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These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions (2006)

Social science research conducted since the late 1970s has contributed greatly to society's ability to mitigate and adapt to natural, technological, and willful disasters. However, as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and other recent events, hazards and disaster research and its application could be improved greatly. In particular, more studies should b... More >>

Report in Brief

Completing the Forecast: Characterizing and Communicating Uncertainty for Better Decisions Using Weather and Climate Forecasts (2006)

Uncertainty is a fundamental characteristic of weather, seasonal climate, and hydrological prediction, and no forecast is complete without a description of its uncertainty. Effective communication of uncertainty helps people better understand the likelihood of a particular event and improves their ability to make decisions based on the forecast. Nonetheless, for decades, users of these forecasts have been conditioned to receive incomplet... More >>

Report in Brief

Preliminary Principles and Guidelines for Archiving Environmental and Geospatial Data at NOAA: Interim Report (2006)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects and manages a wide range of environmental and geospatial data to fulfill its mission requirements -- data that stretch from the surface of the sun to the core of the earth, and affect every aspect of society. With limited resources and enormous growth in data volumes, NOAA asked the National Academies for advice on how to archive and provide access to these data. This interi... More >>

CLEANER and NSF's Environmental Observatories (2006)

Degradation of the nation's water resources threatens the health of humans and the functioning of natural ecosystems. To help better understand the causes of these adverse impacts and how they might be more effectively mitigated, especially in urban and human-stressed aquatic systems, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has proposed the establishment of a Collaborative Large-scale Engineering Analysis Network for Environmental Researc... More >>

State and Federal Standards for Mobile Source Emissions (2006)

Emissions from mobile sources contribute significantly to air pollution in the United States. Such sources include cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks; diesel-powered cranes, bulldozers, and tractors; and equipment such as lawnmowers that run on small gasoline engines. The role of state versus federal government in establishing mobile-source emissions standards is an important environmental management issue. With this in mind, Congress calle... More >>

Report in Brief