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The U.S. Global Research Program Explained

Since 1989, USGCRP has submitted annual reports, called Our Changing Planet, to Congress.

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Climate Change, U.S.
A firefighter sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia, Calif., Nov. 9, 2018. A new federal report warns that extreme weather disasters are worsening in the U.S. The report, issued Nov. 23, also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. VOA

On Friday, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released the National Climate Assessment, a report that says the impacts of climate change, including powerful storms, droughts and wildfires, are worsening in the United States.

The report also said these more powerful, longer-lasting weather disasters are triggered, at least in part, by global warming. It said such weather disasters are becoming more commonplace around the country and warned that without aggressive action they could become much worse.

Climate change, U.S.
Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. VOA

What it is: The USGCRP is a federal program mandated by Congress to coordinate federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society. As the leading federal authority on global change science, USGCRP and its member agencies play a key role in engaging and educating citizens about climate and related global change.

What its mandate is: USGCRP was established by presidential initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 to “assist the nation and the world to understand, assess, predict and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

What agencies are included: The USGCRP is composed of 13 federal agencies and departments that conduct or use research on global change and its impacts on society, in support of the nation’s response to global change.

Hurricane, climate change, disasters, U.S.
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

What the USGCRP’s main functions are:

1. Advance global change science
2. Prepare nation for change
3. Assess U.S. climate
4. Coordinate internationally
5. Link climate and health
6. Provide data and tools
7. Make science accessible

Also Read: Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

What its history is: Since 1989, USGCRP has submitted annual reports, called Our Changing Planet, to Congress. The reports describe the status of USGCRP research, provide progress updates and document recent accomplishments, in particular the broad spectrum of USGCRP activities that extend from Earth system observations, modeling and fundamental research through synthesis and assessment, decision support, education and public engagement. (VOA)

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Yoga Can Help the World in Fighting Climate Change, Fostering Global Harmony: UN

It teaches us a holistic vision of the world encouraging us to live in harmony with ourselves

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Yoga, Climate Change, Global Harmony
As such, yoga can promote solidarity, social integration, tolerance justice and peace. Pixabay

Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has said that yoga can help the world in these troubled times by inspiring the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle to fight climate change and by promoting tolerance and peace.

Addressing the fifth International Yoga Day celebration here on Thursday, she said: “The essence of yoga is balance not only within us, but also in our relationship with humanity, with the world. As such, yoga can promote solidarity, social integration, tolerance justice and peace.

“It teaches us a holistic vision of the world encouraging us to live in harmony with ourselves, society and nature.”

The theme of the celebration was Yoga and Climate Action, and Mohammed said that yoga “has a valuable contribution in addressing climate change, the defining issue of our time, by inspiring us to shift away from the unsustainable practices towards inclusive green growth, conscious consumption and much more sustainable lifestyles”.

Yoga, Climate Change, Global Harmony
Yoga can help the world in these troubled times by inspiring the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle to fight climate change . Pixabay

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a video message that the global significance of yoga is that like it unites tbe body, mind and soul, it can also unite the world.

The celebration was filled with symbolism relevant to the issues of the day. In a show of the nature’s challenge, week-long rains continuing into the day, turned the UN lawns soggy, forcing the event indoors into the General Assembly chamber.

And the hall that often echoes with words of disharmony and confrontation instead reverberated with chants of “Om, Om Shanti” led by the yoga gurus.

In a sign of human ingenuity meeting nature’s adversities, the yoga masters quickly changed the planned mass outdoor yoga exercises into a performance of “office yoga” for closed in spaces by the diplomats, officials and yoga enthusiasts thronging the Assembly chamber.

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India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin noted that the International Yoga Day was born in that very hall through a resolution adopted by the Assembly in 2014.

“There is growing discourse among theglobal community that yoga can be one of the tools in our collective quest for promoting sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature,” he said.

Yoga drives the quest for balance and this “provides us with a framework for managing our needs and desires” he said.

“When applied to communities and societies, yoga offers a toolkit for embracing lifestyles that are sustainable, lifestyles that appeal to the human yearning for harmony.”

Yoga, Climate Change, Global Harmony
The essence of yoga is balance not only within us, but also in our relationship with humanity. Pixabay

Celebrity yoga instructor and pranic healer Sunaina Rekhi of Mumbai’s Yoga Gallery received loud cheers as she led the audience through a freewheeling session of joyous yoga with feet stomping and jumping in place showing how to relieve stress and relax.

Swami Paramananda of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, and Kevin Tobar from the Bhakti Centre led chants and yoga exercises adapted for practice in confined spaces like offices.

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Since Wednesday, a light show of yoga asanas is being projected on the north face of the iconic, 39-storey UN building at night. (IANS)