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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere Appendixes
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere A Prospectus for the Synthesis and Assessment Product Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences Chief Editor: Thomas R. Karl Associate Editors: Christopher D. Miller, William L. Murray 1. Overview: Description of Topic, Audience, Intended Use, and Questions to Be Addressed Independently produced data sets that describe the four-dimensional temperature structure from the surface through the lower stratosphere provide different temperature trends. These differences are seen in varying degrees in comparisons of separate in situ (surface and weather balloon) data sets, in comparisons of separate space-based data sets, and in comparisons of individual data sets drawn from the different observational platforms and different trend analysis teams. This CCSP synthesis and assessment product will address the accuracy and consistency of these temperature records and outline steps necessary to reconcile differences between individual data sets. Understanding exactly how and why there are differences in temperature trends reported by several analysis teams using differing observation systems and analysis methods represents a necessary step in reducing the uncertainties that underlie current efforts focused on the detection and quantification of surface and tropospheric temperature trends. Consequently, this synthesis and assessment product promises to be of significant value to decisionmakers, and to the expert scientific and stakeholder communities. For example, we expect this assessment to be a major contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (due to be published in 2007). In addition, we expect the information generated will be used by the Global Climate Observing System Atmospheric Observation Panel to help identify effective ways to reduce observational uncertainty. Recent efforts to address the uncertainties regarding the temperature structure of the lower atmosphere (i.e., from the surface through the lower stratosphere) have included release of a report under the auspices of the National Research Council (NRC) entitled
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere “Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change” (NRC, 2000) and the IPCC Third Assessment Report (IPCC, 2001, pp 101-123). Although these documents provided a great deal of useful information, the complexities of the issue coupled with shortcomings of the available observing systems prevented resolution of a number of fundamental questions, including: Why do temperatures vary vertically (from the surface to the stratosphere) and what do we understand about why they might vary and change over time? What kinds of atmospheric temperature variations can the current observing systems measure and what are their strengths and limitations, both spatially and temporally? What do observations indicate about the changes of temperature in the atmosphere and at the surface since the advent of measuring temperatures vertically? What is our understanding of the contribution made by observational or methodological uncertainties to the previously reported vertical differences in temperature trends? How well can the observed vertical temperature changes be reconciled with our understanding of the causes of these changes? What measures can be taken to improve the understanding of observed changes? These questions provide the basis for the six main chapters in the synthesis and assessment product. They highlight several of the fundamental uncertainties and differences between and within the individual components of the existing observational and modeling systems. The responses to the questions will be written in a style consistent with major international scientific assessments [e.g., IPCC assessments, and the Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project (WMO, 1999)]. 2. Contact Information: Email and Telephone for Responsible Individuals at the Lead and Supporting Agencies NOAA is the lead agency for this synthesis product. Relevant agency personnel are presented in the following table: CCSP Member Agency Agency Leads DOC (NOAA) Tom Karl/Chris Miller/Bill Murray DOE Rick Petty NASA Eric Fetzer NSF Jay Fein 3. Lead Authors: Required Expertise and Biographical Information A list of lead author nominees was identified based on past records of interest and accomplishment in framing the core issues related to changes, trends, and uncertainties in the lower atmospheric temperature records, advancing relevant scientific arguments, and
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere contributing to increased understanding of the behavior of respective components of the end-to-end system that provides the required data sets. Past contributions to relevant scientific assessments, success in peer-reviewed proposal funding competitions, and publication records in refereed journals are among the measures used in the selection process. The lead authors selected on the basis of these criteria are listed below. Chapter assignments and biographical information are presented in Appendix A. Lead Authors John Christy (University of Alabama/Huntsville) Chris Folland, (Hadley Centre, U.K. Met Office) Chris Forest (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Jim Hurrell (National Center for Atmospheric Research) John Lanzante (NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory) Carl Mears (Remote Sensing Systems) Jerry Meehl (National Center for Atmospheric Research) David Parker (U.K. Met Office) Joyce Penner (U. Michigan) Thomas C. Peterson (NOAA/National Climatic Data Center) Roger Pielke Sr. (Colorado State University) V. Ramaswamy (NOAA/ Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory) Dick Reynolds (NOAA/ National Climatic Data Center) Ben Santer (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) Dian Seidel (NOAA Air Resources Laboratory) Steve Sherwood (Yale University) Roy Spencer (U. Alabama-Huntsville) Peter Thorne (U.K. Met Office/Hadley Centre) Kostya Vinnikov (University of Maryland) Russell S. Vose (NOAA/ National Climatic Data Center) Frank Wentz (Remote Sensing Systems Tom M.L. Wigley (National Center for Atmospheric Research) 4. Stakeholder Interactions The questions addressed by the report were framed by the lead agency with the benefit of consultation from members of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Office, the NOAA Science Advisory Board Climate Monitoring Working Group1, and participants at a workshop on Reconciling Vertical Temperature Trends that was held at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on 27-29 October 2003, and attended by 55 scientific experts from academia, the U.S. government, the private sector, and several 1 The NOAA Science Advisory Board Climate Monitoring Working Group, which has since been merged with the Climate and Global Change Working Group, was charged to provide, in the context of national and international activities, scientific advice and broad program direction to NOAA on the condition and capabilities of NOAA’s observing systems/data management systems for the purpose of climate monitoring.
