6.1 Tracking Climate Service Requests and Needs in the Southeast

Wednesday, 20 July 2011: 10:30 AM
Swannanoa (Asheville Renaissance)
Kirstin Dow, Carolinas Integrated Sciences & Assessments, Columbia, SC; and R. Boyles, M. Brooks, C. E. Konrad, P. Knox, and D. F. Zierden

Climate variability and change are receiving increasing amounts of attention by a variety of businesses, industries, state agencies, municipalities, and other interests. Some of this interest translates into requests for information from climate service providers. In support of the National Climate Assessment, a group of climate service providers in the southeastern US has developed a systematic approach to track requests to their offices and identify local as well as regional climate information needs and capacities. This group includes the Southeast Regional Climate Center, the state climate offices of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Virginia as well as the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments and the Southeast Climate Consortium. The effort to better understand and track climate information needs has three major components. We track inquiries for current climate information to climate sensitive decisions and timing of decisions to inform a decision calendar. The second set of questions relate to the capacity to obtain and work with climate data. We are interested in how climate information may be integrated with other information systems and different sectors are developing capacity to analyze data in-house or relying on private sector consultancy support. The final set of questions addresses current or anticipated needs for climate change projections, including parameters needed, planning horizons, spatial scale, specific to a clients' sector or interest. This paper will report on findings from the first six months of this effort. We will summarize the frequency and types of requests received from each sector and the details of decision calendars identified. The presentation will also review the ways in which climate information is being incorporated into decisions, whether through in-house analysis, consulting assistance, or integration with other types of models or geographic information systems. Finally, we will provide analyses of requests for climate change information for sectors within the Southeast.

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