CHAPTER TWO

Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling

This report is not the first to look at the issue of how to improve the nation’s climate models. In this section, a set of reports and articles that have been produced over the past several decades are examined (Table 2.1). The goal is to use the lessons from these previous reports to inform this one.

In addition to examining these documents themselves, this committee also commissioned 11 interviews to gain insight into the reception of these reports as part of the information-gathering process (Appendix B). The interviewees are individuals who

TABLE 2.1 Previous Reports and Articles on Improving Climate Modeling in the United States Consulted in this Review

Year Author Report Title
1979 NRC Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment
1982 NRC Meeting the Challenge of Climate
1985 NRC The National Climate Program: Early Achievements and Future Directions
1986 NRC Atmospheric Climate Data, Problems and Promises
1990 Changnon et al. /NOAA NOAA Climate Services Plan
1998 NRC Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling to Support Climate Change Assessment Activities
2001 NRC Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling
2001 USGCRP High-End Climate Science: Development of Modeling and Related Computing Capabilities
2008 Schaefer et al. An Earth Systems Science Agency
2008 Bader et al. /CCSP Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations. Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.1.
2009 Doherty et al. Lessons Learned from IPCC AR4: Scientific Developments Needed to Understand, Predict, and Respond to Climate Change
2009 NRC Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change
2010 NRC America’s Climate Choices

 



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CHAPTER TWO Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling T his report is not the first to look at the issue of how to improve the nation’s climate models. In this section, a set of reports and articles that have been pro- duced over the past several decades are examined (Table 2.1). The goal is to use the lessons from these previous reports to inform this one. In addition to examining these documents themselves, this committee also commis- sioned 11 interviews to gain insight into the reception of these reports as part of the information-gathering process (Appendix B). The interviewees are individuals who TABLE 2.1  Previous Reports and Articles on Improving Climate Modeling in the United States Consulted in this Review Year Author Report Title 1979 NRC Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment 1982 NRC Meeting the Challenge of Climate 1985 NRC The National Climate Program: Early Achievements and Future Directions 1986 NRC Atmospheric Climate Data, Problems and Promises 1990 Changnon et NOAA Climate Services Plan al. /NOAA 1998 NRC Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling to Support Climate Change Assessment Activities 2001 NRC Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling 2001 USGCRP High-End Climate Science: Development of Modeling and Related Computing Capabilities 2008 Schaefer et al. An Earth Systems Science Agency 2008 Bader et al. / Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations. Synthesis and CCSP Assessment Product 3.1. 2009 Doherty et al. Lessons Learned from IPCC AR4: Scientific Developments Needed to Understand, Predict, and Respond to Climate Change 2009 NRC Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change 2010 NRC America’s Climate Choices 47

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G are or were active in the community and in a position to comment on the use and the impact of the previous reports as well as future directions in climate modeling. The results of the interviews generally inform the discussion in this section. The first section of this chapter reviews a series of previous reports and articles chron- ologically. The second section then highlights a few key lessons that the committee draws from this set of previous reports and the responses of the interviewees. PREVIOUS REPORTS Reports from the 1970s and 1980s The possibility of climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions has been a subject of concern to the U.S. government at least since the administration of Lyndon Johnson (Johnson, 1965). The National Academy of Sciences published a significant report on climate change and climate models in 1979, which was “an independent crit- ical assessment of the scientific basis of these (climate change) studies and the degree of the certainty that could be attached to their results” (NRC, 1979). During the 1980s there were three National Research Council (NRC) reports on meeting national needs in climate science (NRC, 1982, 1985, 1986). As a response to these reports, in the early 1990s within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) there were discussions on the need for the development of climate services. The opening paragraph of Changnon et al. (1990) is repeated here: For the past two decades it has been widely recognized that the Nation’s climate ser- vice activities were not functioning well and were poorly organized. In 1978, a major motivation for the National Climate Program Act (Public Law 95367) was to improve dissemination and use of climate information. Congress found that information regarding climate was not being fully disseminated or used, and Federal efforts have given insufficient attention to assessing and applying this information. The Program mandated “systems for management and active dissemination of climatological data, information, and assessments.” Since 1978 there have been several calls for an orga- nized climate service system to improve the situation. Throughout the 1990s a number of documents were produced, both formal and infor- mal, about the need for more organization and coordination of U.S. efforts in climate modeling and climate observations. There was also an increasing recognition of grow- ing societal needs for information on climate and climate change. 48

