independent oversight and review from the wider scientific and stakeholder communities (NRC, 2004). To meet this goal, NOAA has requested an independent review of SAP 5.2 by the NRC. The NRC appointed an ad hoc committee composed of twelve members (Appendix C). The committee’s Statement of Task is included in Appendix D.


The committee conducted its work by first carefully reading the draft SAP 5.2 report Best Practice Approaches for Characterizing, Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Climate Decision Making (draft dated October 16, 2006). The committee then met with the lead author to ask questions about the authoring team’s research and formulation of the draft document. During this meeting, the committee also interacted with NOAA and CCSP personnel, who outlined for the committee their expectations for SAP 5.2. An external panel of stakeholders, defined to mean people from organizations who might use information about uncertainty in their work, was invited to share additional perspectives on the draft document. This present document constitutes the committee’s review report, resulting from its careful study of the draft SAP 5.2 document and its interactions with those present at the aforementioned meeting. Herein the committee provides its review findings, and recommendations, suggestions, and options for the authors to consider in revising the draft SAP 5.2. In its review, the committee focused on substantive matters of content and did not proofread the document for grammatical or typographical errors.


It became apparent during the discussions with the lead author, NOAA, and the CCSP that the draft SAP 5.2 document originated before the prospectus itself was finalized. In some respects this has led to an apparent disconnect between the final description of what the document should be and what the authors finally produced. This disconnect made the review especially difficult, as the committee was charged to respond to the extent to which the draft SAP 5.2 meets the various goals as outlined in the prospectus -- goals which may never have been articulated completely until after the document was essentially finished. In particular, the proposed audiences for the document appear to have been much expanded at some point in the process. However, the draft reviewed by the committee is written largely for an audience of those persons involved in assessment efforts. To address the additional intended audiences of such persons as “policymakers, decision makers, and [interested] members of the media and the general public” would require a significant investment in ongoing two-way effective communication between scientists and the members of these audiences. These additional audiences are of great importance, and need to be addressed; however, this appears to have been well outside the scope originally assigned to the authors. In order to address these and other concerns as outlined in this review, significant revisions of SAP 5.2 will be necessary. This review does not recommend specifically how to enact these revisions and meet the requirements for target audiences set forth in the prospectus. Options include greatly expanding the scope of the current document or producing a second, companion document to address the additional audiences.



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