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Critical Needs for the Twenty-first Century: The Role of the Geosciences

Geoscience Policy with the guidance and input of AGI's Member Societies has updated its 2008 Critical Needs document (PDF) that was prepared for the last presidential election. The updated document provides a list of eight critical needs followed by policy recommendations to help the nation meet these needs. With a burgeoning human population, rising demand for natural resources and a changing climate, it is critical to more fully integrate Earth observations and Earth system understanding into actions for a sustainable world. The geoscience community, especially the 250,000 U.S.-based geoscientists represented by AGI's member societies, stands ready to help deal with these challenges.

2012 Critical Needs Document
Critical Needs for the Twenty-first Century: The Role of the Geosciences (PDF)

Summary and Key Recommendations
Geoscience to Meet the Needs of the Twenty-first Century: Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Resiliency (PDF)

The Eight Critical Needs

  1. Energy and Climate Change: Ensure reliable energy supplies in an increasingly carbon-constrained world
  2. Water: Provide sufficient supplies of water
  3. Oceans, Atmosphere, and Space: Sustain ocean, atmosphere, and space resources
  4. Waste Treatment and Disposal: Manage waste to maintain a healthy environment
  5. Natural Hazards: Mitigate risk and build resilience from natural and human-made hazards
  6. Infrastructure Modernization: Improve and build needed infrastructure that couples with and uses Earth resources while integrating new technologies
  7. Raw Materials: Ensure reliable supplies of raw materials
  8. Geoscience Workforce and Education: Inform the public and train the geosciences workforce to understand Earth processes and address these critical needs

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