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1 CROSSING THE VALLEY OF DEATH: The NOAA Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services (TRACS) Program CLIMATE PREDICTION APPLICATION SCIENCES.

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Presentation on theme: "1 CROSSING THE VALLEY OF DEATH: The NOAA Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services (TRACS) Program CLIMATE PREDICTION APPLICATION SCIENCES."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CROSSING THE VALLEY OF DEATH: The NOAA Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services (TRACS) Program CLIMATE PREDICTION APPLICATION SCIENCES WORKSHOP (CPASW) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JOSH FOSTER TRACS Program Coordinator Climate Program Office (CPO) March 7, 2008> ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER

2 2 INTRODUCTION: Bridging Research to Operations/Applications Old problem, so why TRACS now? What has changed? NEW CONTEXT: 2000: NRC Crossing Valley of Death Report 2003-05: NEW NOAA Climate Transition Program (NCTP) FORMULATED 2005: FIRST NCTP funding year 2005: NEW NOAA Transition Policy (TRA) NEW NCTP MANAGER 2006: JOSH FOSTER 2006: NEW NAME: NOAA Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services (TRACS) Program> Current TRACS Projects - intertwines with CPASW Emerging Issues and Questions

3 3 OLD CONTEXT: The Policy Statement ~1973 (Source: Gordon Little; Director, Wave Propagation Lab 1967+ precursor of NOAA Environmental Technology Lab (ETL), now ESRL)

4 4 OLD CONTEXT: And its Products (Source: Gordon Little)

5 5 NEW CONTEXT: National Research Council (NRC) Report 2000 CROSSING THE VALLEY OF DEATH From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction National Research Council (NRC) Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) 2000

6 6 New Context: NRC Report 2000 NRC RECOMMENDATION*: NOAA should institutionalize the transition process, assigning clear responsibility for continuous evaluation of its effectiveness and for the identification of bottlenecks and opportunities. *See also: Satellite Observations of the Earth's Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (NRC, 2003)

7 7 New Context: NRC Report 2000 NRC RECOMMENDATION*: Feasibility must be demonstrated for the entire operational process, and production of additional climate and weather information must be accompanied by considerations of its dissemination, use, and impact. Impact may be related to demand, which depends on visibility of the information and recognition of its value. *See also: A Climate Services Vision: First Steps Towards the Future (NRC, 2001)

8 8 New Context: NOAA Climate Transition Program 2003: NOAA Climate Transition Program (NCTP) proposed to NWS and OAR STARTED JOINTLY by: NWS Climate Services Division (CSD): Fiona Horsfall: Deputy Director OAR Climate Program Office: Harvey Hill: RISA Program Manager With input from many from CPASW community

9 9 New Context: NOAA Climate Transition Program (NCTP) 2003 Climate Services Development RATIONALE & PURPOSE: Pent up demand for hand-off of prototype climate information tools from research community to operations/applications communities Reap returns from research investments in new capabilities for delivery of climate information via discrete transition projects with user partners Enhance the capacity to deliver climate data, predictions, assessments, and information tools regionally by linking existing organizational capabilities through regular interactions (e.g. CPASW, Westcore)

10 10 New Context: NOAA TRANSITION POLICY 2005 TRANSITION RESEARCH TO APPLICATIONS (TRA) NOAA ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER (NAO 216-105) (May 2005) NOAA will maximize the timely application of NOAA sponsored research and capitalize on non-NOAA research in order to meet mission needs.

11 11 New Context: NOAA TRANSITION POLICY 2005 RESEARCH TO APPLICATIONS = Operations + Information Services Research: Systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Operations: Sustained, systematic, reliable, and robust mission activities with an institutional commitment to deliver appropriate, cost-effective products and services. Information Services: Production and delivery of interpreted and/or synthesized data, decision tools, and scientific knowledge and understanding to decision- and policy-makers, the scientific community, and the public.

