Society today may be more vulnerable to global-scale, long-term, climate change than ever before. Even without any human influence, past records show that climate can be expected to continue to undergo considerable change over decades to centuries. Measures for adaption and mitigation will call for policy decisions based on a sound scientific foundation. Better understanding and prediction of climate variations can be achieved most efficiently through a nationally recognized "dec-cen" science plan. This book articulates the scientific issues that must be addressed to advance us efficiently toward that understanding and outlines the data collection and modeling needed.