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Appendix A: Compilation of Chapter-Specific Comments
Pages 21-108

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From page 21...
... 5 The language of the sectoral chapters of the report is mostly of a succinct summary form which is nicely brought together through its use of "key messages" interpreted at the end of a section, along with discussion of uncertainties and confidence assessment. Because these key messages and the "confidence" assessment are such a great approach they should be a major focus for further improvement.
From page 22...
... 11 General point is that the key messages are an important communication device whose wording should be more carefully constructed than appears to now be the case 12 Assuming the main purpose of the NCA is to inform decision makers about choices for dealing with climate change and its expected effects, it is useful to see the report through the lens of some distinctions developed in the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events (2012)
From page 23...
... 19 The key messages are in general more circumspect than the language in the body of the chapters. The authors need to be more thoughtful as to the "takeaways" in each chapter.
From page 24...
... The study of climate change is not new -- Tyndall's work on heat trapping properties of CO2, Arrhenius s calculations of climate forcing from fossil fuel burning. What has changed is better understanding of process, better data, better models.
From page 25...
... I., et al. "Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural physical environment." Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (2012)
From page 26...
... For example, Hurricane Sandy is frequently brought out as an example of the types of disasters that will occur as the climate warms. Along with the NOAA time series of billion dollar disasters, the report convolves climate processes with complex financial and infrastructure processes.
From page 27...
... that is also disrupted by events in a changing climate. This is a time when many are focused on infrastructure (e.g., because of Sandy)
From page 28...
... The text requires more than a basic understanding of climate change and its associated vocabulary. 54 Several phrases early in the Summary assign responsibility for climate change to human activities, but the text lacks background information to inform/prepare the lay reader to digest these assertions For example, p.
From page 29...
... Either use bullets or divide the sentence into several sentences. 63 P5 third paragraph: "Iconic species" will not be understood by many lay readers, and the last phrase of the sentence ("...the potential for extreme events..." is vague.
From page 30...
... For example, what are "stresses" on "existing social, institutional and legal agreements"? The word is used multiple times in this paragraph, but I don't think the lay reader will have a clear idea of what it means here.
From page 31...
... which impacts will be large and which will be small, which will be economically significant and which will not, etc. The report very thorough documents impacts that have been shown to exist (under either current climate or projected future climate)
From page 32...
... 90 P18-21 These pages discuss emissions, climate and sea level rise scenarios. The text states that the report uses scenarios (p.
From page 33...
... 2. OUR CHANGING CLIMATE # page/line 109 The Scientific basis for climate change is good summary of what we know borrowing language for previous NRC reports such as America's Climate Choices and newer climate modeling and observations that will be published as part of the next IPCC report.
From page 34...
... If there were more, it would have to look at the international context to be meaningful; how can we aspire to global equity in energy use without catastrophic climate change -- will the U.S. have to reduce its per capita energy use to that of China and India before they start being serious about reducing their exponential growth of fossil fuel use, large investments in coal fired power plants, etc.?
From page 35...
... 129 P55 Final paragraph of the extreme weather section: The sentence "Attribution of flood events is a relatively new area of research" is unlikely to be understood by lay readers. Preferable: "Research into the causes of floods is relatively new." 130 P55 Same paragraph: The last sentence states that heavy rain in the Southeast may have less impact than in the northern Great Plains; lay reader would like to know why.
From page 36...
... 136 P62/Fig2.24 Which emissions scenario was used as a basis for this prediction? 137 P63/L10 Sea level rise: "Proxy data" is a term that is unlikely to be understood by lay readers; a definition is needed.
From page 37...
... Would be nice to see some sort of publication or technical appendix or web site presenting these "geographies" (w/ direct connection to the paragraphs in the text) could be made a part of the Traceable Accounts.
From page 38...
... Biogeochemistry 68: 71-105.] 154 P108 Bullets 9, 10: Many of the management challenges associated with Bullets 9,10 are self-inflicted by non-climate related human activities and this goes unmentioned in Bullets 7, and 8.
From page 39...
... Not particularly insightful and it makes NO connection to the climate change question. A sentence or two needs to relate this back to what is discussed in the text as the links between such extreme events and climate change.
From page 40...
... There is no text relating these physical changes to water management per se; left to the reader to fill in the blanks. 174 P129/L19-22 The following statement appears be correct: "Infrastructure planning can be improved by incorporating climate change as a factor in new design standards and in asset management and rehabilitation of critical and aging facilities, emphasizing flexibility, redundancy, and resiliency (Brekke et al.
From page 41...
... The key messages and graphics are clear and appropriate. 177 It does miss an opportunity to frame the key message relative to the impact of climate change on water resources.
