NOAA's Chief Scientist shares NOAA's Integrated Information Systems approach to providing climate services to manage human health risks at the UN Climate Conference: COP21 in Paris

  • 11 December 2015
  • Number of views: 1038

Dr. Rick Spinrad, NOAA's Chief Scientist, addressed participants of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 and international viewers in a video presented at the US Center. The session, Healthy People, Healthy Planet: US Programs and Partnerships for Health Resilience was hosted by the Department of State and involved EPA and HHS. In his address, Dr. Spinrad underscored the importance of robust, sustained integrated information systems (IISes) for providing environmental information that spans the weather-climate continuum and supports resilience to climate and health challenges faced in the 21st century and beyond. These IISes not only provide "the right information at the right scales, far enough in advance, along with the right tools" for decision-makers, but also serve as "gateways for improving our research, observations, and prediction capabilities". Dr. Spinrad highlighted the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS), which is being developed to integrate NOAA's advancements in observing, understanding, and modeling the Earth system with societal needs for resilience to extreme heat - not only with US partners such as the CDC, but also with international partners including India and Germany. Additionally, Dr Spinrad called out the pilot Cholera Integrated Information System in Bangladesh, which NOAA is developing cooperatively with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support development goals.



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 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


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