3 September 2008

CCS Committee Telcon  3:00 PM EDT Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In attendance:  Chuck Hakkarinen, Dave Easterling, Eileen Shea, Holly Hartmann, Bob Cohen, Matt Parker, Ed O’Lenic


Ed started the meeting by discussing the joint Climate Services session with the Committee on Climate Variability and Change (CVC) on Tuesday.  3 of the required 4 speakers have been secured: 

  1. Challenges for Private Sector Climate Services to Cities in A
    Changing Climate - Elliot Abrams, Accuweather
    2)  Challenges for Government Sector Climate Services to Cities in A
    Changing Climate - Eric Barron, NCAR
    3) Challenges for University Sector Climate Services to Cities in A
    Changing Climate - TBA
    4)  Challenges for Media Sector Climate Services to Cities in A
    Changing Climate - Vernonica Johnson, WRC4


Eileen:  I am working on a speaker from ASU


Ed:  I will chair the session.  Eileen will facilitate the discussion following the 15-20 minute presentations.


Mark Shafer is also organizing a Climate Services session on Wednesday.  We plan to coordinate these sessions to some degree. The Tue-Wed staggered schedule gives us the opportunity to recap the results of the first session at the second, and to advertise the second session during the first.


Chuck:  Another possibility is to advertise the sessions in the AMS daily newspaper at the meeting.


Ed:  Eileen and I both attended the NOAA meeting on its plans to develop a National Climate Service (NCS).  There was a lot of push-back from the NCS Climate Working Group, especially with regard to NOAA’s research and modeling-oriented plan, which seemed a little thin on practicalities such as:  1) What will we do, everyday in an NCS?  Surely, decadal to centennial forecasts won’t change much from one day to the next, 2) How does the NCS plan to work with users of climate information?


Eileen:  Tony Busalacchi is the chair of the CWG.  The CWG recommended 4 options for an NCS:  1)  Federation of federal agencies, 2)  a mechanism with NGOs, 5013Cs and r&d centers, which would work with multiple agencies, 3)  the NOAA NCS plan, 4)  a more integrated climate-weather service built on the existing infrastructure.


The CWG recommended that 4 tiger teams be convened to consider pros and cons of each option between now and November, 2008.  There would be 8 people on each team.  Jack Fellows has agreed to chair the team for option 2.  Joe Friday will chair the team for option 4.  Tom Armstrong chairs the team for option 3, and Bob Corel chairs the team for option 1.  Not all of the chairs have agreed to do this.  Once they have, the CWG will convene the teams, and they will meet and produce their pro/con documents and deliver them to the CWG.  Eric Barron has agreed to chair the committee to coordinate these documents.

Considerations:  Why an NCS?  Why now?  What are the options?  What are the themes within each option?  What are the metrics for success?


The four options are not mutually exclusive.  Tiger teams will get some guidance.

These plans have to address the “user focus”.


Will there simply be a new NOAA storefront?

Will there be an organization capable of forging new relationships focused on solving problems?  This latter strategy was favored by the Udall panel at Vail.


The Boulder Meeting.


Ed noted that there was a particularly positive mood among the Enterprise participants at the Boulder meeting.  Steve Root gave a particularly memorable presentation in which he took careful notice of the improved relationships among members of the Enterprise, particularly the government and the private sectors.  Steve made another important point:  the demand for climate services far exceeds the capacity of the Enterprise to deliver them right now.


Holly: Presented a discussion of decision-support tools.  There is a big investment.  If our community doesn’t produce these tools, others will.

Bob Cohen:  There must be no competition between the private sector and the government.

Holly:  True.  But, taxpayers pay for the infrastructure, and need to get services back without having to pay more for them.

Bob Cohen:  The private sector doesn’t need competition from the government.

Eileen:  We need to walk in with eyes-open, and define the boundaries between the sectors.

Ed:  The best way to do this is to somehow develop a continuous flow of requirements from users toward the other sectors.


Matt Parker:  Maybe there should be a Town Hall Meeting on the Tiger Teams, with feedback.

Eileen:  There will be a session on Wednesday afternoon that should cover that.  This committee might want to get a brief from the Tiger Teams.  Perhaps we could ask Eric what role he would like the CCS to play? 

Ed:  I will send Eric an email about this.

Eileen:  We can also review abstracts on climate adaption, decision-support, and climate services.  We can talk with session organizers about weaving the CS theme through the week.

Chuck:  CS may begin to get better exposure at the NAS.

Holly:  At the AMS Summer Community Meeting in Boulder, August 11-13, 2008, it was noted that mainly large corporations and individual consultants are represented at AMS meetings.  Mid-level companies tend to get left out, and need to connect with the community better.  Last years ACCS Town Hall Meeting also raised a similar issue:  That the AMS must connect better with the local level, through local chapters.  Discussion must be facilitated.

Eileen:  We are considering, at the 2010 meeting (theme:  Services for Society), a different format for the Presidential Forum.  This will consist of a continuing series of talks through the week.  We need to think about “how do we position ourselves to respond to society’s need for services?”, “how do we weave climate services in?”

Holly:  How about connecting to the local level?

Eileen:  Maybe panels on the local dimensions of climate science and services.

Holly:  This opens the potential for better-defining the roles of the sectors.  We should evolve these ideas.

Ed:  Those are great last words for the meeting.