5.2 Applications of Climate Models for Improved Decision Support Services

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 10:45 AM
Room 10A (Austin Convention Center)
Wassila Mamadou Thiaw, NOAA, Camp Springs, MD

Frequent droughts have caused demand for water for human and agricultural use to exceed reliable supply in several parts of the world. At the same time, frequent flooding continues to pose threats to human welfare. Developing countries face enormous challenges to respond to public requirements for timely and reliable climate information and services to alleviate the impacts of extreme climatic events. According to the UN, the demand for humanitarian assistance will continue to grow as the number of climate related disasters rises. Over the past decade, the weather and climate community have reached milestones in advancing the science to improve forecasts. In this presentation, the applications of operational climate models in decision making are discussed. The presentation highlights the various decision support tools developed at the National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) in support of weather and climate institutions in Africa and US agencies engaged in the developing world. The use of these tools in drought and flood outlooks, and in emergency response planning such as food security is also discussed. More specifically, operational products discussed in this presentation include seasonal rainfall predictions, subseasonal rainfall outlooks, medium range weather forecasts, and regional outlooks for food security. The presentation highlights the fundamental underpinning science of the forecasts, including the regional impacts of major modes of climate variability such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). Recent advances in the predictability of these climate events are discussed. Forecast verifications and how this information is used as decision support tools for food security are also presented.
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