Scales of Decision-Making and the Carbon Cycle
Scales of Decision-Making and the Carbon Cycle will be the first step in understanding how decisions made in institutions at different scales currently act to affect carbon sequestration.

State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR)
The State of the Carbon Cycle Report is a broadly conceived activity “designed to provide accurate, unbiased, and policy-relevant scientific information concerning the carbon cycle to a broad range of stakeholders.”

The two overarching objectives for the SOCCR are:

  1. To summarize scientific knowledge about carbon cycle properties and changes; and
  2. To provide scientific information for decision support and policy formulation concerning carbon.

Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate (SPARC)
SPARC will conduct research and assessments, outreach, and education aimed at helping climate science policies better support climate-related decision making in the face of fundamental and often irreducible uncertainties.
URL: to come

Carbon Cycle Science: Reconciling Supply and Demand
The purpose of this project is to map the supply and demand sides of carbon cycle research, assess the compatibility of supply and demand, and make concrete recommendations for enhancing future compatibility.

Supply and Demand of Carbon Cycle Information (Collaboration/Workshop)

Carbon cycle science can potentially play a role in supporting decision making in a variety of diverse activities, from agriculture to the utility sector to international agreements. However, there has not been a systematic evaluation of this potential or the actual use of information to date. Roger Pielke Jr. at the Center for Science and Technology Policy at University of Colorado and Dan Sarewitz at the Columbia University Center for Science, Policy and Outcomes are leading a project to assess the potential demand for carbon cycle science in several key sectors and the supply from the scientific community. Lisa Dilling at ESIG is collaborating to assist connection with the carbon cycle scientific community and participate in the project. The project will focus on production of several papers and a workshop bringing together members of the scientific community and sector representatives.

Communicating Urgency, Facilitating Social Change Workshop

Susi Moser and Lisa Dilling successfully completed a workshop on "communicating urgency, facilitating social change". The workshop brought together more than 40 participants from multiple disciplines. Academics and practitioners met for 3 days to discuss new strategies for climate change communication that can mobilize and facilitate social change at all levels.

Review of carbon cycle science capabilities to support carbon management goals and policies
URL: no website available

Development of human societies has led to inadvertent changes in the natural carbon cycle, primarily caused by agricultural development and the industrial revolution. As a consequence, concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have increased in the atmosphere, leading to potential changes in climate. The current challenge facing society is to develop possible options for future management of the carbon cycle. A variety of approaches has been suggested: direct reduction of emissions, deliberate manipulation of the natural carbon cycle to enhance sequestration, and capture and isolation of carbon from fossil fuel use. Policy development to date has laid out some of the general principles to which carbon management should adhere, such as additionality, permanence, and verification. To successfully manage carbon following these principles requires increased understanding of carbon cycle dynamics and the scientific capabilities available for measurement. This paper, published in 2003, reviews the current state of knowledge of the carbon cycle and measurement capabilities, with an emphasis on the continental-scale, and its relevance to carbon management/policy goals.

Dilling L, Doney SC, Edmonds J, Gurney KR, Harriss R, Schimel D, Stephens B, and Stokes G. 2003. The role of carbon cycle observations and knowledge in carbon management. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28:521-58.


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The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) , the Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE) Laboratory , and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF)
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