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The U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office is sending this informational periodic digest as a service to the carbon cycle science community and stakeholders. Please distribute widely.
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December 2020/January 2021
Open Science Meeting, Informing Decisions and Strategic Planning, NASEM Nominations, Call for Blurbs

AGU-2020-CCIWG-Session-screenshotHappy New Year! It was nice to 'see' many of you during the Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in December. During the meeting, we sought community feedback on decadal science progress and our interagency strategic planning needs and priorities for the next 5-10 years. There will be another opportunity to interact with us in March, during the Open Science Meeting of the North American Carbon Program, which we support. We hope to see many of you there. See below for registration details. We appreciate everyone's participation and input to help us examine pertinent upcoming decadal research needs to further enhance carbon cycle science understanding and applications with all stakeholders. Wishing you the best of health - Gyami Shrestha, Ph.D.      


In this Digest
If you would like to submit items for future Carbon Digests, please email us a short blurb. Please see prior Carbon Digests for examples of external submissions pertinent to the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program. For instance, we are interested in blurbs or summaries of activities (publications, workshops, research campaigns, networks, information systems, databases etc.) supported, facilitated or co-produced by our Program/the Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group, and in how you are using our high-level products, such as the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report in your research, communications, education, policy-informing, policy-making/decision-making and related activities.

New carbon cycle videos and recap of AGU events 

Thanks to over 200 live participants who joined us during our sessions and town hall at the December 2020 American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting. Short recordings of our AGU session presentations are now openly available on the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program channel.  Presentations by Vimbikayi Rachel Chimuka, Libby Larson, John L. Field, Christopher L. Sabine, Zeke Hausfather, Kirsten Zickfeld, Peter Lawrence, Galen McKinley et al., addressed topics such as:

- Decadal contributions of North American Carbon Program

- IOC-R: A vision of Coordinated Ocean Carbon Research and Observations

- Quantifying the ocean carbon sink for 1994-2007

- Autonomous ocean CO2 flux observing

- Divergence in Quantifying Terrestrial Fluxes of Carbon in Global Carbon Budgets

- Quantifying the effect of carbon cycle feedback uncertainty in concentration and warming projections under RCP emissions scenarios

- Observing, resolving and predicting terrestrial carbon cycle and its sensitivity to climate

- Asymmetry in the climate-carbon cycle response to positive and negative CO2 emissions

- Understanding Carbon Dioxide Removal and Management within an Integrated Research Program for Evaluating Climate Intervention Strategies

- Sustainable intensification or natural climate solutions?

A new recording from U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office Director Gyami Shrestha’s AGU talk ‘Converging for Climate Interventions: Negative Emissions Strategies for Positive Solutions’ is also available on our U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program channel. Follow this link for our sessions and town hall details

Who are we? Illustrating what informs U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Strategic Planning
Our mission is to coordinate and facilitate federally-funded carbon cycle research and provide leadership to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) on carbon cycle science priorities. In addition to following the mandates of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, the USGCRP Strategic Plan goals and federal research priorities, our interagency work is informed by input from a very diverse interdisciplinary science community, such as via the 2011 U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan (see table and figure below), which has motivated many of our recent multi-agency research activities in the last decade, much of which was assessed in the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report, the latest USGCRP  sustained assessment product and North American-wide decadal assessment that we led with 200 scientists. We pay attention to emerging science questions to guide future interagency activities in carbon and climate change research informing timely policies and decision-making. For instance: A question could be, how do we start developing new multi-agency research agendas that can leverage what we know so far about the carbon cycle and begin to develop new opportunities that will inform future carbon removal strategies? To address such questions, we recently launched a U.S. federal carbon removal research data call encompassing federal Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) research and pertinent research, observations/monitoring, modeling and assessment activities informing or having the potential to inform current and future CDR research, practices, technologies and strategies across land, ocean, atmospheric and societal interfaces.

U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Organizational Structure and Partnerships

Table: Mandates of the Global Change Research Act (1990) and decadal goals of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program and the USGCRP

Mandates for the USGCRP in  1990 Global Change Research Act

U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Goals

(Based on A U.S. 2011 Carbon Cycle Science Plan)

2012 USGCRP Strategic Plan Goals

Assist the Nation and the world to
1. Understand  2. Assess* 3. Predict and 4. Respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.

 *Section 106. Scientific Assessments - Not less frequently than every 4 years, prepare and submit to the President and the Congress an assessment which:

1. Integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the USGCRP and discusses the scientific uncertainties associated with such findings;

2. Analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity;

3. Analyzes current trends in global change, both human- induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.

1. Variations and Uncertainties Assessment and Communication: Provide clear and timely explanation of past and current variations observed in atmospheric CO2 and CH4, and the uncertainties surrounding them.