12 12 Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services (TRACS) TRACS PROGRAM MISSION - 2 Main Goals: is to (1) transition experimentally mature climate tools, methods, and processes, from research mode into settings where they may be applied in an operational and sustained manner, generating continuous and ROUTINE delivery of useful climate information products and services to local, regional, national, and international decision and policy makers. TRACS seeks not only to support implementation of these transitions, but also to (2) learn from partners how better to accomplish technology transition processes for public goods applications and improved risk management. UNIT PARTNERS: Research, Operations, Extension, Decision-makers

13 13 TRACS Unit Model TRACS is designed to accommodate four types of grant-based Transition Partnership Project relationships: Within NOAA units From partners to NOAA From NOAA to partners Among NOAA partners (using NOAA funds)

14 14 TRACS PROGRAM: Why? Based on earlier NOAA investments in research, observations, modeling, and applications Supports NOAA Transition Policy in Climate Program Collaboration among NOAA Line Offices & Programs An experimental proof of concept model for competitive, proposal-driven, transition to applications of research to expand regional and local climate services - LED BY RESEARCHERS, but a climate community endeavor to build credibility Seed funding for transition projects Partnership driven: university, federal, regional, state, local, private sector - bridging the last 99 yards to the user (ie NOT NWS OSIP Process!)

15 15 TRACS: Transition Projects How? Evaluation Criteria climate time scale tools - climate & weather decisions defined partnership Unit: researcher, operations, extension, decision maker components (all members participate in proposal process) agreement(s)/endorsements among partners project management plan - partners, timeline, defined outcomes limited duration not to exceed 5 years benefits analysis of rigorous valuation of socio- economic, ecosystem, other measurable performance Post-audit evaluation - sustainable transition?

16 16 TRACS FY2005-08/09: Funded Transition Projects ART DEGAETANO (CORNELL/NERCC): Transitioning an Assessment of Impact-Producing East Coast Winter Storms to Decision-Support Tools for Emergency Management and Coast Restoration Partners: Cornell University to Northeast Regional Climate Center (NERCC) End-User: Sea Grant managers, coastal and emergency managers (Long Island, NY) ANDREW COMRIE-MARY GLUECK (UAZ)/KELLY REDMOND (WRCC/DRI) - WESTMAP: A Distributed Interactive Access and Resource Interface for Fine Scale Climate Data Partners: University of Arizona to Western Region Climate Center (WRCC) End-User: land and resource managers and planners STEVE HU (UNL/HPRCC) - THINK ABOUT IT: Transition of Weather and Climate Forecasts Into Effective Decision- Making Tool Partners: University of Nebraska-Lincoln to High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) End-User: agricultural extension agents, farmers IGNATIUS RIGOR (UW) Forecasting the Condition of Sea Ice on Weekly to Seasonal Time Scales Partners: University of Washington to Naval Ice Center (NIC) End-User: Navy ice forecasters, resource managers, navigators, hunters

17 17 TRACS FY2007-09/10: Funded Transition Projects under Coping with Drought Initiative KEITH INGRAM (UFLORIDA)/((DAVE ZIERDEN (FSU)) - AGCLIMATE: AGRICULTURE: Transition From Research To Operations for AgClimate - An Internet- Based Decision Support System For Minimizing Agricultural Risks Associated With Climate Variability PARTNERS: University Of Florida to Florida (UFL) Cooperative Extension Services, Particularly The Florida Agricultural Weather Network (FAWN) ANDREW ELLIS(ASU)/GREGG GARFIN (UAZ) MONITORING: AZ Instituting Multi-Scale Hydroclimatic Indices in Drought Monitoring and Mitigation PARTNERS: University Of Arizona (UAZ), Arizona State University (ASU), AZ State Climatologist to AZ Dept Of Water Resources, Salt River Project (Arizona Drought Monitoring Committee (ADMC) TIM BROWN (WRCC/DRI) FIRE: Implementation of a Climate-Vegetation Based Early Warning and Prediction System for Interagency Fuels Management PARTNERS: Desert Research Institute/Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (DRI/CEFA), Oregon State University (OSU), NOAA/ESRL Climate Diagnostics Branch (CDB) to DRI/CEFA (CEFA Operations and Forecast Facility (COFF)already funded by land management agencies MIKE HAYES (NDMC) - DROUGHT IMPACT REPORTER (DIR) SOCIETAL IMPACTS: Transitioning the Drought Impact Reporter into an Operational System PARTNERS: NDMC, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), University of Arizona (UAZ) to NDMC KEN HUBBARD (HPRCC) MONITORING: Adding Daily Solar Radiation and Dew Point Temperature to Historical Weather Records of the U.S. Cooperative Observer Network in the High Plains Region PARTNERS: UNL, High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) to HPRCC

