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The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an “all-scientist” meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation.

Herein we report on themes to integrate the diversity of NACP science and fill significant gaps for understanding and managing the North American carbon cycle: integration among disciplines involving land, atmosphere, and ocean research; strengthening data management infrastructure to support modeling and analysis; identification of study regions that are critical for reducing uncertainties in the North American carbon balance; and integrating biophysical science with the human dimensions of carbon management and decision support.