model does not make adequate room for communication with an input from information users, especially those who do not normally interact with NOAA. Such a climate service would not be user driven and so would likely fall short in providing needed information, identifying and meeting critical needs for research for and on decision support, and in adapting adequately to changing information needs. In addition, this model of a climate service is focused only on providing information about climate: It would therefore fail to develop and provide the many kinds of nonclimate information that climate-affected decision makers also need.1

If a national climate service is created, we believe it should follow a much more user-driven and interagency organizational model, be closely linked to the research program, and have a purview that goes beyond developing and providing information about climate. We also believe that in addition to any new organizational entity, such as a climate service, individual federal agencies should develop efforts to provide decision support for their climate-affected constituencies.

The realization throughout the nation that Earth’s climate is changing frames a moment of need and opportunity. The need, emerging over the years ahead, is for knowledge to inform Americans about the implications of the changing climate in their personal choices, organizational responsibilities, and public policies. Growing out of the strong base of analysis in the natural and applied sciences of weather and climate forecasting and with additional investment in the science of climate response, there is an opportunity to empower people to face a transition to a world that people have remade and continue to remake.


This text was changed from the prepublication version to clarify the panel’s meaning.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement