The Second State of the
Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR-2) is an interagency assessment being led and developed by the Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group (CCIWG) under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). SOCCR-2 focuses on the advances in the science and the understanding of the carbon cycle across North America since the first SOCCR (2007). It is intended to provide scientific information to U.S. decisionmakers and policymakers that could be used to formulate activities or policies, and to be an authoritative resource to the scientific and academic communities. SOCCR-2 is also an important technical input to the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4).
SOCCR-2 focuses on U.S. and North American carbon cycle processes, stocks, fluxes, and interactions with global-scale carbon budgets and
climate change impacts in managed and unmanaged systems. The Report includes an assessment of the carbon stocks and fluxes in soils, water (including near-coastal oceans), vegetation, aquatic-terrestrial interfaces (e.g., coasts, estuaries, wetlands), human settlements, agriculture, and forestry. It considers relevant carbon management science perspectives and science-based tools for supporting and informing decisions. The status of and emerging opportunities for improving measurements, observations, and projections of stocks and fluxes in the carbon cycle, including uncertainty identification, are part of the report.
How was SOCCR-2 developed?
The development of SOCCR-2 was guided by a Federal Steering Committee composed of senior federal scientists, in regular consultation with the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR). The writing team comprises over 200 lead and contributing authors from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico selected via an open nomination process as directed by USDA, the lead administrative agency for this assessment activity. USDA establishes procedures for the report, releases Federal Register Notices, and is responsible for certifying that the report meets Information Quality Act standards.
The following groups are contributing to SOCCR-2:
- Federal Steering Committee (FSC) is responsible for the development, production, and content of the report as well as high-level scoping to ensure coherence, relevance, and responsiveness to the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan, the Global Change Research Act, and the USGCRP Strategic Plan. The FSC selected the Science Leads, the Chapter Leads, the Review Editors and initial contributing authors based on a number of criteria, including scientific expertise and experience with scientific assessments.
- Federal Liaisons oversee development of a given chapter and liaise with Chapter Leads in their development of individual chapters.
- Science Leads were chosen by the Federal Steering Committee and the Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group and are charged with working across chapters to ensure scientific consistency throughout the report.
- Chapter Leads, nominated through a public call, led the chapter content development. Chapter author teams worked/work with Chapter Leads to develop and edit individual chapters in response to comments received during the multiple rounds of review.
- Contributing Authors provided inputs into chapter development. An open call solicited nominations and, on an as-needed basis, were added to author teams based on specific needs identified by the author team.
- Review Editors were selected from a pool of experts put forward through a public nominations process. Their role is to ensure the authors adequately respond to all comments received during the public and National Academies review periods.
What is the review process for SOCCR-2?
SOCCR-2 is undergoing an extensive, multi-phase process of internal and external review from Federal agency experts, the general public, and a panel of experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The public comment draft is the Fourth Order Draft of SOCCR-2, having already undergone several internal reviews at multiple levels within Federal agencies. After the public comment period and the formal review by an outside panel of experts of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the report will be further revised by the writing team and will be subsequently reviewed and approved for final publication through normal interagency clearance processes.
Who is the intended audience?
While the Executive Summary is intended for a general audience, SOCCR-2 is a technical report. The audience includes scientists, decisionmakers in the public and private sectors, and the general community across the United States, as well as the rest of North American, though the findings are important and relevant to experts around the world. While SOCCR-2 does not prescribe or recommend policy, it is intended to help inform
mitigation and adaptation policies and management decisions related to the carbon cycle, supporting improved coordination for pertinent research, and monitoring and management activities for responding to global change.
What is the geographic scope of SOCCR-2?
The major focus of SOCCR-2 is North America, with emphasis on the United States. SOCCR-2 seeks to be consistent with the first SOCCR report (CCSP 2007) which focused on North America, therefore chapters also considered the carbon cycle in Canada and Mexico. Since changes in the carbon cycle have global-scale implications, SOCCR-2 addresses carbon cycling from a global perspective, where appropriate. Because SOCCR-2 is a technical input to NCA4, focus on regions as defined by that assessment is included, where possible. Some topics, examples, or analyses may involve scales below NCA4 regions, such as states or municipalities.
What is the timescale of the science assessed in SOCCR-2?
This Report is focused on a time frame that is relevant to understanding and projecting the carbon cycle and the effects of changes to the carbon cycle up to the present day and/or extending into the near future (25, 50 and 100 years from the present as mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990). The emphasis is on the scientific understanding and developments in the last decade since the first SOCCR (CCSP 2007), which covered the science through 2005.
How are the SOCCR-2 chapters organized?
All chapters are organized with the following sections:
- Historical Context (including socioeconomic drivers of carbon emissions)
- Current State of Understanding of Carbon Cycle Fluxes and Stocks
- Indicators, Trends, and Feedbacks
- North American and Global Context and Regional Perspective
- Societal Drivers and Impacts, and Carbon Management Decisions
- Synthesis, Knowledge Gaps, and Outlook
- Preface: Front matter and Guide to Report
- Interagency context of U.S. Carbon Cycle Science
- Executive Summary
- What is the Carbon Cycle and Why Care: The Carbon Cycle in a Global Context
- North American Carbon Budget Past, Present, and Future
Energy Systems(incl. Transportation)
- Societal Perspective on Carbon
- Tribal Lands
- Terrestrial Wetlands
- Inland Waters
- Tidal Wetlands and Estuaries (incl. blue carbon)
- Oceans and Continental Shelves (oceans, methane hydrates etc.)
- Consequences of Rising Atmospheric CO2 (e.g.
- Decision Support (social, behavioral, economic)
- Future Projections and Associated Climate Change in North America
(Subject to change)
May: SGCR approves draft report plan/prospectus
May: Scoping workshop with science community
Summer-Fall: Formulation and formalization of interagency SOCCR-2 Federal Steering Committee, science leadership team, editorial team and report mechanisms, roles and responsibilities
February: USDA assumed Administrative Leadership, released FRN soliciting written comments on the Draft Prospectus, technical information, and nominations for technical contributors
February: Public Forum at NOAA for
Spring-Summer: First-Order Draft development
Early Fall: Review by Federal Steering Committee and CCIWG, author revisions, editorial clean-up → Second-Order Draft
Late Fall: Review of Second-Order Draft by SGCR
Spring: Author revisions, reviews by Federal Steering Committee and USDA → Third Order Draft
Summer: Review by the SGCR
Summer-Fall: Author revisions, reviews by federal steering committee, editorial clean-up → Fourth Order Draft
November: Public Comment Period and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Review
January: End of Public Comment Period
February: End of NAS Review
Early Spring: Author Revisions, Federal Steering Committee, SGCR and any other required Federal clearance → Fifth Order Draft
Late Spring-Early Summer: Editorial Work/Production → Final report
Summer: Final Report Release