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US climate-research shake-up recommended

The US government's climate-research programme should adopt an interdisciplinary approach that engages policy-makers to address adaptation and mitigation strategies. That's the conclusion of a National Research Council committee report, released on 26 February.

The committee found that the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) has been hindered by a lack of research into the social sciences, which has never garnered more than 3% of the programme budget. The CCSP should address issues at the local and regional levels, including the effects of drought, extreme weather and shifting ecosystems.

The report recommends that the programme establish a "climate observing system" that includes the physical, biological and social aspects of global warming. The committee also recommended that, instead of issuing separate reports on different topics, the CCSP should return to a single national assessment involving stakeholders across all disciplines and agencies.

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US climate-research shake-up recommended. Nature 458, 20 (2009).

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