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QI. The Global Change Research Act of 1990 states in Section 106 that a Scientific Assessment will be made at intervals of 4 years or less. What have been the dates of the Scientific Assessments and what format was used to submit the Scientific Assessment to Congress? AL OSTP has forwarded to Congress the following reports (a) 1992, “Climate Change 1992 — The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Impacts Assessment” (b) 1995, “Climate Change 1995 ~ Impacts Adaptations, and Mitigation of Climate Change (c) 1995, “Climate Change 1995 ~ Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change” (d) 2001, “Climate Change 2001 — Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” [verify that OSTP did submit the reports to Congress] Tam checking our files but believe that Bob Correll, Margaret Leinen, or I forwarded the various reports, depending on the period in question. I hope we can come up with transmittal letters on this end to confirm this. Q2 Ten years after the creation of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the first National Assessment was published (“Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change”, Cambridge University Press, 2000, 154 pp.). Because this is the first assessment, does this mean that the Act was not followed? A2 The Act was followed because OSTP had submitted reports on Scientific Assessment in 1992, 1995 and 2001 [see A1]. The 2000 National Assessment was an experiment to learn how to do regional climate studies based on data products from global climate models I would describe the national assessment as an effort to begin to provide regional and sectoral information on the potential implications for the US of climate variability and change. The process was an assessment, but several design aspects were experimental in nature. It may invite trouble to call the assessment an experiment in this setting since the results were presented to Congress and other users as more than experimental; indeed in some cases (e.g., where based on current observations, forecasts of variability, and even ranges of potential future change for planning long-term infrastructure projects), they have practical value. Apart from this, the sensitivity studies that were part of the assessment are also useful Q3 Why was the National Assessment not prepared before 2000? A3 An assessment of climate change impacts for the United States or for any region is strongly dependent on the primary data which, in this case, are numerical model data products, such as atmosphere, ocean and land temperatures, precipitation, atmospheric wind, ocean current, and a variety of other fields. When the Global Change Research Act was created in 1990, the horizontal dimension of these data products was about 500 km by 500 km with about 5-9 layers in the atmosphere, Nearly ten years later, many global climate models have a horizontal resolution of 200 km by 200 km with 15-20 layers in the atmosphere. Inadequate computer resources prevent higher spatial resolution of U.S. global climate models, The National Assessment of 2000 represents a “first time” experiment on utilization of global climate model data products for interpretation of regional conditions NW 9729 Docta:59163001 Page 1 This is true as far as projections of long-term climate change are concerned, But ENSO forecasts are produced by models with different characteristics (more closely related to operational weather forecasting), moreover the assessment also uses current observational data, Also note that other countries and the IPCC had already used GCM products in regional projections—it was the first time this was done on a national scale in the US. I agree with the basic thrust of the answer but also think that you should be careful of overstatement. Q4 What is your opinion about the veracity of results portrayed in the 2000 National Assessment? A4 As stated on page 17 of the 2000 National Assessment, “uncertainties about future climate stem from a wide variety of factors, from questions about how to represent clouds and precipitation in climate models to uncertainties about how emissions of greenhouse gases will change. ... differences in model projections also raise questions about how to interpret model results, especially at the regional scales ....” A measure of the accuracy of the two climate model projections of surface temperature over the U.S. is indicated in the temperature time series on page 17. For the 20" century, the models simulate a U.S. temperature rise of about 0.7F 1.9F whereas observations indicate a rise of 0.5F — 1.4F, While the trend has the same sign, the modeled range of the rise was 1.2F or 33% greater compared to the observed range, Personally I think this range needs to be narrowed. Science results, especially climate change science results because of the enormous complexity of the problem, must be replicated if the result has value, This does not mean that useful sensitivity studies cannot be done to yield valuable information about where resources or activities are particularly sensitive, and hence potentially vulnerable to climate change. This may enable society to take measures other than reducing GHGs to prepare (and hence adapt more successfully) for climate change. QS What are the plans for the 2004 National Assessment? AS At the December 2002 Workshop on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program strategic plan, a large amount of interest was expressed to do regional assessments, including the compilation of a national assessment as envisioned in the Global Change Research Act. Exhibit Aisa copy of Chapter 4, entitled “Decision Support Resources”, of the draft strategic plan (http://www-climatescience gov). It is of interest to note that this relatively small chapter received a very large number of comments (Exhibit B), indicating an absence of community consensus on how to accomplish regional impacts A fundamental problem in the U.S. to accomplish regional studies is the absence of a U.S global climate model having sufficiently high horizontal and vertical resolutions for the atmosphere, ocean and land in order to advance reliable interpretations of the features envisioned in the Global Change Research Act. Only one computer facility exists in the world today, Japan’s Earth Simulator, to compute global climate fields with 10 km by 10 km horizontal resolution. The CCRI is intended to improve the U.S. global climate modeling capability, with a 2-center climate modeling approach, which envisions NCAR assembling the state-of-the art climate model with contributions from throughout the U.S. and international modeling communities and NW 9729 Docta:59163001 Page 2 GDFL computing a variety of data products for the community to use for regional impact studies. Availability of U.S climate model data products and availability of associated infrastructure for studies of regional climate conditions is named “decision support resources” The CCSP, in response to the huge quest for decision support resources expressed at the Workshop and in the comments on the draft strategic plan, created a Working Group on Climate Decision Support Resources to establish standards for the implementation of regional studies. This group is expected to produce a framework about how regional assessments should be done On January 8, 2003, Dr. James Mahoney, Director of CCSP and Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary, in his testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, stated that a high priority of CCSP is the development of decision support resources based on projections of future climate, ecosystem and socioeconomic conditions expected from various potential greenhouse is control strategies, The Working Group on Climate Decision Support Resources has started its work, which will become more extensive after April 30, 2003, when the CSP strategic plan will be completed. Attachments: Exhibit A, Chapter 4 of draft strategic plan Exhibit B, public comments on Chapter 4 Good answer. NW 9729 Docta:59163801 Page 3