Developing indicators to support climate change policy and programs

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010: 5:00 PM
B212 (GWCC)
Jason Samenow, EPA, Washington, DC

Collecting and interpreting environmental indicators has played a critical role in our increased understanding of climate change and its causes. Late in 2009, EPA released the report "Climate Change Indicators in the United States." The report presents 24 indicators, each describing trends in some way related to the causes and effects of climate change. The indicators were chosen using a set of screening criteria that considered usefulness, objectivity, data quality, transparency, ability to show a meaningful trend, and relevance to climate change. Data were obtained from various government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations.

These indicators are a key tool for evaluating existing and future programs and supporting new decisions. They are intended to help EPA decide how best to use its policymaking and program management resources to respond to climate change. EPA is currently working to expand its suite of climate change indicators, partnering with other agencies, organizations, and individuals in its effort to more comprehensively document causes and effects of climate change.