From page 42...
... REF: IPCC, 2012:: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., et al.
From page 43...
... Appendix A 43 197 P167/L21 Changes in water demand may be a dominant factor in water scarcity, however, it is unclear in this statement if it is referring only to changes in climate or to all potential changes over the next century. There is an opportunity in this document to consider changes in availability, in relation to current systems for water allocation.
From page 44...
... 209 P195/L23 This statement is ambiguous as to whether it applies to the net cost of the transport sector, to every system or can apply to some systems. The traceable account for this conclusion states that there is limited literature but that authors have high confidence.
From page 45...
... 228) but does not appear as part of the key message.
From page 46...
... 46 Appendix A   # page/line differences, including differences in weeds, insects and diseases. 226 P229/Fig6.1 This figure does not appear to be referenced anywhere in the text.
From page 47...
... In order to have high or very high confidence in this key message, it seems that more substantial documentation should be cited. 241 There is an apparent difference between the findings of this chapter and NCA-1's agriculture chapter on the impacts/benefits of changes in climate on agriculture.
From page 48...
... 258 P263/L34 The opening sentence here should refer more broadly to the ecosystem services provided by forest ecosystems, which include but are not limited to wood products, recreational opportunities, and amenities. This paragraph seems to undersell the importance of forests, especially their ecological value.
From page 49...
... 271 P272/L25 Again, "fuel treatments" is not likely to be a familiar term for lay audiences. 272 P272 In general, this discussion of bioenergy potential needs to be linked more clearly to climate change, i.e., what are the implications/conclusions of this discussion for climate change impacts?
From page 50...
... Such "known unknown" surprises have been repeated so often that they are surely important aspects of ecosystems to the NCA. Furthermore, bringing out these issues at the top line also serves to highlight the "unknown unknown" issues in ecosystem responses to changing climates.
From page 51...
... The projections would be expected to be qualitatively more severe than the observed changes, since the projected shifts in temperature, recurrence of severe disturbances, and sea level rise are all substantially larger than what has been observed over the past century. This is not apparent, however, in a quick scan of the italicized projections, as compared to the plain text observations.
From page 52...
... …an interesting hypothesis, though. 299 P291-292 Key messages and intro: The intro of the chapter could note existing threats to ecosystems -- development, urbanization, expansion of food and energy production.
From page 53...
... . A Review of Climate-Change Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Conservation.
From page 54...
... In contrast, infectious diseases have received relatively little attention in relation to climate change and the impacts are less direct requiring a more in-depth understanding of the processes involved. Without a basic understanding of how climate and weather influence infections in humans, projections into the future and adaptation planning cannot be made.
From page 55...
... 2009. The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases.
From page 56...
... Debilitated would be a more appropriate term that reflects morbidity rather than mortality 331 p357 The Key Message on' Diseases from Insects and Rodents' cites the following references: Lafferty 2009; McGregor 2011; Tabachnick 2010, Epstein 2010; Reiter 2008; Rosenthal 2009; Russell 2009. But if one actually looks at these references, you find that they convey a far more equivocal, cautious message about our state of understanding than the NCA Key Message does.
From page 57...
... 339 P404/L39-41 The first and second sentences in the paragraph seem at odds: "Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have the potential to reduce emissions from coal- and natural gas-fired plants by 90%, allowing continued use of fossil fuel in a carbon constrained future.
From page 58...
... This would be a contribution to allow for the joint impacts of climate change to be identified. 345 The discussion supporting the third key message is not very compelling.
From page 59...
... 354 Similarly, the section on "Challenges to Reducing Vulnerabilities" vs the adaptation chapter or be refocused on E-L-W-C interactions and implications. Again, this needs a powerful conceptual figure and is too dependent on singular case examples.
From page 60...
... 362 Key Message 4: How can cities overcome "barriers to implementing and incorporating wider governmental, general public, and private efforts"? 363 L33-34 Why cities are early responders (causality)
From page 61...
... While argument makes sense based on the general findings of the vulnerability literature, the empirical evidence on climate change impacts and vulnerabilities of tribal populations is quite thin for all areas covered in the chapter other than the Arctic. The chapter should emphasize the need for more research on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation of tribal areas and populations.
From page 62...
... Similarly to the rural communities chapter, there is relatively little focus on adaptive capacity building. This could also have brought a different and welcome dimension to the discussion.
From page 63...
... The chapter does a nice job of covering the major dimensions of climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation in rural areas. 390 One weakness of the chapter is that it says very little about the implications of mitigation policies and projects for rural communities.
From page 64...
