Terms of Reference
Climate affects almost all human endeavors. Its inherent variability, including extreme meteorological events (such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes), also affects the terrestrial and biological systems on which society depends for survival. Public awareness of and concern with climate impacts places demands on the meteorological profession to provide pertinent climatic information to a diverse user group in a timely and effective manner. The applied climatologist often combines a broad background in the social sciences with detailed knowledge of the physical sciences, theory from the research community, and model-generated and monitored environmental data to answer specific client questions. The objective of the Committee on Applied Climatology is to further the application of state-of-the-art knowledge, information, and technology to real-world socioeconomic and environmental problems.
Committee concerns include, but are not restricted to, the following:
development of methods and techniques that identify and describe climatic patterns and relationships, including such traditional descriptors of climate as normals;
assessment of societal and biological climate impacts and the historical changes in this impact because of past climate variations;
availability of climate information that enhances understanding of the impact of climate on managed and unmanaged systems;
oversight of observational and measurement techniques to maintain the integrity and representativeness of short- and long-term databases to permit an accurate and unbiased evaluation of climate change;
increased availability of data, particularly on local and regional scales;
development of climatic models for tailored applications to human endeavors from micro- to macrospatial scales and from immediate to long-term temporal scales; and
- development of improved linkages between applied climatologists and users of climate data products to facilitate the application of climatic information in decision making.
The committee recognizes the broad variety of scientific disciplines concerned with applied climatology and encourages stronger interactions of climatologists with other scientists and climate data users through national and international conferences. Many of these conferences should be planned jointly with other American Meteorological Society (AMS) committees on related disciplines, such as the Committees on Probability and Statistics, Climate Variations, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, and Biometeorology and Aerobiology, as well as the Program Committee on Global Change Studies.
The committee also recognizes its responsibility to provide advice on the capabilities and needs of the applied climatologist to other AMS committees concerned with technique and method development; analysis, diagnosis, and prediction of climatic variations; and climatic impact assessment.