Town Hall Meeting: Community Perspectives for Accelerating Advances in Weather, Climate and Earth-System Monitoring, Prediction and Services

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Monday, 24 January 2011: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
618-620 (Washington State Convention Center)

This Town Hall Meeting will address the willingness, readiness and capacity of the natural and social-science research community to establish an international Earth-system Prediction Initiative to provide research and services required to accelerate advances in weather, climate and Earth-system prediction, and the use of this information by global and national societies. This proposed Initiative developed out of the emerging dialogue between scientists and political, economic and social stakeholders, in response to today’s and future societal priories for environmental information and services. Elements of the Initiative are introduced in a compendium of papers appearing in the October 2010 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) (Shapiro, et al.:; Nobre, et al.:; Brunet, et al.:; Shukla, et al.: and in the Belmont Report (, and in the Belmont Report,, prepared by scientists associated with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) World Weather Research Programme (WWRP), World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and natural-hazards and socioeconomic communities. It will build upon the WMO, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and national operational and research agencies to develop implement and coordinate the effort across the weather, climate, Earth-system, natural-hazards, and socioeconomic disciplines. It will contribute to the development and implementation of monitoring and prediction systems that integrate physical, biogeochemical, and societal processes in a unified Earth-system framework. To be successful, this endeavour demands collaborations among physical and social scientists to facilitate: i) global Earth-system analysis and prediction models that account for physical, chemical, biological and societal processes in a coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–ice system; ii) an international-to-regional framework that links observed and predicted climate and weather to seamless interactions and feedbacks with biogeochemistry, biology, and socioeconomic impacts and drivers, e.g., demography; global policy constraints; technology innovations. Advances in global-to-regional Earth-system weather and climate monitoring, prediction and applications would be accelerated through: i) investments in maintaining existing and new observation systems; ii) enhancement of existing national operational capabilities; iii) support for academic engagement; iv) establishment of multinational, regional interdisciplinary-research centers with high-performance computing facilities and cyber infrastructure. The global scope of the effort required to accelerate advances in Earth-system monitoring, prediction and services is inescapable. Unprecedented international collaboration and goodwill are necessary for success. As nations, we have collaborated to advance global observing systems, weather forecasting, climate prediction, communication networks, and emergency preparedness and response. We must now extend this collaboration to embrace the full Earth system and the next frontier of socioeconomic and environmental applications of our science. Our community and supporting organizations are poised for the discoveries ahead and the opportunity to make our information available to users and decision makers to meet the needs of society. The Town Hall includes a Panel comprised of lead authors of the BAMS papers and Belmont Report, and representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Naval Research (ONR), and National Science Foundation (NSF). For additional information, please contact Mel Shapiro (e-mail:
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