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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Commerce Department proposes NOAA Climate Service

Commerce Department proposes NOAA Climate Service

by Alexa Jay, Climate Science Watch, February 9, 2010 

On February 8, 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) unveiled a major new proposal for the establishment of a NOAA Climate Service, a new office tasked with serving the nation’s increasing climate information needs. We support this initiative as a significant step in the right direction, while noting that it appears to leave aside, for now, the question of how the Climate Service office will ultimately coordinate with the full suite of federal activities relevant to climate change adaptation and preparedness planning.

According to NOAA’s website, the Climate Service will “provide a single, reliable and authoritative source for climate data, information and decision-support services to help individuals, businesses, communities and governments make smart choices in anticipation of a climate changed future.”

Under the current proposal, the new Climate Service office will reorganize NOAA’s existing climate assets to create a single, visible and accessible point of entry for users, bringing together “research labs, climate observing systems, modeling facilities, integrated monitoring systems and extensive on the ground service delivery infrastructure.”

More information about the proposed program organization can be found here, and more general questions are addressed here.

Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and NOAA’s lead on climate services for more than a year, will serve as Acting Director of the NOAA Climate Service. New positions for six NOAA Regional Climate Services Directors will also be announced, providing “regional leadership for integrating user engagement and on-the-ground service delivery within the Climate Service.”

Early priorities for the new office are as follows:
•  The NOAA Climate Service will work to develop a sustained capacity to provide regional and sectoral climate vulnerability and risk assessments to more effectively meet the requirements of the US Global Change Research Act (national assessment required every 4 years).
•  The NOAA Climate Service will have a more clearly established regional footprint to coordinate and provide improved regional climate services.
•  The NOAA Climate Service will be able to better align climate observing and modeling assets with strategic needs.
 More at this link:

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