific community and you need an intermediary to take it to a step for a whole lot of different users.
But this country is investing a lot of money in information technology and science. And we are really at the point where we can start to use that and say, okay, we are going to make this successful not only to the scientific community, but to a broader set of people.
Mr. UDALL. Dr. Miles.
Dr. MILES. Our experience is that the system, as it exists, is not bad, and that we can get access easily to whatever we need if it exists. And the people who manage the data are quite responsive to such requests. Our problems come with data that we need critically that don't exist, which indicate where there are major gaps in the observation programs of the United States.
For instance, having found outand it is my group that found out the power of the Pacific Decadal Oscillationnobody is yet able to predict switches in that from warm phase to cool phase. We think that in order to get there we will have to instrument the North Pacific in the way that we have instrumented the tropical ocean, the equatorial ocean for ENSO. So there is a big hole there.
Page 193 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
There is also a hole for our region with respect to coastal ocean and atmospheric, over the ocean, temperatures. Those are not being collected systematically, and we need those. And finally, there are major gaps nationally in the way we collect information about groundwater. And only areas which have managed programs for groundwater do we monitor. But that is less than 50 percent. So we are more concerned about the big holes in the system.
Mr. UDALL. Doctor, you are saying that we need to collect more data in order to manage it even further. There is
Dr. MILES. Yeah.
Mr. UDALL. Yeah. Dr. Byerly, do you
Dr. MILES. To be of use to end users.
Mr. UDALL. Yes. Dr. Byerly.
Dr. BYERLY [continuing]. Still trying to get the microphone on. And in doing so, I think I have been hitting a user involvement. And I just first want to say I agree with Dr. Barron. The program should be both science-directed and user-directed. And that has to do with data sets as well. And I also agree with his idea of a pilot project. On something like this we should definitely start small and learn from it.
But now, to go specifically to data sets, I want to bring up a metaphor that Vanaver Bush uses in his science, the endless frontier, in which he talks about a model of getting science into society in which there is a reservoir of information which, of course, this brings us to data sets. That is where the data sets would be, in that reservoir of information. And on one side, you have the scientists doing their work and unselfishly putting it into the reservoir of information. On the other side, you have society taking information out and using it.
Page 194 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So what I see is that there is no guarantee the right information will be in that reservoir unless there is communication across that reservoir, unless the users talk to the scientists when they are planning their research and say, here is the kind of information we need. There may not be the information in the reservoir. It is just a fine model, except that the model doesn't allow any communication across the reservoir, and that is what I am talking about. So I think that is thethat is what I am getting at with making sure we have the right data sets in the reservoir.
Chairman BOEHLERT. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. UDALL. Thank you.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Mr. Gutknecht.
NIST and JILA Facilities in Boulder, CO
Mr. GUTKNECHT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, first of all, I want to thank Mark Udall and Vern Ehlers for encouraging me to come out and visit the labs in Boulder and also in Golden, Colorado. It was a veryand I would encourage other members to take advantage and do that some time because I was extremely impressed at the work that we saw.
I do have to offer, though, this observation. When I compare the NIST labs and the JILA facilities and the budgeting, I have to say that it seemed to me that they were getting the short end of the stick relative to our atmospheric funding. The twoand you almost have to see this for yourselfthe difference between the facilities. The NIST labsand I was impressedvirtually every one of them was making liberal use of duct tape to keep some of their experiments together.
Page 195 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Their computer labs were reallyyou couldn't compare the quality. So, in some respects, it was good relative to what we need to do for the National Institutes of Standards and Technologies and for JILA. But I think, in terms of NOAA, I came back with a somewhat different conclusion.
How Much Has the Climate Changed and Why?
What I really want to get to the point, though, as we relate to atmospheric research and where we are and where we should be. And I want to thank Dr. Barron for stopping by, and we had a very nice visit in my office yesterday.
It has been somewhat disconcerting to me to listen to the discussion about global climate change. And it is always framed almost as if it is a Henny-Penney, sky-is-falling discussion. And I always try to remind the scientists, and theyand I always start with, I am not a scientist. I don't play one, but I am a curious person. Butand I would like to have you respond to this because the responses I have had to this point, from many of the scientists I have talked to, has beenI will be diplomaticdismissive. But 21,000 years ago, we had a sheet of ice on most of the State of Minnesota. It was 100 feet thick. In Minnesota, two days ago, it was 95 degrees. So clearly, there has been global warming.
But I think we have to be honest with ourselves in terms of how the global climate has changed through the eons. In fact, we had a scientist here a few months ago who refused to acknowledge that the level of CO in the atmosphere has actually changed since the time of the dinosaurs. He later had to amend his testimony.
Page 196 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But I wonder if you would talk about the whole issue of global climate changeand we can go one at a timeand we can startperhaps we can start with Mr. Bernstein this round. But, you know, how much has the climate changed in the last 100,000 years? And maybe we are ready for another ice age.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Microphone, please.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. I am not that old, but I do know, for example, I live on a hill in Chicago. It is 20 feet up. And that is how flat Chicago is. And I am only three blocks from Lake Michigan. And it was sort of disconcerting on the most recent Great Lakes research, to find out that my lot may have been under water as recently as 220 years ago. That is a little bit different when you think about it and have to think about something within the last couple of centuries as opposed to 100,000 years.
I have scientists on staff. I am a lapsed engineer turned political scientist myself. We find the data on CO concentrations convincing, and the other data on climate convincing, as well. But even if we didn't, greenhouse gas stabilization has so many risk reductions, economic development benefits, reliability benefits, thatand, you know, not too many insurance policies that we pay for pay for themselves and provide a rate of return. And so it seems to me that thinking about the what do you invest in as you learn things before you get down to the last decimal point is a great way to think about the purposes of science policy.
We don't invest enough in deploying what we know to the broader community, and there is a mistrust of the scientific community on this precisely because of the apparent argument about the basic knowledge. And I think we could do a lot to make this a lot more transparent and to help people understand where some of those statements are coming from.
Page 197 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. EDMONDS. Let me just begin by saying I am not a paleoclimatologist or any kind of climatologist. And so what I have to say can't address your question directly and so I apologize for that failing. When I think about this problem, I rely on those who have studied it with some concentration, and my colleagues, which span a broad spectrum in their opinion of where we stand today. And it ranges all the way from people who have great faith in their work and their predictions to those who might be in the camp that might be called more skeptical.
And so, as an economist, I come back to this as not as an all or nothing problem, and I think your opening remarks speak to this particular point. That is, it isn't an all-or-nothing point. It isn't either the sky is falling or it is not falling. It is rather a risk management problem. And so my testimony today was really about what kinds of scientific research would make sense to put into a risk management portfolio. And that is really how I have come to think about the problem.
Dr. MILES. I spend half my time on the social science side and half my time on the natural science side. I have participated in IPCC. I would say the basic physics are not in doubt. It is pretty clear, and there is widespread agreement, that the earth has warmed over the course of the last thousand years. That if we continue to put CO and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it will warm further over a lag. And that the issues that are in doubt are not whether it has warmed and will warm, but how much, when, and what the impacts will be.
In order to understand impacts, working at the global level doesn't much help, I think. And one has to work at the regional level because the regional variation is so great. And it does not help to define continents as regions because you don't solve your resolution problems that way.
Page 198 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I couldn't agree more with the two previous speakers as far as the social policy is concerned. It is a risk problem. It is a question of how you manage the risk and no-regret strategies seem to me to be the best way of approaching the problem. Thank you.
Dr. BARRON. I would just say very briefly that you are absolutely right, change on this planet is completely and totally normal. It happens on all sorts of time scales. And I think the earth will do just fine in adjusting to it. And it is worth noting that the U.S. Global Change Research Program has, as a portion of its investment, a look at the past so that we can learn lessons from exactly how the earth changed and responded.
The difference here, and the importance of the research element, is now we get to live through part of the change. So we should do everything we can to anticipate it and to understand just how certain or uncertain we are about these predictions. Because then we can use it to our advantage and we can do a much better job of making decisions. So that becomes the key. And I think it is anyou know, important to take those lessons from earth history and begin to apply them in that way.
Dr. BYERLY. Well, I am not an expert in this field, by any means, but I think you have raised some good points. First, about NISThad you visited it on a rainy day, you would have seen a great deal of plastic sheeting in use to protect the equipment. So it is even worse on some days.
Second, when this Committee reported out the National Climate Program Act in 1978, and I have worked on that, the primary concern was for global cooling. So things change.
Page 199 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Thirdand Dr. Barron can correct me on thisbut I believe if you look back over the record for the last many thousands of years, you will see the earth tends to have sort of flipped between a cool and a warm state, and we are currently in a warm state. And so my uniformed concern then is if we are already in a warm state, is there any possibility of sort of having nonlinear effects if we try to keep making things warmer? That maybe things could bethings could happen precipitously perhaps, that we have really no history to guide us on. But that is a pretty uninformed opinion.
Beginning Mitigation Efforts
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much. The gentleman's time has expired. A very good question and thoughtful responses. Ms. Rivers.
Ms. RIVERS. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to follow up in that same vein because in the eight years that I have served on this Committee, I have often heard research argued in place of response, and we have almost becomewe almost found ourselves in a situation where we have paralysis by analysis and we have had a parade of skeptics come through and say you can't make any movement forward in addressing this issue until we have had all of the questions answered. And until we have all of the questions answered, we really can't know what to do or when to do it or how much money to spend on it.
And I would like to know, to further your comments from a few minutes ago, whether you think we have answered enough questions that we can begin mitigation efforts and be part of the worldwide efforts to impact this problem. And, Mr. Bernstein, you spoke to it already, but I think you have really, you know, hit it.
Page 200 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Well, I think that we know enough to know that we can reduce greenhouse gases through more efficient use of resources, whether that is in buildings or in transportation, whether it is energy or natural resources. We have arguments about how much of the problem is due to consumption and activity and how much of it is due to larger ecological and human settlement interactions.
However, what is not arguable is the emerging economic measurement of the benefits. And further, what is not arguable is that it seems to work better when you deploy the stuff faster and in a better aligned sort of manner. So that if there was some modicum of research and development devoted to building some intelligence into our systems so that people actually could make decisions, I think we could get ahead. NSF does invest in advancing the science of geographic information, but it is nobody's job to apply that in the Federal Government at a localized
Ms. RIVERS. Actually, DOE has that charge.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Well, I have got to say that they could do better in that particular one. It is hard to find anybody whose job that is to do that full time in DOE or HUD or DOT, where I spend a lot of time on research policy. And it seems to me that if we could put the information where people actually live, we could do better.
