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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
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A Review of the Draft 2013
National Climate Assessment

Panel to Review the National Climate Assessment

Board on Atmospheric Studies and Climate
Division of Earth and Life Studies

Board on Environmental Change and Society
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract #NNH07CC79B, TO #5. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agency or any of its sub-agencies.

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu/.

 

Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advhen to the Halton on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
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PANEL TO REVIEW THE NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT

WARREN M. WASHINGTON (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research

KAI N. LEE (Vice Chair), The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

MARK R. ABBOTT, Oregon State University

DOUG ARENT, National Energy Renewable Laboratory

SUSAN K. AVERY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

ROBERT E. DICKINSON, University of Texas

THOMAS DIETZ, Michigan State University

DEBRA HERNANDEZ, Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association

ROBIN LEICHENKO, Rutgers University

MARIA CARMEN LEMOS, University of Michigan

HAROON S. KHESHGI, ExxonMobil

IAN ROY NOBLE, Global Adaption Institute

CAMILLE PARMESAN, University of Texas

KATHLEEN SEGERSON, University of Connecticut

KAREN C. SETO, Yale University

KATHLEEN J. TIERNEY, University of Colorado at Boulder

CHARLES J. VOROSMARTY, City University of New York

GLEN T. DAIGGER, CH2M Hill, Inc.

EVAN DELUCIA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CONNIE ROSER-RENOUF, George Mason University

DURLAND FISH, Yale School of Public Health

 

NRC Staff:

 

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

PAUL STERN, Senior Program Officer

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

RICARDO PAYNE, Sr. Program Assistant (until August 2012)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
×

BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE

ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR. (Chair), University of Maryland, College Park

GERALD A. MEEHL (Vice Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York

RICHARD (RIT) CARBONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

SHUYI S. CHEN, University of Miami

KIRSTIN DOW, University of South Carolina

PAMELA EMCH, Northrup Grumman Aerospace Systems

LISA GODDARD, Columbia University, Palisades, New York

ISAAC HELD, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, New Jersey

ANTHONY JANETOS, Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, Maryland

JOHN E. KUTZBACH, University of Wisconsin-Madison

ARTHUR LEE, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California

ROBERT J. LEMPERT, The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California

STEPHEN W. PACALA, Princeton University

ARISTIDES A.N. PATRINOS, Synthetic Genomics

RAYMOND T. PIERREHUMBERT, The University of Chicago, Illinois

KIMBERLY PRATHER, University of California, San Diego

RICH RICHELS, Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., Washington, D.C.

DAVID A. ROBINSON, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway

JOHN T. SNOW, The University of Oklahoma, Norman

CLAUDIA TEBALDI, Climate Central, Princeton, New Jersey

XUBIN ZENG, University of Arizona, Tucson

 

NRC Staff

 

CHRIS ELFRING, Director (until January 2013)

SUSAN ROBERTS, Acting Director

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

MAGGIE WALSER, Program Officer

KATIE THOMAS, Associate Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Research Associate

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate

SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant

ELIZABETH FINKLEMAN, Program Assistant

AMANDA PURCELL, Financial/Research Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2013. A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18322.
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BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SOCIETY

RICHARD H.MOSS (Chair), Joint Global Change Research Institute, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

ARUN AGRAWAL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

ANTHONY BEBBINGTON, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

WILLIAM CHANDLER, Transition Energy, Annapolis, Maryland

RUTH DEFRIES, Columbia University, New York, New York

KRISTIE L. EBI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group II, Technical Support Unit, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, California

MARIA CARMEN LEMOS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

DENNIS OJIMA, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

STEPHEN POLASKY, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

J. TIMMONS ROBERTS, Center for Environmental Studies, Brown Univ., Providence, Rhode Island

JAMES L. SWEENEY, Stanford University, California

GARY W. YOHE, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut

 

NRC Staff

 

MEREDITH A. LANE, Board Director

PAUL C. STERN, Senior Scholar

MARY ANN KASPER, Senior Program Assistant

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Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

 

Stephen Carpenter, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Elisabeth Drake, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Retired), Auburndale

Paul Falkowski, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

David Lobell, Stanford University, CA

Claudia Tebaldi, Climate Central, Princeton, NJ

Elke Weber, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and Center for the Decision Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY

Richard Wright, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Retired), Montgomery Village, MD

 

Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the views of the committee, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lynn R. Goldman, George Washington University, and George M. Hornberger, Vanderbilt University, appointed by the NRC Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.

We also thank the members of the “parent” Boards to this panel (the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Board on Environmental Change and Society) who provided input to this activity.

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As mandated by the Global Change Research Act (GCRA), the U.S. Global Change Research Program is currently producing a "National Climate Assessment" (NCA). The NCA is a report to inform the President, the Congress, and the American people about the current state of scientific knowledge regarding climate change effects on U.S. regions and key sectors, now and in the coming decades. This document contains an evaluation of the draft NCA report, presented through consensus responses to the Panel's Task Statement questions, and through a large collection of individual Panel member comments and suggestions for specific chapters, statements, figures, etc. While focusing primarily on practical suggestions for immediately improving the current draft, the Panel also raises some broader considerations about fundamental approaches used in certain parts of the NCA report, and about the scope of USGCRP research that underlies the NCA findings. Some suggestions can be viewed as longer-term advice for future versions of NCA work.

This NCA has been a significantly more ambitious effort than previous assessments, in terms of the scope of topics addressed and the breadth of public engagement processes involved. Some of the important new areas include the use of "traceable accounts," the articulation of needs for future research and a vision for an ongoing assessment process, the outreach efforts to help various stakeholders define their climate-related information needs, and the initial (though incomplete) effort to assess the current state of climate change response activities around the nation. Given the current state of the science and the scope of resources available, we believe the NCA did a reasonable job of fulfilling its charge overall. Although more needs to be done to fully meet the nation's needs for information and guidance, such needs cannot be met without an expanded research effort on the part of the USGCRP and future assessments.

The Panel suggests that the NCA report would be improved by addressing the numerous specific problems and concerns and the more cross-cutting issues raised in the consensus answers to the Task Statement questions—which include, for instance, the need to:

1. provide a clear overarching framework for the report that helps readers understand climate change as part of a complex system with interacting physical, biological, and human social/economic dimensions, and offers practical guidance on using iterative risk management strategies to make decisions in the face of large uncertainties;

2. clearly acknowledge how climate change affects and is affected by other types of major global environmental changes and other societal developments;

3. offer an explicit discussion about the uncertainties associated with the regional model projections presented in the NCA draft;

4. take full advantage of the e-book format planned for this document through strategic use of hyperlinks among different parts of the report and other innovative approaches that help guide the experience of the NCA's diverse audiences.

As the nation continues to engage with the threats, opportunities, and surprises of climate change in its many manifestations, the 2013 NCA should prove to be a valuable resource, as a summary of the state of knowledge about climate change and its implications for the American people.

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