2 February 2011

NOTES:  AMS CCS TELCON, 4:00 PM EST, Friday, February 04, 2011

Caveat Emptor:  These are MY personal notes, written as I heard them, filling-in in places afterward with my recollections.  If you attended the meeting, please feel free to correct or amend them as you see fit.  Send your amended notes to the group.  Thanks for another great meeting.  Comments by participants are their own opinions, and not those of their employers.

- Ed


IN ATTENDANCE:  Ed O'Lenic, Kelly Redmond, Chuck Hakkarinen, Paul Llanso, Ryan Boyles, John Dutton

Ed:  Purpose is to discuss a request from the Board on Enterprise Communication (BEC), and possibly higher in AMS for a statement on climate services.

JAD:  Are other committees doing this?  This is a very short deadline.

Kelly:  Why do this?  These statements usually come up when there is contention.

JAD:  Decision support systems in NWS FOR specific sectors are a concern. 

Kelly:  AMS statement should be about facilitating DSS in any context. 

Ed: John, would you say that if the government created a database and a set of Java applications that allowed individuals to create their own products was outside the purview of the government?

JAD:  No.  But I know of others who would.  Something like DSS for the Energy Industry is a bad thing.

Chuck:  Confusion resolution is also an issue.  At the Seattle meeting climate services.

JAD:  There is another issue: SI versus Decadal/climate change.   These need to be distinguished

Ed:  I hope people like you will make it clear to folks on the Hill that anything with "climate" in the name is not necessarily a bad thing, and certainly may not be primarily involved in pushing a climate change agenda.

Ryan:  (sorry, I lost this comment - eo)

JAD:  Such a statement should define the time scales applicable to CS

Chuck:  Changes in the nature of seasonal variability is another issue.  Is this was CS addresses?

JAD:  The general terminology is that climate forecasts refer to the next season, not climate change over decades.  Congress is not very friendly to climate change activities, or for that matter, anything with the word "climate" in it.

Ed:  I agree, especially with that last clause.

Kelly:  Statement needs to address the scope and nature of climate services, and then what is needed to make that happen.  NRC panel and BASC spent a lot of time on this at woods hole.  Most fundamental thing is what this committee is about.

Ryan:  Statements get bumped up to higher level and edited in order to produce a statement which reflects the organization as a whole.

Chuck:  There are different ideas about what CS is.  The statement should make this clear.

Paul:  How deep should be go?  Do we want to get into the implications of climate change?

Ed:  Going to implications is beyond us.

Kelly:  What do you want the statement to cause to happen?

JAD:  Private weather services have come to a truce via the fair wx act.  I think part of the motivation of the BEC is to avoid conflict.

Ed:  I agree that that is likely a part of the motivation.  Also, NOAA's desire to form a Climate Service has played a role, I believe.

Kelly:  Its to head-off un-necessary controversy.  An AMS statement will be picked up by other groups, so it has to be so-written.

JAD:   Statements are not JUST for the AMS members.  They are for the world.

Kelly:  This is the organization speaking to everyone else.  This will be scrutinized internally first.  AMS statement process is long and hard.

Ed:  We are here to facilitate STARTING this activity.  We are NOT in-charge of writing it.  Those of us who want to be involved in the writing team will have to volunteer.  That’s part of what Veronica and Matt are going to address.

JAD:  Veronica and Matt need to tell us why they want a statement, what should it accomplish, what is their definition of success?

Kelly:  Statements are supposed to be anonymous and to reflect the entire organization.

JAD:  I wonder if AMS statements have ever had any effect on anything?

Chuck:  Statement writing committees have a 9 month period to write it.  Statements also expire after a period of time.

Kelly:  There is a prescribed process.  ALL points have to be addressed.  It can be quite grueling.

Ryan:  We don't have to re-iterate what has already been said.  That helps a little.

JAD:  Another good question:  What should the message be?  We need to get these questions answered before anyone can do anything.  The eventual writers will need to solicit input from different parts of the community.

Ryan:  In writing the Drought Statement, experts from the community were consulted.  Draft was sent up.  Then it was put out for comment.

Chuck:  I attended a town hall about this.  Lubchenco led the forum, and specifically said that she wanted the audience to help NOAA get a Climate Service through Congress.  I believe having her lead the meeting was a tactical error, since that led to fewer comments than would otherwise have been gotten, because she is such a high official and people were reluctant to ask hard questions.  Lubchenco did not answer my questions about why it was not already approved, who stopped it, and why.

Kelly:  Establishing a NOAA Climate Service will be difficult for at least a couple of years

ALL:  Are WE supposed to write this statement?

ED:  NO.  We are just meeting to discuss the request from the BEC.  Anyone who wants to be on the writing committee can volunteer.