Terms of Reference

Unparalleled advances in our understanding of climate and its variability have benefited both the atmospheric science community and weather-sensitive decision-makers, who integrate climate information into planning, operations, and policy decisions. The AMS Committee on Climate Variability and Change, in partnership with other STAC Committees, is responsible for promoting climate research and prediction, fostering the transfer of climate knowledge, and providing expertise on climate matters.

The Committee is concerned with aspects of Earth's climate covering a wide range of time and space scales. The spatial scales vary from very localized regions (as small as a few kilometers) to global scales. Temporal scales of interest encompass past, present, and future climate, and range from as short as diurnal through paleogeologic time scales covering the evolution of Earth's atmosphere and climate, and projections of future climate changes. Climate problems are multi-disciplinary, involving physical, chemical, and biological sciences, and requiring expertise from many Earth and planetary science disciplines, including meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, geology, paleontology, and geography, as well as the social sciences.

Areas of endeavor include:

  1.   identification, analysis, and diagnosis of fluctuations and trends in climate, encompassing information about average conditions and variability, including extreme events;
  2. improvement of climate models for use in predicting and understanding future climate change;
  3. improvement in the quality of short-period climate prediction (i.e., two weeks, seasonal, and out to several years) and their utility to the user community;
  4. specification, compilation, quality assessment, and dissemination of climate datasets, based both on conventional and proxy data; and
  5. specification of new or improved measurements of climate parameters.

To promote community progress in the areas outlined above, the Committee's main activities are:

  1. arranging AMS-sponsored and co-sponsored conferences, symposia, workshops, training sessions, etc.;
  2. stimulating interaction with other AMS committees, related professional societies, and national and international agencies;
  3. promoting the involvement and inclusion of scientists representing the rich diversity of the community in the work of the Committee and in its areas of concern;
  4. providing advice to the AMS on the adequacy of climate research, products, programs, education, and outreach.
  5. nominating distinguished individuals to become Fellows and to receive awards of the Society.