Consensus Report

Review of the Draft Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2) (2018)

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This review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine evaluates the draft Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2) -- a report that feeds into the overall climate science assessment process developed by the U.S. Global Climate Research Program. The SOCCR2 assessment aims to elucidate the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the carbon cycle and to discuss the challenges of accounting for all major carbon stocks and flows for the North American continent. This assessment can provide an important foundation for making a wide variety of societal decisions about land use and natural resource management, climate change mitigation strategies, urban planning, and energy production and consumption.

The review finds the draft SOCCR2 is a very informative overview of the current scientific understanding of carbon cycle dynamics across North America. Some recommendations to strengthen the draft assessment include: providing consistency in how carbon sources and sinks are described across various chapters and figures; clarifying ambiguities in the geographic scope of the assessment; focusing key findings on describing specifically what has been learned from new research; and expanding discussion of opportunities for effective management of carbon sources and sinks.

This review will be used to strengthen the draft SOCCR2 for its final release expected later in 2018.