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Published in: Sustainability in a Time of Climate Change: Developing an Intensive Research Framework for the Platte River Basin and the High Plains. Proceedings from the 2008 Climate Change Workshop, May 19-22. Hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln & U.S. Geological Survey. Copyright © 2009 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


In the world we live in today, I can tell you that the Nebraska landscape is a sensitive landscape. I’m not here to try to convince you today that climate change is real. That’s for you to decide. But I will tell you my own opinion on this as a scientist and as a manager of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, a 13-federal-agency consortium that spends about $2.2 billion a year on science and assessing the state of science regarding climate change. For many years this program has really dealt with the issue: Is climate change real or not? We’re beyond that now. Climate change is real. It’s no longer a question of who’s responsible or is it real. It’s a question of what are we going to do about it. What can we do about climate change in order to mitigate the effects of climate change and atmospheric greenhouse gases? And what can we do to adapt to an evolving landscape and waterscape? Those are challenging questions.