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May 2 -- The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) seeks public comment on the proposed themes and framework of the Sixth National Climate Assessment (NCA6) as indicated by the Draft Prospectus presented in Part I. Based on input received from this notice, USGCRP will develop an annotated outline, which will be released for public comment at a later date. This notice also requests nominations for volunteer contributors and submission of technical inputs (Parts II and III) and provides notice of planned public engagement events (Part IV) for NCA6. Comments and nominations must be submitted to the web address specified below and received by June 7, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

This FRN contains four parts:

-- Part I is a high-level description of the proposed themes and framework of NCA6. Comment on these themes and framework is requested from the public.
-- Part II is a call for volunteers to participate in NCA6 as authors and technical contributors.
-- Part III requests submission of relevant research for authors to review and consider in developing NCA6.
-- Part IV provides a notice of planned public engagement events throughout the NCA6 development cycle.

The Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a National Climate Assessment (NCA) to Congress and the President not less frequently than every four years that “(1) integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program; (2) analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, 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.”

To date, five NCAs have been released. The first NCA was published in 2000, and the second was published in 2009. The third NCA was published in 2014, and the fourth was released in two volumes and completed in November 2018. The most recent, the fifth NCA, was released in November 2023, and can be found at https://nca2023.globalchange.gov.

NCA6 development will be transparent and inclusive, offering opportunities for diverse public participation throughout the process. The production and review processes are designed to result in a report that is authoritative, timely, relevant, and policy-neutral; valued by authors and users; accessible to the widest possible audience; and fully compliant with the GCRA.

I. Overarching Themes and Framework for NCA6 (Draft Prospectus)

-- Themes: NCA6 will encompass a number of overarching themes and perspectives that respond to needs and gaps identified by previous assessments. We seek inputs on potential overarching themes for the NCA6 report, including on the topics listed below: . . . . We seek comments on these proposed overarching themes, as well as suggestions for potential additional overarching themes.

-- Framework: What follows is a proposed high-level framework intended to guide the scope and content for NCA6. Public comments are sought on all aspects of this proposed framework. The proposed framework includes the following topics:

(A) Introduction and context for NCA6
(B) Foundational physical, social, and biological drivers of past and future climate change
(C) Climate risks and impacts to human health and well-being, social systems, and environments
(D) Regional and, where possible, sub-regional analyses within the United States
(E) Information needed to inform climate change mitigation and adaptation actions, increase resilience, and reduce risks
(F) Updates to the NCA Atlas and other climate services tools

This framework presents the anticipated scope and content of NCA6; it is not an indicator of the final structure of the report. Comments on these general topics, as well as any key scientific advances within a topic, are welcomed . . . . [Detail on each of the framework elements follows.]

II. Call for Authors and Contributors

NCA6 will be written by a group of volunteers with expertise in topics relevant to climate science and global change. Nominations are sought for authors with pertinent subject matter expertise, proficiency, or relevant background, including Indigenous Knowledge holders, in at least one of the topics delineated in the draft prospectus (Part I). Nominations are encouraged from all governmental and nongovernmental sectors.

Submissions must document that nominees have demonstrated backgrounds such that they could contribute to the development of a robust assessment as subject matter experts in one or more of the topics described in the Draft Prospectus (Part I of this FRN) above. In addition, individuals interested in being considered for chapter leadership positions should have experience with leading collaborative teams under deadlines.

Authors volunteering to assist in writing NCA6 are providing an important service to the United States. In addition to providing an opportunity to inform policy, participation in NCA6 will allow authors to expand their professional networks and visibility, and to explore opportunities to create derivative products.

The Federal Government will not provide financial compensation for these roles. The Federal Government is anticipated to provide travel costs to authors to attend meetings if requested for NCA6; however, this is not guaranteed. Formal acknowledgment of participant contributions will be provided to each author and their institution as requested.

NCA6 will attempt to address the full breadth of each topic and seeks a suitably diverse author pool, including Indigenous Knowledge holders, biophysical and social scientists, engineers, planners, and traditionally underrepresented groups. Selection criteria for all author positions will consider expertise, disciplinary background, career status, diversity, and geographic representation.

Nominees may be invited to serve as Chapter Lead Authors, Graphics Development Leads, Authors, or Technical Contributors to NCA6. A Federal Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) selected by the Federal Steering Committee (FSC) will serve as a liaison between the author team and federal agencies.

Chapter Leads (CLs) oversee chapter development by selecting authors, managing author teams, delegating chapter writing assignments, and providing drafts of the chapter to the CLA. CLs are closely involved with the writing process, working to ensure that the content of the chapter is consistent across sections and drafts are delivered on time. CLs will, with input and guidance from the FSC and CLA, establish author teams comprising federal and non-federal experts. Only non-federal experts may serve as CLs. Persons selected as CLs will be informed after the close of the nominations window.

USGCRP seeks nominations with expertise in the areas of climate/Earth system science, as well as sectoral, issue-specific, and regional impacts. This includes expertise in the following broad topic areas (subject to change):

-- Climate/Earth system science expertise to integrate, evaluate, and interpret the latest scientific findings; discuss the associated uncertainties; analyze current trends in global change; and project major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.

-- Sectoral and issue-specific impacts expertise, including in the social sciences, to analyze the effects of global change on the natural environment (including terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems); agriculture (including food and food production); energy production and use; land and water resources (including land cover/land-use change, forests, coasts, oceans, and terrestrial/marine resources); transportation; human health and welfare (including air quality); human social systems (including the built environment, urban/rural systems, cities, and economics); biological diversity; Tribes and Indigenous peoples; and response.

-- Regional expertise that integrates across relevant natural and social science areas for the NCA regions (available at https://www.globalchange.gov/​nca5).

-- Response expertise relevant to NCA6, including (but not limited to) mitigation, adaptation, resilience, or other relevant scientific topics.

-- Any other relevant climate services-related topic or skill set not listed above, including (but not limited to) engineering, planning, architecture, finance, business.

Further, authors are welcome to nominate themselves for topics not listed above that are consistent with the GCRA mandate.

III. Call for Technical Inputs

In addition, this request presents an opportunity to submit relevant scientific/technical inputs to inform the assessment. Any interested parties are encouraged to submit relevant sources of information (e.g., papers, articles, reports, Indigenous Knowledge, and other local knowledge) for the NCA6 author teams to consider and assess for their work. Technical submissions will be accepted electronically via the USGCRP Public Contribution System: https://contribute.globalchange.gov Instructions for submitting technical inputs are available on the website. Submitters may enter text or upload files in response to this notice.

After the closure of this FRN, submissions of technical inputs will still be accepted throughout the NCA6 development process. This call for technical inputs is expected to remain open until the close of the NCA6 call for public comments on the NCA6 Third Order Draft, anticipated to end in early 2027. Additional information on the process for submitting technical inputs can be found after the closure of this FRN on USGCRP's website. See https://www.globalchange.gov/​nca6 for more information.

IV. Notice of Planned Public Engagement Opportunities for NCA6

Multiple opportunities for public engagement to inform NCA6 will be presented throughout the report's development. The following planned public engagement schedule is presented to notify the public of these coming opportunities. The time ranges proposed are subject to change based on the timing of various development stages for NCA6. . . .

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-09575

May 9 Webinar: Opportunities to participate in NCA6 https://www.globalchange.gov/events/sixth-national-climate-assessment-nca6-opportunities-call-authors-technical-inputs-public
May 20 Webinar: Sixth National Climate Assessment (NCA6): Opportunities for Social Scientists https://www.globalchange.gov/events/sixth-national-climate-assessment-nca6-opportunities-social-scientists

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