The United States and China are the top two emitters of carbon dioxide, a strong greenhouse gas that significantly contributes to global climate change. Our ecosystems take up this carbon dioxide as they grow and are sources of clean water for human use. Therefore, researching how climate change will impact our ecosystems is the first step to safely maintaining forests, grasslands, and marshes-- securing our future.
A unique understanding about how ecosystems store carbon and provide water for human use is shared worldwide in order to develop new and improved models for predicting the future impacts of climate change.
In 2004, scientists from the US and China combined their resources to better understand climate change impacts on the carbon and water cycles. Now, the USCCC (US-China Carbon Consoritum) has grown into a multi-institutional research group with members maintaining over 50 eddy flux sites that represent natural and managed ecosystems ranging from coastal wetlands to steppes, and from tropical mangroves to boreal conifer forests.