National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

NEXT GENERATION EARTH
SYSTEM PREDICTION

STRATEGIES FOR SUBSEASONAL TO
SEASONAL FORECASTS

Committee on Developing a U.S. Research Agenda to
Advance Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasting

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Ocean Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

This study was supported by the Heising Simons Foundation under contract number 2014-72, the Office of Naval Research under contract number N00014-14-1-0194, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract number NNX08AB07G, with additional support from the National Academy of Sciences’ Arthur L. Day Fund. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-38880-1
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-38880-5
Digital Object Identifier: 10.17226/21873

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2016 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
image

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPING A U.S. RESEARCH AGENDA TO ADVANCE SUBSEASONAL TO SEASONAL FORECASTING

RAYMOND J. BAN (Chair), Ban and Associates, LLC, Marietta, GA

CECILIA M. BITZ, University of Washington, Seattle

ANDY BROWN, UK Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, UK

ERIC CHASSIGNET, Florida State University, Tallahassee

JOHN A. DUTTON, Prescient Weather Ltd., State College, PA

ROBERT HALLBERG, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ

ANKE KAMRATH, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

DARYL KLEIST, University of Maryland, College Park

PIERRE F.J. LERMUSIAUX, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

HAI LIN, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dorval, Quebec

LAURA MYERS, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

JULIE PULLEN, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

SCOTT SANDGATHE, University of Washington, Seattle

MARK SHAFER, University of Oklahoma, Norman

DUANE WALISER, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

CHIDONG ZHANG, University of Miami, FL

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

CLAUDIA MENGELT, Senior Program Officer

ALISON MACALADY, Associate Program Officer

SHELLY FREELAND, Financial Associate

ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE

A.R. RAVISHANKARA (Chair), Colorado State University, Fort Collins

GERALD A. MEEHL (Vice Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

LANCE F. BOSART, University at Albany-SUNY, NY

MARK A. CANE, Columbia University, Palisades, NY

SHUYI S. CHEN, University of Miami, FL

HEIDI CULLEN, Climate Central, Princeton, NJ

PAMELA EMCH, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, CA

ARLENE FIORE, Columbia University, Palisades, NY

WILLIAM B. GAIL, Global Weather Corporation, Boulder, CO

LISA GODDARD, Columbia University, Palisades, New York

MAURA HAGAN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

TERRI S. HOGUE, Colorado School of Mines, Golden

ANTHONY JANETOS, Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, MD

EVERETTE JOSEPH, University at Albany-SUNY, NY

RONALD “NICK” KEENER, JR., Duke Energy Corporation, Charlotte, NC

JOHN R. NORDGREN, The Climate Resilience Fund, Bainbridge Island, WA

JONATHAN OVERPECK, University of Arizona, Tucson

ARISTIDES A.N. PATRINOS, New York University, Brooklyn

S.T. RAO, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

DAVID A. ROBINSON, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway

CLAUDIA TEBALDI, Climate Central, Princeton, NJ

Ocean Studies Board Liaison

DAVID HALPERN, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Polar Research Board Liaison

JENNIFER FRANCIS, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Marion, MA

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

AMANDA STAUDT, Director

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

LAURIE GELLER, Program Director

KATHERINE THOMAS, Program Officer

LAUREN EVERETT, Program Officer

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

ALISON MACALADY, Associate Program Officer

AMANDA PURCELL, Associate Program Officer

ALEX MORGAN, Christine Mirzayan Fellow

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate

SHELLY FREELAND, Financial Associate

MICHAEL HUDSON, Senior Program Assistant

ERIN MARKOVICH, Program Assistant

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

OCEAN STUDIES BOARD

LARRY A. MAYER (Chair), University of New Hampshire, Durham

E. VIRGINIA ARMBRUST, University of Washington, Seattle

KEVIN R. ARRIGO, Stanford University, CA

CLAUDIA BENITEZ-NELSON, University of South Carolina, Columbia

RITA R. COLWELL, University of Maryland, College Park

SARAH W. COOKSEY, State of Delaware, Dover

CORTIS K. COOPER, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, CA

JAMES A. ESTES, University of California, Santa Cruz

DAVID HALPERN, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

PATRICK HEIMBACH, University of Texas, Austin

SUSAN E. HUMPHRIS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

BONNIE J. MCCAY, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

S. BRADLEY MORAN, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

STEVEN A. MURAWSKI, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

JOHN A. ORCUTT, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA

H. TUBA ÖZKAN-HALLER, Oregon State University, Corvallis

MARTIN D. SMITH, Duke University, Durham, NC

MARGARET SPRING, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA

DON WALSH, International Maritime Incorporated, Myrtle Point, OR

DOUGLAS WARTZOK, Florida International University, Miami

LISA D. WHITE, University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University

ROBERT S. WINOKUR, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Silver Spring, MD

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

SUSAN ROBERTS, Director

CLAUDIA MENGELT, Senior Program Officer

STACEE KARRAS, Associate Program Officer

PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator

PAYTON KULINA, Senior Program Assistant

SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate

HEATHER COLEMAN, Postdoctoral Fellow

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. 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 process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Gianpaolo Balsamo, European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, Reading, UK

Julie Demuth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Gregg A. Jacobs, Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS

James L. Kinter III, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Randal Koster, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, MD

Douglas C. Marble, Metron Scientific Solutions, Inc., Reston, VA

Nadia Pinardi, University of Bologna, Italy

James G. Richman, Naval Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR 97330

Andrew Robertson, Columbia University, Palisades, NY

Frederic Vitart, European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, Reading, UK

John Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle

Robert Weller, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before the release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert E. Dickinson, University of Texas at Austin, and Marc Levy, Center for International Earth Sciences Information Network, Columbia University; they were 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.

The committee would also like to thank numerous members of the community who provided input to the committee throughout the study process, including Robert Bertram, Julie Demuth, Lisa Dilling, Stephen Eckermann, Gina Eosco, Fern Gibbons, Sara

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal, Jennifer Henderson, Paul Higgins, Wayne Higgins, William Hooke, Susan Jasko, Christopher R. Johnson, Jeanine Jones, James Kinter III, Benjamin Kirtman, Randal Koster, William Lapenta, Richard Loft, Rohit Mathur, Rebecca Morss, David Randall, Andrea Ray, Carolyn Reynolds, Suranjana Saha, Richard Stumpf, David Titley, and Huug Van den Dool.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

Preface

Today, millions of people tune to their favorite TV meteorologist or check the newspaper or their smart phones to get the latest weather forecast. Knowing what the weather will likely be for the next few hours and the next several days has opened up incredible opportunities for society as a whole—for individuals making decisions about what they will do in their daily lives, for industry undertaking risk management activities, and for governments making critical life and property protection decisions.

What if there were similar uses of forecasts for 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or even 3 or 6 months from now? It is easy to envision the potential value of high-quality predictions 2 weeks to 12 months ahead for any number of industries—for example, energy, water resource management, and agriculture. There are undoubtedly potential benefits for other sectors that we cannot even imagine today. Even if such information never matches the level of confidence associated with tomorrow’s weather forecast, it could still be used by individuals, businesses, and governments to plan and make a large array of important decisions. In this study, the committee puts forward a vision that subseasonal to seasonal forecasts (S2S) (i.e., forecasts of environmental conditions made approximately 2 weeks to 12 months in advance) will be as widely used a decade from now as weather forecasts are today. The path to realizing this vision and its inherent value will require focused effort on S2S processes and predictions by both physical and social scientists. Today, this type of commitment largely exists on the weather timescale and on the scales in which climate change is expected. S2S falls in a “gap” between these two areas, and in general, has not received the same level of dedicated effort and support. This report presents research strategies for dealing with this “in-between” space over the next decade.

Although the overall quality and use of products in the S2S time frame have been growing over the past decade, increasing the predictive skill of coupled Earth system models in S2S forecast ranges will be essential to increasing the benefits for and expanding the number of end users of these products. The benefits of S2S forecasts will be further enhanced if the scope of operational S2S forecasts were extended beyond the traditional weather variables to include more Earth system variables and events. Opportunities for improvements and expansions to existing forecasts include, for example, enhanced predictions of the ocean state, sea ice fields, aerosols and air quality, and water management. A focus on developing better information on the likelihood of specific and disruptive environmental events, in addition to improving the skill of

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×

currently available forecasts of temperature and precipitation anomalies, has great potential to further enhance the value of S2S predictions.

This report presents a research agenda that provides the framework for the physical and social sciences communities to collaboratively advance the skill, breadth, and value of S2S predictions. The committee held five in-person meetings between October 2014 and May 2015, and received broad and diverse input from experts in both physical and social sciences as well as from end users of S2S forecasts. We would like to thank all of those who provided their time and insight. The contributors are listed in the Acknowledgments section above. The committee is also greatly indebted to Study Directors Edward Dunlea and Claudia Mengelt and to Associate Program Officer Alison Macalady. This report would not have been possible without their tireless efforts and expert support. Finally, I would like to thank the committee members for their hard work and dedication to excellence. I particularly want to thank the committee for their patience with me as I learned so much from them. It was indeed a true pleasure to work with this talented group of professionals.

Raymond J. Ban, Chair
Committee on Developing a U.S. Research Agenda to
Advance Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasting

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R12
Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R13
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21873.
×
Page R14
Next: Summary »
Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $120.00 Buy Ebook | $94.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

As the nation’s economic activities, security concerns, and stewardship of natural resources become increasingly complex and globally interrelated, they become ever more sensitive to adverse impacts from weather, climate, and other natural phenomena. For several decades, forecasts with lead times of a few days for weather and other environmental phenomena have yielded valuable information to improve decision-making across all sectors of society. Developing the capability to forecast environmental conditions and disruptive events several weeks and months in advance could dramatically increase the value and benefit of environmental predictions, saving lives, protecting property, increasing economic vitality, protecting the environment, and informing policy choices.

Over the past decade, the ability to forecast weather and climate conditions on subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales, i.e., two to fifty-two weeks in advance, has improved substantially. Although significant progress has been made, much work remains to make S2S predictions skillful enough, as well as optimally tailored and communicated, to enable widespread use. Next Generation Earth System Predictions presents a ten-year U.S. research agenda that increases the nation’s S2S research and modeling capability, advances S2S forecasting, and aids in decision making at medium and extended lead times.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!