One quick illustration. The current R&D programs over there are organized around technologies, around fuels, and around sectors, but people relate best to communities and to places and to the things that they actually do. The current reorganization plan will not improve this situation and so it will be misaligned in a continued sort of basis.
Page 201 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And so I think that if we could organize around the social science of this a little bit more on deployment, we could get a fairer measurement of how well this stuff works across the different places
Ms. RIVERS. Thank you.
Mr. BERNSTEIN [continuing]. Where we actually live.
Ms. RIVERS. Dr. Edmonds, do you think we know enough that we could begin some mitigation efforts?
Dr. EDMONDS. To answer your question, I think it is useful to realize that the goal of the framework convention on climate change is stabilization of concentrations of
Ms. RIVERS. Right.
Dr. EDMONDS [continuing]. Greenhouse gases. And if you look at trying to do this in an orderly way, independent of the concentration, emissions growth has to first begin to slow, then peak, and then begin this long-term decline, which goes on indefinitely thereafter. And that isthat pattern is consistent with any concentration. It is consistent with the concentration that would be as low as 350 parts per million, and it is also consistent with 750 parts per million or even 1,000 parts per million.
Page 202 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Science has not yet told us what the appropriate concentration is. And that timing and magnitude of the change that is warranted today really depends on someone taking the knowledge and making a political decision, as to where would we like to end up and how fast should we go about that process.
Ms. RIVERS. Do we have to know ultimately where we want to end up or do we already know enough to know that less is going to be better?
Dr. EDMONDS. If you are going to structure a cost-minimizing strategy for a 100-year problem, it is useful to have some sense of where you would like to be at the end of that transition process. So while the answer is literally, no, you don't have toyou know, you don't have to set the goal, and much of what has occurred in the discussions of emissions mitigation, have really made no reference to the goal, yet, I find it difficult to get around the basic nature of the problem, which is a century-scale problem and one thatat least my work has focused on. What kinds of orderly progression of steps are warranted in dealing with it in the long term?
Ms. RIVERS. But the plan that is before usthe research program that exists now for $1.7 billion, doesn't set an end date for greenhouse gas stabilization. Does it? Does it say at this year our goal is to be here at this year?
Dr. EDMONDS. Well, as I said, at present, that hasthat level has not been defined. It hasn't been defined by either the political process or the scientific community.
Page 203 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. RIVERS. And do you think then youare you saying we should wait to do anything until we define that?
Dr. EDMONDS. My counsel here this morning has really focused on the investments that one can make in the science that would lay down the foundations to make a transition, which would be consistent with a broad range of determinations.
Ms. RIVERS. Yeah. But what I am asking you to do, and what you are trying not to do, is I am asking you to address the core political question. And what has happened time and time again is the argument has been we should do nothing until we have answered all the questions. And I am asking whether that is a sound position to take.
Dr. EDMONDS. Well, you are asking me to give you a policy prescription
Ms. RIVERS. No. I am asking you to give me your opinion.
Dr. EDMONDS [continuing]. And I don't know the answer, you know.
Ms. RIVERS. No. I am asking you to give me your opinion as a scientist.
Chairman BOEHLERT. That is right. The Chair is being indulgent with you because we are trying to get an answer too.
Page 204 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ms. RIVERS. Yeah.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Dr. Edmonds.
Dr. EDMONDS. There are certainly things that can be done to slow the rate of growth of greenhouse gases in the near term, and many of them have to do with accelerating the development and deployment of technologies. In the long term, I think it is absolutely essential to develop a whole new sweep because the change that is ultimately required is so large that it really requires a revolutionary change. And so there are a variety of steps that are consistent with that long-term resolution, but the work that I have done has really focused on what do you have to do to make that big change over the long term.
Chairman BOEHLERT. The gentlelady's time has expired. Mr. Gilchrest.
Quantifying the Human Impact
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a few quick questions. But a comment briefly first from a book by Stephen Snyder called Laboratory Earth, in which he states in that book that the climate on Planet Earth has been warming for the last 10,000 years and aboutif I remember right, this is about five or six years nowabout one centigrade per thousand years, with the exception of the last 200. It has increased dramatically in the last, basically, 100 to 50 years, and the likelihood that CO concentrations will double in the next few decades.
Page 205 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So the question isand just brief answers because I have got five questions, and I apologize, unless the Chair gives me a half an hour, which I doubt. Is human activity substantial enough, based on our present knowledge, to have an impact on the natural variation of the climate? Say yes or no.
Dr. BARRON. Yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Good. What is the change caused by human activity in the structure or the makeup of our atmosphere as a result of that activity? The physics of the atmosphere has been changed then, and what has increased or what has changed as a result of human activity?
Dr. BARRON. You would probably have to create a ranked list from things that you feel are strong and very likely components of adding the greenhouse gases. For example, increase in globally averaged surface temperature undoubtedly results in a global increase in precipitation because you are evaporating more. You have warming at the higher latitudes, snow-covered areas, because you are removing this highly reflective white surfaces. In any climate, it doesn't matter whether you go back 100 million years ago, the last ice ages, the most sensitive areas area at the edges of sea ice and snow. So you begin to see some of those things where the structural changes appear in every model, appear in earth history. You are just looking at a different mechanism.
Mr. GILCHREST. So those structural changes are changing as a result of the input of CO, methane, nitrous oxide, as a result of human activity.
Page 206 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. BARRON. They would result from any forcing that would tend to promote a warmer planet. We just happened to know that currently humans are providing a greenhouse forcing. And, therefore, that signal of the characteristics of that warming should be something that is fairly consistent. Like I say, you could go back to an ice age or a warm time period and you would see that same signal, greater sensitivity, higher latitudes, that total water cycle going up and down based on global temperature.
Mr. GILCHREST. So
Dr. BARRON. There are other things that are much less certain.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is it likely then to have these greenhouse gases, CO, in particular, double in the next several decades from where it was just 100 years ago?
Dr. BARRON. A lot of scenarios have a doubling during this century, but not in a decade or so.
Mr. GILCHREST. What was that?
Dr. BARRON. Century.
Mr. GILCHREST. Century.
Page 207 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. BARRON. Over the next century.
Mr. GILCHREST. Okay. So itCO could double within the next century, even if it is another 100 years
Dr. BARRON. Right.
Mr. GILCHREST [continuing]. From what it was 100 years ago. Or what the average variable
Dr. BARRON. Correct.
Mr. GILCHREST [continuing]. Has been over the last 10,000 years.
Dr. BARRON. Right. Correct.
Mr. GILCHREST. And if it does then, CO, double from what it was 100 years ago, or the natural variability, what is the cause of that doubling?
Dr. BARRON. The cause of that doubling is a variety of human activities. Certainly, energy consumption is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. Agriculture, through production of cows and cattles, contributes methane. If you have extensive tropical deforestation, anything that is carbon-based and you burn it, then you are adding CO, a greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere. So you could take each one of those gases and characterize exactly what the different sources are, and there are significant human sources for many of them.
Page 208 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. GILCHREST. So while the predictability of whatexactly what will happen isthere is still a level or a degree of uncertainty.
Dr. BARRON. Yes. So if you were to take a doubling of CO and you were to take the best climate models from around the world, you would see that some would suggest a warming on the order of a degree, a degree and a half for a doubling of CO, degree C, and then you would see the structural difference between tropicssmall warming, mid-latitude, high latitudeshigher warming, and then will find also some models that are up there closer toto 4.8 degrees. The range is five times what the warming hasmore than five timesnine times what the warming has been over the last century. We are somewhere
Mr. GILCHREST. I just want to
Dr. BARRON. We are somewhere in that range.
Mr. GILCHREST. Because mythe red light just came on.
Dr. BARRON. Yeah.
Mr. GILCHREST. And that was
Chairman BOEHLERT. You have got one more question to go.
Page 209 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. I had one quickthank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman BOEHLERT. I have been counting.
Mr. GILCHREST. I know this might seem like it is not only out of left field, but it is out of the ball park. But about 35 years ago I went to Vietnam. There was about 300,000 U.S. soldiers in Vietnam at the time. Every single one of them got malaria pills. Now, I don't think there is any way for a physician to specifically predict how each one of those would react to the malaria parasite.
Dr. BARRON. Right.
Mr. GILCHREST. Every single one of them, by precautionary approach, was given that malaria pill. So I would assume that the prudent precautionary approach, risk-based decisions would be that we would move inand this is up to us to make a policy to reduce human input of greenhouse gases based on the best available data, because even if it doesn't have some predictable effect, the less fossil fuel that we put into the atmosphere, the best management practices that we produce for agriculture, will have a positive result, both for the climate, the hydrologic cycle, etcetera, etcetera. I guess that was a statement. Sorry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much, Mr. Gilchrest. Ms. Jackson Lee.
No Regret Strategy
Page 210 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, to both you and the Ranking Member for, again, holding a very pointed and timely hearing. I say that because not only did I personally bring 90-plus to Washington, D.C., I thought I was helped by climate change as well. I know that this heat today is probably shocking and so I think the hearing is timely.
But also in Texas, as you well know, yesterday, last 24, 48 hours, we had an unusual set of weather circumstances that caused a great deal of damage in the Dallas/Forth Worth areatornadoes and others that we are seeing coming at unusual times. So this is clearly a very important hearing forregionally for us in those areas that are subject to seemingly unusual climatic changes.
Though it may not be necessarily connected, Houston also experienced one of the most unusual storms. We are usually used to the word hurricane, but not stormTropical Storm Allison, that in less than or about 24 hours, put 30-some inches of rain in our area. And, of course, there are a lot of other variables that went into the tragedies that ultimately occurred, but it certainly was unusual. And so we are seeing a lot of changes that come about that are weather related, but this hearing on climate is very, I think, timely.
I would like to pursue, I think, Dr. Miles, it seems as if you captured some thoughts that I think are important to restate or to expandthe fact that CO is growing, that it is continuing to be part of our environment, that the earth is continuing to warm. It may be the obvious, but youif I can cite three pointshow much, when, and the impact.
Page 211 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
And I would like us to explore these points, and I am not precluding the input of your other colleagues there. I would like to expand on the no-regret strategy. Give us some additional insight on how we can move on that strategy, how we can beI think of no regrets as bold strategies, strategies that need to move expeditiously, but also thoughtfully.
The other is to give me your insight on how povertydo we have enough research to suggest how poverty, or the more impoverished, are impacted by climate changes or weather changes or the results of what is going on with respect to climate. I think, for example, of my visits to Bangladesh, India, and PakistanIndia, in particular, looking at various enormous conditionsobviously, part of that is population, but looking at enormously difficult conditions. But I also look at theI am backdoor planner by backdoor training, having served in municipal government, and knowing that on the east side of every community, that is the downwind, that is where the manufacturing, that is where the refineries in my community are, and that is where folk who are living in small bungalows or tenements are located.
So I am very interested in how we can get our hands around being bold in this instance and then poverty. And I will follow up with a question on what we can do to improve the U.S. global research programs that we are looking to improve. But, Dr. Miles, would you share with me, please?
Dr. MILES. Thank you very much. With respect to no-regret strategies, my thinking is that we will very likely double the concentration of greenhouse gases over the course of the next century, as Dr. Barron has pointed out. In the Climate Convention, it has informally been taken that doubling is the standard, that that is where one wants to be. There is no hard evidence to support that except that we think we can manage quite well under a doubled scenario, and less well under tripling and even less well under quadrupling.
Page 212 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
What worries me is that we do not know, and I don't think this committee or any other can expect science to tell you what is the point at which we will trigger very large non-linear effects, like setting in train motion to an ice age or something of the sort. So, therefore, to me, less is better than more. And, as Mr. Bernstein pointed out, a no-regret strategy has so many risk-reduction potentialities built into it that the evidence suggests one ought to proceed in that fashion now. I make that comment with no necessary connection to the Kyoto Protocol. There are a lot of pathways to reduction, and how we choose is a debate we have never had in this country at an official level publicly.
Affects of Climate Change on the Economically Disadvantaged
With respect to poverty effects, the Working Group II of IPCC for the 2001 assessment, the one just published, shows quite clearly that the most severely affected communities globally will be the poor ones. In some cases, in the South Pacific, for instance, this means their islands or atolls will disappear. Certainly, Tuvalu is the clearest. Bangladesh will be in very great trouble; so will the Maldives.
In the United States, none of the research so far has made poverty a major focus of its analysis. We have one program just starting in the northeast, based in New York at Columbia, which undertakes a look at urban effects and connections to human health. And that program, in my view, has very great promise.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, would you just allow Mr. Bernstein, whose head was moving up and downand that does not mean that he is agreeing with me, but
Page 213 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman BOEHLERT. Is that the Bernstein bobble?
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And this is not for the record, but I would appreciate if he could make a comment. And, Mr. Chairman, I would also sayand I thank Dr. Miles very muchas we move toward markup, I would certainly like to work with the Committee on expanding the poverty research or poverty impact research that we might look into as we look to mark this up and improve this
Chairman BOEHLERT. That is very thoughtful. Mr. Bernstein, you
Mr. BERNSTEIN. I will be quick.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Thethere are a couple of poverty effects in addition to Dr. Barron's excellent summary. The cost of continuing to allow very high energy consumption, obviously, affects the poor. Disproportionally you don't have as much money to pay for it. Secondly, to the extent that there is a correspondence between criteria pollutant emissions and carbon emissions, there will be disproportionate effects. And the poor are more susceptible in not because they are genetically different, but they can't afford the medical care to take care of things like asthma, trigger events, and respiratory infections, and they can't afford to climate control their homes as well. And so those programs aren't as available. Most of the high penetration programs across the country for energy efficiency don't make it to the poor.
Page 214 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
You could have a poverty alleviation effect, on the other hand, out of the no-regrets strategy if we targeted the savings in such a way that it would help the poor save money to acquire wealth. There is a program that we participate in, location-efficient mortgages, that takes the savings from people using less transportation and puts it into down payments and other kinds of assistance so that people, in fact, can afford to become homeowners. So, in effect, climate stabilization could provide the savings to attack wealth problems. That is a very, very powerful political and economic message, and we ought to think not just about counting savings, but asking the question then, what could be done with that savings if we reinvested it in a smarter future?
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you.
Chairman BOEHLERT. That was a very thoughtful response. Thank you.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Ms. Morella.
Localizing Climate Science
Ms. MORELLA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I very much appreciate you calling this important hearing to look at our climate change programs. It is certainly a daunting and very difficult task, and I appreciate your continuing to work on it and give you all the encouragement I can. Thank you, panelists, who presented excellent testimony, including your written testimony which is far more expansive than what you had a chance to say.
Page 215 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So in terms of questioning, Dr. Barron, I think I will start off with you, sir. In your testimony you discuss how regional centers may be able to play a role in localizing climate science and tailoring it to regional needs. A couple of months ago, we had an extensive hearing on this Committee about regionallya regionally focused program at NOAA called Sea Grant.
Dr. BARRON. Uh-huh.
Ms. MORELLA. Do you envision your ideas in a similar manner or is this not an appropriate analogy?
Dr. BARRON. Okay. Well, Sea Grant, at least from what I understand of the Sea Grant Program, focuses on a lot of different topics thatbut with a cohesive theme; coastal oceans, for example. What I would like to do is to develop a program that instead of focusing on individual science elements, the entire crux of it is prove that you can put this diverse scientific community together, the human dimensions, and put the decision-makers in the room. And have your focus not just to be what exists there, but your ability to anticipate the future.
And by that I mean a forecast, short term, a season to a year in advance, and then the long term. And in that case you really discover what that integration is and then how valuable that information that you are attempting, in a sense, to bring the discipline of forecasting to a broader set of environmental issues. So that requires focus and integration on a topic. And that structure, I think, would mean that it would end up to be different than a Sea Grant, which enables a lot of different specific research projects focused on a particular arena.
Page 216 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Ms. MORELLA. Uh-huh. Well-stated. Do you see this possibility as a demonstration program?
Dr. BARRON. I think a good way to think about it is to begin with some pilot programs. And you may pick different parts of the decision base. You may decide environment and health is a good idea. You may discover that for western states what you really want to focus on is the link to water and water resources. So they could have a different focus.
But what you really want to do is sit there and say, okay, if I look at Maryland, Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Delawareif I look at those and I look at all the different data sets people are collecting, and EPA goes here and somebody else for water goes here, can I actually use information, science, and technology to put it all in one place and make it so that you can wander through it, but also a scientist can sit there and wander through it and make it accessible? And can you tune those models so that you are at the resolution where you are looking at the Chesapeake and being able to say credible things about how that system may change? And not just have it be a focus of global warming, but to think about all those different time scales. You are just trying to bring all of this talent to serve society.
Ms. MORELLA. I actually want to ask another question of some other panelists, but you kind of engaged me in terms of what do we do as a Committee then to help to bring that about?
Dr. BARRON. Yes. See, what I hope is that we are sitting there with a very strong U.S. Global Change Research Program that has all of these different elements of observations and enhancing global models. But then we also say, you know, it is time to put some resources into making sure we can integrate all this information and really put it down on the streetreally connect with those decision-makers.
Page 217 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
So I think it is a matter of looking at the program we have and then saying, okay, we know we have got to do multiple stresses. We know we have got to bring the human dimension in there. We know we have got to connect with agriculture and water resources. Let us also have a component of this problem and our resource base that allows us to take that next step and prove that we can actually do this coupling and integration and tie it to this and have decision-makers right there in the room with you. And I think what we will discover is that it becomes contagious. There will be kind of a data envy there because we will see how wonderful it is to have all that information to be accessible.
Deployment Rates as an Indicator of Success
Ms. MORELLA. Thank you. I applaud you. I happen to agree with what you say. Very quickly, I will pose the question. Dr. Edmonds, and, Mr. Bernstein, most of the evaluations of energy technology programs do not exclusively consider deployment rates in their assessment of success. Given the maxim, we are what we measure, should we more exclusively measure deployment rates as an indicator of success? You are going to have to answer quickly, although he is not looking.
Chairman BOEHLERT. I am looking.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Yes. Yes. We absolutely should. Itwe can't know how we are doing unless we have the metrics on that. One way to do that would be to require the agencies responsible to report on this annually with their government performance and results act report. Budgetstime considerations have a way of focusing attention and clarity. And I think that if they had to every year come up with a performance result that related to meeting a deployment goal, then we could get there.
Page 218 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
I agree totally with the comments about the need to advance technology, however, we could do a lot more with the technology that is already there. I remember when James Schlessinger held up the first compact fluorescent light bulb prototype. I think it was 26 years ago. The only place in the United States where you have two or more on the shelf at any one time is Home Depot.
I want to suggest that we don't have deployment to the extent that the Federal reports suggest we do. And until people can see this stuff in everyday purchases, get everyday feedback on what it is doing for them, get credited for having done it, get reinforcement on it, we are not going to have the kind of system that acts the way that we are suggesting that it needs to. And I think there has to be commonsense approach to that.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you very much. Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much.
Ms. MORELLA. I think Dr. Edmonds agrees. Right. Okay.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Well, wait. Do youDr. Edmonds?
Dr. EDMONDS. Yes. I do. I agree. If you are trying to evaluate your performance then you have to be able to measure it.
Ms. MORELLA. Yeah.
Page 219 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman BOEHLERT. Mr. Rohrabacher.
Population Density and Energy Consumption
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. Mr. Bernstein, you live on a 250-foot hill in Chicago. What was that now?
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Twenty-foot hill.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. A 20-foot hill.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. The only 250-foot hill is the garbage dump on the southeast side.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Do you live in a house or do you live in an apartment building?
Mr. BERNSTEIN. I live in what is called a two-flat. It is a two-unit apartment building.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Two-unit apartment building.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. That is correct.
Page 220 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ROHRABACHER. All right. It seemed that your testimony was mainly aimed at peoples' standard of living who live in single-family homes in the suburbs. And perhaps it would be better if you lived in ato be consistent, a huge building with lots of people in it then, rather than just a building with two homes in it.
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Well, no. I happen to live in a very high-density, but mixed-income community
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Uh-huh.
Mr. BERNSTEIN [continuing]. Near the lakefront in Chicago. It is the kind of anomaly that we are good at there. So there is
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Okay.
