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FAIR WEATHER Effective Partnership in Weather and Climate Services Committee on Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Task Order No. 56-DGNA-1-00002, Award No. 50-DGNA-1-90024, between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08746-5 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-50616-6 (PDF) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 2003102143 Additional copies of this report are available from: The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Lockbox 285 Washington, DC20055 (800) 624-6242 (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Cover: A perfect day of sailing. Photograph of the sailboat in the foreground by W. Robert Moore. Composite illustration and design by Van Nguyen, the National Academies Press. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON PARTNERSHIPS IN WEATHER AND CLIMATE SERVICES JOHN A. ARMSTRONG, Chair, IBM Corporation (retired), Amherst, Massachusetts RICHARD A. ANTHES, Vice-Chair, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado WILLIAM Y. ARMS, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York WILLIAM E. EASTERLING III, Pennsylvania State University, University Park RICHARD S. GREENFIELD, American Meteorological Society, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM W. HOOVER, Consultant, Williamsburg, Virginia JESSICA LITMAN, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan GORDON McBEAN, University of Western Ontario, Canada RAVI V. NATHAN, Aquila, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri (through August 2002) MARIA A. PIRONE, Weather Services International Corporation, Billerica, Massachusetts ROY RADNER, New York University, New York ROBERT T. RYAN, WRC-TV, Washington, D.C. KAREN R. SOLLINS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Consultant ROGER A. PIELKE, JR., University of Colorado, Boulder National Research Council Staff ANNE M. LINN, Study Director CYNTHIA PATTERSON, Program Officer JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Associate SHANNON L. RUDDY, Senior Project Assistant
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COMMITTEE ON GEOPHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL DATA J. BERNARD MINSTER, Chair, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, La Jolla ROGER C. BALES, University of Arizona, Tucson MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor JEFF DOZIER, University of California, Santa Barbara DAVID M. GLOVER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts MARK J. McCABE, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta JOHN M. MELACK, University of California, Santa Barbara ROY RADNER, New York University, New York ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado National Research Council Staff ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Associate SHANNON L. RUDDY, Senior Project Assistant
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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES RAYMOND JEANLOZ, Chair, University of California, Berkeley JILL BANFIELD, University of California, Berkeley STEVEN R. BOHLEN, Joint Oceanographic Institution, Washington, D.C. VICKI J. COWART, Colorado Geological Survey, Denver DAVID L. DILCHER, University of Florida, Gainesville ADAM M. DZIEWONSKI, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia RHEA GRAHAM, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Albuquerque GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DIANNE R. NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City MARK SCHAFER, NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia BILLIE L. TURNER II, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts THOMAS J. WILBANKS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee National Research Council Staff ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Director TAMARA L. DICKINSON, Senior Program Officer DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer PAUL M. CUTLER, Program Officer KRISTEN L. KRAPF, Program Officer KERI H. MOORE, Program Officer LISA M. VANDEMARK, Program Officer YVONNE P. FORSBERGH, Research Assistant MONICA R. LIPSCOMB, Research Assistant EILEEN McTAGUE, Research Assistant VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative Associate JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Associate RADHIKA S. CHARI, Senior Project Assistant KAREN L. IMHOF, Senior Project Assistant SHANNON L. RUDDY, Senior Project Assistant TERESIA K. WILMORE, Project Assistant
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BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ERIC J. BARRON, Chair, Pennsylvania State University, University Park RAYMOND J. BAN, The Weather Channel Inc., Atlanta, Georgia ROBERT C. BEARDSLEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor HOWARD B. BLUESTEIN, University of Oklahoma, Norman RAFAEL L. BRAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge STEVEN F. CLIFFORD, University of Colorado, Boulder CASSANDRA G. FESEN, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire GEORGE L. FREDERICK, Vaisala, Inc., Boulder, Colorado JUDITH L. LEAN, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. MARGARET A. LEMONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado MARIO J. MOLINA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MICHAEL J. PRATHER, University of California, Irvine WILLIAM J. RANDEL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado RICHARD D. ROSEN, Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts THOMAS F. TASCIONE, Sterling Software, Inc., Bellevue, Nebraska JOHN C. WYNGAARD, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Ex Officio Members EUGENE M. RASMUSSON, University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey National Research Council Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director ELBERT W. (JOE) FRIDAY, JR., Senior Scholar LAURIE S. GELLER, Senior Program Officer PETER A. SCHULTZ, Senior Program Officer DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Associate ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Officer ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Project Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Project Assistant
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COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD DAVID D. CLARK, Chair, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ERIC BENHAMOU, 3Com Corporation, Santa Clara, California DAVID E. BORTH, Motorola, Inc., Schaumburg, Illinois JOHN M. CIOFFI, Stanford University, California ELAINE COHEN, University of Utah, Salt Lake City BRUCE CROFT, University of Massachusetts, Amherst THOMAS E. DARCIE, AT&T Labs Research, Red Bank, New Jersey JOSEPH V. FARRELL, University of California, Berkeley JOAN FEIGENBAUM, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA, Stanford University, California WENDY A. KELLOGG, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York BUTLER W. LAMPSON, CSTB member emeritus, Microsoft Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts DAVID E. LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners, Menlo Park, California TOM M. MITCHELL, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania DAVID A. PATTERSON, University of California, Berkeley HENRY (HANK) PERRITT, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois DANIEL J. PIKE, Classic Communications, Tyler, Texas ERIC SCHMIDT, Google, Inc., Mountain View, California FRED B. SCHNEIDER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York BURTON J. SMITH, Cray, Inc., Seattle, Washington LEE S. SPROULL, New York University WILLIAM W. STEAD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee JEANNETTE M. WING, Microsoft Research, on leave from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania National Research Council Staff MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Executive Director ERIC BASQUES, Program Officer KRISTEN BATCH, Research Associate JENNIFER M. BISHOP, Senior Project Assistant JANET BRISCOE, Administrative Officer D.C. DRAKE, Senior Project Assistant JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer RENEE HAWKINS, Financial Associate MARGARET HUYNH, Senior Project Assistant ALAN S. INOUYE, Senior Program Officer HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist
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LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Program Officer DAVID PADGHAM, Research Associate CYNTHIA A. PATTERSON, Program Officer JANICE SABUDA, Senior Project Assistant ROBIN SCHOEN, Program Officer JERRY R. SHEEHAN, Senior Program Officer BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Office Assistant STEVEN WOO, Dissemination and Program Officer
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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Raymond Ban, The Weather Channel, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia David Chang, retired, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts Stanley Changnon, emeritus, Illinois State Water Survey and University of Illinois, Champaign Surajit Chaudhuri, Microsoft Research, Redmond, Washington Bennett Z. Kobb, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., Arlington, Virginia Clifford Mass, University of Washington, Seattle Warren Qualley, American Airlines Flight Academy, Fort Worth, Texas Robert M. White, Washington Advisory Group, Washington, D.C. John Zysman, University of California, Berkeley
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Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Christopher A. Sims, Princeton University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Preface Over the last four decades the provision of weather and climate services in the United States has evolved from an almost exclusively governmental function to one carried out by a combination of federal, state, and local government agencies (referred to collectively as the public sector), the private sector, and academia. This change has improved and diversified weather and climate services, but has also raised questions about the proper roles of the various sectors and the potential for actual or perceived competition. A recent National Research Council report discussed the roles of the public, academic, and private sectors in a broad range of environmental disciplines (including weather), and proposed guidelines for purchasing data and products for public purposes, dealing with data restrictions, and privatizing government functions. This report focuses on the provision of civilian weather and climate services, barriers to communication among the sectors, and opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the weather and climate enterprise. In gathering information for this report, the committee solicited input from representatives of the three sectors, key user communities—agriculture, aviation, weather risk management, and emergency management— and experts in public policy, technology transfer, social science, and information technology. In addition to holding meetings, the committee visited several weather companies, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facilities, and academic organizations. These include AccuWeather; NBC; WeatherData; WSI Corp.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Penn State University; the University Corporation for Atmospheric Re-
