Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere

Committee to Review the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere

Climate Research Committee

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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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 Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere Committee to Review the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product on Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere Climate Research Committee Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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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 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by a contract between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09674-X Copies of this report are available from the program office: Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3512 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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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 THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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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 COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE U.S. CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE PROGRAM’S SYNTHESIS AND ASSESSMENT PRODUCT ON TEMPERATURE TRENDS IN THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE WILLIAM J. RANDEL (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta DENNIS L. HARTMANN, University of Washington, Seattle PHIL JONES, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom KENNETH KUNKEL, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign RICHARD S. LINDZEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge RICHARD L. SMITH, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JOHN MICHAEL WALLACE, University of Washington, Seattle JUNHONG WANG, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate PARIKHIT SINHA, Study Director RACHAEL SHIFLETT, Senior Program Assistant

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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 CLIMATE RESEARCH COMMITTEE ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR. (Chair), University of Maryland, College Park LEE E. BRANSCOME, Climatological Consulting Cooperation, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida JAMES A. COAKLEY, JR., Oregon State University, Corvallis JULIA E. COLE, University of Arizona, Tucson JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta CLARA DESER, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado DAVID KAROLY, University of Oklahoma, Norman ROBERT J. LEMPERT, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California LINDA O. MEARNS, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado GERALD A. MEEHL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado PETER B. RHINES, University of Washington, Seattle W. JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH, University of Arizona, Tucson LYNNE D. TALLEY, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California HASSAN VIRJI, International START Secretariat, Washington, D.C. YUK YUNG, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena NRC Staff AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant

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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 BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado M. JOAN ALEXANDER, Colorado Research Associates, Boulder FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C. MICHAEL L. BENDER, Princeton University, New Jersey ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor CAROL ANNE CLAYSON, Florida State University, Tallahassee WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado KERRY A. EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge DENNIS L. HARTMANN, University of Washington, Seattle PETER R. LEAVITT, Weather Information, Inc., Newton, Massachusetts JENNIFER A. LOGAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts VERNON R. MORRIS, Howard University, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM J. RANDEL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University/CIRA, Fort Collins ROGER M. WAKIMOTO, University of California, Los Angeles Ex Officio Members ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director PAUL CUTLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer MARIA UHLE, Program Officer ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Senior Program Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Coordinator ANDREAS SOHRE, Financial Associate

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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 Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: James Angell, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland Richard Levine, San Diego State University, California Jerry Mahlman, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Steven Running, University of Montana, Missoula Siegfried Schubert, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Eric Barron, Pennsylvania State University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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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 Contents     INTRODUCTION   1     MAJOR REVIEW COMMENTS   3     REVIEW OF THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   6      Major Comments,   6      Specific Comments,   7     REVIEW OF CHAPTER 1   11      Major Comments,   11      Specific Comments,   12     REVIEW OF CHAPTER 2   15      Major Comments,   15      Specific Comments,   19     REVIEW OF CHAPTER 3   21      Major Comments,   21      Specific Comments,   24     REVIEW OF CHAPTER 4   27      Major Comments,   27      Specific Comments,   29     REVIEW OF CHAPTER 5   31      Major Comments,   31      Specific Comments,   34     REVIEW OF CHAPTER 6   37      Major Comments,   37      Specific Comments,   40     REFERENCES   41

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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   47     A  PROSPECTUS FOR THE SYNTHESIS AND ASSESSMENT PRODUCT   49     B  NRC COMMITTEE STATEMENT OF TASK   56     C  BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND STAFF   57