6 Accelerating the Use of NOAA Climate Products and Tools for Making Decisions

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Marina Timofeyeva, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and J. C. Meyers, A. Stevermer, W. Abshire, N. Beller-Simms, and D. Herring

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plays a leading role in U.S. intergovernmental efforts on the Climate Data Initiative and the Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT).  CRT (http://toolkit.climate.gov/) is a valuable resource that provides tools, information, and subject matter expertise to decision makers in various sectors, such as agriculture, water resources and transportation, to help them build resilience to our changing climate.  In order to make best use of the toolkit and all the resources within it, a training component is critical. The training section helps building users’ understanding of the data, science, and impacts of climate variability and change. CRT identifies five steps in building resilience that includes use of appropriate tools to support decision makers depending on their needs. 

One tool that can be potentially integrated into CRT is NOAA’s Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT), which provides access to trusted NOAA data and scientifically-sound analysis techniques for doing regional and local climate studies on climate variability and climate change. However, in order for LCAT to be used effectively, we have found an iterative learning approach using specific examples to train users.  For example, for LCAT application in analysis of water resources, we use existing CRT case studies for Arizona and Florida water supply users. The Florida example demonstrates primary sensitivity to climate variability impacts, whereas the Arizona example takes into account longer- term climate change.  The types of analyses included in LCAT are time series analysis of local climate and the estimated rate of change in the local climate.  It also provides a composite analysis to evaluate the relationship between local climate and climate variability events such as El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific North American Index, and other modes of climate variability.

This paper will describe the development of a training module for use of LCAT and its integration into CRT.  An iterative approach was used that incorporates specific examples of decision making while working with subject matter experts within the water supply community.  The recommended strategy is to use a “stepping stone” learning structure to build users knowledge of best practices for use of LCAT.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner