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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

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



Advances in technology and software now enable most people to access a vast array of global change data and information on the World Wide Web, ranging from educational resources for grade school teachers, to complex data sets from field experiments. The next several issues of this column will outline some major resources.

Global Climate Change Digest Electronic Edition

All issues of the Global Climate Change Digest, from July 1988 through the current issue, now reside in a keyword-searchable, electronic format on the Global Change web site (, as announced in the October-November 1996 issue of the Digest. Since that time, a grant from the U.S. Global Change Research and Information Office (discussed further below) has guaranteed that all issues older than eighteen months may be viewed and searched free of charge. (Electronic access to more recent issues is by subscription only.) This and other global change material posted by the Pacific Institute makes the Global Change site one of the most comprehensive sources of information from the nongovernmental sector.

U.S. Government Research

Presented here is an outline the information resources of the federal research program, beginning with the web sites of the major administrative bodies. Future columns will elaborate on several of the resources mentioned briefly.

The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy oversees federal global change research, through the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR); (

The CENR developed the multi-agency, interdisciplinary U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) ( to understand the possible implications of global environmental change from scientific and social perspectives. Our Changing Planet: The FY 1997 U.S. Global Change Research Program (, a comprehensive overview of the accomplishments and future direction of the program, is the definitive resource describing U.S. federal research.

The ability to conduct research and develop policies requires access to high quality data and information. A major objective of the USGCRP is to manage, archive, and make available to all who need it the data and information resulting from its research and policy support. The Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS) is the organizational entity of agencies participating in the USGCRP that is designed to carry out this objective. It is overseen by the Global Change Data Management Working Group; details are given in the GCDIS Implementation Plan (

The GCDIS comprises a collection of data and information centers, libraries, and related programs operated by U.S. government agencies involved in global change research. It serves scientists and other researchers, policy makers, educators, industry, and the public. Disciplines covered span the earth and biological sciences, economics, and sociology.

The GCDIS Web site ( offers several major starting points for information access, such as the Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO), at ( GCRIO was established in 1993 specifically to provide governments, citizens, businesses and institutions worldwide access to scientific information available in the U.S. As such, it contributes to the broader goal of its parent organization, the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network or CEISIN (, to provide ready access to worldwide sources of information relating to global change and its human impacts. The GCRIO site provides more links to specific information resources than the other sites mentioned so far.

Another choice on the GCDIS Web site is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Global Change Master Directory (, a comprehensive, searchable source of data and information with broad coverage of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid earth and biosphere. Other choices are USGCRP Science Topics, Agency Data Centers, Educational Resources, Libraries and Information Centers, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (which develops standards for sharing geospatial data).

Library of Congress

Staff in the Library of Congress ( Science and Technology Reading Room (gopher:// have produced the Weather and Climate Data Science Reference Guide. Not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, the guide helps researchers identify resources containing weather and climate data and use the catalogs effectively, and provides an introduction to basic reference sources. It includes a list of relevant Library of Congress subject headings, hints for locating additional resources in other libraries, and a select bibliography. The Guide is available as a gopher file at (gopher:// research/reading.rooms/science/bibs.guides/reference/guides/refguide.09).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

In January 1997, the U.S. EPA opened a global warming Web site at ( warming). A discussion of the site will appear in this column soon.

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