5
Context for the U.S. GOALS Strategy

The U.S. GOALS strategy focuses on the improvement of seasonal-to-interannual climate prediction, especially over North America. Several other operational and research programs that have the capacity to assist in attaining this objective are also planned or are already in place. In developing the strategy for the U.S. participation in GOALS, the panel recognizes that it is important to coordinate with these other efforts and establish links with them. One of the most important institutions on which GOALS will rely is the operational system developed for weather monitoring and prediction. During TOGA, a skeletal, quasi-operational framework for supporting short-term climate predictions was constructed by enhancing key operational activities. This included the TOGA observing system, TOGA data centers, climate diagnostics bulletins, climate predictions, and others. GOALS needs to build further upon this existing framework.

The panel recognizes that it is important to coordinate GOALS activities with other operational and research activities of U.S. federal government agencies involved in supporting efforts to improve seasonal-to-interannual prediction. These include fundamental research into processes, observing systems, modeling, diagnostic analyses, data assimilation, data and information management, and applications. Several of these activities are also carried out at operational and research centers, as well as the observational programs of various agencies. Many are organized as part of the activity known as the Seasonal-to-interannual Climate Prediction Program (SCPP). The latter has grown out of the TOGA program and includes a number of components, as indicated in Figure 5-1 and 12-1. Many national, regional, and international programs strongly supported by the United States are involved in SCPP.



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--> 5 Context for the U.S. GOALS Strategy The U.S. GOALS strategy focuses on the improvement of seasonal-to-interannual climate prediction, especially over North America. Several other operational and research programs that have the capacity to assist in attaining this objective are also planned or are already in place. In developing the strategy for the U.S. participation in GOALS, the panel recognizes that it is important to coordinate with these other efforts and establish links with them. One of the most important institutions on which GOALS will rely is the operational system developed for weather monitoring and prediction. During TOGA, a skeletal, quasi-operational framework for supporting short-term climate predictions was constructed by enhancing key operational activities. This included the TOGA observing system, TOGA data centers, climate diagnostics bulletins, climate predictions, and others. GOALS needs to build further upon this existing framework. The panel recognizes that it is important to coordinate GOALS activities with other operational and research activities of U.S. federal government agencies involved in supporting efforts to improve seasonal-to-interannual prediction. These include fundamental research into processes, observing systems, modeling, diagnostic analyses, data assimilation, data and information management, and applications. Several of these activities are also carried out at operational and research centers, as well as the observational programs of various agencies. Many are organized as part of the activity known as the Seasonal-to-interannual Climate Prediction Program (SCPP). The latter has grown out of the TOGA program and includes a number of components, as indicated in Figure 5-1 and 12-1. Many national, regional, and international programs strongly supported by the United States are involved in SCPP.

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--> Figure 5-1 GOALS program architecture, showing interrelated components of the program. Data management is an activity in all components. The International Research Institute for Seasonal-to-interannual Climate Prediction (IRI), has been established together with associated research and applications centers. The United States hosts the IRI as a U.S. contribution to GOALS/ CLIVAR. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service, cover climate prediction, environmental modeling, aviation prediction, and human dimensions aspects. The Climate Dynamics and Experimental Prediction (CDEP) program is a major element of the NOAAOGP's (Office of Global Programs) climate program. NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory is primarily responsible for the development, deployment, and maintenance of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) buoy array in the Pacific Ocean. The proposed GOALS research strategy is built on this rapidly developing infrastructure and the operational activities in various centers. Currently, the situation is markedly different from the research program established under TOGA, for which little infrastructure was in place during its early stages. Linkages between the GOALS research strategy, and the operational activi-

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--> ties mentioned above, should be seamless and symbiotic. GOALS will depend heavily on the various products and infrastructure provided by existing or planned operational efforts. On the other hand, GOALS research efforts will provide the knowledge, tools, and technical advances that will help accelerate the development of operational systems. To this end, the GOALS Panel strongly recommends that the following activities be initiated as a part of U.S. participation in international GOALS/CLIVAR: Provide the basic research infrastructure to prospect for predictability within the global ocean—atmosphere—land—ice system in order to incrementally improve seasonal-to-interannual prediction skill. Describe, analyze, and diagnose the physical processes that determine the variability in the observed fields and the spatial and temporal links among variables. Develop pilot long-term monitoring systems of seasonal-to-interannual variability for the coupled ocean—atmosphere system. Conduct process studies in select oceanic regions to improve the understanding of ocean—atmosphere coupling. Develop, improve, and evaluate models of the coupled ocean—atmosphere—land system to be used for prediction. Provide ongoing evaluation of climate monitoring systems and prediction products from IRI, NCEP, CDEP, and other operational systems. Advise on the need for new products for multiple applications and help develop products addressing the applications and human dimensions aspects of the program. The strategy proposed by the panel for U.S. participation in GOALS includes the appreciation that there is a critical need to establish mutual relationships with other national and international research programs involved in the study of short-term climate fluctuations. GOALS should explicitly take into account the activities of these other programs when developing its own strategies so as to minimize redundancies. For example, it is important to note that GOALS emphasizes process studies, empirical studies, and observations focused on ocean-atmosphere coupling. This emphasis is proposed because another component of the WCRP, GEWEX, is a complementary climate research program that focuses on the role of land in the coupled ocean—atmosphere—land system. Therefore, the panel recommends that GOALS should actively pursue collaborative research with GEWEX as the means of conducting process studies in select land areas. Close collaboration with GEWEX is also envisaged to develop pilot long-term monitoring systems covering the role of the land and land-surface processes in climate variability. Such joint activities are important to help achieve the global data coverage necessary to initialize and validate the complex coupled models developed by GOALS.