The key questions to be addressed by SAP 1.3 are:

  1. What is a climate reanalysis, and what role does reanalysis play within a comprehensive climate observing system?

  2. What can reanalysis tell us about climate forcing and the veracity of climate models?

  3. What is the capacity of current reanalyses to help us identify and understand major seasonal-to-decadal climate variations, including changes in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes such as droughts?

  4. To what extent is there agreement or disagreement between climate trends in surface temperature and precipitation derived from reanalyses and those derived from independent data?

  5. What steps would be most useful in reducing spurious trends and other major uncertainties in describing the past behavior of the climate system through reanalysis methods? Specifically, what contributions could be made through improvements in data recovery or quality control, modeling, or data assimilation techniques?

  6. What is climate attribution, and what are the scientific methods used for establishing attribution?

  7. What is the present understanding of the causes for North American climate trends in annual temperature and precipitation during the reanalysis record?

  8. What is the present understanding of causes for seasonal and regional differences in U.S. temperature and precipitation trends over the reanalysis record?

  9. What is the nature and cause of apparent rapid climate shifts, having material relevance to North America, over the reanalysis record?

  10. What is our present understanding of the causes for high-impact drought events over North America over the reanalysis record?

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