Reports from the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences released two important reports this week, Science for environmental protection: the road ahead and A national strategy for advancing climate modeling. They'll only be read (and only need to be read) by science policy wonks, but they're both good examples of the excellent work that the Academy does in providing advice to policy makers.

The first report was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency, which asked it "to assess the overall capabilities of the agency to develop, obtain, and use the best available scientific and technologic information and tools to meet persistent, emerging, and future mission challenges and opportunities." Among other findings, this bullet point in the summary caught my attention:

Key areas where enhanced leadership and capacity can strengthen the agency's ability to address current and emerging environmental challenges include: enhanced agency-wide science leadership, more effective coordination and integration of science efforts within the agency, strengthened scientific capacity inside and outside the agency, and support of scientific integrity and quality.
There will be a webinar discussing the second report on September 28. You can find registration information on the website. Here's the bullet point that caught my eye:

To meet national needs for improved climate information over the next several decades, U.S. climate modelers will need to address an expanding breadth of scientific problems while striving to make predictions and projections more accurate. Progress toward this goal can be made through a combination of increasing model resolution, advances in observations, improved model physics, and more complete representations of the Earth system. As a general guideline, priority should be given to climate modeling activities that focus on addressing societal needs and where progress is likely, given adequate resources.