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Conclusions and Summary Once again: Goals and Strategy Integration Within NCAR, nationally, and internationally Education Management and Budget Future Plans WCIAS: Overarching Goal

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conclusions and summary
Conclusions and Summary
  • Once again: Goals and Strategy
  • Integration
    • Within NCAR, nationally, and internationally
  • Education
  • Management and Budget
  • Future Plans
wcias overarching goal
WCIAS: Overarching Goal

To improve society’s ability to manage weather and climate risks by creating and providing research tools and methods at the critical frontiers of impact assessment science.

goals in each theme
Goals in Each Theme

1. To support improved responses to weather and climate risks by understanding and characterizing the uncertainties affecting the decision-making process.

  • 2. To increase the resilience of human populations to extreme weather and climate events through improved tools, modeling, and data.

3. To catalyze and nurture an interdisciplinary research community studying the effects of climate on human health.

wcias strategy
WCIAS Strategy
  • Filling critical gaps in weather and climate impact assessment science
  • Developing integrating methods
  • Moving toward decision-making as a centerpiece
  • Promoting integration of assessment science activities at NCAR, nationally, and internationally
integration within ncar
Integration within NCAR
  • CGD-ESIG-GSP(Flood project)
  • CGD-GSP-RAP-ESIG (Integrated uncertainty analysis in water resources)
  • Expanded role of GSP throughout NCAR
  • Other initiatives (Biogeosciences, Water, Fire, GIS)
links to other initiatives

Wildland Fire


Water Cycle across






Climate / Health


Links to Other Initiatives
initiative linkages
Initiative Linkages
  • Wildland Fire –developed model to forecast location of housing developments – AI improves predictive model by identifying sensitivity of decisions to people’s understanding of fire risks
  • Water Cycle across Scales – plans to use CRCM outputs in spatial scaling of extremes; analysis of future changes in floods and droughts
  • Cyberinfrastructure –use of structure to develop distribution system for high-resolution climate scenarios
climate variability and uncertainty in flood hazard planning
Climate Variability and Uncertainty in Flood Hazard Planning

Link between GIS and the Weather and Climate ImpactAssessmentInitiatives

Mapping rainfall data to help better understand past flooding events along Colorado’s Front Range

Spatial and temporal variability of extreme precipitation events

Good case for spatial statistics

Mary Downton, et al.


Land use/cover


Impacts Assessment



Climate Impacts on


Managed and



Land Surface / Atmosphere


Atmosphere / Soil

Carbon / Nitrogen Cycling

initiative collaboration with the wider research community
Initiative Collaboration with the Wider Research Community
  • Significant involvement of university community
  • NARCCAP – integration across NCAR, Universities, CCSP, and International Communities (and highlighting CCSM)
  • Links with international programs – (e.g., PIK, Tyndall Centre)
recent university participation
Recent University Participation
  • Uncertainty – R. Smith (U. North Carolina); M. Mann (U. Virginia); L. Sloan (UC Santa Cruz); W. Gutowski (Iowa State), P. Duffy (UC Berkeley), A. Cullen (U. Washington), J. Feddema (U. Kansas)
  • Extremes – P. Naveau (U. Colorado), E. Gruntfest (U. Colorado), H. Brooks (U. Oklahoma); R. Smith (U. North Carolina)
  • Climate and Health – J. Patz (Johns Hopkins); M. Wilson (U. Michigan); J. Mayer (U. Washington)
narccap north american regional climate change assessment program
NARCCAP North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program

Main Goals:

  • Exploration of multiple uncertainties in regional model and global climate model regional projections
  • Development of multiplehigh- resolutionregional climatescenarios for use in impacts models

Multiple AOGCM and RCM Climate Scenarios Project over North America



A2 Emissions Scenario


link to European





Provide boundary conditions

2040-2070 future

1960-1990 current





UC Santa Cruz



Hadley Centre







Iowa State/


contributions to ipcc ar4
Contributions to IPCC AR4
  • Tebaldi et al. method being used as the main method for integrating new AOGCM simulation results on regional scale
  • WG 1 Technical Support Unit wishes to see other global climate modeling groups perform SRES land cover change experiments similar to WCIAS Initiative
linkages with international community
Linkages with International Community
  • Numerous international presentations (Europe, Canada)
  • Formal links (MOUs) being established with PIK and the Tyndall Centre
educational components
Educational Components
  • Climate and Health Program – continuation of interdisciplinary education program on climate and health – Climate and Health Summer Colloquium (July 21-28, 2004)
  • Paleo Project – includes subproject of Education and Outreach – educational display on paleo climate (see poster)
climate and health colloquium
Climate and Health Colloquium
  • Summer 2004 Sessions:
  • Climate and Climate Modeling
  • Climate and Infectious Diseases
  • Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Heat Mortality and Air Pollution
  • Societal Responses, Assessment
  • and Communication