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search; National Weather Service (NWS) headquarters; National Climatic Data Center; Climate Diagnostics Center; Forecast Systems Laboratory; Climate Diagnostics Laboratory; and NWS forecast offices in Tauton, Massachusetts; State College, Pennsylvania; and Wichita, Kansas. Altogether, the committee held four committee meetings and six site visits. To facilitate communication with the broader community, the committee hosted a “town hall” meeting at the 2002 American Meteorological Society annual meeting and maintained a web site with meeting and background information. The committee actively solicited public comment and received dozens of letters. Finally, information was gathered from the literature and from web sites. The information from web sites provided in this report was correct, to the best of the committee’s knowledge, at the time of publication. It is important to remember, however, the rapidly changing content of the Internet. Resources that are free and publicly available one day may require a fee or restrict access the next, and the location of items may change as menus and home pages are reorganized. The committee would like to acknowledge the many individuals who briefed it, wrote letters, or provided background material or other input. They include Elliot Abrams, David Bacon, Ray Ban, Thomas Baumgardner, Nancy Bellar, James Block, Charles Bostian, William Brandon, Lee Branscome, Francis Bretherton, Bill Brune, Bruce Budd, Craig Burfeind, David Chang, Stanley Changnon, Don Coash, John Couzelis, Michael Dangelo, William Depuy, Randy Dole, Rainer Dombrowsky, Kelvin Droegemeier, John Dutton, Steve Easley, Dick Elder, Kerry Emmanuel, Allen Eustis, Nick Faust, Margaret Fowke, John Freeman, Joe Friday, Michael Fritsch, Craig Fugate, Fred Gadomski, Rodger Getz, Mark Gildersleeve, Mary Glackin, Russell Gold, David Goodrich, Edward Gross, Richard Grumm, Ron Guy, Jim Hansen, Robert Hart, James Hatch, Chance Hayes, Jack Hayes, Stan Heckman, Steven Hilberg, David Hofmann, Charles Hosler, Ian Hunter, Lodovica Illari, Doug Jonas, Tom Karl, Frank Kelly, Jack Kelly, Michael Kleist, Paul Knight, Rob Korty, Kevin Lavin, Greg Lawson, Sharon LeDuc, Alexander MacDonald, Greg Mandt, Marvin McInnis, David McLaughlin, Greg McRae, Jim Menard, Rick Murnane, Barry Lee Myers, Evan Myers, Joel Myers, Celeste Oakes, David Ondrejik, Chris Orr, Joseph Ostrowski, Alan Plumb, Irwin Prater, Jeff Reaves, Kenneth Reeves, Dan Ristic, Steven Root, Jim Severson, Jeffrey Shorter, Michael Smith, Richard Spinrad, Carl Staton, Mike Steinburg, Peter Stone, Michael Stonebraker, Robert Thompson, Lloyd Treinish, Lou Uccellini, Bill Weaving, Jonathan Weinberg, Roger Williams, Greg Withee, Megan Woodhead, John Wroclawski, and John Zillman. The committee also thanks Edward Johnson and Peter Weiss of the NWS Strategic Planning Office for their detailed responses to letters from the private sector and to numerous questions from the committee. Thanks go to the study director, Anne Linn, and
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the program officer, Cynthia Patterson, for their outstanding support throughout the committee’s work. Finally, the committee extends special thanks to Roger Pielke, Jr., and Edward Zajac, who wrote white papers at the request of the committee. Roger also served as an unpaid consultant to the committee and provided invaluable insight to the policy issues surrounding the public-private partnership throughout the course of the study. John A. Armstrong, Chair Committee on Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 11 History of the NWS-Private Sector Partnership, 15 International Dimensions, 20 Organization of the Report, 21 2 THE U.S. WEATHER AND CLIMATE ENTERPRISE 23 The Weather and Climate Information System, 24 Current Activities of the Sectors, 27 Users of Weather and Climate Information, 35 Summary, 42 3 PUBLIC, PRIVATE, AND ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS 43 NWS Public-Private Partnership Policy, 43 Successful Partnerships, 45 Conflicts Between the Sectors, 52 Conclusions, 55 4 LEGAL, SOCIAL, POLICY, AND ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK 57 Legal Overview, 57 Economic Context, 62 Data Policy, 68
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Perceptions of Unfairness, 72 Conclusions, 74 5 IMPACT OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES ON PARTNERSHIPS 75 Changes in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century, 76 Current and Near-Term Advances, 78 Conclusions, 92 6 IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE WEATHER ENTERPRISE 93 Strengthening Partnerships, 95 Enhancing the Contributions of the Three Sectors, 100 Improving the Weather System Infrastructure, 109 APPENDIXES A Committee Charge 113 B Public-Private Provision of Weather and Climate Services: Defining the Policy Problem Roger Pielke, Jr., University of Colorado 115 C Major Systems Overview 135 D Private Sector Comments 149 E On Fairness and Self-Serving Biases in the Privatization of Environmental Data Edward E. Zajac, University of Arizona 193 F Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 213 G Acronyms 219