87th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 18 January 2007: 9:00 AM
A Climate Services Division-A Second Look
214C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Mark A. Shafer, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK
Poster PDF (160.1 kB)
As the nation deals with seemingly more severe hazards, members of the public are left wondering, what is wrong with our climate? In the context of climate change and climate variability, we have learned that weather is rarely normal. To help citizens cope with their changing local climates, several federal, state, and local agencies have embarked upon initiatives to provide climate services.

Climate services is basically transforming climate data into useable knowledge. For many years a group of state climatologists, regional climate centers, and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) were the principal providers of climate services. Over the past decade, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program Office have dedicated tremendous new resources to the field of climate services. Through the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program, NOAA's Climate Office has actively engaged researchers and operational meteorologists with local stakeholders. To better understand how climate information is interpreted and applied.

The climate services framework today is a dynamic system with multiple points-of-entry. Coordinating activities between NCDC, the regional climate centers, state climate offices, RISAs, the National Weather Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and numerous other providers is a challenge. How to deploy limited resources is an even larger issue when examined through two lenses: (1) the federal budget deficit, and (2) federalism. As budget deficits grow, agencies are being directed to coordinate activities to achieve economies-of-scale. Federalism adds an important component, brining in resources external to the federal government while maintaining the autonomy of non-federal jurisdictions. This presentation will focus upon these two factors as drivers of a new climate services partnership.

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