Department of Commerce

    Areas of Global Change Research. NOAA’s global change efforts are designed to provide a predictive understanding of the climate system and its modes of variability, and to advance the application of this information in climate-sensitive sectors through a suite of process research, observations and modeling, and application and assessment activities. Specifically, NOAA’s research program includes ongoing efforts in operational in situ and satellite observations with an emphasis on oceanic and atmospheric dynamics, circulation, and chemistry; understanding and predicting ocean-land-atmosphere interactions, the global hydrological cycle, and the role of global transfers of carbon dioxide among the atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial biosphere in climate change; improvements in climate modeling, prediction, and information management capabilities; the projection and assessment of variability across multiple timescales; the study of the relationship between the natural climate system and society and the development of methodologies for applying climate information to real problems of social and economic consequences; and archiving, management, and dissemination of data and information useful for global change research.

FY 2000 Program Highlights. In FY 2000, NOAA will continue to advance understanding of 1) whole-system dynamics and modes of climate variability, for example the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Northern Atlantic Oscillation (NAO); and 2) the application of information generated by this research to decision-making processes in climate-sensitive regions and sectors, such as agriculture, water management, hydropower, human health, and transportation infrastructure.

FY 2000 program highlights include the following:

  • Improving regional-scale modeling and the prediction of seasonal to interannual variability over North America.
  • Increasing understanding of the role of the Atlantic Ocean in climate changes, with an initial focus on the relationship between tropical Atlantic variability and the North Atlantic Oscillation.
  • Continuing the advancement of a sustained Atlantic observing system to support CLIVAR research.
  • Advancing the improvement of models and modeling systems for seasonal to interannual climate prediction and the ability to provide regional-scale forecasts and predicted probabilities of extreme.
  • Developing a comprehensive understanding of the effects of land surface forcing on climate during the full annual cycle and the effects of orography on precipitation and water supply in the western and central parts of the Missouri River Basin, and concluding several demonstration projects with water resources agencies in the eastern part of the Mississippi River Basin.
  • Advancing detailed studies of past climate variability on seasonal to centennial time scales using century to millennia-long paleoenvironmental proxy records in order to improve the current understanding of seasonal to interannual.
  • Increasing our understanding of the global transfers of CO2 between the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere, thereby helping to constrain predictions of the uptake of anthropogenically-released CO2 within these reservoirs; the initial focus will be on the sinks of carbon in the North American continental region.
  • Supporting focused data set development and research activities contributing to the IPCC Third Assessment Report and the U.S. National Climate Assessment, and providing support for World Climate Research Program and International Geosphere-Biosphere Program objectives; and working with Global Climate Observing Systems and others to prevent degradation of long-term data sets.
  • Advancing efforts to reduce uncertainties in the understanding of direct radiative forcing by tropospheric aerosols through an integrated program focused on targeted, in-situ measurements of aerosols chemical, physical, and radiative properties, integrated with model analyses of the distributions and radiative forcing of key aerosol types.
  • Characterizing the "ozone-friendliness" of substitutes for ozone-depleting gases, developing methods for the detection of the recovery of the ozone layer, assessing new airborne measurement methods for key chemicals species like nitric acid (the "missing sink"?), characterizing the regional variance of tropospheric ozone and its role in the heat budget, and quantifying the absorption of radiation in clouds by lightning-produced chemical species in selected locations.
  • Advancing our understanding of societal vulnerability and current coping mechanisms related to climate variability on seasonal up to decadal timescales (including climate extremes and surprises), and the potential use of climate information for planning purposes.
  • Advancing existing efforts to foster the application of forecast information in climate-sensitive regions and sectors such as agriculture, water management, energy, human health, and transportation infrastructure through 1) continuing the process of integrating basic science and human dimension program outputs into regional assessments efforts; 2) developing one or two new projects; and 3) exploring opportunities for scientific and programmatic learning within the context of these pilots.

  •     Related Research. In addition to focused USGCRP research, related NOAA activities include advance short-term weather forecasting and warning services; marine ecosystem research; prediction and observation systems in support of weather and seasonal to interannual climate forecasts; facilitating the dissemination of global change information; and strengthening facets of environmental technology.

        Mapping of Budget Request to Appropriations Legislation: In the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, NOAA activities are funded under Title II-Department of Commerce and Related Agencies, within the NOAA Operations, Research, and Facilities account. In Appropriations Committee reports, funding for NOAA’s USGCRP activities is included as part of the Climate and Global Change budget within Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.