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Enhancing Climate Resilience at NASA Centers: A Collaboration between Science and Stewardship

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  • 1 NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Center for Climate Systems Research, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York
  • 2 Center for Climate Systems Research, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York
  • 3 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • 4 NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  • 5 NASA Headquarters, Washington, District of Columbia
  • 6 NASA Headquarters, Washington, District of Columbia, based at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
  • 7 NASA Headquarters, Washington, District of Columbia
  • 8 NASA Stennis Space Center, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi
  • 9 InoMedic Health Applications Inc., NASA Kennedy Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
  • 10 NASA Headquarters, Washington, District of Columbia
  • 11 NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
  • 12 NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
  • 13 NASA Headquarters, Washington, District of Columbia
  • 14 NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
  • 15 NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California
  • 16 California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, and NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
  • 17 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
  • 18 NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  • 19 NASA Headquarters, Washington, District of Columbia
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A partnership between Earth scientists and institutional stewards is helping the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) prepare for a changing climate and growing climate-related vulnerabilities. An important part of this partnership is an agency-wide Climate Adaptation Science Investigator (CASI) Workgroup. CASI has thus far initiated 1) local workshops to introduce and improve planning for climate risks, 2) analysis of climate data and projections for each NASA Center, 3) climate impact and adaptation toolsets, and 4) Center-specific research and engagement.

Partnering scientists with managers aligns climate expertise with operations, leveraging research capabilities to improve decision-making and to tailor risk assessment at the local level. NASA has begun to institutionalize this ongoing process for climate risk management across the entire agency, and specific adaptation strategies are already being implemented.

A case study from Kennedy Space Center illustrates the CASI and workshop process, highlighting the need to protect launch infrastructure of strategic importance to the United States, as well as critical natural habitat. Unique research capabilities and a culture of risk management at NASA may offer a pathway for other organizations facing climate risks, promoting their resilience as part of community, regional, and national strategies.

*Retired

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, E-mail: cynthia.rosenzweig@nasa.gov

A supplement to this article is available online (10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00169.2)

A partnership between Earth scientists and institutional stewards is helping the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) prepare for a changing climate and growing climate-related vulnerabilities. An important part of this partnership is an agency-wide Climate Adaptation Science Investigator (CASI) Workgroup. CASI has thus far initiated 1) local workshops to introduce and improve planning for climate risks, 2) analysis of climate data and projections for each NASA Center, 3) climate impact and adaptation toolsets, and 4) Center-specific research and engagement.

Partnering scientists with managers aligns climate expertise with operations, leveraging research capabilities to improve decision-making and to tailor risk assessment at the local level. NASA has begun to institutionalize this ongoing process for climate risk management across the entire agency, and specific adaptation strategies are already being implemented.

A case study from Kennedy Space Center illustrates the CASI and workshop process, highlighting the need to protect launch infrastructure of strategic importance to the United States, as well as critical natural habitat. Unique research capabilities and a culture of risk management at NASA may offer a pathway for other organizations facing climate risks, promoting their resilience as part of community, regional, and national strategies.

*Retired

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, E-mail: cynthia.rosenzweig@nasa.gov

A supplement to this article is available online (10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00169.2)

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