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CR 14:153-159 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/cr014153

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Assessment: motivation and approach

A. Fisher1,*, R. Neff2, E. J. Barron3

1Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, 2Department of Geography, and 3Earth Systems Science Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

ABSTRACT: The US Global Change Research Program has initiated a National Assessment of potential impacts from climate change. This paper summarizes the National Assessment process, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Assessment (MARA) as an example of how the process is being implemented. At the national level, 5 sectoral working groups are assessing impacts on agriculture, forests, freshwater resources, coastal zones and human health. Because different areas of the country will experience impacts to differing degrees, regional assessments simultaneously are examining sectoral impacts identified as likely to be most important within each of 18 US regions. An independent panel of experts, the National Assessment Synthesis Team, is synthesizing the sectoral and regional findings for a national report that provides regional texture. The approach adopted for the MARA is described in the context of the National Assessment process. Such a complex undertaking relies on multiple extensive data sets. The MARA approach to managing the diverse data sets is outlined as a potential guide for similar efforts.

KEY WORDS: Climate change impacts · National assessment · Regional assessment · Data management

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