Panel Discussion 2 Saving more lives and livelihoods in the next century:  The era of operational ecological forecasting

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
254A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Host: Eighth Symposium on the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise
Marie C. Colton, Hydros, LLC, Midlothian, VA
Gary C. Matlock, NOAA, OAR, Silver Spring, MD; Michael Dietze, Boston Univ., Boston, MA and Ru Morrison, Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), Portsmouth, NH

Operational weather forecasting is a testament to the scientific creativity and rapid technological advances of the past century, marked this year with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the AMS.  Coupled with an urgent public need for improved weather information and a culture of service in the meteorological community, the domestic and international capabilities that provide accurate and timely weather forecasts have saved countless lives and protected property and livelihoods.  This first century of forecasting in the “Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise” evolved due from a national commitment to reliable and extensive observations, an advanced modeling community, an ever growing infrastructure of communications and information technology, an exceptionally trained workforce that puts mission first, and the extraordinary growth of private sector businesses and associated innovations. In fact, the economic scale of the weather industry is cited as being nearly a one trillion-dollar national enterprise, and the impacts of weather disasters or savings from avoidance of loss are regularly measured at multi-billion dollar levels.

While weather forecasting was developing under the critical eye of the public over one hundred years, similar major advances were being made in life and social sciences.  Continuous observing networks both terrestrial and oceanic are now established, advanced ecosystem models have developed, in-situ biological observations are routinely real-time, high resolution and digital, and decision-based methodologies have matured in a realm that must account for behavior in addition to physics.  With weather and climate understanding as a backdrop, the interdisciplinary components necessary to “predict nature” for the outcomes of saving lives both human and animal, forecasting environmental changes critical to national policy and actions, and anticipating natural crises before lives are lost are now possible.  Given that the “natural capital” industries that trade in water, food, energy, biodiversity and support life on Earth are evaluated at twice the Global Domestic Product of all countries, it is time to harness the power of operational weather and ecosystems forecasts to deliver the next generation of products and services that include living and natural resources.

The Committee on Ecological Forecasting invites you to a Panel Discussion and interactive session that introduces the concepts of ecological forecasts vis a vis weather forecasts, identifies recent operational capabilities and stakeholder requirements, and discusses the critical intersections of public, academic, private sector, and professional society roles and opportunities for this next forecasting Enterprise.  

8:30 AM
Panel Discussion

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