Monday, March 27, 2017

Objective 1

Sustained climate record

NOAA will continue to provide the Nation and the world with an unambiguous measure of the state of the climate through uninterrupted, high quality in situ and remotely-sensed observations of primary variables describing the ocean, atmosphere, and other components of the climate system. Up-to-date and accurate knowledge of the state of the climate is critical to sustaining the Nation’s economy (e.g., transportation, agriculture, fisheries), communities (e.g., health, land use) and ecosystem services (e.g., storm protection, tourism, habitat) in a changing world. Meeting NOAA's mission to protect lives and property from weather hazards in a changing climate requires a dedication to maintaining the legacy of critical and pioneering long-term surface observations of climate and atmospheric composition, improving the quality control, accuracy, and consistency of these observations, and providing support for global change basic research that provides the backbone for applied needs in climate adaptation. NOAA must sustain and build out its longstanding observations, data management, and monitoring of the oceans and atmosphere to enhance the fundamental scientific understanding and knowledge of our climate to help people make informed decisions. Priority should also be given strengthening synergies between observations and modeling for more effective use of existing resources.

R&D Targets:

  • Advance research on technological solutions for climate observations and the data they produce to improve the lifecycle, timeliness, and accuracy of these observations
  • Assess collected climate data for quality, uncertainty, and the implications for impacts; make data and subsequent products available to users
  • Develop and test improved climate observing systems in the deep ocean and Alaska
  • Develop sensors and robotic floats for biogeochemical, biooptical, and pH measurements


Objective 2

Atmospheric and oceanic observations integrated into Earth System modeling

Atmospheric climate models and even coupled atmosphere-ocean models are giving way to Earth System Models (ESMs) that advance our understanding of how Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, including human actions, interact with the climate system. As the models become more complex, the data needed to evaluate and validate the models also becomes more complex and wide ranging. For example, the atmospheric component of the ESMs includes features such as atmospheric chemistry, aerosols (both natural and anthropogenic), cloud physics, and precipitation. The land component includes precipitation and evaporation, streams, lakes, rivers, and runoff as well as a terrestrial ecology component to simulate dynamic reservoirs of carbon and other tracers. The oceanic component includes features such as free surface to capture wave processes; water fluxes, or flow; currents; sea ice dynamics; iceberg transport of freshwater; and a state-of-the-art representation of ocean mixing as well as marine biogeochemistry and ecology.

R&D Targets:

  • Synthesize observations with models for reporting on the state of the climate system  
  • Integrate observations into short- and long-time scale modeling processes for characterizing the seasonal to multi-decadal scale variation of the climate system and assessing its predictability