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Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling Reports from the Late 1990s and Early 2000s Three reports that appeared in the late 1990s and early 2000s are of direct relevance to the current report. A first NRC report, Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling to Support Climate Change Assessment Activities (NRC, 1998), was written in anticipation of U.S. climate modeling needs associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.1 A major finding of the report was that modeling efforts that were of small and intermediate size were leading edge, but that high-end U.S. modeling ef- forts were “less prominent” in international assessments than models from other coun- tries. This statement was based on a perceived sparseness of citations and of direct use of results from U.S. models in international assessments. Findings from this study included strong statements that a lack of a coordinated strategy for climate modeling led to the inefficient use of inadequate resources. Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling concluded the following: Although an entirely top-down management approach for climate modeling is viewed as undesirable, national economic and security interests nevertheless require a more comprehensive national strategy for setting priorities, and improving and apply- ing climate models. A second NRC report, Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling (NRC, 2001b), sponsored by NOAA and the National Science Foundation, was framed as a “first response” to Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling. Improving the Effectiveness concluded that the United States needed a centralized capability to deliver the climate modeling products required by society. At the time of Improving the Effectiveness, the prominent societal need was assessment of climate change and its impacts on regional, national, and global scales. The report also placed climate modeling as part of a larger enter- prise that includes a climate observing system, high-performance computer systems, software frameworks, human resources, analysis environments, and organizational support for the interface of climate modeling activities to greater societal needs. The report stated that [a] new way of focusing resources to meet the specific challenges posed by these various demands implies a less fragmented and therefore more centralized mode of addressing these problems. The nature of the institutional and management require- ments were discussed in terms of a Climate Service, which here is the designation for the organizational entity that would create the climate information products and manage the climate modeling activities that would deliver these products. 1  http://www.unfccc.int (accessed October 11, 2012). 49

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G Improving the Effectiveness called for an operational capability, but with tighter cou- pling of the research and operational communities than in the national weather-fore- casting enterprise. High-End Climate Science: Development of Modeling and Related Computing Capabilities (USGCRP, 2001) was commissioned by the Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in January 2000. Like Improving the Effective- ness, it was a response to Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling. At the time the report was commissioned, it was a fact that U.S. climate models would not contribute results to the U.S. National Assessment (National Assessment Synthesis Team, 2000, 2001); hence, climate modeling capacity was de facto inadequate, and the goal of the report was to get an actionable understanding of this inadequacy. High-End Climate Science focused on the fragmentation of U.S. modeling efforts and the other parts of the climate enterprise (e.g., observing system, computer systems, and software). This fragmentation was caused not only by the agency funding pro- cesses, but also by the underlying reward structure. For individuals and institutions, fragmentation can have perceived benefits, including individual autonomy contrib- uting to creativity, innovation, and individual recognition. Hence, more centralized approaches are naturally resisted by some. The report argued that without addressing fragmentation and its causes, additional funding would not effectively address inad- equacies in the provision of products that required synthesis of information, expertise, and software. The report was cautious about building new institutions, because hu- man resources were limited and already fully engaged in existing institutions. Never- theless, it recommended a product-focused climate service organization with a new “business model” to meet societal needs for climate information. Reports from the Mid-2000s to the Present The 2008 article “An Earth Systems Science Agency” (Schaefer et al., 2008) was written largely by former high-level officials of U.S. agencies who had served while the previ- ous reports were published. They called specifically for merging NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey into an independent Earth Systems Science Agency. The authors cited “inadequate organizational structure, ineffective interagency collaboration, declines in funding, and blurred authority for program planning and implementation,” reiterating the theme of dysfunctional institutional fragmentation. In order to address these issues, they stated, “The executive and legislative branches of the federal govern- ment and of the states will have to transcend bureaucratic boundaries and become much more innovative in developing and implementing policy responses.” 50