Mr. BERNSTEIN.30,000 people a square mile and it is about as densely populated as
Mr. ROHRABACHER. But it doesn't sound like the specific spot that you chose is quite as densely populated because you only have two families in the dwelling that you live in. But let me just say, I couldn't disagree with you more on that particular point. I think it is wonderful that Americans, in particular, live in their own homes. I think it isI think suburbs are great and I think people owning their own homes is a terrific thing. It isand I think that we have a high standard of living that is grand. And it is something we should be proud of. I couldn't disagree with you more on that.
Page 221 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
But I couldn't agree with you more that we should be developing the technology and improving on the meter technology, in particular, so people who live in those homes can become part of the solution to producing electricity and toand managing their electricity and their energy use in a way. And, by the way, I say that not because I believe in any of this
Chairman BOEHLERT. Now, be delicate.
Mr. ROHRABACHER [continuing]. Stuff about
Chairman BOEHLERT. Be delicate.
Mr. ROHRABACHER [continuing]. About global warming, but because I happen to believe that some of the points made about energy conservation have a lot to do with public health, which is important to me, and fundamental economics, which are important to our country. For example, how much energy we are going to import and how much of our national wealth is directed toward energy rather than other type of needs. So I agree with you wholeheartedly on that conclusion, that we should be advancing our ability to judge how much energy is being used. So
Mr. BERNSTEIN. Congressman, I couldn't agree with you more on the goal of home ownership. We promote it. The statistics show that half of it is happening in densely populated areas and half of it is happening in not so densely populated areas. People do have these choices. The only thing I would suspect we may disagree on is who has to pay for those external costs that are imposed because of the low efficiency in the less densely populated ones. This is a science hearing. I was only suggesting
Page 222 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Yeah.
Mr. BERNSTEIN [continuing]. That we take an honest look at where these
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Well, that is
Mr. BERNSTEIN [continuing]. Are actually coming from.
Carbon Emissions From Natural Sources
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Yeah. Well, we ought to make it to make the science and technology better to both measure it and produce energy more efficientlyI am with you. In terms ofI would like to remind Dr. Miles that if the earth has been warming, which you stated, for the last 1,000 years, the effectit must not be industrialization that has caused the global warming. But the question I have for Dr. Byerly is, Dr. Byerly, would you say that industrialization, or let us say, the internal combustion engine isproduces more greenhouse gas than rotting trees in jungles?
Dr. BYERLY. I think the difference is that rotting trees have taken the carbon out of the atmosphere
Mr. ROHRABACHER. First.
Page 223 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. BYERLY [continuing]. First, and then they put it back in so there is no net change.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Uh-huh.
Dr. BYERLY. That is, of course, also true with things that produce fossil fuels. But the fossil fuels arethe carbon was taken out millions of years ago, so
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Right.
Dr. BYERLY [continuing]. It is really kind of out of the time frame.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. But inunless someone disagrees with me on the panel, rotting trees in jungles and the termites that go with them, etcetera, etcetera, produce a huge amount of greenhouse gas, if one is concerned about greenhouse gas, as compared to the internal combustion engine or some of these other type of things. So if you are going to really want to get to the greenhouse gas, you bulldoze the jungles and then replant those trees with young trees, which is, of course, a ridiculous suggestion, which, of course, is why I think this whole focus on greenhouse gas is ridiculous.
Natural Climate Change
But one note before webecause I am losing my time hereweand over the last 1,000 years, which we mentioned has been getting warmer, has there ever been a time in that last, let us say, 100,000 years since the ice age, where we have indications that the temperature has actually increased at a faster rate than the one-degree warmer that it has been in the last 100 years? Oh, no, no. I just need you to answer that question
Page 224 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Dr. BYERLY. Oh.
Mr. ROHRABACHER [continuing]. And not what is importantishas there been a time in this last 100,000 years since the end of that ice age, that scientists can suggest that there actually was an increase in the temperature that is greater than what we have had in the last 100 years? There has never been awe could never tell that there has been a one-degree raise in temperature over a 100-year period over these last 100,000 years.
My guess is that there is evidence to suggest that. Maybe we just need to communicate it. But all I know, after all the hearings I have been through on global warming, they suggest in the last 100 years we have hadI guess, measured at night in the northern hemisphere, a one-degree change in temperature, a rise in temperature. But nobody can say that didn't happen in the past, before industrialization, during the time when theywhen the glaciers were receding.
Dr. BARRON. There is substantial evidence that there are abrupt climate changes in the past.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. There you go.
Dr. BARRON. And my feeling is, is that that is the reason why I am interested in anticipating the future and I want to look at the program holistically
Page 225 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Right.
Dr. BARRON [continuing]. Because I think it would be just as valuable for us to anticipate a natural change that was a jump like that as it would be one forced by human activity.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Sure. Well, absolutely.
Dr. BARRON. Same science, same physics.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. As long as it is not being used to justify bulldozing people out of their homes or bulldozing theall the jungles of the world.
Dr. BARRON. Yeah.
Chairman BOEHLERT. Well, we haven't got the bulldozers ready yet. But thank you very much, Mr. Rohrabacher. It always a pleasure to have you share some of your theories with us on this very important subject. And I want to thank all the witnesses for being resources for the Committee. And it has beenwe have had a thoughtful hearing and we have had some good exchanges and we may follow up with a few questions that we would ask that you would respond to in writing in a timely manner as we go forward. Dr. Ehlers has a concluding word.