18 18 TRACS FY2007-09/10: Funded Transition Projects under Coping with Drought Initiative* JEFF WHITAKER (NOAA CDB/ESRL) TO NCEP FORECASTING: Transition of Downscaled Probabilistic Precipitation Forecasts into NOAA Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Operations PARTNERS: ESRL CDB to NCEP NCO and HPC ANDREW WOOD (UWASHINGTON) TO NCEP MONITORING & PREDICTION: Real-Time Soil Moisture, Snow And Runoff Products For Drought Assessment And Prediction In The Continental U.S. PARTNERS: University of Washington to CPC, (NCDC), NDMC, National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) KOSTA GEORGAKAKOS (HRC-SAN DIEGO) - INFORM FORECASTING: Operational Multiscale Forecast and Reservoir Management in Northern California PARTNERS: The Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) and the Georgia Water Resources Institute (GWRI) to the California Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) *Funding from NWS Office of Hydrological Development (OHD)


20 20 Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) Project: Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments Climate Impacts Group (CIG-RISA) (UW); King County, WA; ICLEI: designed to help local, regional, and state governments prepare for climate change by recommending a detailed, easy-to- understand process for climate change preparedness based on familiar resources and tools Note: Holly Hartmanns talk

21 21 Forecasting the Condition of Arctic Sea Ice Collaborators: Polar Science Center (Research), and the National Ice Center (Operations). Goal: Use buoy observations, and apply recent insights in Arctic Climate Variability to improve operational/seasonal sea ice forecasts. Example: A new record minimum in Arctic sea ice extent was set this past summer. The map on the top left shows the distribution of buoys (red dots), and sea ice concentration over the Arctic Ocean on 26 Sep. 2007. Using these observations we can estimate the age (thickness) of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean using a Drift Age Model (lower left). The age map shows the estimates for March 2007, and given the large expanse of younger (thinner) sea ice northeast of Alaska (yellow oval, lower left) we could expect large areas of open water the following summer (yellow oval, top). The Drift Age Model may also be compared to other NIC ice products to validate and improve both products. E.g. in the lower right we compare results from the age model with the ares of multi-year (MY) sea ice analyzed from the QuikScat satellite. AlaskaAlaska AlaskaAlaska Source: Ignatius Rigor

22 22 Source: Art Degaetano

23 23 ECWS: Tracks and corresponding storm surge plots for significant historical storms Seasonal storm frequency outlooks Storm and Surge Climatologies Coming soon…. Historical analogues for impending storms Source: Art Degaetano

24 24 Western Climate Mapping Initiative (WESTMAP) A Stakeholder-driven Interactive Web-based Interface for Data Access & Analysis New tools for Fine-Scale CLIMATE data Maps & Graphs of Spatial Time Series over User-specified Space & Time domains PRISM temperature & Precipitation: Western United States Month(s), season(s), year(s) Mean, anomaly, composite, basic statistics, etc. Canned and user specified subregions, pixel, custom QuickMap, Tool Box, Tutorials, Metadata, Education, User Feedback Initial WestMap Project: Comrie & Glueck, University of Arizona; Redmond, Reinbold & Abatzoglou, WRCC/DRI; Daly, PRISM (Oregon State U); funded by NOAA NCTP/TRACS Source: Mary Glueck (Poster)

