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Over the past 25 years, U.S. climate science policy has allocated tens of billions of dollars to reduce uncertainty about future climate behavior with the expectation that the resulting scientific knowledge will enable, support, and improve climate policy decisions. The effectiveness of this strategy hinges upon the relationship between science policy decisions and climate policy decisions.

Science policy decisions are defined as those concerned with governing the climate science research enterprise. We distinguish such decisions from climate policy decisions, which are those made in anticipation of or in response to climate change.

The relationship between science policy decisions and climate policy decisions has not been systematically examined. SPARC will help fill this gap. The SPARC research agenda will focus on two themes:

  • Reconciling Supply and Demand for climate research, or how research agendas are developed and user demand for research assessed; and
  • Sensitivity Analysis, or how specific issues are prioritized given the multiple causes of global environmental change.

SPARC projects focus on evaluating how climate research agendas are developed and how specific topics are prioritized. There are currently four SPARC research projects:

Future Research Agenda