Organization: Department of Commerce (DOC)

Research Title: Climate Dynamics and Experimental Prediction (CDEP)

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 10.5
FY95 8.0
FY96 13.9

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Natural variability (100%)
(c) Research Activity: System structure and function: Prediction (100%)

Organizational Component:
Office of Global Programs
1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 1225
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Point of Contact:
Kenneth Mooney
Phone: 301 427-2089x14

Research Goals:
To provide quantitative predictions as a basis for reliable assessments of global change and its regional implications on time scales of seasons to a century.

Research Description:
The Climate Dynamics Experimental Prediction (CDEP) Program has four primary areas of interest: coupled model development, climate diagnostics, experimental prediction, and IPCC-related modeling. To address these interest areas, CDEP supports a limited number of critical long-term modeling and diagnostic efforts referred to as Applied Research Center (ARCs). Activities of ARCs include (i) the National Meteorological Center reanalysis of atmospheric fields for climate studies; (ii) the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/University Modeling Consortium model diagnostics; (iii) the Climate Diagnostic Center work on diagnostics, dynamics and near real time monitoring products; (iv) the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies of predictability and modeling of coupled systems and observing system simulations; (v) the Scripps Experimental Climate Forecasting Center studies of atmosphere-ocean and atmosphere-land coupling; and (vi) the Joint Institute for Studies of the Atmosphere and Ocean analysis of Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) data.

CDEP will initiate new centers to build on and expand the existing capabilities and resources in operational organizations like the National Meteorological Center and the broad international research community to provide experimental forecasting products for use by all interested countries and an operational forecasting capability designed specifically to address U.S. interests.

The U.S. will initiate a multinational planning process to establish a network of centers operating on behalf of those countries that do not currently have the infrastructure required to produce national climate forecasts. The network will include Research Centers to enhance the development of climate forecast models and forecast methodologies and sponsor training of scientists and decision-makers from participating countries. One center will be designated as an International Research Institute for Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Prediction and will have responsibility for producing, assessing and distributing experimental climate forecast guidance products on a multinational basis. The network will also include Regional Application Centers in participating countries to tailor and distribute products of social and economic benefit to users.

In parallel, operational climate prediction efforts at the National Weather Service will be enhanced through accelerated development and implementation of a multiseason forecast system based upon models of a coupled ocean-atmosphere, expansion of systems to process and assimilate observations, and delivery of prediction services to the U.S.

CDEP will not only develop improved models which effectively represent the interactions of the physical, chemical and biological earth system, but will undertake exploratory efforts at coupling physical and biogeochemical processes with socioeconomic processes to study the societal impact of climate change and the effect of human activity on climate.

Current climate modeling is severely limited by computer resources, low speed data links, and lack of uniform protocols for model output. To remedy these critical deficiencies, CDEP includes resources for general improvement in computational infrastructure, in particular, easily usable and available supercomputer time and improved data highways.

Program Interfaces:
CDEP is designed to establish a broad community-wide coupled model development program in partnership with other agencies, to strengthen the system of routine experimental climate prediction activities at major U.S. research institutions and to see the assessment needs of the USGCRP through an expanded program of climate diagnostics and analytical studies and explicit contributions to a CEES interagency effort to apply Earth system modeling in support of assessment activities of the IPCC. NOAA advocates the initiation of a multinational Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Prediction Program (SCPP) in 1995 to provide an end-to-end integrated program of observations, process research, integrative modeling and predictions, and forecast applications. Within the SCPP construct, CDEP will establish firm ties to international observation and process research programs. Specifically, the forecasting system will require sustained support of global observing systems such as the TOGA Observing System, the World Weather Watch, the Global Ocean Observing System and the Global Climate Observing System to routinely deliver data for initialization and validation of the coupled air-sea system. The forecasting system will also rely on process research programs such as GOALS and GEWEX to improve ENSO modeling and predictions, extend forecasting capability beyond ENSO to global seasonal to interannual fluctuations, and improve regional resolution of model results. CDEP provides an integrating mechanism for modeling activities that are generated in the process research domain across the range of USGCRP programs from physical, chemical, and biological to economic and social. Internationally, CDEP will make important contributions to the Climate System Modeling Program (CSMP) of the WCRP and the Global Analysis, Interpretation and Modeling (GAIM) Program of the IGBP.

Program Milestones:
Winter, 1995: Establish Hayes Center at Joint Institute for Studies of the Atmosphere and Ocean; Spring, 1995: Complete reanalysis of TOGA decade, 1985-1994;Summer 1995: Select Research Centers and U.S. proposed host site for the International Research Institute. Autumn, 1995: Issue annual ENSO outlook.

Policy Payoffs:
CDEP supports the IPCC process by focusing on improvements in earth system models upon which IPCC assessments will be based. With its focus on end-to-end modeling of the interactions between the earth system and human activity, CDEP provides predictions as a basis for assessments of natural and forced climate change and an ability to evaluate alternative mitigation and adaptation strategies. Predicting seasonal to interannual climatic trends and disseminating forecasts through appropriate channels offers an early return on the U.S. investment in Global Change research. Ten years of TOGA research has resulted in the proven ability of coupled ocean-atmosphere models to forecast ENSO events up to a year or two in advance. This program will implement the TOGA research results for practical use by industry and government planners, providing them an opportunity to learn to manage social and economic systems within the context of the natural environment. The programmatic design and implementation exemplifies the future of international relations in the field of environmental and scientific cooperation. The multinational approach reflects the new international operating principle of cooperation for mutual benefit rather than conflict management. The IRICP's particularly valuable implications for tropical countries exemplifies the U.S. commitment to a more progressive era in North- South relations.