Thursday, June 2, 2011

Climate service organizations 'are an essential resource'

Nadya Anscombe in Environmental Research Web: A leading European climate scientist is urging the US Congress to approve plans for the formation of a climate service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA wants to initiate a reorganization that will bring together its existing widely dispersed climate capabilities under a single office management structure, the Climate Service. To do this, the NOAA needs approval from the US Congress, which this year did not endorse the plans.

"Climate services are an essential provision that bridge the gap between scientists and policymakers and should therefore be supported by governments," Guy Brasseur, director of the Climate Service Centre in Germany, told environmentalresearchweb. "I hope that the US Congress votes for the creation of the NOAA Climate Service next year."

Brasseur argues that while policymakers want advice on courses of action, scientists do not want to get involved in politics and are unable to give policymakers the kind of information that they need. "This is where climate service organizations come in," he said. "We translate the science and help politicians make decisions about appropriate policies and strategies for dealing with climate change." He also believes that the role of a climate service is to communicate with the private sector, researchers and the general public.

The term "climate service" was only recently coined; the first-ever International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS) will take place in October this year at Columbia University, US. One of the main aims of the event is to define the scope of a climate service and to discuss the Global Framework for Climate Services proposed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)…

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