What is the National Climate Assessment (NCA)?
The NCA is an important resource for understanding and communicating climate change science and impacts in the United States. It informs the nation about already observed changes, the current status of the climate, and anticipated trends for the future. The NCA report process integrates scientific information from multiple sources and sectors to highlight key findings and significant gaps in our knowledge.
The NCA also establishes consistent methods for evaluating climate impacts in the U.S. in the context of broader global change. Finally, findings from the NCA provide input to federal science priorities and are used by U.S. citizens, communities, and businesses as they create more sustainable and environmentally sound plans for the nation’s future.
What are the objectives of the National Climate Assessment?
The NCA is envisioned as an inclusive, nationwide process with many key objectives, including:
- Evaluating, integrating, and assessing relevant climate science and information from multiple sources
- Summarizing and synthesizing the findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program
- Increasing understanding of what is known and not known about climate change
- Informing climate science research priorities
- Building climate assessment capacity, including vulnerability assessment and documentation of impacts in regions and sectors
- Supporting climate‐literacy and skilled use of NCA findings
Who is responsible for the National Climate Assessment?
The Global Change Research Act of 1990 requires an assessment report at least every four years. The federal government is responsible for producing these reports through the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a collaboration of 13 federal science agencies. A 60 member federal advisory committee, the National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC), has been charged with developing the 2013 report and recommendations about the ongoing assessment process. The report itself is being written by 240 authors drawn from academia; local, state, and federal government; the private sector; and the nonprofit sector.
Have further questions about the National Climate Assessment? Contact the NCA Staff.
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