Climate change can endanger human health, affecting all sectors of society, both domestically and globally. The environmental consequences of a changing climate, both those already observed and those that are anticipated, such as sea level rise, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and drought, extended heat waves, and intensified hurricanes and storms, will affect human health both directly and indirectly. This Town Hall Meeting will focus on the human health effects that may be driven by climate-scale events and the progress of federal action and assessment of the issue. Input and engagement from attendees will be sought regarding the future direction of climate and health research, assessment of and adaptation to climate change in different regions and sectors, and input toward health-specific aspects of the National Climate Assessment.
For additional information, please contact Tanya Maslak, (tel: 202-419-3474; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
In recent years, the weather enterprise has been making strides toward providing additional forecast detail using high-resolution ensemble prediction systems and probabilistic information. Uncertainty is an inherent part of every forecast, and probabilistic forecasts can be used to quantify this uncertainty. However, the methods of communicating and utilizing probabilities remain a significant challenge. Individual decision makers must know how to appropriately apply probabilistic information to their specific decision processes in order to realize its full value, and the probabilistic information needed varies widely between different applications. Many unresolved challenges related to the effective presentation and comprehension of probabilistic information have been discussed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO; see WMO/TD No. 4122, Guidelines on Communicating Forecast Uncertainty), the National Research Council (NRC; see the NRC report Completing the Forecast), and the AMS Ad Hoc Committee on Uncertainty in Forecasts (Generating and Communicating Forecast Uncertainty).
The best designed and fully calibrated ensemble prediction system in the world will only provide additional value if decisions are appropriately influenced by the new probabilistic information. The AMS Board for Operational Government Meteorologists and the 24th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/20th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction are sponsoring this Town Hall Meeting to discuss the forecaster’s role in communicating forecast uncertainty, which is necessary to achieve full utilization of probabilities in decision making by users of weather information. Currently, the forecaster often plays the role of decision maker by issuing advisories and warnings when the threat of high-impact weather exceeds key “one size fits all” thresholds. Ideally, decision makers would all use forecast probabilities combined with their own assessment of their sensitivity to weather to achieve the best possible decision. In reality, decision makers have many factors to consider in addition to weather, and the forum will discuss appropriate future roles for forecasters in ensuring that decision makers can effectively utilize complex environmental uncertainty information.
For additional information, please contact Andrew Molthan, NASA MSFC (tel: 256-961-7474; e-mail: email@example.com).
For quite some time, climate change has been the major issue of our community receiving attention in the halls of the U.S. Congress. With hope for a climate bill all but gone, and the needs of the country increasing around severe weather issues, the weather community needs to strategize ways to catch the attention of Congress and the administration with a fresh set of weather-related research and development priorities.
The National Research Council’s Committee on Progress and Priorities of the U.S. Weather Research and Research-to-Operations Activities recently (2010) published the report When Weather Matters: Science and Services to Meet Critical Societal Needs. The report “puts forth the committee’s best judgment on the most pressing high-level, weather-focused research challenges and research-to-operations needs and makes corresponding recommendations….” It also identifies three important “emerging” issues—very high-impact weather, urban meteorology, and renewable energy development—that were not identified (or were largely undervalued) in previous studies. When Weather Matters joins two other recent reports that address related needs and provide recommendations for the future—Observing Weather and Climate from the Ground Up: A Nationwide Network of Networks, also from the NRC, and the 2009 Community Review of NCEP, carried out by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. The recommendations and priorities put forth by these three reports will be considered at this Town Hall Meeting.
Curious about the status of the Climate Service since NOAA Under Secretary Lubchenco’s Presidential Forum luncheon at the 2009 Annual Meeting? Come hear the latest developments on The Climate Service from NOAA leadership and program officials, ask questions and share your thoughts during Part I of a two-part NOAA Update on the Climate Service. The January 24th session will highlight progress since the 2009 Annual Meeting, review NOAA’s strategic framework for the Climate Service and explore next steps.
Part II of this NOAA Climate Service Town Hall, scheduled for 7:00-8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, January 25th, will provide an opportunity to meet NOAA’s six Regional Climate Services Directors and engage in a dialogue on regional climate services with NOAA and its partners including Regional Climate Centers, American Association of State Climatologists, Regional Integrated Science and Assessment (RISA) programs, universities and the private sector as well as other Federal agencies. Pastries and coffee/tea will be provided for this early morning session.
For additional information, please contact Eileen Shea, NOAA National Climatic Data Center (e-mail: Eileen.Shea@noaa.gov).
