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Overview of the NRC Report on a Nationwide Network of Networks by Rit Carbone, Science Advisor and Senior Scientist in the Earth Observing Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research,
Boulder, Colorado; and Chair of the NRC Committee

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  1. 1. Observing Weather and Climate<br />FROM THE GROUND UP<br />A Nationwide Network of Networks<br />R. E. Carbone<br />10 August 2009<br />AMS Summer Community Meeting<br />Weather and Climate Enterprise Commission<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Committee on Developing Mesoscale Meteorological Observational Capabilities to Meet Multiple National Needs.<br />Sponsors: NOAA, NASA, EPA, DOT, DHS, OFCM<br />RICHARD E. (RIT) CARBONE (Chair) <br />NCAR, Boulder, CO <br />JAMES BLOCK <br />DTN/Meteorlogix, Minneapolis, MN<br />S. EDWARD BOSELLY <br />Weather Solutions Group, Olympia, WA<br />GREGORY R. CARMICHAEL <br />University of Iowa, Iowa City<br />FREDERICK H. CARR <br />University of Oklahoma, Norman<br />V. (CHANDRA) CHANDRASEKAR <br />Colorado State University, Fort Collins<br />EVE GRUNTFEST<br />NCAR, Boulder, CO <br />Liaison:<br />Walter F. Dabberdt<br />Board of Atmospheric Sciences <br />and Climate<br />NRC Staff:<br />CURTIS MARSHALL <br />Senior Program Officer<br />ROB GREENWAY, <br />Senior Program Assistant<br />RAYMOND M. HOFF <br />University of Maryland Baltimore Co.<br />WITOLD F. KRAJEWSKI<br />University of Iowa, Iowa City<br />MARGARET A. LEMONE<br />NCAR, Boulder, CO<br />JAMES F.W. PURDOM<br />Colorado State University, Fort Collins<br />THOMAS W. SCHLATTER<br />University of Colorado, Boulder<br />EUGENE S. TAKLE<br />Iowa State University, Ames<br />JAY TITLOW<br />Weatherflow, Inc., Poquoson, VA<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Study Tasks, Goals, Foci<br />Develop an “overarching vision” for an integrated, flexible, adaptive, and multi-purpose network<br />We did not engage in network design.<br />Focus on requirements for the United States and adjacent coastal zones<br />Emphasize the planetary boundary layer <br /> (~2 meters below the surface to 2-3 km above)<br />Identify steps to develop a network that meets “multiple national needs” in a cost-effective manner.<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Multiple National Needs<br />We framed the whole study around major applications.<br />Health and Safety<br />Transportation<br />Food and Water<br />Energy Security<br />4<br />
  5. 5. How should we define mesoscale observations?*<br />Those that resolvemesoscale structure and detect events?<br />Those that enable dynamical prediction?<br />Non-meteorologicalobs having influence on weather?<br />Environmental conditionsinfluenced by weather?<br />All of the above.<br />Which raises the bar considerably<br />*In the context of satellites and the global obs system<br />
  6. 6. Diverse Players<br />energetic and chaotic<br />Complex<br />Widely vested<br />Driven by local market forces<br />Countless Users and Uses<br />Thousands of providers<br />17 Federal Agencies<br />Multiple Agencies in all States<br />Municipalities<br />Water Districts<br />Various Local Authorities<br />Agricultural Producers<br />Fortune 500 Corporations<br />Countless small businesses<br />Universities, Research Labs<br />K-12 Schools<br />Enthusiasts and hobbyists<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Current Statusenergetic and chaotic<br />Weaknesses<br />Mostly locally driven<br />Lacking a national strategy<br />Disparate systems<br />Single application<br />Unknown exposures<br />Unknown standards<br /> Various comms protocols<br />A condition of “false sparsity”<br />Spatial gaps and sensor gaps <br />Soil moisture<br />Oklahoma, “gold Standard” or “lunatic fringe” ??<br />Strengths<br />dense surface networks<br />responsive to local needs<br />grass roots participation<br />near population centers<br />regional collectives <br />Few vertical profiles<br />Increased coordination is indicated.<br />
  8. 8. What’s needed to improve functionality and increase benefits to the nation?<br />Provide an organizational framework for coordination, integration and interoperability<br />Make far better use of what we have to satisfy multiple national applications<br />Augment current observations <br /> in the strategic gaps identified<br />8<br />
  9. 9. A Challenge<br />To preserve and enhance the rich diversity of investment (mainly motivated by unique local interests) <br />While also introducing sufficient coordination<br />To realize increased benefits for multiple national needs.<br />9<br />
  10. 10. What Observations are Needed?And what enhancements do these infer?<br />Basic Infrastructure to Monitor and Predict Mesoscale Weather<br />Energy Security<br />Public Health and Safety<br />Transportation <br />Water Resources and Food Production<br />We looked for “common threads” among these.<br />We also discussed the benefits to be derived for and from research.<br />
  11. 11. A Phenomenological Approach was used for core weather monitoring and prediction components <br />
  12. 12. Common Threads<br />Ximportant gaps may exist; <br />so inadequate that no network can be said to exist.<br />
  13. 13. Inferred Priorities from Common Threads <br />MOST NEEDED:Profile Data <br /><ul><li>Height and structure of the PBL
