Fourth National Climate Assessment Update: May 2018
It’s been a while since our last update, but rest assured that we’ve been hard at work on Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4 Vol. II) in the meantime. Here’s a brief rundown of the goings-on:
Public review and comment. This winter (November 3, 2017 through January 31, 2018), the public had the chance to weigh in on the draft NCA4 Vol. II. More than 3,400 comments were submitted by the public during this time! For openness and transparency, all comments (and author responses) will be published on the NCA4 website upon final release of the report, expected later this year.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) review. On March 12, the NASEM released an independent, expert peer review of the draft NCA4 Vol. II (read it here). The NASEM Committee was “impressed by the strength, breadth, and quality of science presented in the draft NCA4” and conveyed a number of suggestions that will improve the clarity and value of the report to a range of stakeholders. Like the public comments, author responses to the NASEM review will be published on the NCA4 website upon final release of the report.
All-author meeting. In late March, more than 200 NCA4 Vol. II authors and contributors gathered in Bethesda, MD to finalize their responses to public and NASEM comments and refine the Fourth Order Draft. At this key stage, the author teams were joined by their chapter’s Review Editor, who was responsible for ensuring that authors adequately responded to all of the comments. The three-day meeting was a great success, allowing authors to talk directly with one another to ensure that issues are captured consistently and accurately across chapters.
Final Federal review and clearance. In late April, the Fourth Order Draft began the final stages of Federal review and clearance. Later this summer, authors will make final revisions in response to agency comments, and the NCA4 Vol. II Federal Steering Committee will ensure that all agency comments are adequately addressed.
Release. After final revisions and clearance, the report will enter final production and layout. This part of the process will develop the report’s interactive website, downloadable pdfs and materials, and print copies of a “Report-in-Brief,” which will include the Report Findings, Overview chapter, and executive summaries of each chapter. Release is currently scheduled for December 2018.
Public Engagement. NCA staff and authors continue to connect with stakeholders across the country to raise awareness about the report and continue soliciting input to future sustained assessment products from USGCRP. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve engaged with:
- the Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Austin, TX
- the Annual Conference of the National Council for Science and the Environment in Crystal City, VA
- the Winter Policy Summit of the North American Regulatory Utility Commissioners in Washington, D.C.
- the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, TX
- the Ocean Sciences Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Portland, OR
- the Directors of the Department of the Interior’s Climate Adaptation Science Centers
- the Business Environmental Leadership Council of C2ES in Washington, D.C.