25 25 Think About It – Transitioning Climate Information and Predictions to Decision Aids* Qi S. Hu 1, Lisa M. PytlikZillig 2, Gary D. Lynne 3, Kenneth G. Hubbard 1, and Roger H. Bruning 2 1. School of Natural Resources and Department of Geosciences, 2. Center for Instructional Innovation, and Department of Educational Psychology 3. Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0987 March 2007 (*: This research has been supported by NOAA OGP/NCTP Program) The major obstacle in transitioning weather and climate predictions and information in agricultural decision-making is that farmers dont know how to interpret forecasts and how to integrate them in specific decisions. Thus, the key in achieving the transition and improving use of forecasts in decisions is to increase the knowledge of farmers about the forecasts and build skills and confidence of using them in farming decisions. We use the following irrigation decision scenario as an example to demonstrate how this transition works. Your farm is located in the northern part of Franklin County in south-central Nebraska. Like most of your neighbors, you are growing corn in silt loam soil that can hold 2 inches of available water per foot, and you use a center pivot system that pumps water from a ground-water system, and has the capacity to put on 1 inch of water in 3 days. The ground water allocation for farmers in this area this year is 11 inches. You planted corn on May 1st, today is Monday, June 20th, and your corn is in the ten-leaf stage. So far this season, you have not needed to irrigate. Most of your neighbors have not irrigated yet eitherthough one or two have. Since mid- May, your area has only received about 2.5 inches of rainfall, and you are trying to decide if you should irrigate and, if so, how much you should irrigate. (Note: In this scenario, the price of corn is $2.25 per bushel. The cost to apply an inch of water is $6.50 per acre.) Farmers then are given the following weather and climate predictions and crop water use conditions, and asked to use any to make their provisional irrigation decision. 1. Observed percentage of soil water content 2. Soil moisture accumulation 3. Five-day rainfall forecast – Nebraska QPF 4. Rainfall probability forecast 5. 5-day T_min and T_max predictions 6. Wind predictions, and 7. Crop water use summary In viewing each of these products farmers are asked a couple of questions that measure how well they understand the product. Example question (for soil water content observation) On a scale of 0-6, how important or relevant is this information to making a good irrigation decision in this case? This question is important because accurate predictions should only be used in relevant situations to make good decisions. While users view and answer questions about the products, they are provided with Coaching materials, in written form or audio or video, that explain how the particular product should be interpreted. Additional interpretations of the map are saved in a resources folder that users can click if want to read more. After reading the map, the user can compare his interpretation of the map with the Consultant and expert feedback on how this product tells the soil moisture condition in the concerned area. In addition, the user can see how his peers answered the question. Coaching & Expert Feedback: Coaching: The color bar below this map shows the percentage values for the color code in the map. For example, the yellow color corresponds to the soil water content between 40 and 50% of the maximum available soil water for crop use. Additional interpretations of the map are saved in a resources folder that users can click if want to read more. Expert (Consultant) Feedback: Experts rated this information as a 3 on the zero to six- point scale. Thus, the information provided by the product is moderately useful in this case. This consultant feedback shows the user how to integrate the information of this product with the actual situation and other information, e.g., rainfall and temperature predictions, to make a more effective irrigation decision. Peer Feedback: As shown, the peers in this case also thought the information was only moderately important. Summary The ThinkAboutIt (TAI) modules for helping producers learn to choose and apply weather products to specific situations have been developed for understanding and correctly using the weather and climate products. At the end of the training associated with each product, the TAI model provides users with the chance to reconsider their irrigation decision in light of all the available information and make an effective decision. Expert coaching and feedback is also available during this synthesis. In this way, the users can gain, not only knowledge of new weather products, but also skill in applying them to specific situations. A computer module of this climate transitioning tool is being developed and some interfaces are shown below. Source: Steven Hu (Poster)



