[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 134 (Wednesday, July 13, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41217-41219]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-17379]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Docket No. 110614333-1333-01]


 Technical Inputs and Assessment Capacity on Topics Related to 
2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment

AGENCY: Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce 
(DOC).
    Request for Information: Technical Inputs and Assessment Capacity 
Related to Regional, Sectoral, and Cross-Cutting Assessments for the 
2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) Report and the Ongoing NCA 
Process.

ACTION: Request for information.

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SUMMARY: This request for information (RFI) seeks comments and 
expressions of interest from the public in providing technical inputs 
and/or offering assessment capacity on topics related to National 
Climate Assessment (NCA) regional, sectoral, and cross-cutting topics 
proposed for the 2013 NCA report and the ongoing NCA process. More 
information on the NCA process, including the strategic plan, proposed 
report outline, and information about the National Climate Assessment 
Development and Advisory Committee (NCADAC), can be found at http://assessment.globalchange.gov.
    Teams of experts and/or individuals in climate-related fields 
(``teams'') interested in providing inputs to the NCA are encouraged to 
review the ``Potential Technical Inputs and Assessment Capacities'' and 
``Suggested Best Practices'' available online at http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/backgroundprocess/notices 
and to prepare a short expression of interest (EOI) describing their 
anticipated inputs. All EOIs submitted in response to this notice must 
include a primary point of contact and contact information (phone 
number, mailing address, e-mail address, Web site if applicable, 
institutional affiliation(s) if applicable). In addition, it is 
recommended that EOIs include the specific NCA topic(s) of interest, a 
short description of the input(s) the team intends to provide, and 
background information about the team and sponsoring organization.
    A full draft of the NCA report is anticipated by mid-2012, so that 
scientific and subject-matter experts and the broader public will have 
sufficient time to review the draft and provide comments to the NCADAC 
on its content. A full year is planned to review and revise the report, 
with a planned release in mid-2013. Technical inputs should be provided 
well in advance of these deadlines, with target dates for activities 
and inputs as follows:
     Now-Summer 2011: Expressions of interest; Initial work 
plans.
     Now-Fall 2011: Teams conduct activities (workshops, 
literature reviews, modeling runs, etc.).
     December 2011-February 1, 2012: Initial inputs, including 
draft reports.
     March 1, 2012: Final inputs, including full reports.
     After March 1, 2012: Continued development and delivery of 
ongoing assessment capacity.

While the NCADAC welcomes inputs to the NCA, it is not able to make 
commitments about how these inputs will be used in the 2013 NCA report. 
In addition, neither the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) nor 
the NCADAC are responsible for funding the work of teams that choose to 
provide inputs. This notice pertains only to the underlying data, 
reports, other technical inputs, and assessment capacities offered to 
the NCA, and not to the writing of the 2013 NCA report, which is under 
the purview of the NCADAC. Although the emphasis in this RFI is on 
contributions made in time for the 2013 NCA report, contributions that 
are not received in time for the report will be retained and may be 
used in the ongoing, sustained assessment process. Some assessment 
contributions may be specifically targeted to such an ongoing process.
    All submissions will be provided to the NCADAC. Ultimately, 
technical inputs that are determined to meet information quality and 
scientific rigor standards (expected to be developed by the NCADAC in 
the coming months) may be posted in the publicly-accessible NCA online 
database. In the interim, teams are encouraged to review Federal 
information quality requirements (available from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/fedreg/reproducible2.pdf ) 
for general guidance.
    Response Instructions: General comments and expressions of interest 
should be submitted via e-mail to Emily Therese Cloyd, NCA Public 
Participation and Engagement Coordinator, at ecloyd@usgcrp.gov. The 
suggested format for the expressions of interest is described below.
    Comments and expressions of interest may be submitted at any time 
and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
    Responses to this notice cannot be accepted by the government to 
form a binding contract or issue a grant. Information obtained as a 
result of this request may be used by the government for program 
planning on a non-attribution basis. Do not include any information 
that might be considered proprietary or confidential.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Any questions about the content of 
this request should be sent to Emily Therese Cloyd, NCA Public 
Participation and Engagement Coordinator, US Global Change Research 
Program Office, 1717 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Suite 250, Washington, DC 
20006, Telephone (202) 223-6262, Fax (202) 223-3065, e-mail 
ecloyd@usgcrp.gov. For more information about the NCA process, 
including the strategic plan, proposed report outline, and information 
about the NCADAC, please visit http://assessment.globalchange.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Background. The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is being 
conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program 
(USGCRP), pursuant to the Global Change Research Act of 1990, Section 
106, which requires that: ``On a periodic basis (not less frequently 
than every 4 years), the Council [the National Science and Technology 
Council], through the Committee [the Global Change Research Committee], 
shall prepare and submit to the President and Congress an assessment 
which--
    1. Integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the 
[USGCR] Program and discusses the scientific uncertainties associated 
with such findings;
    2. Analyzes the effects of global change and the natural 
environment, agriculture, energy production and use,