professional development roles of early career scientists
Professional Development:Roles of Early Career Scientists
  • Lisa Dilling (ESIG) – AI project manager
  • Caspar Amman (CGD) – PI of paleo project
  • Susi Moser and Lisa Dilling (ESIG) – Leaders of decision-making theme in WCIAS
  • Claudia Tebaldi (ESIG) –Lead author on key papers on regional climate probabilities
  • Dave Yates (RAP) –Key role in hydrology modeling in uncertainty theme
  • Rebecca Morss, Olga Wilhelmi (ESIG) –Key participants in flood project
intra initiative learning
Intra-Initiative Learning
  • Development of greater interdisciplinarity among the participants in the WCIAS
  • This development is an ongoing process
  • Catalyzes integration within NCAR
general planning process of assessment initiative
General Planning Process of Assessment Initiative
  • Four meetings with interested NCAR staff and several ESIG- specific planning meetings held to develop the three themes (second half of 2000 and first half of 2001)
  • Consultation with external collaborators
  • Written contributions from core group of interested staff, including all ESIG scientists
  • Several document iterations
  • One follow-up planning meeting held August 2001
  • Several more detailed follow-up planning meetings on individual themes held in September/October 2001
  • Initial funding provided in FY 2002 ($214K)
wcias leverages other funds
WCIAS Leverages Other Funds
  • NASA, NOAA, NCAR ASP – Climate and Health $92K total
  • NSF – Land cover data bases - $170K
  • HARC – Human dimensions of the Arctic - $60K
  • NSF – CMG: Development of spatio-temporal and multi-resolution methods for detection impacts of volcanic and solar forcings in climate – $300K
  • NOAA-OGP – Scales of decision-making and the carbon cycle – $285K
  • DOE, NSF, NOAA – various amounts for NARCCAP
  • GSP program at NCAR – various amounts
initiative management




B. Harriss

W. Washington

L. Dilling

Project Manager

  • V. Holzhauer
  • - Financial Administrator
  • J. Oxelson
  • Webmaster
  • R. Haacker-Santos
  • - Admin. Assistant

Advisory Board

J. Meehl





D. Nychka

Acting Dir. 03

Project Leads (11)

C. Amman

Climate Variability of Past Centuries

M. Downton

Flood Hazards Planning

L. Mearns/J.Patz

Climate and Health

G. Bonan

Land Cover Uncertainties


Extremes in Aviation

S. Moser

Decision Making

and Uncertainty

K. Miller

Managing Wildland Fire Risk

H. Brooks

Downscaling of Extreme


D. Nychka/D. Yates

Uncertainty in Model Simulations


Climate Model Extremes


Extremes Toolkit

Initiative Management
management activities
Management Activities
  • Monthly or bimonthly meetings –
    • Presentations on project work
    • Discussions with project advisory board and leads on project status, integration opportunities across projects
    • Individual project meetings
    • March 2003-March 2004 management activities lead by Doug Nychka (Acting Director) and L. Dilling (Project Manager)
the uncertain future

The (uncertain) Future

Near and Long-term

fy05 selected plans
FY05 Selected Plans
  • Land Cover – application of CLM/CCSM to SRES land cover scenarios – inclusion of urban area expansion, interactive crop models, soil degradation effects
  • Regional Probabilities of Climate Change – bivariate model, spatial correlation, expert judgment of climate modelers for formation of priors, role in IPCC – use in impacts and for decision-making (e.g., UKCIP)
fy05 selected plans cont
FY05 Selected Plans (cont.)
  • Changes in extreme sea surface temperatures and effects on coral reef health
  • Further application of extreme value theory
    • Analysis of heat waves (i.e., cluster maxima and length)
    • Determination of field significance of extremes
    • Detecting trends in extremes in observed data
fy05 selected plans cont34
FY05 Selected Plans (cont.)

Decision-making focus

  • NCAR-RISA Collaboration
  • Presenting Uncertainty to Decision-Makers (Rand)
  • Feasibility Limits of Adaptation Strategies to Sea-Level Rise
  • Decision-Making at the Climate-Health Interface
  • Societal Use of Weather Information
  • Scales of Decision-Making
    • Carbon flux management
    • Water resource management
vision future plans
Vision – Future Plans

Long term goals (5 years and beyond)

  • NCAR is recognized as national/international leader in Integrated Uncertainty Analysis including Decision Making (ISSE)
  • NCAR creates a complete, integrated program on extreme events (atmospheric science, statistics, societal vulnerability, decision-making)
  • Climate and Health Annual Summer Colloquium becomes world-class program in training students in this interdisciplinary field
long term vision
Long-term Vision

To improve society’s ability to manage weather and climate risks by creating and providing research tools and methods at the critical frontiers of impact assessment science.

The WCIAS Initiative fills a need to bridge between:

  • Global/regional modeling/observations and regional assessments
  • Physical sciences knowledge and tools, and environmental and social science
  • Science/academia and decision-makers
our ongoing commitment
Our Ongoing Commitment
  • Conduct cutting-edge, innovative research at the nexus of physical and social sciences
  • Build novel partnerships internally and externally
  • Maintain NCAR’s high visibility at the regional, national, and international levels to ensure that needs for advancements in assessment science are being met
  • Create innovative approaches to orient research in assessment science toward decision-making as a central focus



Global Models

Weather and Climate Impact Assessment Science

Regional Assessment


Health and Ecology

Inter/national Assessment

Statistics and Physical Sciences