... Might reword to say that climate change will also contribute to increased demand for water for both energy and agriculture, which will then exacerbate water scarcity. 398 P504/L14 Might also note that power and communication outages as the result of extreme events in rural areas often take longer to repair, which contributes to the isolation and  
From page 65...
... REF: Jacob, K., et al, 2011: "Telecommunications" in (Rosenzweig, C., et al , eds.) Responding to Climate Change in New York State: The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation in New York State.
From page 66...
... The way these sentences are structured makes the idea of "cleaning" hard to follow for a lay reader. It's a good expository idea.
From page 67...
... 411 P521/L5 The term "sink" implies permanent removal from the energy system and the C cycle. Burial of plant material to create fossil fuels is as close as it gets to a "sink." Everything else, including forests, represents a transient residence with a defined mean residence time that is less than infinity.
From page 68...
... 426 P587 Line 16 says, "Projections of future precipitation patterns are less certain than projections for temperature." Text describing the certainty/uncertainty of both temperature and precipitation should be added. 427 P591/L13 This paragraph provides examples of roads and the costs associated with addressing their sea level rise vulnerability.
From page 69...
... . Because this is a climate report and crops play such a major role in regulating climate in the Midwest, consider adding a brief discussion on CO2 and water.
From page 70...
... 70 Appendix A   # page/line 435 P617/L21 Agree with your remarks here. This is an important area to clarify.
From page 71...
... And will 453 they have a greater impact? Key message #1: The message is that the timing of snowmelt will change.
From page 72...
... The key messages are wordy and hence require multiple readings to understand the point. They could be simplified to enhance understanding.
From page 73...
... Climate changes that result in ocean conditions that are significantly different than the current state may significantly disrupt the economies, access, and enjoyment of the ocean areas. 467 Do you want to mention governance of the ocean in your key message?
From page 74...
... The messages could be stated more succinctly than currently described in the text. 484 P867/L21 The portion of key message 3 addressing displacement of vulnerable populations is problematic, i.e.
From page 75...
... 490 P882/L20 See earlier comment re: Key Message 3. 491 P885/Fig Needs a legend and scale, i.e.
From page 76...
... 501 P930/L1-15 Good introductory mention of boundary spanning. Should add to Traceable Accounts the helpful typology in Clark, William C., Thomas P
From page 77...
... Note partial relevance of Curtice et al (comment on 939/33) ; the implication there is that it may be unwise to invest in more tools until a focused appraisal of use, including analysis of extension and consultancy models for public agency users, is carried out..
From page 78...
... The key messages are well supported in the text. Key Message 1 (p.
From page 79...
... If the goal is to synthetize the knowledge and identify gaps it needs to pay more attention to the empirical literature focusing on actual climate information use, its opportunities and challenges and what we still need to understand to design better DST and processes to deploy them. 522 Lines 39-40 p.
From page 80...
... What climate-related decisions are being considered? The Denver Water case is a little more detailed, but readers get little information beyond being told that the utility is "using scenario planning." Who specifically is using it within the organization, what impacts is its use having on decisions, who are the stakeholders, and are they involved in the process?
From page 81...
... Unlike in other chapters, the text following the three key messages is not directed toward those specific messages, but rather jumps around frequently, making the logic/structure of the chapter hard to follow. 529 P925/L22 The first statement of key message #1 is an example of an unsubstantiated statement.
From page 82...
... stakeholders, i.e., while it might involve "interaction between decision-makers and the scientific/technical community," it does not necessarily "engage all affected parties." Yet, the discussion here suggests that this is an example of the type of process being advocated in Key Message #1. 538 P930-1 The discussions about "bridging the gap" and using "models and tools" lead the reader to wonder how the discussion here links to the other two key messages.
From page 83...
... 941 provides specific support for Key Message #3. 553 P942-945 Why is there no need for assessment of confidence in this chapter?
From page 84...
... Lay readers would also appreciate a glossary at the beginning, as can be found in the adaptation chapter. 556 P925 Perhaps add a key message prior to the first one listed here, stating that governments, agencies, businesses and individuals are faced with the development of policies and programs to reduce the dangers of climate change impacts, and must do so without knowing precisely how great their future vulnerability to these impacts will be.
From page 85...
... 567 P932/Fig26.3 Figure uses the term "multi-criteria evaluation framework," which has not been defined in the text yet; lay readers won't understand this. 568 P934 The figure showing the links between risk assessment, perceptions and management could be dropped -- it contains little useful information, and an example demonstrating how this is/has been done effectively would be far more useful to readers.
From page 86...
... NRC 2008 offers diagnostic questions and best practices that are probably more appropriate here than just a list of methods (some of which are supported by careful evaluations in the literature, some of which are not) 578 The discussion of risk assessment and risk perception is fairly standard but would benefit greatly by more recent accounts that acknowledge risk processes are embedded in complex social and psychological processes (Renn 2005; Rosa et al.
