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Global Change proposed, legislation (roles of FCEST + agencies with NRC

Cy [[?]] NFC Comm. on Atmos. Chem
NRC Comm. on Global Change from RSievers

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JUL 21 1988



     By Mr. FORD:
S 2618. A bill for the relief of Geetha Kannan; to the Committee on the Judiciary. 
     By Mr. BUMPERS, from the Committee on Small Business:
S. 2619. An original bill to provide reauthorization for the Small Business Administration for fiscal year 1989, and for other purposes: placed on the calendar.
     By Mr. DOMENICI:
S. 2520. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a refundable credit to parents for dependents under age 5, that the earned income credit shall not apply to families having such a dependent, and that the dependent care credit shall not apply with respect to such dependents; to the Committee on Finance.
      By Mr. REID:
S.J. Res. 348. Joint resolution to designate the week of February 5, 1989, through February 11, 1989, as "National Burn Awareness Week"; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

  The following concurrent resolutions and Senate resolutions were read, and referred (or acted upon), as indicated: 
     By Mr. BYRD (for Mr. BURDICK): 
S. Res. 450. Resolution to acknowledge the service provided to consumers by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; considered and agreed to. 
     By Mr. BYRD (For Mr. ROCKEFELLER):
S.Res. 451. Resolution authorizing use of the Hart Building atrium for a concert by the Congressional Chorus; considered and agreed to. 
     By Mr. HATCH (for himself, Mr. ADAMS, Mr. BURDICK, Mr. CRANSTON, Mr. DOLE, Mr. GORE, Mr. HEFLIN, Mr. LUGAR, and Mr. WILSON):
  S. COn. Res. 131. Concurrent resolution supporting the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction by endorsing the establishment of a United States Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

S. 2614. A bill to amend the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization and Priorities Act of 1976 in order to provide for improved coordination of national scientific research efforts and to provide for a national plan to improve scientific understanding of the Earth system and the effect of changes in that system on climate and human well-being; referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Mr. HOLLINGS. Mr. President, during the past weeks we have heard a great deal about the drought in the Midwest and about the American farmer's struggle to cope with it. We've heard reports of fields turned to dust by the 100-degree temperatures. We've seen pictures of fields of brown, withered corn, of dried-up ponds and rivers, of barges stuck in the Mississippi River mud.

Even more disturbing than the current problems are indications that this drought may reflect a fundamental climate shift caused by greenhouse warming. Millions of tons of carbon dioxide enter our atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forested areas. The total amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has jumped by 25 percent in the last 100 years. Likewise, the amount of methane in the atmosphere appears to be increasing at a rate of more than one percent a year. Still other man-made gases, like chlorofluorocarbons [CFC's], are released from automobile air conditions, fast food containers, and abandoned refrigerators. These greenhouse gases trap the Sun's radiation, increasing temperatures worldwide. 
Scientists now estimate that the mean global temperature will increase half a degree each decade if we maintain our current habits. And recent climate trends indicate that these scientists are right on target. Since 1980, we have experienced the 4 hottest years since the 1880's and this year's mean global temperature may be the hottest ever. Although we cannot be certain that the greenhouse effect is responsible for the current drought, some researchers predict that it is a dry run of the weather we can expect in the years ahead.
In addition to higher temperatures and more frequent droughts, we also are also told to expect a rise in sea level, flooding much of our coast areas. The latest figures indicate that the depth of our oceans could increase more than 2 inches every decade. While that doesn't sound too serious, over time such a change poses a serious threat to low-lying regions like the Louisiana deltas, the Florida coast, and the lowlands of South Carolina, where much of the land is only a foot or two above sea level. Such a change would aggravate beach erosion, destroy wetlands and increase flooding and damage to ports and coastal communities. 
And our concern is not limited to global warming. In recent months, increasing attention has focused on the depletion of the atmospheric ozone layer which shields us from the Sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. Last fall, scientists presented their initial findings from an expedition to study the Antarctic ozone hole. Disturbingly, researchers reported that levels of man-made chemicals in the Antarctic air were high enough to destroy atmospheric ozone. In March, a new international study provided the first evidence of worldwide depletion. Clearly, man is no longer a passive element of the global environment. Although the effects of human activities are not fully understood, mounting evidence indicates the potentially serious consequences of ignoring the Earth's warning signals.
  As we work to develop policies which respond to these global threats, it is

July 7, 1988 

essential that our decisions be based on the best scientific information available. Providing the information needed to develop responsible global change policies is widely considered one of the greatest challenges ever to face the scientific community. The questions that much be addressed are fundamental and difficult because they require an understanding of the whole Earth as a system. 
[[underline]] Collaboration among scientists in fields as diverse as atmospheric chemistry, terrestrial ecology, physical oceanography, and supercomputing will be essential. [[/underline]] A high degree of international cooperation will be necessary to collect the global observations needed. Research will require the use of most recent technology, including [[underline]] satellites, supercomputers, and highly advanced sensing instruments. Data management systems must be in place to process and distribute the enormous flow of information collected. [[/underline]]
Many of the elements of a global change research program are already in place. Cooperative efforts are underway, both within the Government, and with the governments of other nations. International attention has centered on the International Geosphere and Biosphere Program [IGBP]. Developed by the International Council of Scientific Unions [ICSU], this long-term program is designed to begin in the early 1990's. Its specific purpose will be "to describe and understand the interactive physical, chemical, and biological processes that regulate the total Earth system, the unique environment that it provides for life, the changes that are occurring in this system, and the manner in which they are influenced by human actions." The IGBP will be aimed at providing the fundamental knowledge that will permit an assessment of likely changes on the Earth over the next 100 years. I understand that the U.S. role in this effort is being planned and coordinated by the National Academy of Sciences. 
In the United States, the Federal Government has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years studying global change. Because of the breadth of the problem and its widespread effects on our society, a number of different Federal agencies are involved in global change research. NASA, NSF, NOAA, EPA, the Agricultural Department, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Energy Department all have roles to play. As the challenges become better defined, the amount of money that Federal agencies spend on global change research will grow. It is essential that the money be spent effectively. Our national effort must be well-planned and well-coordinated.
Today I am introducing a bill to provide that planning and coordination. This legislation would amend the National Science and Technology policy,

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