Expert Reports

These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Review of the National Science Foundation's Division on Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Draft Goals and Objectives Documents (2014)

The National Science Foundation's Division on Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) supports research to achieve the nation's scientific and education goals in the atmospheric sciences. At AGS' request, this letter report reviews an AGS draft goals and objectives document that sets forth missions, long-term goals, and the means to achieve those goals, for the years 2014–2018. The letter report's authoring committee commends AGS on takin... More >>

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (2013)

Both abrupt changes in the physical climate system and steady changes in climate that can trigger abrupt changes in other physical, biological, and human systems present possible threats to nature and society. Abrupt change is already underway in some systems, and large scientific uncertainties about the likelihood of other abrupt changes highlight the need for further research. However, with recent advances in understanding of the climat... More >>

Report in Brief

Review of NOAA Working Group Report on Maintaining the Continuation of Long-Term Satellite Total Irradiance Observations (2013)

Since 1978, space-borne instruments have provided scientists with an unbroken data record on Total Solar Irradiance (TSI)--the input of solar energy to the climate system. This long-term record is critical for resolving ongoing debates regarding the potential role of solar variability in influencing Earth’s climate. However, the continuity of the data is at risk. One set of TSI data collection instruments is now well beyond its design life an... More >>

A Review of the Draft 2013 National Climate Assessment (2013)

Mandated by the Global Change Research Act, the National Climate Assessment is produced every four years by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. This NRC report evaluates the draft 2013 National Climate Assessment. It provides both practical suggestions for immediate improvements to the document, and broader considerations, for example, about fundamental approaches used in certain parts of the draft Assessment, and about the scope of th... More >>

Himalayan Glaciers: Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security (2012)

Scientific evidence shows that most glaciers in South Asia's Hindu Kush Himalayan region are retreating, but the consequences for the region's water supply are unclear, this report finds. The Hindu Kush Himalayan region is the location of several of Asia’s great river systems, which provide water for drinking, irrigation, and other uses for about 1.5 billion people. Recent studies show that at lower elevations, glacial retreat is unlikely t... More >>

Report in Brief