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Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations (Bader et al., 2008) was a report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. This report analyzed the current state of climate modeling and future developments, focusing mainly on expected improvements due to increases in resolution as well as due to the inclusion of carbon-cycle processes and other biogeo- chemical cycles. Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change (NRC, 2009) anticipated a new strategy for climate change research following the 2008 presi- dential election. This study recommended a restructuring of research programs from traditional disciplines to a set of problems that were of societal relevance. With this focus, stakeholders would be more naturally engaged, and the problems of integra- tion, synthesis, communication, and application would be more naturally addressed. This report, again, pointed out the need for coordination: “Coordinate federal efforts to provide climate services (scientific information, tools, and forecasts) routinely to decision makers.” They further recommended: The restructured climate change research program provides a framework to coordi- nate federal efforts to provide climate services to meet the climate information needs of policy and decision makers concerned with impacts, mitigation, and adaptation to climate change at federal, state, and local levels. The services should be led by a single agency but have broad participation from other federal agencies. The recent collection of reports, America’s Climate Choices (NRC, 2010a,b,d,e, 2011a), calls for a “single federal interagency program or other entity to coordinate and imple- ment an integrated research effort.” Another finding is the need for “use-inspired, fundamental research that contributes to both improved understanding and more effective decision making.” America’s Climate Choices also substantiates the enormous range of the information that is needed and the complementary development of models to address these needs. Of special note is the requirement for information on regional and local scales that is relevant to planners and resource managers. LESSONS FROM THE RESPONSES TO PREVIOUS REPORTS The reports described here paint a consistent picture over the two decades: individual researchers and small groups in the United States perform leading-edge, discovery climate science research, which generates knowledge, but there is a recognized need to synthesize this knowledge and perform integrated, “high-end,” product-oriented research and implementation to address specific problems. Many other formal and informal reports from authors at all professional levels have expressed concerns 51

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G about the inability in the United States to generate needed climate science products. A challenge, therefore, to the current committee is how to disrupt the inertia of the U.S. climate science enterprise: Going forward, what do we do differently? This section reviews several lessons drawn from the responses to these previous reports. What Improves Usefulness of Reports One response to previous reports has been the commissioning of additional reports to study how to implement particular recommendations from previous reports. For instance, the 1990 NOAA planning document of Chagnon et al. (1990) was a response to NRC reports in the 1980s. Both Improving the Effectiveness and High-End Climate Science were responses to Capacity of U.S. Climate Modeling. This succession of reports has led to more articulation of the scope of the U.S. climate science enterprise. Al- though the system-level response has been limited, the exposure of the scope and key elements that require attention has led to improved capabilities as agencies pick up those elements for which they have expertise, mission, and funding. As mentioned above, 11 interviews of individuals in a position to comment on the use or impact of the previous reports were carried out by independent interviewers (Appendix B). A question asked of the interviewees was to discuss what elements or features helped to make these types of reports more useful. Their common sentiment was that these reports were used primarily by program and organizational manag- ers within agencies that fund and carry out climate modeling research. Reports often serve as visible manifestations of the community thinking. Of most value are practi- cally oriented recommendations and options, rather than overly academic discussions. Although these are not unexpected conclusions, they are useful reminders for this report. Finding 2.1: Previous reports can influence strategic thinking within the govern- ment at the program level, and reports are generally most useful if they include practical recommendations. Importance of Software Infrastructure Both Improving the Effectiveness and High-End Climate Science made strong recommen- dations about the development of software infrastructure to support (1) the exchange of modeling code across institutions, (2) the sharing of intellectual capital, and (3) the simplification of the interface between the climate community and the computational environment and computational vendors. Both the Department of Energy (DOE) and 52

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Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) acted upon these recom- mendations. DOE initiated projects such as the Common Component Architecture and Model Coupling Toolkit. NASA recast its High Performance Computing and Com- munications activities into Computational Technologies and funded a multiagency activity to support model interoperability and reuse. This resulted in the Earth System Modeling Framework (see Box 10.2), which remains active as a multiagency activity. Investments in infrastructure to support analysis focused on model evaluation en- vironments such as the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (a project initiated in 1989) and capabilities to improve access to data from model simulations, especially the Earth System Grid. Many of these activities remain active to- day, with significant project-based, bottom-up emergence of organized communities and evolving community governance, for example, the Global Organization of Earth System Science Portals,2 the Earth Systems Grid Federation,3 and the Global Interoper- ability Program.4 In addition, NOAA established the Climate Test Bed in 2005 to “accelerate the trans- fer of research and development into improved NOAA operational climate forecasts, products, and applications.” In 2010, NOAA and DOE initiated the National Climate- Computing Research Center at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, representing a significant strategic change in provision of computational resources for climate-focused comput- ing. NASA specifically refocused its primary Earth science computational center as the NASA Center for Climate Simulation. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is presently building the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, which is a data-centric facility designed to accommodate the specific attributes of climate research. Through its discussions, information gathering, and interviews, the committee finds that sustained investments in software infrastructure have advanced U.S. climate modeling and its ability to deliver modeling products. The development and adoption of community software infrastructure can be slow and uneven, even when its purpose is attractive (see Box 10.2). However, within a decade such investments are support- ing the execution of new climate simulations with flexibility and robustness that was previously impossible. The committee believes this view of the importance of software infrastructure is widely recognized and cites as evidence the 2008 review of NOAA’s Climate Research and Modeling Program, which noted the important role that NOAA’s framework, the 2  http://go-essp.gfdl.noaa.gov/ (accessed October 11, 2012). 3  http://esg-pcmdi.llnl.gov/esgf (accessed October 11, 2012). 4  http://gip.noaa.gov/ (accessed October 11, 2012). 53

