National Climate Assessment

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The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is a United States government interagency ongoing effort[1] on climate change science conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990.[2][3] NCA is a "major product"[4] of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) which coordinates a team of hundreds of experts guided by a sixty-member Federal Advisory Committee. NCA research is integrated and summarized in the mandatory ongoing National Climate Assessment Reports. The reports are "extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

The First National Climate Assessment was published in 2000.[5][Notes 1] Between 2002 and 2009, USGCRP previously known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), produced twenty-one Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs).[6] The second NCA was published in 2009[6] and the third was released in 2014.[7]

NCA's overarching goal according to their May 20, 2011 engagement strategy summary, "is to enhance the ability of the U.S. to anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to changes in the global environment (NCA 2011:2)."[8]

The vision is to advance an inclusive, broad based, and sustained process for assessing and communicating scientific knowledge of the impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities associated with a changing global climate in support of decision-making across the U.S.

—NCA May 20, 2011 page2

According to the USGCRP official website the NCA,[9]

Informs the nation about already observed changes, the current status of the climate, and anticipated trends for the future; integrates scientific information from multiple sources and sectors to highlight key findings and significant gaps in our knowledge; establishes consistent methods for evaluating climate impacts in the U.S. in the context of broader global change, and provides input to Federal science priorities and is used by U.S. citizens, communities, and businesses as they create more sustainable and environmentally sound plans for the nation’s future.

In 2013, the President's Climate Action Plan[10] released by the Executive Office of the President specifically noted the importance of the National Climate Assessments in achieving the goal of "Using Sound Science to Manage Climate Impacts".[11]

Global Change Research Act[edit]

The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The GCRA requires a report to the President and the Congress every four years that integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP); analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.[12]

The Federal government is responsible for producing these reports through the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a collaboration of 13 Federal agencies and departments.

National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC)[edit]

The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) is a 60-person U.S. Federal Advisory Committee which oversees the development of the draft NCA reports and makes recommendations about the ongoing assessment process. The Department of Commerce established the NCADAC in December 2010 as per the Federal Advisory Committee Act (1972). 1972. The NCADAC is supported through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).[13]

National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST)[edit]

In 1998, the first National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST) was formed under the auspices of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR), through the Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources (CENR) and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) with members from "government, academia, and private enterprise." Its mandate was to broadly "design and conduct" "national efforts to assess the consequences of climate variability and climate change for the United States."[14] NAST is an advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to help the US Global Change Research Program fulfill its legal mandate under the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The National Science and Technology Council forwarded the report to the President and Congress for their consideration as required by the Global Change Research Act. Administrative support for the US Global Change Research Program is provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation."[15] In their 2001 assessment, the NAST concluded in the United States, "natural ecosystems appear to be the most vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change."[16][17] In their 2001 report they also described long-term major trends in climate change in the twenty-first century.[16] The first NAST co-chairs were Dr. Jerry M. Melillo[18] of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Tony Janetos, and Thomas Karl.

First National Climate Assessment 2000[edit]

The First National Climate Assessment prepared by National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST), entitled "Climate Change Impacts on the United States: the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change", was released in 2000.[15] The first National Assessment on Climate Change (NACC) was published in 2000. The report was a multidisciplinary effort to study and portray in regional detail the potential effects of human-induced global warming on the United States. The project was articulated into some 20 regional studies - each involving dozens of scientific and academic experts as well as representatives of industry and environmental groups.[19]

The Second National Climate Assessment 2009[edit]

The Second National Climate Assessment, entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States", was published in 2009.[6] The second National Climate Assessment, entitled Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, was published in 2009. In addition to synthesizing, evaluating, and reporting on what was known about the potential consequences of climate change, the report also sought to identify potential measures to adapt to climate change and to identify the highest research priorities for the future.[20]

Third National Climate Assessment 2014[edit]

The Third National Climate Assessment report entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States"[7] was delivered to the Federal Government for review in 2013 and became available to the public in May 2014.

The Third NCA report was written by more than 300 authors drawn from academia; local, state, tribal, and Federal governments; and the private and nonprofit sectors. The NCADAC selected these authors based on criteria that included expertise, experience, and ensuring a variety of perspectives.

After review by the NCADAC, the draft Third NCA report was released for public review and comment on January 14, 2013. By the time the public comment period closed on April 12, 2013, more than 4000 comments had been received from 644 government, non-profit, and commercial sector employees, educators, students, and the general public.[21]

Concurrently, the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, reviewed the draft and submitted feedback. The NCADAC produced a final draft of their report and provided it to the federal government for review in late fall of 2013; a final public version of the report was released on May 6th 2014.[22][23][24] A number of derivative products, including a printed “Highlights” document, have been produced in addition to the full interactive electronic NCA document that is available on the web.[25]

Participating Federal Agencies[edit]

The following is a list of participating agencies:.[26]

NCAnet[edit]

In preparation for the 2013 NCA, the USGCRP began in 2011 to call for wider participation and reinforced the long-term goal of improving climate literacy.[1] Recruitment began in 2011 for NCAnet, a network of organizations working with the NCA, to further engage producers and users of assessment information across the United States.[27] NCAnet was officially established and registered at the Federal Register on April 13, 2012.[28]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The First National Climate Assessment Report was "prepared by the National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST), an advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to help the US Global Change Research Program fulfill its mandate under the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The National Science and Technology Council forwarded the report to the President and Congress for their consideration as required by the Global Change Research Act. Administrative support for the US Global Change Research Program is provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NCA 2000)."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Preparing the Nation for Change: Introduction to the National Climate Assesement (PDF), Washington, D.C: U.S. Global Change Research Program, January 17, 2012, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  2. ^ Global Change Research Act of 1990, Public Law 101-606(11/16/90) 104 Stat. 3096-3104, 1990 
  3. ^ Sponsors: Sponsor: Sen Hollings, Ernest F., ed. (1990), Global Change Research Act of 1990, Bill Summary & Status 101st Congress (1989 - 1990) S.169 
  4. ^ NCAnet: Building a Network of Networks to Support the National Climate Assessment, NCAnet, July 31, 2012, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  5. ^ Climate Change Impacts on the United States: the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (PDF), The First National Climate Assessment, 2000, retrieved May 5, 2014 
  6. ^ a b c Previous Assessments, Washington, D.C: U.S. Global Change Research Program, nd, retrieved May 5, 2014 
  7. ^ a b Our Changing Climate, Washington, D.C: U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2013, retrieved May 5, 2014 
  8. ^ National Climate Assessment (NCA) Engagement Strategy (PDF), Washington, DC: USGCRP, May 20, 2011, p. 27, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  9. ^ What We Do: Assess the U.S. Climate, Washington, DC: USGCRP, nd, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  10. ^ Barack Obama’s 2013 climate action plan
  11. ^ The President’s Climate Action Plan (PDF), Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President, June 2013, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  12. ^ Global Change Act, Washington, DC: USCCRP, nd, retrieved May 10, 2014 
  13. ^ National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, Washington, DC: USCCRP, nd, retrieved May 10, 2014 
  14. ^ US National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change Charge for the National Assessment Synthesis Team, Washington, DC: USCCRP, January 27, 1998, retrieved May 8, 2014 
  15. ^ a b Climate Change Impacts on the United States: the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (PDF), The First National Climate Assessment, 2000, retrieved May 5, 2014 
  16. ^ a b Joyce, Linda, ed. (2008), Climate Change Assessments, Fort Collins, CO.: United States Forest Service/Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC), retrieved May 9, 2014 
  17. ^ http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/nationalassessment/overview.htm
  18. ^ "Appendix I - Biographical Sketches of NAST Members" (PDF), National Assessment, GCRIO, nd, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  19. ^ Assessments, Washington, DC: USCCRP, nd 
  20. ^ Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Washington, DC: USCCRP, 2009 
  21. ^ Newsletter (PDF), Washington, DC: USCCRP, May 2013 
  22. ^ Rice, Doyle (6 May 2014). "Federal report gauges U.S. impacts of global warming". USA Today. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  23. ^ http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/
  24. ^ Colleen McCain Nelson and Alicia Mundy (5 May 2014). "Obama Intensifies Focus on Climate With New Assessment Report". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Third National Climate Assessment". Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "US Government Agencies Participating in the USGCRP". Participating US Agencies. USGCRP. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  27. ^ NCAnet: Building a network of networks to support the National Climate Assessment, USGCRP, nd, retrieved May 9, 2014 
  28. ^ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (April 13, 2014), NCAnet: Building a Network of Networks in Support of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), Federal Registry, retrieved May 9, 2014 

External links[edit]