The document is not accessible to all intended audiences. The committee finds that the draft is written largely for a technical audience. The intended audiences as outlined in the prospectus also include those people engaged in scientific research, the media, policymakers, and members of the public. Policy and decision-makers in the public sector (e.g., congressional staff) need to understand the implications of these scenarios, in contrast to the research science community, who may be more interested in the actual outcomes. The draft provides relatively little information for an audience of non-technical readers, particularly information that could be used as guidelines for effective communication techniques. In general, the draft would greatly benefit from revisions to make it easier to read. Some specific suggestions follow.
The committee finds that the lack of a non-technical executive summary hinders its accessibility to the audiences named in the prospectus. A concise and readable summary of the document, including key findings and recommendations, would enable all audiences -- producers of synthesis and assessment products, scientific researchers, decision-makers, media, and the general public -- to glean the main points and to locate further information that may be of interest to them. The document should include a short executive summary for a non-technical reader, such as congressional staff, local and regional governmental decision makers. The summary should not be merely descriptive, but informative on the main points of the document. The summary should use plain language to describe the goals of the report, the principal findings and why it is critical to understand the impact of short-lived species on future climate. The summary should point out that these types of studies encompass a realistic time frame over which available technological solutions can be employed, and that this study in particular, focuses on those gas and aerosol species whose future atmospheric levels are also subject to mitigation to control air pollution. The summary should define briefly but clearly the line between “long-lived” and “short-lived”, not just described as “(carbon dioxide)” and “(soot)”. An alternative approach could be to add a box consisting of a chart with temporal vs. spatial scales of various species, added by general model resolutions used in such a practice as a reference.
A technical summary written for an informed general scientific audience could be included. This could be written using clearly defined technical language (without acronyms) so that the general scientific community, not just atmospheric scientists can understand the goals, findings and relevance of the study.
If some chapters are to use technical language, the introduction chapter should contain a section with advice on “How to read this document” – a paragraph that describes the intent of each chapter and its target audience. For instance, the paragraph may state: Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the study and relevant findings from previous studies and is intended to provide all audiences with a general overview. Chapters 2 and 3 provide