Federal Coordinating Lead Authors:
Leah Nichols, National Science Foundation
Robert Vallario, U.S. Department of Energy
Chapter Lead:
Leon Clarke, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Chapter Authors:
Mohamad Hejazi, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Jill Horing, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Anthony C. Janetos, Boston University
Katharine Mach, Stanford University
Michael Mastrandrea, Carnegie Institution for Science
Marilee Orr, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Benjamin L. Preston, Rand Corporation
Patrick Reed, Cornell University
Ronald D. Sands, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Dave D. White, Arizona State University
Review Editor:
Kai Lee, Williams College (Emeritus) and the Packard Foundation (Retired)
USGCRP Coordinators:
Kristin Lewis, Senior Scientist
Natalie Bennett, Adaptation and Assessment Analyst

Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems


Process Description

The scope of this chapter was developed to fill a gap in previous National Climate Assessments (NCAs), notably the risks that emerge from interactions among sectors. Previous NCAs have touched on this subject, for example the energy, water, and land use chapter in the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA3). However, these assessments never included a chapter specifically focused on a general treatment of this topic. Emerging scientific research is highlighting the links between sectors and the potential complexity and implications of these interactions, from complex system dynamics such as cascading failures to management approaches and approaches to risk. These concepts were then incorporated into a detailed terms of reference for the chapter, outlining the scope and the general content to be included in the document.

The author team for this chapter was constructed to bring together the necessary diverse experience, expertise, and perspectives. Our authors brought expertise and experience in multiscale, multisector research and modeling, with a focus in specific sectors or sectoral combinations including critical infrastructure, energy–water–land interactions, and ecosystems. The authors also had expertise in complex systems science and previous experience in assessment processes.

The chapter was developed through technical discussions, a literature review, and expert deliberation by chapter authors through email and phone discussions. The team evaluated the state of the science on the analysis of sectoral interdependencies, compounding stressors, and complex system science. Case studies were drawn from a range of sources intended to represent the key themes in the chapter.


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