The Assessments Program
The Assessments Program, an effort led by the Climate Program Office, aims to improve our ability to understand, assess, anticipate, and respond to the impacts and vulnerabilities associated with environmental change in the United States. The Program supports climate assessments at national and regional scales based on cutting-edge science, connects research institutions and activities from various regions and sectors, and creates networks of scientists and decision makers. Scientific assessments survey and synthesize science, highlight key information to support policy decisions, and track progress by identifying changes in Earth’s conditions and advances in science.
Funding from the Assessments Program supports efforts towards the development of the National Climate Assessments and sustained assessment process. The quadrennial National Climate Assessment (NCA) is mandated by the 1990 Global Change Research Act, charging the National Science and Technology Council to prepare an assessment every four years that integrates the findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and to deliver that assessment to the Executive and Legislative branches. These assessments integrate and summarize current and anticipated climate change impacts on the United States to help inform decision making that will impact America’s’ future. To enhance the value and production of these assessments, a sustained process is being implemented to keep the assessments community engaged between reports and to continuously synthesize new data and information. The Assessments program secured and organized NOAA’s leadership of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. NOAA leads the technical production of the report and contributes specific leadership through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Ocean Service, and National Weather Service.
Assessments Program also supports other global, national, regional, and sectoral level climate assessment activities and services.
The Assessments Program addresses the goals of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), which prioritizes studies and assessments that “synthesize scientific knowledge of Earth systems into tools for decision making and future research, often using observational data, model output, experimental results, and other research as source material.”