  14. 14. Soil moisture and temperature profiles
  15. 15. High resolution vertical profiles of humidity
  16. 16. ABOVE THE SURFACE LAYER: carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and particulate matter < 2.5µ microns</li></ul>NEEDED:<br /><ul><li>Direct and diffuse radiation
  17. 17. High vertical resolution profiles of wind and temperature
  18. 18. Sub-surface temperature profiles (e.g., under pavement)
  19. 19. Icing near the surface
  20. 20. Surface turbulence parameters</li></ul>Urban, Coastal and Mountainous Regions <br />have added complexity, increased societal impact, <br />and are especially in need of augmentation. <br />13<br />
  21. 21. The Vision<br />To create the network of our dreams…<br />A Network of Networks (NoN), serving multiple applications, jointly provided and used by government, industry, academia and the public.<br />NoN could be enabled to dynamically configure customized networks….. As specified by the users themselves.<br />Albeit at different levels of effectiveness, this can be implemented with or without additional observing systems.<br />
  22. 22. Steps to Ensure Progress <br />15<br />
  23. 23. Key Attributes of an Idealized NoN<br />Stability and Continuity<br />Incentives to Participate <br />Metadata, Metadata, Metadata<br />Access to More and Better Data <br />Establish and protect data/IP rights<br />Rolling review of societal needs, gaps, requirements<br />Flexibility to evolve and adapt to new conditions across sectors<br />A local presence for regular contact with providers and stakeholders<br />16<br />
  24. 24. Essential Core Services<br />We recommend 13 enabling services: <br /> <br />Expert assistance and monetary incentives to maintain standards<br />Knowledge of data available and suitable to one’s own application<br />Ease of access to custom-configured sets of observations/analyses <br />Archival of data commensurate with useful lifetimes <br />Economy of access to products and services from other providers<br />The importance of extensive metadata is absolutely critical to the effectiveness of an NoN. <br />17 categories of metadata are defined<br />
  25. 25. Organizational Model Options<br /><ul><li>Publicly Chartered, Private Non-Profit Corporation
  26. 26. Privately Chartered Non-Profit Corporation (501c3 – e.g., ESIP)
  27. 27. Confederation of Federal Agencies
  28. 28. Seeded Viral NoN</li></ul>x Lead Federal Agency<br />X Multi-level Government Confederation <br />x Government-Industry Confederation<br />x Private For-Profit Corporation <br />We have assumed it is necessary and desirable to engage the full breadth of the mesoscale observations enterprise.<br />18<br />
  29. 29. We highlighted this option<br /> A hybrid“Corporation for Environmental Monitoring”<br />To provide 13 “essential core services”<br />Does not own or operate individual networks. <br />An enabling entity that comes into play only insofar as is necessary to realize the added utility and functionality of an NoN.<br />A minimum degree of centralization for coordination and interoperability.<br />Able to receive and transfer funds from all entities, including Congress.<br />A relatively small but vital fraction of the public-private enterprise. <br />19<br />
  30. 30. Convene the Stakeholders <br />Stakeholders, including all levels of government, various private sector interests, and academia should collectively develop and implement a plan for achieving and sustaining a mesoscale observing system to meet multiple national needs.<br />a summit to achieve “buy-in”, followed by numerous professional/technical forums…..<br />20<br />
  31. 31. End User Assessment <br />The stakeholders should commission an independent team of social and physical scientists to conduct end user assessments for selected sectors.<br /> current use and value in decision-making; <br />anticipated added value associated with proposed new observations <br />periodic assessments of the societal impact and its value<br />This is envisioned as an ongoing and recurring activity.<br />21<br />
  32. 32. A Multi-faceted Relationship to Research<br />As users for the conduct of research<br /> leverages a national backbone, lower cost, better experiments everywhere<br />As providers of data to the broader NoN<br /> improved analyses, “testbeds” to assess the utility of added observations <br />As developers of advanced technologies opportunity to investigate and demonstrate their potential use and value<br />The opportunities may be especially ripe for biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere interactions (e.g. CASA, NEON, CUASHI).<br />22<br />
  33. 33. Take Home Message <br />We have a dream: <br />A NoN that is dynamically user-configurable and interoperable.<br />Participating organizations serve only their own mission, while their contributions are enabled to serve multiple national needs.<br />The organization should mirror the stakeholders themselves, being similarly adept and responsive to large agencies, academia, major corporations, local districts, small businesses and volunteers.<br />The most formidable challenge before us is to assemble this grand alliance!<br />23<br />
  34. 34. Questions? Comments?<br />Committee on Developing Mesoscale Meteorological Observational Capabilities to Meet Multiple National Needs. Irvine, CA, February 2008. Photo courtesy of Peggy LeMone.<br />