6.6 Delivering climate projections at regional scales to support adaptation planning: a new NOAA effort

Wednesday, 20 July 2011: 11:45 AM
Swannanoa (Asheville Renaissance)
Andrea J. Ray, NOAA, Boulder, CO; and D. Anderson, R. B. Rood, and J. J. Barsugli

NOAA is developing a pilot effort for a capability to deliver climate projections at regional scales across the nation, in order to support a wide range of adaptation efforts by public policy and planning, from urban planning to ecosystems sustainability and management. The initial pilot effort will utilize model output and analyses from previous IPCC studies, such as those available from the DOE LLNL PCMDI archive and the NARCCAP datasets, and will also incorporate IPCC CMIP5 datasets as they become available. New global model datasets applicable to US decision support will be generated through access to IPCC-vetted, publically available and documented models. Application of downscaling approaches – both statistical and dynamical -- will be evaluated through community interaction in order to support decisions at regional scales. Over the longer-term, this effort will evolve into a capability to support state-of-the-art approaches and applications of downscaled climate projection information to support regional decision making, including facilitating better connectivity of high resolution data with decision processes and models.

This effort addresses the need articulated by the White House Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force for science inputs to adaptation decisions and policy. The effort has considerable science challenges as well as challenges in meeting the needs of the end user community.

This talk will discuss plans for addressing near-term and longer-term needs for regional climate information and for linking this information to policy and planning, Regional climate information is defined for this effort as decision-scale climate projections over time scales ranging from seasonal to inter-annual out to a century or so. Initially, this effort will engage three key user communities through collaborative efforts, a) the Regional Integrated Science and Assessment network and other NOAA regional networks including those for marine ecosystems and coastal sustainability, b) the National Assessment and regional and sectoral studies as part of that effort, and c) the Department of Interior (DOI) via a recently signed DOI-Department of Commerce (DOC) Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on climate-related activities.

In summary, this effort is envisioned as an intellectual partnership among the broader communities of modelers and end users. As a result of a process of engaging with these communities, NOAA will develop scientifically credible climate projection capabilities and products with ancillary information to articulate uncertainty, explain methods, and articulate best practices for uses of projections. The ultimate result of this community process will be vetted scientific products that NOAA stands behind to support long-range decisions at regional scales.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner