Managing the effects of climate change requires new approaches to develop and deliver relevant climate information to regional and local decision makers, and to infuse that knowledge into their decision support systems. In the southwestern United States an alternative approach to integrated climate assessment is changing how both researchers and stakeholders view climate information and vulnerability. In this region, climate assessment is an ongoing, sustained process to improve climate awareness, change scientific research on climate, build effective research–applications partnerships around climate variability and change, and maintain those partnerships. The multiple activities in this regional climate assessment serve as a pilot for a broader climate services organization in the United States, and both highlight the crucial need for regional climate services and provide important lessons for implementation.

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Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Center for Latin American Studies, and Department of Geography, Th e University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

*Current affiliation: School of Engineering, University of California, Merced, Merced, California

+ Current affiliation: Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, Unite d Kingdom