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Climate Monitoring Summit

19-20 October 2010

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
University of Maryland Research Park (M-Square)
5825 University Research Court, College Park, MD

Sponsored by
the University of Maryland's Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center
with support and participation from
the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)


As we move forward with the NOAA Climate Service, we seek input from key scientists from our facilities to develop a path for enhancing climate monitoring across the agency. As a first step, the NOAA Climate Service Corporate Team is organizing a workshop on this subject to be held in College Park, MD on Oct 19-20, 2010. Participants will be charged to develop a common understanding of current NOAA climate monitoring activities, identify key climate monitoring challenges and opportunities, and define a process for enhancing climate monitoring. This path should be consistent with the new NOAA Next Generation Strategic Plan and should engage our customers and partners.

Workshop Objectives:

  1. Given a working definition of climate monitoring for NOAA, determine areas of overlap and gaps in NOAA's climate monitoring enterprise as a first step towards helping users know what to use and believe.
  2. Identify how indices currently being monitored are related, coordinated, updated and explained to users.
  3. Identify how climate monitoring products should be disseminated (e.g., via the NOAA Climate Portal) and communicated.
  4. Develop recommendations to help facilitate use of NOAAs working definition of climate monitoring, and identify major users of NOAA monitoring products and potential partners who should be consulted as we enhance climate monitoring activities.

While the global climate observing system enables climate monitoring, the summit will not address challenges with the observing system, which are viewed as another important task.

Anticipated Outcomes:

A "Climate Monitoring Report" that summarizes challenges and opportunities, with recommendations for enhancing climate monitoring across NOAA, will be delivered to NOAA Leadership following the Summit. Concepts such as the role of research in climate monitoring, links between monitoring and attribution, and needs for improved quality control and analysis methods will be discussed. The Report is intended to define a path forward for a coordinated suite of monitoring products and services within NOAA that responds to user needs. While the CMS is a first step in the process, we anticipate future activities focused on external engagement to ensure that NOAA climate monitoring activities meet user needs.


While registration for the Summit is free, we request a separate $30 fee to cover the cost of lunch and refreshments for both days of the meeting. Since there are no restaurants at the meeting site, having lunch delivered saves time. The logistics information, (PDF, 412 KB) and the registration web page both give details on lunch delivery choices arranged for the meeting.

Intended Participants:

Representatives from NOAA line offices and programs that currently have climate monitoring efforts underway. The workshop will be limited ~30-40 participants.

Workshop Format:

This two-day meeting will consist of brief presentations related to the 4 objectives stated above and working group discussions that will lead to the development of a set of recommendations for coordinating monitoring across NOAA, including mechanisms (e.g. climate monitoring board) that would need to be in place to ensure improvements.

Summit organizers:

DRAFT Working Definition of Climate Monitoring

Enabled by global observations, climate monitoring analyzes, documents, and provides data and information on the changing state of the climate and its impacts. Monitoring activities include analysis, interpretation, and placement into historical perspective of these data and are supported by ingest, storage and quality control. Climate monitoring enhances attribution, assessment, modeling, and predictive understanding.


The CMS Technical Team provided this DRAFT Working Definition of Climate Monitoring for use at the CMS. The Team recommends that workshop participants develop recommendations to help facilitate its use as part of the Breakout 4 discussion. Recommendations might include (i) Organizing and Charging a Tiger Team to refine the definition; (ii) Scheduling Stakeholder meetings; (iii) NOAA State of the Science Fact Sheet on Climate Monitoring; (iv) Publish Climate Monitoring definition and examples (e.g. NOAA webpage; AMS Bulletin, etc.); (v) Education and Outreach activities to engage stakeholders.