The strategic vision for the National Climate Assessment (NCA) includes a commitment to a long-term, consistent, and ongoing process for evaluation of climate risks and opportunities that will inform decision-making processes within regions and sectors. Basic questions that the NCA must address regarding a sustained assessment process relate to the range of activities that may be involved in such a process and the best means of effective and cost-efficient implementation. An essential component of the sustained assessment process is to establish sustained assessment capacity both inside and outside of the federal government that draws on and sustains the work of stakeholders and scientists across the country. The process also will focus on a continuous evaluation of the current state of scientific knowledge relative to climate impacts and trends, on supporting the Nation's activities in adaptation and mitigation, and on improving the use of models and tools. The benefits include increased efficiency and leveraging of existing federal science investments, deeper stakeholder involvement, a more effective knowledge base for adaptation and mitigation decision support, and a way to inform science priorities over time.
To help guide development and implementation of the sustained assessment, the NCA federal advisory committee (the NCA Development and Advisory Committee or NCADAC) is developing a blueprint--a workplan--for moving forward in coordination with the federal agencies whose role and commitment to the process will be vital. This plan is currently under preparation and will be made available for public review once a comprehensive draft is completed. Workplan development is being informed by the various ongoing engagement activities of the NCA. In addition to the workplan, the 2013 Assessment report will include a chapter related to the sustained assessment that will paint an overall vision for the process and its benefits to the NCA and the nation.