As the nation weighs the benefits and costs of various energy sources, and states adopt renewable portfolio standards, electric system operators face significant challenges to integrating weather-driven energy sources. The variable nature of wind and solar energy requires new information and practices for operating our nation’s electric grid. System operators must constantly square the energy supply and demand within a given balancing authority. To ensure a reliable source of electricity, utility companies maintain dispatchable energy reserves, such as coal and natural gas, on-line and running, but at reduced operating levels. Without accurate forecasts of weather-driven renewable energy production, utility companies must maintain an excess number of fossil fuel plants running to ensure it can meet energy demand. More accurate weather forecasts are needed to help utility companies know with greater precision when, where, and how much wind or solar energy can be generated to balance the energy supply with demand. More accurate weather forecasts are required to obtain the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and financial savings derived as a result of using less fossil fuel.
Several recent grid integration studies assess the costs, benefits, impacts, and challenges of using larger and larger amounts of variable energy resources, such as wind and solar energy. These reports find that market changes and improved forecasts, in addition to improved transmission resources, are needed to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable energy.
Looking to the future, long-term predictions of renewable energy resources are needed to support sound decision making concerning the siting of renewable energy projects and for long-range market planning. In addition, the possibility of using waves, tides, and currents (marine and hydrokinetic energy) and offshore wind to produce electricity calls for increased understanding of these resources and how they could be used in an environmentally sound way. New observations are required to achieve the advances in predictions across a range of time scales to support renewable energy development.
This Town Hall Meeting will build upon the work done at several AMS meetings in the last two years and the efforts of the Commission on the Weather and Climate Enterprise and its Renewable Energy Subcommittee to help identify appropriate roles for private industry, academia, and government sectors in developing renewable energy. Effective collaboration among these sectors is essential for integrating large amounts of weather-driven renewable resources into the nation’s energy supply.
For additional information, please contact Melinda Marquis (e-mail: Melinda.Marquis@noaa.gov).
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.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010BAMS2944.1;
Nobre, et al.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010BAMS3012.1;
Brunet, et al.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010BAMS3013.1;
Shukla, et al.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010BAMS2900.1) and in the Belmont Report (http://www.icsu.org/1_icsuinscience/ENVI_BELMONT.html), and in the Belmont Report, http://www.icsu.org/1_icsuinscience/ENVI_BELMONT.html, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org)
This Town Hall Meeting session will provide an opportunity for the earth science community to interact with members of the leadership team and staff of the Earth Science Division (ESD) of the national Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Science Mission Directorate. Brief presentations by the ESD leadership will precede a longer opportunity for audience questions. Topics to be addressed in the Town Hall Meeting include the scientific accomplishments and programmatic milestones from the past year, the current programmatic directions, and NASA’s progress towards implementing foundational missions and those identified by the National Research Council’s 2007 Earth Science Decadal Survey, entitled Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, and those enabled by the Obama administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget, which enabled a new class of climate missions, a significantly expanded Venture-class program, and augmentations to the nonflight program (research and analysis, applied sciences, technology).
For additional information, please contact Jack A. Kaye (tel: 202-358-0757; e-mail: Jack.A.Kaye@nasa.gov).
It is not surprising to anyone that whenever you have a large gathering of people in confined spaces the people themselves have an impact on the environment around them. Whether it is the warming of the room we often feel or the undetectable CO2 we exhale every time we breathe, humans are changing their surroundings in many ways.
To convey the message that humans modify the environment no matter what we do, two portable monitoring systems will be set up to measure three simple parameters at the 2011 AMS annual meeting: temperature, water vapor, and CO2. Through these measurements, an attempt will be made to infer the human impact as it relates to large gatherings. To understand the impact fully, the number of people in a given space, the volume those people occupy during a given time interval, and how the Washington State Convention Center is controlling the environment will need to be known, in addition to the data measurements.
Students will be trained to operate the instrumentation and collect the data. Instrumentation, system integration, and help with student training will be graciously provided by Campbell Scientific, LI-COR, and Vaisala Inc., long-time corporate sponsors of the AMS. Samplings will be done during the AMS Student Conference, WeatherFest, and the Monday morning Presidential Forum, as well as the Monday evening Exhibit Hall Opening.
During this Town Hall Meeting, David Sailor, professor of mechanical engineering at Portland State University, will be discussing the measurements and put them into context by discussing how people in cities impact their environment through the release of energy.
For additional information, please contact Dave Chapman (e-mail: Dave.Chapman@okemosschools.net) or Dan Wolf (e-mail: Daniel.Wolfe@noaa.gov).
The National Weather Service (NWS) strategic plan describes in broad terms the future directions NWS believes it must take to meet society’s growing needs for weather, water, climate, and related information. The plan has been developed as part of an open dialog with the entire community, including public comments on a final draft. At this Town Hall Meeting, NWS will describe its approach to the final NWS strategic plan, including the context for this plan created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s next-generation strategic plan. A lively discussion is anticipated.
For additional information, please contact Ed Johnson, director, Strategic Planning and Policy, National Weather Service (e-mail: email@example.com).