5.4 Climate Services Clearinghouse: A new perspective on climate products and services within the United States

Wednesday, 22 June 2005: 8:45 AM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Genevieve E. Maricle, Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ; and R. A. Pielke Jr.

Climate-sensitive decision makers want information that will allow them to plan, adjust, and adapt to climate variability. Because they often have to plan a season, a year, or several years in advance for relatively small geographic areas, they want climate products on these spatial and temporal scales. The climate services enterprise is a response to this desire. Climate researchers regularly produce climate products that intend to meet decision maker needs. Yet recent research indicates that many decision makers do not consider climate products in their planning decisions. They do not know what is available or where to go to find what they need. In other words, they lack a comprehensive perspective of available climate products.

Additionally, because of the expansive and diverse nature of the climate services enterprise, program managers and researchers also lack a comprehensive perspective on the breadth of climate services. This hinders their efforts to a) transfer research into useful products, b) evaluate the breadth of climate research underway, and c) consider user needs in the research priority setting process.

Both producers and consumers of climate information need a broad perspective on available products in order to use what is available and produce what is needed. To accomplish this, climate products and services must be better coordinated in a central location. The current lack of coordination fosters a mismatch between scientific output and decision maker interests.

The Climate Services Clearinghouse (CSC), an online searchable database of all climate services across sectors, seeks to provide the coordination and perspective necessary to improve the decision process for end users, climate researchers, and program managers. It offers one-stop shopping for all climate services within the United States. This presentation will provide an overview and discussion of the CSC's new search interface, the rationale behind it, and the context in which the CSC operates, as well as planned future CSC collaborations.

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