[[Page 41218]]

land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, 
human social systems, and biological diversity; and
    3. Analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and 
natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 
years.''
    Previous NCA reports have been built largely around Federal agency-
led studies and technical reports and have primarily drawn on the peer-
reviewed literature, but have also in special cases included unique 
data collections or technical inputs from various outside sources. 
These inputs, including the agency-led Synthesis and Assessment 
Products (2006-2009), have informed the Federal advisory committees 
that produced integrated, comprehensive NCA reports in 2000 and 2009. 
With this notice, the National Assessment Development and Advisory 
Committee (NCADAC) is specifically seeking contributions of technical 
inputs and/or offers of assessment capacity from non-Federal sources.
    Although the 2013 NCA report and subsequent reports will continue 
to depend heavily on Federal agency leadership and corresponding 
technical reports, the NCADAC recognizes and seeks to leverage the 
important and growing distributed science capabilities and core 
competencies across the U.S. Indeed, it is a goal of the NCA process to 
increase assessment capacity both within and outside of the Federal 
government. Expertise within state and local governments, non-
governmental organizations, impacted communities, professional 
societies, and private industry represent currently untapped assets and 
diverse scientific and technical perspectives, especially as they 
relate to the value of climate and global change information for 
decision making. Managing and reconciling such diverse viewpoints will 
not be easy, but ultimately, if done correctly and well, will result in 
future NCA reports that are better informed and more useful for 
decision makers both inside and outside of Federal government. The 
inputs requested here will become a resource to be considered by the 
NCADAC and should not be confused with the chapters of the NCA report 
itself. All inputs received, including both technical inputs and offers 
of assessment capacity, will be made available to the NCADAC. The 
USGCRP cannot arrange for or provide funding to support the work of 
teams that express interest in providing inputs to the NCA.
    A full draft of the NCA report is anticipated by mid-2012, so that 
scientific and subject-matter experts and the broader public will have 
sufficient time to review the draft and provide comments to the NCADAC 
on its content. A full year is planned to review and revise the report, 
with a planned release in mid-2013. Technical inputs should be provided 
well in advance of these deadlines, with target dates for activities 
and inputs as follows:
     Now-Summer 2011: Expressions of interest; Initial work 
plans.
     Now-Fall 2011: Teams conduct activities (workshops, 
literature reviews, modeling runs, etc.).
     December 2011-February 1, 2012: Initial inputs, including 
draft reports.
     March 1, 2012: Final inputs, including full reports.
     After March 1, 2012: Continued development and delivery of 
ongoing assessment capacity.