Page 226 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. EHLERS. Just a comment on something that I think is often misunderstood. And that is that the earth is a natural ecosystem which oscillates, sometimes with fair regularity from one position to another. For example, no ice age to ice ages and back again, with considerable regularity.
It iswhat is different about what is going on now is that we are near the peak of one of the oscillations and we, with human activity, are changing the behavior of the oscillatory system. The real scientific question is, is there a positive or a negative feedback going on here? In other words, can it lead to a runaway situation or will the earth, in fact, the feedback take care of itthe earth will absorb the excess carbon and there will be a minimum of that effect, other than just a temperature increase or climate change in various areas. And I think it is very important to understand that.
The other factor that is important is that whatever changes take place now, as Dr. Barron was saying, whether they are natural or human cause, can have an incredible effect on the human race and water levels. Ocean water levels rising 20 feet would have a dramatic effect. Going down 20 feet would have a dramatic effect. That has happened many times in past ages. We didn't worry about it. We weren't there. But it had tremendous effect on animals, plants, and so forth. And we have to keep that in sight. We are talking about small variations in a major system and we just don't know what the impact is going to be.
Chairman BOEHLERT. As Mark Nagrodski used to say, you have had the last word.
Mr. EHLERS. Thank you.
Page 227 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Chairman BOEHLERT. Thank you all very much. This hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
(Footnote 1 return)
''Energy Efficiency at DOE: Was It Worth It?'' National Research Council, National Academy of Science, National Academy Press. (2001). This report was requested by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior as part of the DOE's FY 2000 budget.
(Footnote 2 return)
''Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future,'' Interlaboratory Working Group on Energy Efficient and Clean Energy Technologies, (November 2000).
(Footnote 3 return)
''Energy Research at DOE;'' The ''Global Energy Technology Strategy Program'' organized by the Battelle Memorial Institute and Electric Power Research Institute.
(Footnote 4 return)
Energy Research at DOE p. 6.
(Footnote 5 return)
Clean Energy Futures, p. ES 6.
(Footnote 6 return)
Global Energy Technology Strategy, p. 8.
(Footnote 7 return)
Energy Research at DOE, p. 7.
(Footnote 8 return)
Id. p. 6.
(Footnote 9 return)
Id. p. 8.
(Footnote 10 return)
Id. p. 40.
(Footnote 11 return)
Global Energy Technology Strategy, p. 9.
(Footnote 12 return)
The Climate Impacts Group at Washington.
(Footnote 13 return)
As I will argue shortly, fossil fuels can remain the backbone of the global energy system even if cumulative carbon emissions are limited with appropriate technology developments.
(Footnote 14 return)
Sponsors of the program were: Battelle Memorial Institute, BP, EPRI, ExxonMobil, Kansai Electric Power, National Institute for Environmental Studies (Japan), New Economic and Development Organization (Japan), North American Free Trade AgreementCommission for Environmental Cooperation, PEMEX (Mexico), Tokyo Electric Power, Toyota Motor Company, and the US Department of Energy. Collaborating research institutions were: The Autonomous National University of Mexico, Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnment et le Developpement (France), China Energy Research Institute, Council on Agricultural Science and Technology, Council on Energy and Environment (Korea), Council on Foreign Relations, Indian Institute of Management, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), Japan Science and Technology Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany), Stanford China Project, Stanford Energy Modeling Forum, and Tata Energy Research Institute (India).
(Footnote 15 return)
Richard Balzhiser, President Emeritus, EPRI; Richard Benedick, Former US Ambassador to the Montreal Protocol; Ralph Cavanagh, Co-director, Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council; Charles Curtis, Executive Vice President, United Nations Foundation; Zhou Dadi, Director, China Energy Research Institute; E. Linn Draper, Chairman, President and CEO, American Electric Power; Daniel Dudek, Senior Economist, Environmental Defense Fund; John H. Gibbons, Former Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President; José Goldemberg, Former Environment Minister, Brazil; Jim Katzer, Strategic Planning and Programs Manager, ExxonMobil; Yoichi Kaya, Director, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Government of Japan; Hoesung Lee, President, Korean Council on Energy and Environment; Robert McNamara, Former President, World Bank; John Mogford, Group Vice President, Health, Safety and Environment BP; Granger Morgan, Professor, Carnegie-Mellon University; Hazel O'Leary, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Rajendra K. Pachauri, Director, Tata Energy Research Institute; Thomas Schelling, Distinguished University Professor of Economics, University of Maryland; Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; Pryadarshi R. Shukla, Professor, Indian Institute of Management; Gerald Stokes, Assistant Laboratory Director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; John Weyant, Director, Stanford Energy Modeling Forum; and Robert White, Former Director, National Academy of Engineering.
(Footnote 16 return)
Here I refer to both the science underpinning the development of energy technology and the science needed to determine an appropriate concentration goal. The present state of knowledge with regard to the science of climate change does not provide an adequate basis for identifying a unique concentration at which to stabilize the atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases.
(Footnote 17 return)
Bioreactors will often be populated with a single kind of microbe rather than a community.