America Unprepared for Climate Change, Say Policy Advisers
National Research Council claims US agencies and political leaders not getting the right information or guidance
America is woefully unprepared for climate change, and the government agencies charged with delivering the latest science to decision makers are not up to the task, a new report said today.
The National Research Council, a policy advice centre that is part of the US National Academy of Sciences, said that government agencies and political leaders, concerned more than ever about climate change, were not getting the information or the guidance they needed.
"Many decision makers are experiencing or anticipating a new climate regime and are asking questions about climate change and potential responses to it that federal agencies are unprepared to answer," the council said in its report, Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change.
"Robust and effective responses to climate change demand a vastly improved body of scientific knowledge."
The report called for an expansion of federal government research into global warming, as well as a "transformational change" in how scientific research is conducted and incorporated into public policy.
It said government scientists, such as those at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, needed to pay greater attention to the human dimension of climate change - its effects on food supply, public health and the environment.
Government researchers also needed to forge strong connections across different scientific disciplines and linking the worlds of natural and social science, said the non-profit institution which aims to improve government decision making and public policy.