This session will address the need to develop a climate information system as a vital part of society’s response to climate change, in addition to adaptation and mitigation. Understanding what is happening and why, and what it implies for the future, better informs communities and decision makers what aspects to take account of and plan for and what parts are natural variability. Many pieces of such a system exist but they are not coherently organized and managed, or response to many user needs. A white paper describing such a will be the basis for discussion and feedback at this session. Session attendees will be encouraged to join a discussion about the merits of this proposal.