Study in Progress


Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment (NCA) Report - 08/28/13

Statement of Task

An ad hoc Panel of the NRC Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) will conduct an independent review and evaluation of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's draft 2013 NCA report in three phases, as described below.

Phase I: Discussion of the preliminary key messages of the draft 2013 NCA report.

In a public meeting involving USGCRP/NCA officials and lead authors of the draft NCA report, the Panel will hear about the preliminary key messages emerging from the NCA process and will discuss: critical concerns about the accuracy of those messages; any major issues that may have been omitted from the key messages and should be considered for inclusion in the final 2013 NCA report. This will be considered in light of the fact that there is a limit to how many issues can be considered ?key? in this first synthesis report, and that in a sustained assessment process, there will be opportunities to address existing knowledge gaps in future synthesis reports. This meeting is expected to be held at the end of July, 2012; the product of this effort will be a meeting recap document of the public presentations and discussions that will be prepared by NRC staff in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Phase II: Review and evaluation of the initial draft 2013 NCA Report

The Panel will review and prepare a written evaluation of the full draft of the 2013 NCA report and the associated supporting background material that justifies the key messages. The Panel will aim to deliver this evaluation to the USGCRP within 90 days of receipt of the draft 2013 NCA Report, which is expected to be before December 1, 2012. The review will address the following questions about the draft report:

Does the report meet the requirements of Section 106 of the Global Change Research Act?
Is the report responsive to the nation's needs for information on climate variability and change in a global change context, their potential implications, and the potential effects of different response options?
Are the report's key messages and graphics clear and appropriate from a communications perspective?
Are there any critical content areas missing from the report?
Are the findings documented in a consistent, transparent and credible way?
Does the research needs chapter address the most important known gaps in existing scientific knowledge?
Does the sustained assessment chapter provide an appropriate path to support the development of a sustained assessment process within USGCRP that engages regional and sectoral communities of interest?

In its evaluation, the Panel may also comment on the NCA's approach to develop a sustained assessment process.

Phase III: Discussion of the Revised Draft NCA Report

Within one month of receiving a revised draft of the 2013 NCA report and associated supporting background materials, the Panel will have a meeting to discuss the draft with USGCRP/NCA officials and lead authors, to discuss the adequacy of the changes made in response to the Panel's earlier written review and evaluation and to other comments the agency may have received on the initial draft from the general public. It is anticipated that this meeting will occur in May, 2013. There will be no written report from the Panel from Phase III.