Because many environmental policy-setting institutions rely on clear scientific information for decisions, CSL makes it a priority to assess and translate scientific understanding for constituents. Our researchers play extensive roles in leading, authoring, and reviewing international and national scientific state-of-understanding assessments on climate, air quality, and the stratospheric ozone layer.
As an indication of the value of placed on such assessments, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its role in communicating understanding of climate variability and change through its scientific reports. Several CSL researchers are among those who have contributed to the IPCC reports.
Recent international and national assessments for which CSL has provided leadership or other contributions:
WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessments of Ozone DepletionSince its inception in 1987, the Scientific Assessment Panel has provided state-of-scientific-understanding assessments to underpin the decisions associated with the protection of the Earth's ozone layer through the United Nations Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The most recent assessments were in 2014 and 2018.
Drawing Down N2O to Protect Climate and the Ozone LayerThis 2013 report provides timely information for international discussions, under the Montreal Protocol (Vienna Convention on the Ozone Layer) and the Kyoto Protocol (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), on possible approaches to address anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions.
State of the Climate ReportsAnnual checkups for the planet, led by NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), are based on contributions from more than 500 scientists in 65 countries and offers insight on global climate indicators, extreme weather events, and other important environmental data.
WMO/IGAC Impacts of Megacities on Air Pollution and ClimatePublished in 2012, this asseses the research about megacities and their role in local to global atmospheric chemistry. An assessment of the megacities is important for both scientific communities and policymakers dealing with urbanization, air quality management, and climate.
SPARC Lifetimes of Stratospheric Ozone-Depleting SubstancesThis 2013 report updates the state of understanding on the atmospheric lifetimes of trace gases that are important to climate and stratospheric ozone. This assessment provides key input for international (IPCC and WMO/UNEP) scientific assessments on climate and the ozone layer.
SPARC Water Vapour Assessment (WAVAS)This 2008 update of the first scientific assessment of water vapor includes recent satellite, field, and laboratory measurements, and consolidates evaluation of current understanding concerning processes affecting stratospheric water and its evolution. The effort is under the Stratosphere-troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC) project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Kinetic Data EvaluationThis evaluation dates back to 1977; it provides evaluated chemical kinetics and photochemistry information used in modeling of atmospheric chemistry, and underpins international assessments on the ozone layer and climate. The next evaluation is planned for Fall of 2015.
CSL also provides focused U.S. regional assessments to support air quality and climate decision making at state and local levels of government. Working with stakeholders, CSL identifies information needs, and then designs and carries out research studies to meet those needs. CSL works closely with stakeholders to provide the information in forms that will be most useful, including reports and briefings.
California - Worked with stakeholders in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and EPA Region 9 to design and carry out the 2010 CalNex field mission; communicated findings in a science synthesis report , workshops, scientific meetings, and several publications in the peer-reviewed literature.
Texas - Continued to provide information and analyses to stakeholders in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regarding findings from the 2000 and 2006 Texas Air Quality Studies (TexAQS 2000 and 2006).
Utah - Worked with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and EPA Region 8 to design and carry out three field campaigns (2012, 2013, 2014) to study the air quality implications of oil and gas exploration activities in Uintah County, focusing especially on determining the processes involved in episodes of high surface ozone in wintertime.
Nevada - Worked with the Nevada Clark County Department of Air Quality (DAQ) to carry out field studies in 2013 to investigate the role of stratospheric intrusions during episodes of high surface ozone near Las Vegas, producing a 2013 report for those stakeholders, and returning to better understand the causes of high-ozone events in 2017 based on those findings.
Colorado - Provided scientific information to the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), the lead air quality planning agency for the Denver Metropolitan area; EPA Region 8; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; and local municipalities regarding CSL measurements near oil and gas fields north of Denver.