1. Advance Science: Advance scientific knowledge of the integrated natural and human components of the Earth system to understand climate and global change.

2. Inform Decisions:  Provide the scientific basis to inform and enable timely decisions on adaptation and mitigation.

 3. Conduct Sustained Assessments: Build sustained assessment capacity that improves the Nation’s ability to understand, anticipate, and respond to global change impacts and vulnerabilities.

 4. Communicate and Educate: Advance communication and education to broaden public understanding of global change and develop the scientific workforce of the future.

2. Socio-economic Drivers, Monitoring, and Verification: Understand and quantify the socioeconomic drivers of carbon emissions, and develop transparent methods to monitor and verify those emissions.

3. Ecosystem Vulnerability Evaluation: Determine and evaluate the vulnerability of carbon stocks and flows to future climate change and human activities, emphasizing potential positive feedback to sources or sinks that make climate stabilization more critical or more difficult.

4. Scenarios and predictions: Predict how ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources will change under different CO2 and climate change scenarios.

5. Carbon Management assessment: Determine the likelihood of success and the potential for side effects of carbon management pathways that might be undertaken to achieve a low-carbon future.

6. Decision-making support and communication: Address decision maker needs for current and future carbon cycle information and provide data and projections that are relevant, credible, and legitimate for their decisions.

Join us for Carbon Friday in March 2021! Open Science Meeting of the North American Carbon Program: Registration and poster abstracts submission

Join us for Carbon Fridays in March 2021! We welcome you to join us at the 7th Open Science Meeting of the North American Carbon Program (NACP). Free registration and poster abstract submission links can be accessed via the meeting site

Who should attend?

All interested scientists, practitioners, managers and stakeholders are welcome to join this international meeting. Through the 2021 Open Science Meeting, NACP aims to continue fostering opportunities for new collaborations among the global carbon cycle science community.
Important Deadlines and information:

Feb. 5, 2021 - Poster abstracts due for Outstanding Student Poster Competition

Feb. 21, 2021 - Poster abstracts due for all others

 In addition to viewing the detailed agenda, on the updated website you can: 

  • Register to attend – there is no fee!  Good news, if you were registered for the original meeting planned for March 2020, you are still registered and don’t need to do anything!
  • Update your title and/or abstract of your talk or poster.
  • Submit a new poster abstract! We are re-opening poster abstract submissions to the Organized Science Sessions. Share your latest research results with the rest of the NACP community! New poster abstracts are due February 26.
  • If you are a student, enter your poster into the Outstanding Student Presentation Competition. Note that student competition poster abstracts are due February 5 (to ensure we have enough time to find appropriate judges).

See Planning Committee. Contact Libby Larson and Gyami Shrestha and see the meeting website for updates and for more information. 
Prior meeting reports

About NACP: The North American Carbon Program is a key science community-led activity of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program. The NACP Science Leadership Group (NACP SLG), established and supported by the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program/CCIWG, provides leadership for the North American Carbon Program. The NACP SLG interacts closely with the CCIWG and the NACP Office. The NACP SLG assists the CCIWG and NACP Office in implementing the NACP Science Plan, following recommendations outlined in the NACP Implementation Strategy (Denning et al., 2005) and working to assure that scientific returns are maximized. More information on the North American Carbon Program can be found on

Research Informing Decisions SOCCR2 and recent White House Executive Orders 

The White House announced carbon cycle pertinent Executive Orders in January 2021, including Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis and the Executive Order on the Paris Agreement. In the State of the Carbon Cycle Report, we provided some related background in the North American context: '..Parties to the Paris Agreement are required to submit mitigation contributions that describe national targets, policies, and plans for reducing carbon emissions. The targets in these contributions are “nationally determined” and not legally binding. Over 190 countries have submitted nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement including GHG emissions reduction targets and related actions. In North America, Canada announced a GHG emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Mexico announced a GHG emissions reduction target of CO2e and short-lived climate pollutant reductions of 25% by 2030 with respect to a business-as-usual scenarios, and additional reductions possible in the context of international financial support. Prior to the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the US put forward a nonbinding Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of reducing emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the US intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement....’ Read more in the Energy Systems Chapter and other chapters.

Global Carbon Budget 2020 released: A note on U.S. contributions 

The 2020 Global Carbon Budget was released by the Global Carbon Project team of scientists in December 2020. The annual budget is an assessment of the sources of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation, the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the uptake from terrestrial and ocean processes. The newest edition, uses a wide range of global observational datasets from in-situ monitoring and remote sensing, combined with data from process-models, the Global Carbon Project provides a multi-decadal perspective on the carbon cycle up to the most recent full calendar year, 2019, also providing a forecast for the following year, 2020. The Global Carbon Budget is produced by more than 80 researchers working from universities and research institutions in 15 countries working under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project. This edition of the annual update includes contributions from multiple organizations and research groups around the world that generate original measurements and data used to complete the global carbon budget (NOAA 2020)', including many U.S. scientists and the work of U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program or Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group (CCIWG) member agencies and departments. From USGCRP: The Global Carbon Project is a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Programme (WCRP). As part of its mandate to promote international cooperation around global change research, USGCRP coordinates activities with Future Earth and WCRP and contributes to their core funding. Continue reading….


Nominate yourself to Serve on the U.S. National Academies Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program

Deadline: February 12, 2021

The Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP or Program) provides ongoing and focused advice to the USGCRP by convening key thought leaders and decision makers at semi-annual meetings, providing strategic advice, reviewing draft plans for the Program, and serving as a portal to relevant activities from across the National Academies. The Committee is broadly constituted to bring expertise in all areas of global change research. In the coming membership period, the Committee will continue to organize discussion forums, take on specific tasks in response to Program requests, and issue reports as needed on a variety of issues of importance to the USGCRP and its major program elements. The National Academies are seeking approximately 10 new members for the 20-person standing committee, with expertise in the following areas: climate variability and change; human dimensions of global change; adaptation and mitigation approaches and technologies; observations, monitoring, and data management; ecosystem impacts and interactions; water cycle; carbon cycle; atmospheric composition; climate modeling; land use and land cover change; decision support tools; program management and evaluation; and risk characterization and communication. The National Academies are committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion in order to strengthen the quality of our work. Diverse perspectives contribute to finding innovative approaches and solutions to challenging issues. Nomination of volunteers who reflect the populations the National Academies serve, and in particular nominations of candidates from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, women, and early- and mid-career professionals are welcome. Members typically serve 3-year terms with an option to reappoint after the first term. Nominations are sought for an upcoming rotation in membership to be conducted in spring 2021. Self-nominations are also welcome. Submit nominations via this link.


NASA PI Launchpad: Developing Your First Flight Mission Proposal

Applications due on NSPIRES: March 22nd, 2021. Selections made no later than: May 3rd, 2021

Workshop Dates: June 14th-June 25th. Workshop Location: Virtual via WebEx

Workshop Location: Virtual via WebEx

Are you thinking about developing your first flight mission proposal in the next few years but have no idea where to start? If you are a researcher or engineers who would like to submit a NASA space mission proposal in the next few years but don’t know where to start, this June virtual workshop is for you! NASA is interested in broadening the pool of potential NASA space mission PIs. People with marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply. There is no cost to attend the workshop. PI Launchpad applications and instructions on how to apply are available on the NSPIRES page for this opportunity. Applications may be submitted via NSPIRES until 11:59 pm Eastern Time on March 22nd, 2021. All applications must be submitted as a "Notice of Intent" via NSPIRES as a self-contained PDF file that includes your name, organization, and contact information. To submit an application, an NSPIRES account is required. To create a new account, please see the NSPIRES User Registration Page. Additional details are below. Answers to FAQs and an accessibility statement are available at If you’d like to send a notification of this opportunity to a mentor, colleague, or mentee, please use the form here:

Workshop description

 NASA SMD, the University of Arizona, the University of Michigan, JPL, and the Heising-Simons Foundation will host the PI Launchpad to guide participants through turning their science question into a mission concept. Participants will go step-by-step through the process of developing a science case, defining requirements, building a team, securing partnerships, and obtaining support from the home institution. Participants will also have time for networking and personal reflection as they mature their mission concepts. People with potentially intersecting marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply. There is no cost to attend the workshop. Please apply here and watch for new announcements. Please email questions to

Other News and Opportunities

Upcoming joint workshop
Flier webinar extreme events coastal carbon

Accomplishments: About What We do


More news and opportunities.
Questions? Contact us.
Recommended citation format:
Blurb Author Last name, Initials. Year. Blurb Title. [Shrestha G. (Ed)]. Carbon Digest #. Month, Year. U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program. Washington, D.C., USA.
The U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office is supported directly by the CCIWG,
through NOAA's Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program administered by UCAR CPAESS. 
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