Thursday, 26 January 2012: 4:00 PM
Integrated Decision Support for Climate Variability and Change
Room 242 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Global leaders are concerned about the impacts of climate variability and change on populations and infrastructure. For adaptation planning, accurate and reliable decision support systems are needed that can deal with multiple disciplines ranging from data acquisition and management to global and regional climate modeling to user engineering and information delivery. Advances in high performance computing, information management technologies, and visualization techniques have now made it possible to enable comprehensive decision support systems that can bring science to society and facilitate transition of research missions into sustained operations. At Northrop Grumman, we have developed an integrated decision support system and service delivery framework for providing necessary knowledge and information that would enable policy makers and stakeholders to effectively plan and implement adaptation strategies to deal with the impacts of climate variability and change at the regional and local levels. Our system of systems approach, which evolved through discussions with multiple potential end users, is driven by three key market needs: (a) those who must make climate-sensitive decisions need access to the best available climate science information and uncertainty analysis, (b) to overcome barriers and change behavior, the information must be credible, robust, unbiased, and based on research results that are broadly accepted by the climate science community, and (c) the process for delivery of information must be tailored to the users' needs and practices. Northrop Grumman's Integrated Decision Support System includes an integration of assimilation and exploitation of large and disparate weather and climate data sets, regional downscaling (dynamic and statistical), uncertainty quantification and reduction, and a synthesis of scientific data with demographic and economic data to generate actionable information for the stakeholders and decision makers. Utilizing a flexible service oriented architecture and state-of-the-art visualization techniques, this information can be delivered via tailored GIS portals to meet diverse set of user needs and expectations. In this paper we will describe this comprehensive decision support approach applied to regional and local risk assessments, predictions and decadal projections, and proactive adaptation planning for vulnerable communities. Our goal is to help the local governments and concerned institutions worldwide to adapt to gradually changing environmental conditions as well as manage impacts of extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and storm surges.