PROGRAM TITLE:	Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR)
ACTIVITY STREAM:  	Process Research
SCIENCE ELEMENT: 	Climate and Hydrologic Systems

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
 

DESCRIPTION:  The Program on Climate Variability and Predictability 
(CLIVAR) is a study under the World Climate Research Program to 
determine the variability and predictability of the physical climate system on 
time scales of seasons to a century.  It is divided into two research foci by time 
scale.  CLIVAR Focus 1 deals with climate variability on seasonal to 
interannual time scales, building on the scientific heritage of the Tropical 
Ocean-Global Atmosphere (TOGA) program.  The U.S. contribution to Focus 
1 will be the Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System (GOALS) program. 
GOALS is intended to build upon the base El Nino/Southern Oscillation 
(ENSO) research of TOGA to extend predictability of seasonal to inter- annual 
fluctuations beyond the tropical Pacific and will include the effects of the 
other tropical upper oceans, higher latitude upper oceans, and land surface 
processes.  Together with NOAA's GEWEX program, GOALS will initiate a 
North American Precipitation Study to focus on modeling and predicting 
monsoonal processes over the North American continent in response to 
upper ocean and land system forcing.  This program represents the only 
concentrated U.S. effort to develop models for fore-casting seasonal to 
interannual precipitation anomalies like those in the Midwest this summer, 
seasons to years in advance.

CLIVAR Focus 2 deals with decadal to centennial time scales.  One major U.S. 
contribution to CLIVAR (2) will be the Atlantic Climate Change Program 
(ACCP).  Following up on the results of both climate models and studies of 
climate variability over the last 12,000 years, ACCP is designed to determine 
the sensitivity of the global climate system on long time-scales to variability 
in Atlantic Ocean circulation patterns and air/sea fluxes, pursuing the 
hypothesis that such circulation patterns may be a dominant feature of 
interdecadal climate change.  ACCP consists of: 1) the analysis of historical 
data; 2) interpretation of data through models, and 3) development of long-
term monitoring programs for the Atlantic. NOAA is also participating in the 
World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), in which the U.S. 
contribution is currently focusing in the Pacific.  Preparations are underway 
for NOAA participation in the WOCE Indian Ocean Expedition in 1995.

Both the ACCP and TOGA programs have been reviewed by the NOAA Panel 
on Climate and Global Change, an independent committee of NOAA and 
academic scientists. In its October 1992 review, it concluded "The TOGA 
program has a long and successful history.  There has been good close contact 
between the academic community, NOAA, and the international 
community.  TOGA and stratospheric ozone chemistry are two successful 
examples of global change issues that matured to produce useful policy links."  
The Panel also concluded that ACCP "represents a bold and successful 
initiative by NOAA that involves a broad community both within NOAA 
and the academic sector and crosses all aspects of planning and 
implementation."

STAKEHOLDERS:  Internationally, CLIVAR is sponsored and coordinated by 
WCRP.  In addition, it will represent a major NOAA contribution to the 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As is noted in their FY95 
submissions, NOAA and NSF are partners in the support of GOALS as a 
follow-on to the TOGA program, as well as WOCE.  Both programs are 
coordinated nationally through the NAS Climate Research Committee, 
where a CLIVAR Panel is now being established.

SHORT-TERM POLICY PAYOFFS:  This program's aim to understand and 
predict variations in the natural climate system provides important input to 
IPCC deliberations on the impact of anthropogenic climate forcing.  
Contributions to climate change from human activity can only be understood 
in the context of the naturally varying system.

The sustained rainfall over the Midwest and subsequent flooding this 
Summer provide a vivid example of the results of subtle shifts in planetary-
scale circulation features on seasonal to interannual timescales. The CLIVAR 
program is designed to provide decisionmakers an assessment of the ability to 
predict such climatic events in advance and whether such events are 
spurious anomolies or an artifact of transition to a new climate regime.

Recent ice core records from Greenland indicate that during periods when the 
Earth was slightly warmer than today, the climate regime was characterized by 
abrupt changes of 10-140C.  The most obvious explanation is rooted in 
changes in ocean circulation.  This suggests that the planet's response to 
greenhouse forcing will likely not be monotonic global warming, but 
potentially unstable climate.  Early insights from these studies will be factored 
into the IPCC Assessments in 1995 and beyond.

PROGRAM CONTACT:  David Goodrich, Office of Global Programs, 1100 
Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301) 427-2089 X38.