J3.2 Implementing the Global Framework on Climate Services: Information Systems Across the Weather –Climate Continuum

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 3:45 PM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Roger S. Pulwarty, NOAA, Boulder, CO; and W. Higgins, R. K. Kolli, M. Muth, and M. Timofeyeva

The demand for improved knowledge and information across the weather-climate continuum is well documented. This demand has increased pressure in the U.S. and around the world for better information and services to support planning under changing rates of extremes event occurrence. To help meet these needs the 3rd World Climate Conference (2009) launched the Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS). The goal of the GFCS is to enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale. Key pillars of the GFCS focus on the development of the Climate Services Information System and a User Information Platform to provide decision support in five priority areas: Water, Disaster Risk Reduction, Agriculture and Food Security, Health and Energy. Two observations drive the CSIS development: • Many countries and regions lack the infrastructural, technical, human and institutional capacities to provide high-quality climate services. • Climate services have not been able to reach the last mile to those who need them the most.

In this presentation the ongoing development of the CSIS and supporting activities such as the North American Climate Services Partnership, Regional Climate Outlook Fora and similar efforts in other countries will be outlined. Focus will be placed on both the operational capabilities and the longer-term needs to support resilience in the above priority areas. Lessons will be drawn for strengthening U.S. information systems across the weather and climate continuum as these support multi-hazard warnings, adaptation and ultimately a Weather-Ready Nation. These lessons will focus on • The science needed to support the development and provision of climate services • Improving information on how changes in extremes in key phenomena such as drought, floods, and heat stress impact management decisions for planning, response and adaptation • Developing regional and national integrated information systems to address these emergent challenges, that integrate observations, monitoring and prediction, impacts assessments and scenarios, preparedness and adaptation, and coordination and capacity-building. While existing decision support activities can be identified in many disparate settings (e.g. federal, academic, private), the challenge of changing environments (coupled physical and social) is actually one of crafting information systems strategies for improving decision quality (not just meeting "user needs"), overcoming weaknesses in co-production models, coordinating innovation mapping and diffusion, and providing fora and visualization tools (sometimes termed “discussion-support”) to identify common interests and differences in the way risks are perceived and managed.

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