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G Flexible Modeling System, plays in management of multiple instantiations of ocean and atmosphere models to support simulations for the Coupled Model Intercompari- son Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5).5 More recently, the computational and scientific ad- vances based on a wide range of software engineering improvements were discussed at the 2010 Annual Community Earth System Model Workshop, including the increas- ing use of the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), a trend which continues in the current development.6 This progress has been hard fought, and there remains discussion in the science and science management communities on the merit of expenditures on software infra- structure. In the early 2000s there was a feeling that software technologies would be comfortably adopted by scientific organizations—“build it and they will come.” Since the early 2000s there has been significant research into the development and adop- tion of infrastructure that points to the naïveté of this original notion. This research into infrastructure adoption, the identification of barriers, and strategies to overcome those barriers stands as significant new knowledge that informs the climate commu- nity going forward. Edwards et al. (2007) state, The careful nurturance of infrastructural change, and attending to the tensions that emerge from it, is a managerial and political skill of the highest order. It is also true that management often fails, and the quiet politics of infrastructure emerge as politics of a more recognizable and sometimes uncomfortable type. Such instances of tension and resistance may constitute important sites of infrastructural learning and improvement, provided we can produce mechanisms that reliably surface and honestly report on dif- ficulty, limitation, and failure (not a simple prescription, given the incentive structures prevailing among funders, sponsors, and builders of infrastructure). Tensions are best thought of as both barriers and resources to infrastructural development, and should be engaged constructively; in particular, they should be leveraged for their contribu- tions to long-term properties of infrastructural fit, equity, and sustainability. Approach- ing tension from this perspective represents one way out of what we might term the edifice complex—the tendency to build first and ask questions later, or to treat the technical “code-and-wires” core as the realest or most essential thing about infrastruc- ture, and the rest a social add-on—that has too frequently defined and limited the work of infrastructural development. In U.S. climate organizations, management directive or management perception of improved organizational efficiencies does not, first and foremost, motivate adoption of infrastructure. Infrastructure adoption occurs when individuals, institutions, and man- 5  A. Wittenberg, NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), personal communication. 6  M. Vertenstein, NCAR, personal communication. 54

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Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling agement all see advantages that may be scientific, computational, and resource driven. That is, the value of integrated and shared capabilities exceeds the value perceived in the current, fragmented mode of function. Based on this, the benefits achieved to date of investments in infrastructure are as much social and organizational as they are technical. There are many tangible examples of successes in infrastructure investments; we high- light three. The first is the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC), which has brought together NOAA, the Navy, and the Air Force to coordinate planning and model development. As stated in the NUOPC mission: The NUOPC partners determined that the Nation’s global atmospheric modeling capa- bility can be advanced more effectively and efficiently with their mutual cooperation to provide a common infrastructure to perform and support their individual missions.7 NUOPC strives to address long-existing challenges of links between research and op- erations and addresses issues of workforce stresses by sharing of intellectual resources and experiences. The second example is one of connecting both communities and scales. An important user of climate information is the hydrology community. The European Commission funded the development of the Open Modeling Interface, OpenMI, a common soft- ware framework within the hydrology community. Within the community defined by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science,8 OpenMI has been used with ESMF to connect hydrologic and global models. This allows con- nections not simply to individual researchers, but also from community to community. It also supports the concerted development of both scientific and infrastructure capa- bilities across spatial and temporal scales. The final example reaches back to the earlier reports Improving Effectiveness and High-End Climate Science. At that time, one of the reasons that European models were considered to be more prominently cited in assessment studies was attributed to the investment in software infrastructure. An archetypal example was the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, where infrastructure was viewed as an essential part of ECMWF’s strategy to sustain excellent science, to engage external collaborators, and to stay ahead of changes in computational hardware. In addition, the managed model environment and attention to infrastructure at the UK Met Office (UKMO) eases execution of controlled experiments with global and regional models as 7  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nuopc/ (accessed October 11, 2012). 8  http://www.cuahsi.org/ (accessed October 11, 2012). 55