Teams are encouraged to provide their inputs as quickly as possible 
(i.e., ahead of these target dates), to facilitate review by the 
NCADAC. Failure to provide inputs in a timely way means that the 
information may not be considered in the preparation of the 2013 
report, although it could still be considered with respect to 
subsequent assessment products or be made available online as an NCA 
resource if documentation requirements have been met.
    For more information on the NCA process, including the strategic 
plan, proposed report outline, and information about the NCADAC, please 
visit http://assessment.globalchange.gov.
    Request for Expressions of Interest. Teams of experts and/or 
individuals in climate-related fields (``teams'') are invited to submit 
expressions of interest (EOI) in providing technical inputs and/or 
offering assessment capacity (collectively ``inputs'') on one or more 
topics related to National Climate Assessment regional, sectoral, and 
cross-cutting topics proposed for the 2013 report and to the ongoing 
NCA process. The full list of topics proposed for the report and 
information about the ongoing NCA process is available from http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/backgroundprocess.
    Teams are encouraged to maximize transparency, openness, and 
information quality in their inputs. Only inputs centered on documented 
evidence, expert elicitation, and defensible scientific foundations are 
likely to be considered by the NCADAC. Peer reviewed literature and 
public data sources should be cited to the maximum extent feasible. Any 
data that are used in these inputs need to be publicly available, the 
analyses and approaches should be documented, and the conclusions able 
to be confirmed by independent scientific evaluation processes. 
Ultimately, such inputs will help populate an online database of NCA-
related activities and products, which will be made available to the 
NCADAC and to the general public. Teams are encouraged to also publish 
their inputs via other methods (e.g., in scientific or technical 
journals).
    Teams interested in providing inputs to the NCA are encouraged to 
review the ``Potential Technical Inputs and Assessment Capacities'' and 
``Suggested Best Practices'' available online at http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/backgroundprocess/notices 
and to prepare a short EOI (up to but not exceeding two pages, plus a 
list of key participants and affiliations) describing their anticipated 
inputs. All EOIs submitted in response to this notice must include a 
primary point of contact and contact information (phone number, mailing 
address, e-mail address, Web site if applicable, institutional 
affiliation(s) if applicable). In addition, it is recommended that EOIs 
include:
     NCA topic(s) of interest, including
    [cir] Scope and specific range of issues to be addressed (reference 
NCA report outline topics and/or NCA objectives).
    [cir] Spatial and temporal scales as appropriate.
    [cir] Plans for developing and/or using scenarios that will frame 
the analysis.
     A short description of the specific input(s) that the team 
intends to provide (see ``Potential Technical Inputs and Assessment 
Capacities'' available online at http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/backgroundprocess/notices), including the ability to 
provide adequate resources to support the creation of these inputs in a 
timely manner
     Background information about the team and sponsoring 
organization(s)
    [cir] Team members.
    [squf] Names and affiliations.
    [squf] Short biographies (preferably 1 paragraph each, no more than 
1 page per person) of key team members, including areas of expertise, 
previous assessment experience, and current role in the climate/global 
change arena.
    [cir] Sponsoring organization(s), if appropriate.
    [squf] Short history and mission.
    [squf] Current role in the climate/global change arena.
    [squf] Number and type of members, stakeholders, or general public 
served by the organization.
    [squf] Typical scale(s) at which the organization works and/or has 
expertise (international, national, regional/state, or local).

[[Page 41219]]

    [squf] Type of organization (government, private sector, non-
profit, academia, etc.).

EOIs should be submitted via e-mail to Emily Therese Cloyd, NCA Public 
Participation and Engagement Coordinator, at ecloyd@usgcrp.gov. Ms. 
Cloyd will direct EOIs, as appropriate, to NCA coordinators for the 
relevant topics and to appropriate members of the NCADAC. Teams may 
also contact Ms. Cloyd with additional questions or comments about the 
NCA report and process.
    EOIs may be submitted at any time and will be reviewed on a rolling 
basis; teams should expect acknowledgement of receipt of their EOI 
within two weeks of submission. EOIs will be shared with the NCADAC. 
EOIs will not be used as pre-approval mechanisms for the submission of 
inputs; any feedback provided on submitted EOIs will be primarily aimed 
at ensuring inputs will be responsive to the needs of the NCA. EOIs 
will allow the NCADAC to anticipate contributions from teams and 
facilitate coordination and cooperation across teams that express 
interest in similar topics. The purpose of the EOIs and any subsequent 
involvement of NCA staff and the NCADAC is not to constrain the efforts 
of teams, but rather to improve coverage, identify gaps, and reduce 
redundancies amongst all of the inputs. Ultimately, the inputs remain 
the work of the teams that produce them and will be presented as such 
to the NCADAC.

    Dated: July 6, 2011.
Terry Bevels,
Deputy Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Office of 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-17379 Filed 7-12-11; 8:45 am]
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