CPO invests $2.9 million to support advances in climate monitoring

  • 16 February 2015
  • Number of views: 3095

NOAA’s Climate Program Office’s (CPO) Climate Observation and Monitoring Division has awarded over $2.9 million this year to support 10 new multi-year projects to develop innovative strategies and new information products to help better detect, monitor, and understand  climate variability and change.

These projects further NOAA’s commitment to improving scientific understanding of the changing climate and its impacts, and to its long term Climate and Adaptation goal to support an informed society anticipating and responding to those impacts.

Climate monitoring funding will support research to develop new data sets and information products that will help scientists, policy makers, and the general public as they need to make complex sensitive climate-related decisions, and  understand key aspects of weather and climate extremes - events such as heat waves, droughts, and floods that have significant impacts on important natural and human systems like energy, agriculture, water, health, and others. Other projects will focus on better understanding the important two-way relationship between the world’s oceans and climate, and pioneer development of a set of ocean climate indicators.  

The Climate Monitoring program also supports “paleoclimate” research - reconstructing past climate signals - sometimes from 1000s of years ago - from proxy records such as tree rings, ancient corals, and other methods. A team of university scientists, together with NOAA colleagues, are undertaking an ambitious, potentially transformational effort in paleoclimate - the Last Millennium Climate Reanalysis - which will  gather and synthesize paleoclimate data from dozens of sources, and combine them with cutting edge analysis and computer modeling to create a global record of climate stretching back 10 times farther than our current instrumental record. The record will help scientists trying to understand our current climate system and variability by provide 1000s of years of context, and, as project leader Dr. Gregory Hakim from the University of Washington, states: “will be a game-changer for climate science.”  

Complete descriptions of all projects funded by the program can be found on the Climate Monitoring Program webpage:http://cpo.noaa.gov/ClimatePrograms/ClimateObservation/ClimateMonitoring.aspx

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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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