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G well as applications of the same model to both weather and climate.9 The investment in common software infrastructures has clearly benefited these European laboratories. Finding 2.2: Previous investments and efforts in common software infrastructure have paid substantial dividends and have helped to support social integration of the diverse climate modeling community by supporting bottom-up community cooperation. Need for Climate Information The reports from the late 1990s and early 2000s called for the development of capa- bilities that were specifically focused on regular delivery of a set of user-driven climate products and the need for some type of organizational or institutional entity respon- sible and accountable for their delivery. High-End Climate Science made the specific recommendation of “two major core simulation activities”: one center formed from existing operational capabilities in the National Weather Service and another center to be federated from existing climate modeling assets; this recommendation did not get adopted, but it did heighten awareness of the need to coordinate research-driven and user-driven modeling. An issue with which both Improving the Effectiveness and High- End Climate Science wrestled was the need to provide a home and adequate emphasis for seasonal and El Niño-Southern Oscillation-scale prediction. This type of model- ing activity fell between larger existing efforts for weather prediction and long-term climate simulations and was fragmented between two parts of NOAA—GFDL and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)—as well as other agencies. In response to these perceived needs, new capabilities have been developed, for ex- ample, NCEP’s Climate Forecast System (Saha et al., 2006) and a new NOAA-supported National Multi-Model Ensemble10 seasonal prediction project. Although many positive changes to address issues of resources, coordination, and structuring of the U.S. climate enterprise were initiated by these reports, large sys- temic challenges remain. The article “An Earth Systems Science Agency” (Schaefer et al., 2008) pointed to the same types of organizational shortcomings as were outlined in both Improving the Effectiveness and High-End Climate Science. Improving the Effec- tiveness also noted that the United States needs to improve the capabilities of climate models to address the following societal needs: 9  A. Brown, UKMO, personal communication. 10  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/NMME/ (accessed October 11, 2012). 56

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Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling • short-term climate prediction on scales of months to years, • study of climate variability and predictability on decadal to centennial time scales, • national and international assessments of anthropogenic climate change, • national and international ozone assessments, and • assessment of the regional impacts of climatic change. These needs were identified decades ago, remain today, and motivate the current committee. Many interviewees felt that, until the climate modeling community committed to support provision of user-driven predictive products, there would be little chance of garnering additional sponsor support. It is fully realized by both interviewees and the committee that there remain formidable challenges in climate prediction with open fundamental questions. However, given that the present state of knowledge about our future climate is sufficient to identify risk and to motivate the need for profound societal response, there is a need for the development of the routine production and evaluation of experimental products, with the development of operational capabilities as experimental products mature. Finding 2.3: Previous reports highlight the need for routine and reliable climate information, products, and services. In addition, the view outside the modeling community is that more of these products are needed. Challenges of Institutional Reorganizations Climate modeling needs to be considered as a part of a broader enterprise, existing in a balance with climate observations, high-performance computing, and discipline- specific information systems that support analysis, access, and interpretation of climate information. Currently, the U.S. climate modeling enterprise that addresses this suite of activities is spread across a number of different modeling groups; in particular weather and climate modeling are largely being done in separate institutions. Our in- terviewees strongly and broadly valued maintaining a diversity of approaches within the suite of climate modeling activities, offering justifications based on scientific, organizational, and mission-related reasons. Several also noted that diversity poses risks to the effectiveness of the climate modeling enterprise ranging from systematic fragmentation and the potential perception of uncertainty regarding climate informa- tion from outside the science community. 57

