With a single office, rather than our current dispersed structure, NOAA will be better prepared to continue its internationally-recognized role in the end-to-end development and delivery of climate science, tools, products and information. Our agency will be a stronger partner and in a better position to help prepare America for the impacts of climate variability and change, and more unified in mitigating human influence on climate. The vision, mission and three strategic goals reflect the extensive input that was factored into, and continues to be factored into, the planning process for the proposed climate line office. These goals guided our decision-making process. These goals shape our commitment to stay closely connected to NOAA users, to ensure that communication is working as well as possible to promote integrated service delivery nationally and across regions. We are committed to two-way engagement with our users as we develop and improve our climate products and services. We need to know that we’re making the right tools available, and that these resources are reliable, timely and readily accessible. As we build the climate service line office, we’ll continue to work closely with our federal, academic, private sector, and other partners on numerous levels. No one agency can tackle climate change alone, and we must work effectively within the federal family, leverage other partnerships and address gaps as needed. As NOAA’s new science enterprise evolves, we’ll also need to be vigilant about changing societal needs and, in particular, appreciate the growing need to link natural and socio-economic sciences to our decision-making.
We also considered NOAA’s contributions to the national response to a changing climate, and believe NOAA has a key role to play in the United States’ National Strategy.
International: This includes on the International Level. We must continue to build off the progress made at the WCC3, where Dr. Lubchenco was the lead US delegate. We are gearing up for the next IPCC report, and in particular NOAA must work to strengthen our participation in WG2. We also have long standing international contributions that we must maintain, such as the Montreal Protocol and our world class ozone research and assessments.
National: Unlike Weather Services, all federal agencies will need to participate to meet the nation’s Climate Services needs. NOAA provides foundational science that is the keystone of climate services, and commits to engaging with other agencies as both partners in climate services, and users of NOAA’s information.
Regional: NOAA also brings regional assets and decades of experience addressing climate issues at the regional level. NOAA can also leverage our weather service offices, which have over two hundred years of service delivery experience. Finally, to engage the private sector, NOAA hopes to utilize DOC’s national and regional infrastructure.
The next several figures illustrate both this inter-agency relationship as well as the regional level strategy for climate service delivery.
NOAA is committed to bringing critical assets to a federal partnership including Observation and Monitoring, Research and Modeling, Assessments, and Information Delivery and Decision Support. NOAA’s contributions are applicable to various sectors. Let’s take the energy sector, for example. The energy sector at large is dependent upon accurate weather and climate information for its day-to-day operations and planning for future energy production. NOAA provides data, such as temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity, forecasts of meteorological parameters, and products such as heating- and cooling-degree days that provide information to the energy sector about energy demand expectations and the mix of generating units available to meet the demand.
NOAA’s Information Delivery and Decision Support includes education, communication and engagement activities to create a two-way dialog with our partners and users.
For Assessments, NOAA has demonstrated our overwhelming representation in climate change assessments relative to other agencies. In addition to national and international assessments, NOAA has a long history of working with communities, cities, and states to develop regionally specific adaptation plans. For example, NOAA’s partnered with King County in Secretary Locke’s home state of Washington to develop the report, Adapting to Climate Change: Strategies from King County, Washington. And of course, NOAA is the largest federal contributor of IPCC authors.
NOAAs Research and Modeling is recognized as some of the best in the world today. NOAA is pushing our modeling efforts to improve resolution at the regional scaled, and is being developed for applications critical to resource managers such as the early warning Drought Monitor. NOAA models were also critical for the current and upcoming IPCC reports.
Climate Observations and Monitoring are the foundation upon which climate science and services are developed. NOAA is responsible for over 90 observing and monitoring systems located throughout the world. NOAA also has experience working with international, national, state and local partners to develop and maintain these systems. Finally, NOAA is the agency mandated to be stewards of our climate record, and operates the National Climate Data Center where the quality and reliability of climate observations are ensured, and then made available to the public.
NOAA has a history of supporting the use of our science, information and services in the private sector. For example, there is a robust private sector based around NOAA’s weather services. We recognize that in order to make climate information accessible to the nation, the private sector will play a critical role in providing services and delivering information. To fully realize the opportunities for private sector growth in delivery of climate services, NOAA will leverage existing DOC capacity to support U.S. business nationally and internationally. DOC’s Commerce Connect efforts will be a valuable tool to ensure the private sector and the American public can fully utilize NOAA’s investments in climate science and service.
NOAA is in the process of developing a climate MOU between DOC and DOI.
A reorganization of NOAA’s assets is an important first step, but alone it will not be sufficient to strengthen NOAA’s science and ensure the success and integration of climate science and services. Strong and sustained leadership will be critical, including the position of NOAA’s chief scientist.
