ESRL Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2010

Climate Service

ESRL research expected to fuel proposed NOAA office

NOAA proposes to create a Climate Service by bringing together climate science, products, and service delivery capabilities from around the agency, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced Feb. 8, in a press conference with NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco.

"By providing critical planning information that our businesses and our communities need, NOAA Climate Service will help tackle head-on the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change," Locke said.

Public and private entities involved in transportation, insurance, energy, water, fisheries, agriculture, and other industries increasingly seek climate information to help inform decisions, according to A Vision for Climate Services in NOAA.

That document- produced by a select team of NOAA scientists led by ESRL's Susan Solomon (Chemical Sciences Division) and Randy Dole (Physical Sciences Division)- lays out goals and principles for a NOAA Climate Service.

As announced in February, the proposed NOAA Climate Service would include three of ESRL's four divisions- Global Monitoring, Chemical Sciences, and Physical Sciences- and the Director's Office. The Global Systems Division would remain in NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), all NOAA groups in Boulder would continue to collaborate, and no federal employee would be out of a job.

Also proposed for inclusion: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanographic Data Center, National Geophysical Data Center, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Climate Program Office, and funding to manage several observing networks.

NOAA will continue to work with Congress, the Administration, NOAA employees, and external partners during upcoming months to gather feedback and refine the NOAA Climate Service proposal. In the end, NOAA and the Department of Commerce must submit a more refined proposal, known as a "reprogramming package," to the Office of Management and Budget and then to Congress for approval.

During a February webcast with NOAA employees, Lubchenco also highlighted the prototype NOAA Climate Services Portal, Once complete, the portal will be a central component of NOAA's climate data and services, the source of timely articles and information, education resources, and tools for engagement and decision-making, she said.

"The next time someone asks you what NOAA's climate work is all about, you can invite them to this site," she said. already includes data, articles, and images featuring ESRL science and scientists.

More for NOAA employees: