Predictions of weather, air pollution, sea ice, soil moisture, ecosystem functioning, and many other components of the Earth system are increasingly critical for decision making across a wide range of sectors and timescales. Further improvements in these predictions will need to be guided by a clear understanding of what aspects of the Earth system are predictable and of the limits to that predictability. On June 4-5, 2020, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a workshop on Earth system predictability research and development. An earlier community roundtable discussion informed the themes of the workshop, which was designed to explore opportunities for key research and development activities that would be most valuable with regard to understanding fundamental, theoretical limits of Earth system predictability. The purpose of the two convening activities was to solicit feedback on the direction that the Federal government should take to advance understanding and application of Earth system predictability. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the June workshop.
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