28 28 Real-time Soil Moisture and Runoff Products for Assessment and Forecasting of Drought in the Continental U.S.PI Andy Wood (transferring to D. Lettenmaier) NEW TRACS Project FY2007 objective: using UW Surface Water Monitor as testbed, develop and transition drought products & analysis approaches to NCEP (EMC/CPC). examples: ensemble seasonal runoff & soil moisture predictions products are now inputs to: CPC Drought Outlook USDA NWCC Weekly Drought Report NIDIS Drought Portal CPC Drought Briefing

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34 34 FY2008 TRACS COPING WITH DROUGHT Request for Proposals (RFP) Proposals should focus on developing and transitioning products to support drought planning and the communication of climate impact information tailored to specific regional needs, including products and services of relevance to the US Drought Portal (USDP) web initiative and complying with USDP technical standards and requirements.

35 35 TRACS FY2008 Proposal Submission Guidance TRACS encourages proposals that knit together researchers with current climate services activities at one or more of the following organizations representing operational, extension or decision maker communities: National Weather Service (NWS) Regional Headquarters (RFOs), NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), NWS River Forecast Centers (RFCs), NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center (CPC), Climate Test Bed (CTB), Hydro- meteorological Testbed (HMT), National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), Regional Climate Centers (RCCs), the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), state climatologist's offices (SCOs), RISA Teams, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), US Drought Portal (USDP), US Drought Monitor (USDM), other federal, state, and local agencies or extension services, and the private sector.


37 37 TRACS: EMERGING ISSUES EMPHASES FROM GRANT COMPETITION REVIEWS THAT HAVE EMERGED: UPSTREAM to National level (to NOAA): tools that benefit the community nationally & internationally (favored): derives more value from the science because the tool is multiplied across many users nationwide - more bang for $ But will have more diffuse benefits that are harder to measure NOAA should pay? DOWNSTREAM to Regional/Local level: tools that benefit users in the projectNation only as scalable or transferable: harder to judge overall value because more focused on increased benefits for particular region/sector/user But will derive better specific feedback from the users about the value of the science and information users should pay?

38 38 TRACS: EMERGING ISSUES Upgrades to existing information tools/websites vs. new tools -- and specifically, level of maturity of tools? What does it mean to provide climate services/information operationally (definition; whos role?) -- specifically, climate change information? (ie that only needs to be updated periodically) Support for broader CLIMATE SERVICES DEVELOPMENT activities?

39 39 TRACS: FUTURE PROGRAM DIRECTION? REGIONAL Climate Services CORES & CLIMATE EXTENSION Activities TRACS as Possible home in NOAA for Regional Climate Cores and for Climate Extension: Climate cores…will be forums at which the regional climate communities, defined on the basis of climate-sensitive issues, can participate to share regional and local science, present challenges faced within their region, and allow expressions of need on the part of potential users…[and] will provide opportunities to establish collaborations for leveraging funding opportunities such as the NOAA Climate Transition Program. The Cores will encompass a three-step process…[T]he second step is developing a capacity for working in the research arena, identifying resources, transfer of research to operations, maintaining operations, and providing extension services to effectively deliver the fruits of the research…with a clearly defined path for product delivery… SOURCE: Fiona Horsfall, Harvey Hill, Roger Pulwarty, Kelly Redmond (AMS Annual Meeting, 2005)

40 40 TRACS: Regional Climate Cores FOCI For Climate Extension and Services CLIMATE CORE field activities that could be supported by TRACS, examples: a) regular fora (e.g. annual Colorado River Basin Outlook) b) regular workshops (e.g. sector engagement – Western States Water Council (WSWC)) c) routine training (e.g. CPC forecasters working with RISAs) d) facilitating routine user engagement with operational forecast and data centers - user needs workshops e) systematic test-beds/demonstration projects for climate services (partnerships with public utilities or the private sector; also supporting monitoring or forecasting system development) f) climate extension specialists (70% extension/30% research): beat cops or circuit riders to engage user communities (e.g. CLIMAS-RISA, University of Arizona; SECC-RISA, Florida)* *Source: Mike Crimmins, UArizona

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