efforts to meet this goal, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requested that the NRC provide an independent review of SAP 3.3. The NRC appointed an ad hoc committee composed of 10 members (Appendix C) to provide this review. The committee’s Statement of Task is included in Appendix D.


The committee conducted its work by first carefully reading the draft SAP 3.3 document Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate (draft dated February 27, 2007). The committee then met with the authors, who provided in-depth presentations of their research and material used to formulate the draft document. During this meeting, the co-chairs of the authoring committee also outlined for the NRC review committee NOAA and CCSP requirements and expectations for SAP 3.3. This present document constitutes the committee’s peer review of SAP 3.3, resulting from its careful study of the draft document and its interactions with those present at the meeting. This review includes the committee’s findings, recommendations, suggestions, and options for the authors to consider in finalizing SAP 3.3. In conducting its review, the committee focused on substantive matters of content and did not proofread the document for grammatical or typographical errors.

BOX 1-1

Outline of CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3

The main body of the assessment product is presented in four chapters:


Chapter 1: Why Weather and Climate Extremes Matter

1.1. Why are extremes important?

1.2. Defining extremes in relation to social, economic, and environmental impacts.

1.3. Measures of weather and climate extremes and their data limitations


Chapter 2: Observed Changes of Weather and Climate Extremes

2.1. Observed changes and variations in weather and climate extremes

2.2. Key uncertainties related to measuring specific variations and changes


Chapter 3: Do We Understand the Causes of Observed Changes in Extremes and What are the Projected Future Changes?

3.1. What are the physical mechanisms of observed changes in extremes?

3.2. Attributing observed changes to external forcing

3.3. Projected future changes in extremes, their causes, mechanisms, and uncertainties


Chapter 4: Recommendations for Improving our Understanding



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