National Climate Assessment: A Sustained Process for Providing Actionable Information

Friday, February 17, 2017: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
Since its inception in 1989, the U.S. Global Change Research Program has sought to “assist the nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” A key to achieving that mandate is the National Climate Assessment (NCA). First released in 2000, the NCA has evolved from a technical scientific assessment into an accessible, topically rich quadrennial report supplemented by ongoing data and focused special reports. The NCA provides science and tools to support decision-making at local, regional, and national scales. This sustained assessment process also builds capacity to conduct and use climate change assessments within and outside of the federal government. Speakers in this session highlight the evolution of NCAs over time; explore how assessments inform responses to climate change, including decisions about adaptation and mitigation across the U.S.; and discuss directions for future assessments, including the 4th National Climate Assessment. The session also includes a moderated audience discussion to explore alternative approaches to assessment and identify gaps and needs in the U.S. climate assessment process. Of particular interest is how the sustained NCA process can support ongoing dialogue among the scientific community, climate information users, and policymakers to develop assessments that are responsive to societal needs.
Tess Carter, U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)
Jack A. Kaye, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Donald J. Wuebbles, University of Illinois
Susan K. Avery, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Jerry Melillo, Marine Biological Laboratory
Evolution of the National Climate Assessment Process and Products
Richard Moss, Joint Global Change Research Institute
How Assessments Inform Responses to Climate Change
David Reidmiller, U.S. Global Change Research Program
Future of the National Climate Assessment
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