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere scientific experts from other countries. The workshop was designed to address a broad range of issues related to vertical temperatures trends, and it provided a scientific foundation for the development of this CCSP synthesis product. The workshop presentations and results of breakout groups are posted on <http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/rvtt.html>. The workshop assessed the current state of knowledge on this topic, identified near-term and long-term steps to address existing uncertainties, and provided a framework for a synthesis and assessment product structured around the six questions listed above. In addition, Principals on the CCSP Interagency Committee provided input from a governmental perspective during the CCSP review, and other stakeholders provided input during the public comment period (see <http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/sap1-1prospectus-comments.htm> for a collation of the comments submitted during public comment period). 5. Drafting, Including Materials to be Used in Preparing the Product The lead NOAA focal point is the Product 1.1 Chief Editor. The assistant NOAA focal points serve as Associate Editors. The core of a scientific author team presented in Appendix A has been drawn from the participants in the workshop described above. This core group has been supplemented with a number of individuals who have made major contributions to our present understanding of the issues related to vertical temperature change. Under the leadership of a convening lead author for each of the six chapters, this group of lead authors and contributors is charged with the preparation of the scientific/technical analysis section of the synthesis report. They will draw upon published, peer-reviewed scientific literature in the drafting process. The synthesis and assessment product will include an Executive Summary which will present key findings from Chapters 1-6. It will be written by a team consisting of a convening lead author assisted by the convening lead authors from each of the six chapters. The synthesis product will identify disparate views that have significant scientific or technical support, and will provide confidence levels for key findings, as appropriate. This synthesis and assessment product will pay special attention to addressing uncertainties and confidence levels in our statements regarding the temperature trends. We note that increased understanding of the complexities of the vertical temperature variability can lead to increased uncertainties regarding long-term behavior patterns. Just as independent data sets must be used for comparisons of results, the basic evaluation process must maintain appropriate degrees of separation; for example, data set developers should not be the only evaluators of data reliability in their products. The communication of uncertainties will be quantitative in many instances but, from discussion during the Asheville workshop, it is clear that expert judgment will also be used because standard statistical methods alone do not reflect the full range of uncertainty. Our intent is to follow the protocol developed in the IPCC (2001) assessment and subsequent updates provided by IPCC.
