Shaping the Landscape of Climate Services: The International Research Institute for Climate and Society contains 14 essays and articles that together describe and illustrate how the institution has worked since 1996 to develop credible climate information and to make that information useful to those who could benefit from it. They tell a story of substantial advances in the incorporation of climate science for the betterment of society.
As the papers make clear, a strong foundation in science has underpinned IRI’s three-pronged approach to climate services: conduct strategic research, develop relevant products and tools, and provide training and capacity building that enable more informed use of this knowledge.
The demand for climate information has grown exponentially since IRI’s founding and early successes, and as a result, today there are more institutions and programs focused on various aspects of climate modeling, monitoring and information production.
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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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