A newly adopted American Meteorological Society policy statement on climate services comes as the group has also recently adopted a new statement reaffirming reliance on peer-reviewed science in addressing climate change generally.
A newly adopted American Meteorological Society policy statement on climate services emphasizes communication among key interests along with leveraging of resources and “scientific, operational, and financial success” of those involved with climate services.
The statement, adopted August 10, identifies climate services as “scientifically based information and products that enhance users’ knowledge and understanding about the impacts of climate on their decisions and actions,” generally through collaboration between providers and users. It mentions NOAA, the National Weather Service, the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, and regional climate centers among groups active in climate services, with others playing a relatively smaller role. State climate offices are seen as the “primary deliverers of climate services” at the state level, with universities, nongovernmental organizations, and large and small businesses also playing key roles in developing climate services.
Those services, the AMS statement says, “support society’s continuing effort to be productive and prosperous, and to manage impacts from atmospheric, oceanic, cryospheric, and land phenomena” over periods ranging from days to decades and over regions ranging from local to global.
Pointing to challenges in sorting-out public, private, and academic roles, the AMS statement says “strong relationships and frequent communication among sectors are essential to ensure that responsibilities are coordinated, unnecessary redundancies are minimized, and issues among members of the enterprise are resolved effectively.”
“Society is best served when the sectors work together,” AMS says in the statement, identifying the association as playing “a key role” in that communication.
The statement acknowledges difficulties “of placing a dollar value” on climate services and points too to private businesses’ legitimate interests in protecting proprietary information they develop as part of their work on climate services. It recommends strong leadership roles for federal and state agencies, with the private sector key in developing new products and advising government interests on funding priorities. For universities, the AMS statement recommends efforts to train “a new generation of professionals who are proficient in both science and its societal applications.”
The climate services statement was adopted just days before the AMS Council formally adopted a new statement on climate change generally, a statement adhering to the peer-reviewed science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program