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere 6. Review NOAA, the lead agency for this product, plans to present the document to an NRC expert committee for scientific review. The NRC Proposal (NAS Proposal No. 04-DELS-385-01) to conduct the review states that the review will address the following issues: Are the goals, objectives, and intended audience of the product are clearly described in the document? Does the product address all the questions outlined in the prospectus? Are findings and recommendations are adequately supported by evidence and analysis? If any recommendations are based on value judgments or the collective opinions of the authors, is this acknowledged and are adequate reasons given for reaching those judgments? Are the data and analyses handled competently? Are the statistical methods applied appropriately? Are the uncertainties and confidence levels evaluated and communicated appropriately? Are the document’s presentation and is organization effective? Are the questions outlined in the prospectus addressed and communicated in a manner that is appropriate for the intended audience? Is the document scientifically objective and policy neutral? Is it consistent with the scientific literature, including recent NRC reports and other scientific assessments on the same topic? Does the summary concisely and accurately describe the content, key findings, and recommendations? Is it consistent with other sections of the document? What other significant improvements, if any, might be made in the document? The period of performance for the review is expected to be approximately January to April 2005. Following expert review, the lead authors will revise the draft product by incorporating comments and suggestions from the reviewers, as the lead authors deem appropriate. Following this revision, the draft product will be released for public comment. The public comment period will be 45 days and will take place from 1 June to 15 July 2005. The lead authors will prepare a third draft of the product, taking into consideration the comments submitted during the public comment period. The scientific judgment of the lead authors will determine responses to the comments. Once the revisions are complete, the lead agency will submit the synthesis and assessment product to the CCSP Interagency Committee for approval. If the CCSP Interagency Committee determines that further revision is necessary, their comments will be sent to the lead agency for consideration and resolution by lead authors. If needed, the NRC will be asked to provide additional scientific analysis to bound scientific uncertainty associated with specific issues. If the CCSP Interagency Committee review determines that no further revisions are needed and that the product has been prepared in conformance with the Guidelines for
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere Producing CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products (see <http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap-guidelines.htm>) and the Data Quality Act (including ensuring objectivity, utility, and integrity as defined in 67 FR 8452), they will submit the product to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) for clearance. Clearance will require the concurrence of all members of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Comments generated during the NSTC review will be addressed by the CCSP Interagency Committee in consultation with the lead and supporting agencies and the lead authors. 7. Related Activities: Coordination with Other National or International Assessment Processes This CCSP synthesis and assessment product has been coordinated internationally with a U.K. Met Office workshop on understanding vertical profiles of temperature trends conducted in September 2004 in Exeter, England. The coordination included presentations in Exeter by the synthesis and assessment product lead authors to provide an interim look at progress on addressing each of the key questions. There is also ongoing coordination with a newly constituted Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)/Atmospheric Observations Panel for Climate (AOPC) Working Group on Reconciling Vertical Temperature Trends. The synthesis and assessment product is expected to provide input to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. 8. Communications NOAA, the lead agency, will produce and release the completed product using a standard format for all CCSP synthesis and assessment products. The final product and the comments received during the expert review and the public comment period will be posted, without attribution (unless specific reviewers agree to attribution), on the CCSP web site. The lead authors will also be encouraged to publish their findings in the scientific literature. 9. Proposed Timeline Preparation of this synthesis and assessment product has been underway during completion of this prospectus because of the time required to finalize the overall Guidelines for Producing CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products. This approach was taken in order to coordinate work on the product with other international efforts, in particular, so the product could be completed in time to provide an input to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Comments received on the draft prospectus were taken into account in the process, and all procedures used in preparing the report have been adjusted to be consistent with those mandated by the Guidelines. The timeline is divided into two phases. The planned completion date for Phase 1,
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Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere which will result in the submission of the first draft of the synthesis product for scientific review by the National Research Council, is January 2005. The planned completion date for Phase 2, which will culminate with approval of the synthesis product by the President’s National Science and Technology Council, is October 2005. Specific milestones follow. PHASE 1 Lead authors nominated – July 04 Synthesis product prospectus released for public comment – July 04 First lead author meeting – August 04 Second lead author meeting – October 04 Third lead author meeting – December 04 Synthesis product first draft submitted for NRC scientific review – January 05 PHASE 2 NRC review completed – April 05 Synthesis product second draft released for public comment – 1 June 2005 Public comment period completed– 15 July 2005 Synthesis product third draft and compilation of comments submitted to CCSP Principals – August 05 Synthesis product accepted by CCSP and submitted to NSTC for final review and approval – September 05 Synthesis product approved by NSTC – October 05 References IPCC. 2001. Observed climate variability and change. In: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, J. T. Houghton, Y. Ding, D. J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P. J. van der Linden, X. Dai, K. Maskell, and C. A. Johnson, eds. Cambridge University Press, U.K. NRC. 2000. Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press. 85 pp. WMO. 1999. Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998. Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project, Report #44. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Representative terms from entire chapter: