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R. H. Moss
,
S. Avery
,
K. Baja
,
M. Burkett
,
A. M. Chischilly
,
J. Dell
,
P. A. Fleming
,
K. Geil
,
K. Jacobs
,
A. Jones
,
K. Knowlton
,
J. Koh
,
M. C. Lemos
,
J. Melillo
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R. Pandya
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T. C. Richmond
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L. Scarlett
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J. Snyder
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M. Stults
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A. M. Waple
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J. Whitehead
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D. Zarrilli
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B. M. Ayyub
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J. Fox
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A. Ganguly
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L. Joppa
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S. Julius
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P. Kirshen
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R. Kreutter
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A. McGovern
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R. Meyer
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J. Neumann
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W. Solecki
,
J. Smith
,
P. Tissot
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G. Yohe
, and
R. Zimmerman

Abstract

As states, cities, tribes, and private interests cope with climate damages and seek to increase preparedness and resilience, they will need to navigate myriad choices and options available to them. Making these choices in ways that identify pathways for climate action that support their development objectives will require constructive public dialogue, community participation, and flexible and ongoing access to science- and experience-based knowledge. In 2016, a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) was convened to recommend how to conduct a sustained National Climate Assessment (NCA) to increase the relevance and usability of assessments for informing action. The FAC was disbanded in 2017, but members and additional experts reconvened to complete the report that is presented here. A key recommendation is establishing a new nonfederal “climate assessment consortium” to increase the role of state/local/tribal government and civil society in assessments. The expanded process would 1) focus on applied problems faced by practitioners, 2) organize sustained partnerships for collaborative learning across similar projects and case studies to identify effective tested practices, and 3) assess and improve knowledge-based methods for project implementation. Specific recommendations include evaluating climate models and data using user-defined metrics; improving benefit–cost assessment and supporting decision-making under uncertainty; and accelerating application of tools and methods such as citizen science, artificial intelligence, indicators, and geospatial analysis. The recommendations are the result of broad consultation and present an ambitious agenda for federal agencies, state/local/tribal jurisdictions, universities and the research sector, professional associations, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, and private-sector firms.

Open access
R. H. Moss
,
S. Avery
,
K. Baja
,
M. Burkett
,
A. M. Chischilly
,
J. Dell
,
P. A. Fleming
,
K. Geil
,
K. Jacobs
,
A. Jones
,
K. Knowlton
,
J. Koh
,
M. C. Lemos
,
J. Melillo
,
R. Pandya
,
T. C. Richmond
,
L. Scarlett
,
J. Snyder
,
M. Stults
,
A. Waple
,
J. Whitehead
,
D. Zarrilli
,
J. Fox
,
A. Ganguly
,
L. Joppa
,
S. Julius
,
P. Kirshen
,
R. Kreutter
,
A. McGovern
,
R. Meyer
,
J. Neumann
,
W. Solecki
,
J. Smith
,
P. Tissot
,
G. Yohe
, and
R. Zimmerman
Full access
J. E. Harries
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J. E. Russell
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J. A. Hanafin
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H. Brindley
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J. Futyan
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J. Rufus
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S. Kellock
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G. Matthews
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R. Wrigley
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A. Last
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J. Mueller
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R. Mossavati
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J. Ashmall
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E. Sawyer
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D. Parker
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M. Caldwell
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P M. Allan
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A. Smith
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M. J. Bates
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B. Coan
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B. C. Stewart
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D. R. Lepine
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L. A. Cornwall
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D. R. Corney
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M. J. Ricketts
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D. Drummond
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D. Smart
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R. Cutler
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S. Dewitte
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N. Clerbaux
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L. Gonzalez
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A. Ipe
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C. Bertrand
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A. Joukoff
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D. Crommelynck
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N. Nelms
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D. T. Llewellyn-Jones
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G. Butcher
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G. L. Smith
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Z. P Szewczyk
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P E. Mlynczak
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A. Slingo
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R. P. Allan
, and
M. A. Ringer

This paper reports on a new satellite sensor, the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) experiment. GERB is designed to make the first measurements of the Earth's radiation budget from geostationary orbit. Measurements at high absolute accuracy of the reflected sunlight from the Earth, and the thermal radiation emitted by the Earth are made every 15 min, with a spatial resolution at the subsatellite point of 44.6 km (north–south) by 39.3 km (east–west). With knowledge of the incoming solar constant, this gives the primary forcing and response components of the top-of-atmosphere radiation. The first GERB instrument is an instrument of opportunity on Meteosat-8, a new spin-stabilized spacecraft platform also carrying the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared (SEVIRI) sensor, which is currently positioned over the equator at 3.5°W. This overview of the project includes a description of the instrument design and its preflight and in-flight calibration. An evaluation of the instrument performance after its first year in orbit, including comparisons with data from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellite sensors and with output from numerical models, are also presented. After a brief summary of the data processing system and data products, some of the scientific studies that are being undertaken using these early data are described. This marks the beginning of a decade or more of observations from GERB, as subsequent models will fly on each of the four Meteosat Second Generation satellites.

