NOAA administrator names governing panel for national climate assessment advisory committee

May 11, 2011

A senior scientist, a partner in an environmental law firm, and an academic were selected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to lead the advisory committee that will produce the next National Climate Assessment.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, recently announced her selection of Jerry Melillo as chair, and Terese Richmond and Gary Yohe as vice chairs of the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee. Ten others representing industry, academia and government were named to an executive board.

“I am confident these individuals will provide the necessary leadership to successfully meet the challenging task of preparing the next climate assessment for America,” said Lubchenco. “There is a wealth of talent and knowledge among the committee members. Their diverse expertise will result in a comprehensive assessment that enables policy-makers and citizens to make critical decisions about their lives, businesses and communities.”

Melillo is a distinguished scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Richmond is a partner in the GordonDerr, L.L.P. law firm in Seattle, Wash., and Yohe is the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at the Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

The National Climate Assessment compiles and analyzes the latest science and information about current and future effects of climate variability and change across the United States.

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 requires a National Climate Assessment at least every four years. The committee will function as an advisory body to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), acting through the Department of Commerce’s NOAA.

The committee will produce a report that builds on previous findings and analyzes the regional and national effects of current and projected climate change upon a range of sectors, including agriculture, energy, water resources, human health and transportation. Opportunities for public review and comment throughout the development of the assessment will be available, including a public comment period on the draft report.

The committee also will advise the USGCRP on ways to improve and standardize the nation’s capacity to assess climate change impacts, including through ongoing engagement around the nation and across diverse economic sectors such as agriculture, energy and transportation.

The committee's members include individuals from academia, the private sector, local and state government, and the non-profit sector from 22 states. A full list of members and participants is available here. All meetings are open to the public and opportunities for public input will be provided. Meetings and other information can be found online.

USGCRP published the last National Climate Assessment, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” in 2009. The USGCRP, an interagency program comprised of 13 federal agencies, is overseen by a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council, which is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.