Research - NOAA-wide policies for conduct of research need to be strengthened. Reestablishment of NOAA Chief Scientist is the first step. Review and update Research Vision and accompanying 5 year plan. Develop opportunities for optimizing visibility, quality, relevance and productivity of NOAA’s science. Program Coordination – Strengthen existing mechanisms and develop new mechanisms to promote coordination Address inter-disciplinary issues such as climate-coastal or climate-ecosystem not solved by re-org. Leverage new PAS positions to integrate science, service, and stewardship. Explore new approaches to connect planning and execution. Communications and Engagement - A long-term sustained commitment is critical Ensure climate mission is a priority through HQ leadership and communicated as such to staff level. Strengthen communications and engagement structures, especially regional, to ensure clear and consistent information and messaging that is accessible to users and constituents. Continued investment in climate services is critical
Specific tools for improved program effectiveness: Develop Leadership Leverage new PAS positions to integrate science, service, and stewardship Define roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability across the agency in support of enhanced integration Strengthen Research Council Responsibilities In collaboration with the NOAA Chief Scientist, this function can be used to: Ensure NOAA’s research is strategically aligned with mission areas Promote opportunities for scientific discovery and exploration Support transition of research to applications Continue efforts to promote coordination and collaboration among our scientists Establish Cross-Disciplinary Science Programs Support existing projects in certain topical areas (e.g., ecosystem assessments or oceans and human health) Create a demonstration/test bed for large science challenges. Used effectively in the 1970s prior to the NWS modernization. Leverage Grants Programs NOAA has successfully used competitive grant programs to direct the trajectory of NOAA research (e.g., climate) Utilize Integrated and State of the Science Assessments e.g., integrated ecosystem assessments, climate & ecosystems, climate & coastal, ozone, USGCRP Climate Impacts Report, IPCC
In response to users calling for simple, easy to use access to NOAA climate information, and the question– “why can’t I access what NOAA’s got from one spot?” NOAA has responded with the Climate Portal. Thanks to many of you who have been working on, or contributed to this important enhancement to NOAA’s climate services. WWW.CLIMATE.GOV
The website recognizes the need to serve multiple audiences — with varying needs for climate information, and varying methods for seeking it on-line — we developed four Web pathways (tabs) to serve four different audiences: (1) peer communities/data users (including scientists, decision managers, businesses, and sectoral communities); (2) the general public; (3) educators; and (4) policy leaders. Thus, there will be four content sections: (1) Climate Data and Services, (2) ClimateWatch magazine, (3) Climate Education, and (4) an Understanding Climate section.
The Global Climate Dashboard will provide synoptic, graphical depictions of climate change and climate variability. And I encourage all of you to continue to make contributions to enhance the portal going forward, and make more of NOAA’s information available to the broader public.
The development of this portal has been a cross-agency effort and I want to recognize the hard work of the many who made this happen.
1) the email address climateservice@noaagov is active, and people can submit comments2) We are developing an employee only website (no launch date yet, but hopefully before the next Town Hall in Silver Spring), which will also have links to this address. This website will also include:• Detailed Org chart (if approved for release)• Updated schedule of NOAA leadership Town Hall Visits (and other visits as they become available)• Updated information about the reprogramming package (as it becomes available)• Link for employee questions• Updates from Dr. Lubchenco (as available)• More targeted FAQs (as we get questions, synthesize them, and develop responses).
I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
NOAA Climate Service
Thomas R. Karl
Interim Director NOAA Climate Service
Director National Climatic Data Center
TheTime to Act Is Now
There is an urgent and growing need for reliable, trusted,
transparent and timely climate information across all
sectors of our economy.
The need is great and growing.
Extensive employee, stakeholder, advisory bodies and
many others informed process of determining how to
optimize NOAA’s world-class science while strengthening
NOAA Climate Service
NOAA Envisions an Informed Society
Anticipating and Responding to
Climate and its Impacts
Inform mitigation and adaptation decisions needed to
respond to the impacts of the changing climate
Support decision makers regionally to globally,
on time scales of weeks to decades, in areas
including public policy, resource management,
infrastructure investment, business
development, and decisions of individuals in
their daily lives
Continue to Build, Evaluate and
Evolve NOAA’s Core Competencies in
Three Key Areas:
Deliver Sustained & Effective
Advance Climate Science
NOAA’s Role in a National Strategy
• All agencies must engage in
a Regional Climate Service
Enterprise to ensure users
have the climate
information they need.
• NOAA’s regional service
capacity, with over two
centuries of experience, is
delivering services today
through public and
private partnerships, and
is ready to engage in the
national climate service
•All nations must
recognize the need for
climate services, and
continue on the progress
made at the WCC-3.