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G Numerous previous reports discussed above called for increased coordination of climate research activities within the U.S. government. These calls were echoed by several of the interviewees, who suggested that strategies for strong unification and perhaps centralization need to be considered. However, there was near consensus among the interviewees who commented on these suggestions that restructuring and reorganizing federal assets and agencies into a single climate agency would be risky and inadvisable. More than one interviewee stated that a weakness of previous reports was that they did focus on restructuring. There is a clear tension between the near-universal call for increased coordination and synthesis of knowledge, and the lack of progress toward that goal. Part of this lack of progress can be attributed to the differing mandates of the various agencies involved in climate research, and this issue is discussed more thoroughly by several previous re- ports in their review of U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) as a coordinat- ing activity (Box 2.1). The interviews documented that the effectiveness of the USGCRP coordination activities has been strongly dependent upon external political factors associated in part with changes of administrations and Congresses. The America’s Climate Choices report describes the current view of USGCRP and the Climate Change Adaptation Task Force: The USGCRP and the Climate Change Adaptation Task Force have largely been con- fined to convening representatives of relevant agencies and programs for dialogue, without mechanisms for making or enforcing important decisions and priorities. The NRC Advisory Board for USGCRP, convened in 2011, noted in a review of the recently released 2012 USGCRP Strategic Plan that USGCRP needs a stronger overall governance structure, including an ability to compel reallocation of funds to serve the program’s overarching priorities (NRC, 2012b). The current committee shares this view. As noted above in the description of software infrastructures, the emergence of bottom-up communities with viable governance strategies to support community planning and decision making has met with success in a number of areas. This is an organic development of self-governance at the project level and provides a founda- tion for the future. Attention to governance brings attention to interfaces, for example between scientific algorithms, software, and computational environments. Success in these nascent communities requires development of decision-making processes that balance the requirements and the expectations of the community members.11 That is, 11  For example, in the second funding cycle of ESMF, focus was extended from technology to the forma- tion of a multiagency organization. This focus on process and governance included development of ways to manage sponsor and user expectations, requirements, and delivery. Following this refocusing ESMF garnered 58

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Lessons from Previous Reports on Climate Modeling BOX 2.1  U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which called for “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”a Thirteen departments and agencies participate in USGCRP, which was known as the U.S. Climate Change Science Program from 2002 through 2008. The program is steered by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research under the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, overseen by the Executive Office of the President and facilitated by an Integration and Coordination Office. USGCRP agencies interact with a wide variety of groups around the world including international, national, state, tribal, and local governments, businesses, professional and other nonprofit organizations, the scientific community, and the public. USGCRP agencies coordinate their work through Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) that span a wide range of in- terconnected issues of climate and global change. The IWGs address major components of Earth’s environmental and human systems, as well as cross-disciplinary approaches for addressing issues under USGCRP’s purview. One of these working groups is currently focused on advancing climate modeling (the Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling). During the past two decades, the United States, through USGCRP, has made the world’s largest scientific investment in the areas of climate change and global change research. In fiscal year 2010, USGCRP investments in activities such as observations and monitoring, information services, research and modeling, assessment, communications, and out­ each totaled about $2 r billion. Recently, USGCRP released a 10-year strategic plan and has spent significant effort in implementing a process to conduct systematic and iterated national assessments of the conse- quences of climate change (USGCRP, 2012). a http://www.globalchange.gov/about/overview (accessed October 11, 2012). the community integrates activities at a working level and across institutions. Climate Process Teams are viewed as an activity that is effective in such focused and substan- tive integration (see more in Chapter 5). Likewise, NUOPC (described above) is linking agencies and laboratories in new ways. If the United States is going to address the advancement of the synthesis of information to address climate change, then it would be most effective for the country to build on these emergent communities. They rep- resent accumulated expenditures in science, infrastructure, and human resources that an increased number of funding agencies and focused applications projects on, for example, space weather and sediment transport (see, for example, http://www.earthsystemmodeling.org/components/ [accessed October 11, 2012]). 59

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A N AT I O N A L S T R AT E G Y F O R A D VA N C I N G C L I M AT E M O D E L I N G are substantial and unlikely to be duplicated in the future. Going forward, the technical advances in modeling and analysis infrastructure, the accomplishments in the reduc- tions of barriers in infrastructure adoption, and the emergence of participatory com- munities are essential elements of a national strategy to advance climate modeling. The committee’s analysis is that USGCRP is a necessary element of the governance of the federal community; however, it is not sufficient. Simply coordinating, more tightly, federal budgets through the current programs does not ensure the necessary syn- thesis nor does it ensure balanced investment across all of the parts of the climate enterprise. Thus, we propose that mechanisms for governance of cross-agency climate modeling activities would be best served if they are strongly anchored in the working level, i.e., through working groups and community-based planning. The development of a sustained, community-wide integrating activity in parallel with the activities of USGCRP is an essential element of governance; therefore, such a group would need to develop credibility with cross-agency funding activities, i.e., with USGCRP, as having strategic and programmatic goals in balance. Finding 2.4: Previous reports have consistently called for more coordination and consolidation of climate modeling agencies and institutions, but these have met with limited success. The emergence of bottom-up community governance offers new strategies for working-level decision making to support integrated and bal- anced planning and implementation. 60