Scientific progress in measuring climate change, attributing it to human activities, projecting future changes, and informing decisions about how to respond has and will continue to rely on significant investments in a wide range of global observational programs and modeling efforts. As noted in Chapter 4, these efforts are limited in part by infrastructure, especially the lack of a comprehensive, integrated climate observing system and of reliable, detailed projections of climate and climate-related changes at regional and local scales. Because these infrastructural areas underpin progress in virtually all other areas of climate change science, we have identified observations and modeling as critical themes in climate science research, and below we offer specific recommendations related to these key themes. Many previous reviews of climate science needs (e.g., NRC, 2009k) have also highlighted observations and models as key research needs.
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