•NOAA is internationally
recognized as advancing
the state of climate
leadership in GEOSS, and
is viewed as critical to
developing regional scale
• All agencies must consider
climate change impacts as it
relates to their mission areas,
and commit to work within a
cooperative and collaborative
• NOAA provides core
capabilities to national
climate services through
NOAA’s decades of expertise
in observing, monitoring,
assessments, and existing
service delivery structures.
Information Delivery and Decision Support
NOAA uses its national and regional infrastructure to deliver climate services today
Assessments of Climate Change and Impacts
NOAA is a leader in national and regional climate impact assessments
Over 70% of Federal IPCC AR4 WG1 authors were from NOAA
Climate Change Research and Modeling
Internationally recognized models of the global climate
Climate Observations and Monitoring
NOAA operates over 90 observation and monitoring systems
NOAA is mandated to monitor and provide access to climate data
NOAA commits to
assets in science and
service to a Federal
to the nation’s
*Representative Organizations & Sectors
Federal Partnership for
Climate Science and Service
•All agencies must consider climate change adaptation and
mitigation as it relates to their mission areas and work in an
interagency framework to:
– Promote understanding and engagement of users by listening and
responding to their changing needs;
– Provide needed services to address impacts to meet the nation’s
– Engage in science and service partnerships with public, private,
and academic entities.
•Leverage and coordinate existing structures to develop and
deliver climate services, such as CEQ/OSTP/NOAA
Adaptation Working Group, NSTC/USGCRP, and OECC.
Regional Climate Science
•Other agencies (e.g., National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, Dept. of Interior,
Dept. of Agriculture, National Science
Foundation & other USGCRP agencies)
•Regional Integrated Science &
•Applied Research Centers
Regional Climate Services Partnerships
•Weather Forecast Offices
•Sea Grant Education & Extension
•Marine Sanctuaries, Monuments
& Estuarine Reserves
•River Forecast Centers
•DOC Commerce Connect (in development)
•Other agencies (e.g., National Science Foundation,
Dept. of Education, Health & Human Services, Dept. of
Energy, Dept of Interior, Dept of Agriculture)
•Dept. of Agriculture Extension
•Federal Protect Area Programs
•USGCRP Climate Literacy Partners
State and Local Engagement, Education & Service Delivery
Federal Regional Climate Service Enterprise
Connecting Science, Services and People
•NOAA Regional Climate
•Weather Service Regions
•Regional Climate Centers
•Coastal Services Center
•River Forecast Centers
•Regional Collaboration Teams
•Relevant Regional Offices from other
agencies (e.g., Environmental
Protection Agency, Dept. of
Agriculture, Dept. of Interior,
Health and Human Services,
Dept. of Transportation, Dept of
• Development, Delivery &
Evaluation of Products & Tools
• Understanding and Translating
• Informing Program
Meeting the Rising Demand
for Climate Services
1. NOAA’s existing framework for climate was established before climate services were
recognized as essential, and is not optimized for climate service delivery.
2. While NOAA has continued to build its suite of climate services within its existing
framework, including our interagency approach to delivering drought information
services, much of the demand remains unmet.
3. To meet climate service demands, NOAA must direct efforts to develop a framework
Connect users to existing climate products and services, while continuing to develop new
authoritative, reliable services;
Transform current science and data into understandable, usable and accessible
Actively engage users in service development.
4. NOAA’s climate framework must deliver needed climate services while maintaining
leadership in observing, research, modeling and assessments
“If America is to avoid the most damaging effects of climate change, we have to first understand it – and
that is where the Department of Commerce is instrumental.” - Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke
NOAA Climate Services Portal
One-stop access for NOAA’s
Multiple audiences so
multiple avenues to
Data and Services
For More Information…
Q&As, proposed reorganization chart, a Power
Point, climate handouts featuring our science and
regional services, and recordings from this Town
Hall and a press conference.
New mailbox to address your questions
NOAA’s new Climate Portal
Public Policy Forum Ocean Leadership March 10th
Webinar – March 11th Regional Climate Centers, State
Climatologists, Cooperative Research Institutes, etc.
Goddard Symposium March 11th
Webinar – Date TBD – NGOs, State and Local Government
Webinar – Date TBD – Academia, private industry
Association of American Geographers April 15th D.C.
American Meteorological Society – Private Public Partnership Fora
April 6th D.C.
NOAA Climate Service13
NOAA ClimateService 14
• NOAA submits a reprogramming package to DOC, OMB, Congress
• No newLegislation required, but..
• Congressional Appropriation Budget Breakout approval necessary
• Consolidated Appropriations Act 2010
• Tobe completedsummer2010
• If approved, we can move quickly to begin implementing the
• We look forward to having NOAA Climate Service up and running by
the beginning of FY11.