The joint Industry/DOE Workshop on the Interactions of Climate and Energy was designed to bring the providers of climate information and services together with users and representatives of the oil, gas, coal, and electric utility sectors of the U.S. energy industry. Primary discussion topics included current uses of climate data, the perceived impacts of climatic anomalies on the energy sector, ways to improve the uses of climate data, and recommendations for future research by the climate community. This opportunity for such interaction generated a universal agreement among the participants that more frequent exchanges between the providers and users of climate information be planned and that better communication between the providers and users of climate data and services be established.

The workshop proceedings, which is being published by the Department of Energy, presents studies on the application of existing data to the diagnosis of the climatic component in energy supply and demand and the short-term prediction of regional scale energy requirements. Staff members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climate Data Center (NCDC) and Climate Analysis Center (CAC) review the currently available climate data and services. Four panel reports identify and enumerate the impacts of climate on each of the segments of the energy industry and offer recommendations for improvements, further research, and, in some cases, concepts for practical demonstrations of immediate potential value to the pertinent energy sector.

The panel findings and the presentations of the invited speakers contain several common themes: the need for improved data formats, the significant potential benefits of increased lead time for the seasonal climate forecast, and the necessity for improved accuracy in the forecasts of monthly and seasonal means and extremes of temperature and precipitation. Workshop participants fully recognized the difficulty of making “real” progress on some of these commonly stated objectives; however, they also recognized that the benefits of striving to achieve these goals may, indeed, be sufficiently great to justify the quest for progress through focused research efforts.

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Footnotes

1 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, Livermore, CA 94550.

2 U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20545.