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The National Academies Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

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Presentation on theme: "The National Academies Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate"— Presentation transcript:

1 The National Academies Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Chris Elfring, Director AMS PPPF April 22, 2009

2 The BASC Mission … advance understanding of the earth's atmosphere and climate, and serve as a source for objective, independent advice to the federal government and others. conducts studies/workshops on emerging scientific and policy issues in response to specific requests from federal agencies and others; provides program reviews, issue analysis, assessment of priorities; helps ensure that research efforts are responsive to national needs and fosters application of that research; facilitates communication and collaboration among academia, industry, and government; provides a forum to address atmospheric and climate research needs, policy issues, and the provision of weather and climate services; assists U.S. participation in international research efforts in the atmospheric and climate sciences.

3 The Climate Research Committee
… is a standing committee under BASC – formed in 1981 to focus attention on those aspects of atmospheric, oceanic, and related research aimed at advancing understanding of climate variability and change. Provides focused oversight to NRC studies pertaining to climate; Advises government agencies on matters pertaining to scientific aspects of climate and climate change; Serves as the U.S. National Committee for the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and maintains liaison with the WCRP; Maintains coordination with relevant NRC entities with climate-related responsibilities; and Takes the initiative to promote progress in climate research, such as by organizing meetings and workshops.

4 Why the Academies? Independence (non-profit, non-government)
freedom to be critical Balance (range of perspectives represented; report is based on consensus) expertise to evaluate and consider key issues Objectivity (pro bono; conflict of interest procedures) freedom from financial consequences, undue bias Quality (NRC oversight, external peer review) ensure that recommendations are well supported Reputation (credibility, history, stature of participants) “the gold standard” Each activity is conducted by a group of volunteer experts, selected for that specific task, and overseen by the National Research Council.

5 Criteria for Studies some real impact (on science, an agency, or the nation) or contribute something unique clearly stated objectives and a well-defined end product appropriate for the NRC consensus approach and not better done by some other entity we have access to the right individuals with the necessary expertise and willingness to participate one or more sponsors have a demonstrated interest in the project

6 Sample BASC Studies     

7 Example: Advice on Future Directions
Type: Broad policy guidance to an agency Origin: NSF-National Science Board Process: Two phases to provide initial input and more detailed analysis

8 Example: Science Controversy
Type: Independent view of science controversy Origin: Congress Process: Fast track – 6 months (2 meetings, 1 a large public input event)

9 Example: Technical Focus
Type: Interface of science and technology Origin: NASA, NOAA Process: Focused, fast-track to give concrete guidance for decision-making

10 Example: Broad Issue of Interest
Type: Guidance to government with broader implications Origin: NOAA Process: Regular “full” study with multiple meetings, approximately 15 months

11 Review of CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products
Example: Peer Review Review of CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products 1.1, 5.2, 3.3, 3.2, 2.4, 1.3 Type: Provide Independent Peer Review a document (or program) Origin: NOAA/CCSP Process: Focused, fast track review (read, one meeting, write, and deliver in 6 months)

12 Climate at the National Academies
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) Climate Research Committee (CRC) Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change (CHDGC) Space Studies Board (SSB) Ocean Studies Board (OSB) Polar Research Board (PRB) Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) Board on Life Sciences (BLS) Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR) Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) Board on Energy and Environmental Studies (BEES) Transportation Research Board (TRB)

13 Examples of Non-BASC Climate Work
Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate

14 Climate-Related Current Projects
America’s Energy Future The Importance of Deep-Time Geologic Records for Understanding Climate Change Impacts Potential Energy Savings and Greenhouse Gas Reductions From Transportation Relationships Among Development Patterns, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Energy Consumption Health, Environmental, and Other External Costs and Benefits of Energy Production and Consumption Intra-seasonal to Inter-annual Climate Prediction and Predictability

15 Congressional Request
The Department of Commerce Appropriations Act of 2008 (Public Law ) calls for NOAA to execute an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to establish a committee that will: “…investigate and study the serious and sweeping issues relating to global climate change and make recommendations regarding what steps must be taken and what strategies must be adopted in response to global climate change, including the science and technology challenges thereof.”

16 Key Aspects of Study Strategy
Q&A approach Future and action-oriented US focus, recognizing international context Emphasizes short-term / long-term timeframes Utilizes and builds on existing information Flexible/practical - each group to identify and target important sectors/stakeholders, spatial scales, and decision makers for their questions Policy relevant

17 Key Aspects of Study Strategy
Will produce 5 reports: 4 panel reports by late 2009-early 2010 1 final committee report by spring 2010 Special workshops held as needed to gather information or focus on specific topics (e.g., geo-engineering) Suite of communication activities, including the Summit, a final Symposium, opportunities for input and feedback, study website, derivative products, & outreach activities Goal: to inform decision makers at all levels and across the many sectors facing critical decisions related to climate change

18 Public-Focused Products
Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Understanding and Responding to Climate Change What You Need to Know About Energy Earth Observations from Space CD Reports in Brief

19 Cost of Studies ( )

20 BASC and the AMS Community
Interest in many similar issues Engage many of the same experts and stakeholders Looking to have impact Looking to provide leadership and scientific voice in decision making Have different mechanisms for action Sits within large, diverse organization Fundamental constraint of providing advice “when asked” Could AMS or PPPF ask for a BASC study?

21 Contact Information Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate The National Academies 500 Fifth Street NW Washington DC 20001 (202)

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