2.3 Strengthening Regional Capacity for Climate Adaptation and Risk Management: U.S. Support for WMO Regional Climate Centers

Monday, 23 January 2017: 12:00 AM
Conference Center: Yakima 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Shanna TL Pitter, NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and W. M. Thiaw, M. Muth, and J. Marra

Handout (13.1 MB)

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) oversees a global network of accredited Regional Climate Centers (RCCs) that create regional products including long-range forecasts to support regional and national climate activities. These RCCs serve a broad geographic region or sub-regions under the WMO Regional Association delineation, and must meet specific criteria to achieve full accreditation.  ‘Mandatory’ functions required of a WMO RCC focus on climate forecasting, monitoring, data services, and training; while ‘Highly Recommended’ functions expand into tailored products and services and research needs.

The U.S., with support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has assisted in the development and implementation of WMO RCC activities throughout the world, including those in the Caribbean, South America and Africa. The U.S. is now preparing to increase its level of support to the WMO RCC concept by establishing a US-based RCC (USRCC) providing regional climate products and services to North America, Central America, and the Caribbean (WMO Regional Association IV, RA-IV); and working with other WMO member countries on proposed RCCs in the Arctic and Pacific Islands. The USRCC, being led by NOAA, is currently in the first stages of the WMO RCC accreditation process and has started a 2-4 year demonstration phase where the USRCC will finalize the details of climate products and services for RA-IV  in collaboration with other existing regional climate services entities, demonstrate its ability to provide the mandatory functions of a WMO RCC, and work with other national assets to determine the services to be offered as contributions to the WMO-designated Highly Recommended Functions of a RCC. NOAA is also supporting the scoping and planning of the Arctic Polar RCC (potentially compromised of all WMO member countries with territory in the Arctic region) and the Pacific Islands RCC (potentially comprised of WMO member countries with territory in the Pacific Islands) as part of a geographically-distributed RCC concept.

Over the next few years, NOAA plans to work with the US climate community to coordinate national contributions to the USRCC and the proposed RCCs in the Arctic and Pacific Islands.

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