4. Are there any critical content areas missing from the report?
5. Are the findings documented in a consistent, transparent and credible way?
6. Does the research needs chapter address the most important gaps in existing knowledge?
7. Does the sustained assessment chapter provide an appropriate path to support the development of a sustained assessment process within USGCRP that engages regional and sectoral communities of interest?
The Panel conducted this evaluation during the same 12-week period that the draft NCA report was undergoing public review. To carry out this work, the Panel members held one in-person meeting and had a variety of additional exchanges via email, webinar, and phone—to share and debate their views on the NCA report and develop consensus answers to the Task Statement questions. Given the very short time allowed for this review, the considerable length of the draft report, and the great breadth of topics covered, it was not feasible for each Panel member to carefully review the entire document. Rather, the Panel relied on the expertise of just a few members to provide the primary review of specific chapters. The Panel then considered the chapter-specific comments collectively, to help develop their evaluation of the report as a whole.
This document provides the Panel’s consensus responses to the Task Statement questions listed above. With a report as large and diverse as this one, the answers to these questions were naturally a complex mix of positive reactions for some parts of the report and less positive reactions for other parts. Appendix A of this document presents a large collection of comments and suggestions focused on specific chapters, statements, figures, etc.. Because the Panel did not have time to collectively discuss each of these individual comments, they are not presented as true consensus findings or recommendations.
The Panel focused primarily on offering practical suggestions that could feasibly be addressed in the short time that the NCA authors will have to revise the document. But this inevitably spills over into more broad-based considerations about the fundamental approaches used in certain parts of the draft report, about the way the NCA enterprise is framed and designed, and about the nature and scope of USGCRP research that underlies the NCA findings. Thus some suggestions will likely need to be viewed as longer-term advice that may be applied in future NCA assessments.
We wish to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that has gone into the preparation of the NCA report, and likewise to acknowledge that this NCA has been a significantly more ambitious effort than previous National Climate Assessments, in terms of the scope of topics addressed and the breadth of outreach/engagement processes involved. We offer our congratulations to the NCA leadership and authoring teams for their accomplishments thus far, and our sincere hope that the suggestions offered herein will aid their efforts.