Assessments are essential tools for linking science and decision-making. The Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 charged the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) with a legal mandate to conduct a scientific assessment on the effects of global change not less frequently than every four years; the third and most recent National Climate Assessment (NCA) was released in May 2014.
NCA Goal and Vision
In fulfillment of this mandate and in support of its Strategic Plan, USGCRP coordinated this Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), which focuses on advancing our collective understanding of how climate change poses risks to things of value to society. Much of the NCA4 process builds on the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3), and thus much of this process description is derived from that of NCA3. However, several changes have been made in light of lessons learned through an external evaluation of NCA3 (see “What Has Happened Since the Last National Climate Assessment?” in Ch. 1: Overview). Some of those changes are discussed in greater detail in this appendix.
The vision for the NCA is to continue advancing an inclusive, broad-based, and sustained process for assessing and communicating scientific knowledge of the impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities associated with a changing global climate and to support informed decision-making across the United States.
The “Report Development Process – Appendix 1” publication is available as a downloadable PDF at nca2018.globalchange.gov.