photo of clouds

Morning sky above Boulder, Colorado


Because many environmental policy-setting institutions rely on clear scientific information for decisions, CSD 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 CSD researchers are among those who have contributed to the IPCC reports.

Recent international and national assessments for which CSD has provided leadership or other contributions:

Additional detail on CSD's specific roles in these assessments can be found in two documents developed for the 2015 CSD Science Review: Research Accomplishments and Plans: 2008-2014 PDF file and Supporting Information: 2008-2014 PDF file

U.S. regional assessments for government

CSD 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, CSD identifies information needs, and then designs and carries out research studies to meet those needs. CSD 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 PDF file, workshops, scientific meetings, and several publications in the peer-reviewed literature
  • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - Provided a rapid-turnaround report on air chemistry during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; the report gave unique and urgently needed information about air quality in the vicinity and downwind of the DWH spill site
  • 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 PDF file 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 CSD measurements near oil and gas fields north of Denver