From page 87...
... . Co-Producing Useful Climate Science for Policy: Lessons from the RISA Program.
From page 88...
... . 589 Key messages contain vague language ; e.g.
From page 89...
... Recent work shows that substituting renewables for fossil fuels yields a less than proportional reduction in fossil fuel use. That is an important finding for understanding policy impacts.
From page 90...
... Food consumption, diet shifts and associated non-CO2 greenhouse gases from agricultural production. Global Environmental Change, 2010; 20 (3)
From page 91...
... IPCC AR5 will assess hundreds of scenarios based on recent literature, and the EMF study referenced in the NCA report (Clarke et al, 2009) includes tens of scenarios that show different pathways to stabilization at different levels.
From page 92...
... Some discussion, connection with the energy chapter, and discussion of what is causing limits to this shift both in the US and internationally would be timely. 605 general Most other chapters were organized around the key messages.
From page 93...
... 618 P956 In the first paragraph of the emissions section, the sentence that begins "These gases cause radiative ‘forcing'... will be difficult for many lay readers to understand.
From page 94...
... IPCC 2012. Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.
From page 95...
... For example, in Chapter 16 (Northeast) , Key Message #1 says that flooding "will increase the vulnerability of the region's residents, especially populations that are already most disadvantaged" (549.16-17)
From page 96...
... It's web page introduction links its existence to NOAA's climate related goals that include climate change, but its direct engagement with climate change issues appear to be driven mainly by that of the First Nation users and subject to political debate (see House Committee on Science, Space & Technology hearing on July 25th 2012)
From page 97...
... Can't these efforts be classified and presented in a more systematic way? 640 Regarding climate change and extreme events, the authors seem to have missed some opportunities to make connections.
From page 98...
... N.'s "Agenda 21," or advocated by ICLEI, or because adaptive measures interfere with property rights, or because they could constitute illegal "takings." Including this kind of information in the NCA may be viewed as a non-starter, but the fact remains that a number of politically active local groups have opposed climate change adaptation measures on these grounds, and there are movements that oppose sustainable growth and development planning, comprehensive land-use planning, and other measures that could include climate change adaptation. This opposition is an empirical fact, and it should be acknowledged in the NCA.
From page 99...
... Perhaps the lesson learned from NIDIS is that it worked because it was bounded in its scope. 647 This chapter is very well-written, well-organized, and easily accessible to lay readers.
From page 100...
... For example, given RISAs, RCAs, CSCs, etc., who might effectively take up what part of the research agenda? 657 P1036/L21-28 If the goal is to provide better projections, then the better understanding of uncertainties needs to consider uncertainties in emissions scenarios that come from projections of population change, economic growth, technological change, preferences, etc.
From page 101...
... 672 P1042 Research Goal 7. Certainly much more can be done with scenarios.
From page 102...
... Going through the list: 676 P1036/L25-28 Missing coastal environments and healthy ocean 677 P1036/L29-34 Ocean circulation also important for not only global transfer of heat but also water cycle and carbon cycle 678 P1037/L1-6 Does not mention any of the ocean stressors: pollution, fishing practices, unsustainable resource extraction 679 P1037/L26 It is not just sea level change that produces risk but also the compounding effect of increased probabilities of storm surge from extreme events. 680 P1037/L17-19 Missing the largest part of the water cycle -- the ocean -- and the impact it might have on water availability (monsoons, etc)
From page 103...
... 683 Research Goal 4: Missing critical ocean state variables, extreme events, and the lack of an integrated coastal ocean observing system. There is no discussion of needed essential variables.
From page 104...
... What new information products have come out of the assessment that is being sustained? 698 In this chapter the sustained assessments are to "evaluate the nation's vulnerabilities to climate variability and change and its capacity to respond." If this is the vision then one would expect the research agenda to be very different than what was proposed in the previous chapter.
From page 105...
... " 704 Terms that need definitions for lay readers: forcings, radiative, proxy data, feedback, infrared spectrum. 705 P1057 CAQ A: The text explaining the difference between weather and climate is excellent.
From page 106...
... 715 P1081 Figure 15: This figure is very complex and contains many terms that lay readers won't understand. Anything that can be done to simplify the figure would be helpful.
From page 107...
... . 737 P1091/L10 "many areas" is not consistent with the IPCC SREX which assessed that this may occur in some areas with medium to low confidence.
From page 108...
... If one reads the IPCC SREX response to the FAQ (is becoming more extreme, p.124) next to this paragraph, one is left with the impression that this draft is hype.


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