Full access
C. Donlon
,
I. Robinson
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K. S. Casey
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J. Vazquez-Cuervo
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E. Armstrong
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O. Arino
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C. Gentemann
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D. May
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P. LeBorgne
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J. Piollé
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I. Barton
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H. Beggs
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D. J. S. Poulter
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C. J. Merchant
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A. Bingham
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S. Heinz
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A. Harris
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G. Wick
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B. Emery
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P. Minnett
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R. Evans
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D. Llewellyn-Jones
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C. Mutlow
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R. W. Reynolds
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H. Kawamura
, and
N. Rayner

A new generation of integrated sea surface temperature (SST) data products are being provided by the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) High-Resolution SST Pilot Project (GHRSST-PP). These combine in near-real time various SST data products from several different satellite sensors and in situ observations and maintain the fine spatial and temporal resolution needed by SST inputs to operational models. The practical realization of such an approach is complicated by the characteristic differences that exist between measurements of SST obtained from subsurface in-water sensors, and satellite microwave and satellite infrared radiometer systems. Furthermore, diurnal variability of SST within a 24-h period, manifested as both warm-layer and cool-skin deviations, introduces additional uncertainty for direct intercomparison between data sources and the implementation of data-merging strategies. The GHRSST-PP has developed and now operates an internationally distributed system that provides operational feeds of regional and global coverage high-resolution SST data products (better than 10 km and ~6 h). A suite of online satellite SST diagnostic systems are also available within the project. All GHRSST-PP products have a standard format, include uncertainty estimates for each measurement, and are served to the international user community free of charge through a variety of data transport mechanisms and access points. They are being used for a number of operational applications. The approach will also be extended back to 1981 by a dedicated reanalysis project. This paper provides a summary overview of the GHRSST-PP structure, activities, and data products. For a complete discussion, and access to data products and services see the information online at www.ghrsst-pp.org.

Full access
G. K. Grice
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R. J. Trapp
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S. F. Corfidi
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R. Davies-Jones
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C. C. Buonanno
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J. P. Craven
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K. K. Droegemeier
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C. Duchon
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J. V. Houghton
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R. A. Prentice
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G. Romine
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K. Schlachter
, and
K. K. Wagner
Full access
D. B. Parsons
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M. Beland
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D. Burridge
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P. Bougeault
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G. Brunet
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J. Caughey
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S. M. Cavallo
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M. Charron
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H. C. Davies
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A. Diongue Niang
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V. Ducrocq
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P. Gauthier
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T. M. Hamill
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P. A. Harr
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S. C. Jones
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R. H. Langland
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S. J. Majumdar
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B. N. Mills
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M. Moncrieff
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T. Nakazawa
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T. Paccagnella
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F. Rabier
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J.-L. Redelsperger
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C. Riedel
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R. W. Saunders
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M. A. Shapiro
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R. Swinbank
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I. Szunyogh
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C. Thorncroft
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A. J. Thorpe
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X. Wang
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D. Waliser
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H. Wernli
, and
Z. Toth

Abstract

The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) was a 10-yr, international research program organized by the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Research Program. THORPEX was motivated by the need to accelerate the rate of improvement in the accuracy of 1-day to 2-week forecasts of high-impact weather for the benefit of society, the economy, and the environment. THORPEX, which took place from 2005 to 2014, was the first major international program focusing on the advancement of global numerical weather prediction systems since the Global Atmospheric Research Program, which took place almost 40 years earlier, from 1967 through 1982. The scientific achievements of THORPEX were accomplished through bringing together scientists from operational centers, research laboratories, and the academic community to collaborate on research that would ultimately advance operational predictive skill. THORPEX included an unprecedented effort to make operational products readily accessible to the broader academic research community, with community efforts focused on problems where challenging science intersected with the potential to accelerate improvements in predictive skill. THORPEX also collaborated with other major programs to identify research areas of mutual interest, such as topics at the intersection of weather and climate. THORPEX research has 1) increased our knowledge of the global-to-regional influences on the initiation, evolution, and predictability of high-impact weather; 2) provided insight into how predictive skill depends on observing strategies and observing systems; 3) improved data assimilation and ensemble forecast systems; 4) advanced knowledge of high-impact weather associated with tropical and polar circulations and their interactions with midlatitude flows; and 5) expanded society’s use of weather information through applied and social science research.

Full access
L. C. Slivinski
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G. P. Compo
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P. D. Sardeshmukh
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J. S. Whitaker
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C. McColl
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R. J. Allan
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P. Brohan
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X. Yin
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C. A. Smith
,
L. J. Spencer
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R. S. Vose
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M. Rohrer
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R. P. Conroy
,
D. C. Schuster
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J. J. Kennedy
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L. Ashcroft
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S. Brönnimann
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M. Brunet
,
D. Camuffo
,
R. Cornes
,
T. A. Cram
,
F. Domínguez-Castro
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J. E. Freeman
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J. Gergis
,
E. Hawkins
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P. D. Jones
,
H. Kubota
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T. C. Lee
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A. M. Lorrey
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J. Luterbacher
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C. J. Mock
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R. K. Przybylak
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C. Pudmenzky
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V. C. Slonosky
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B. Tinz
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B. Trewin
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X. L. Wang
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C. Wilkinson
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K. Wood
, and
P. Wyszyński

Abstract

The performance of a new historical reanalysis, the NOAA–CIRES–DOE Twentieth Century Reanalysis version 3 (20CRv3), is evaluated via comparisons with other reanalyses and independent observations. This dataset provides global, 3-hourly estimates of the atmosphere from 1806 to 2015 by assimilating only surface pressure observations and prescribing sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and radiative forcings. Comparisons with independent observations, other reanalyses, and satellite products suggest that 20CRv3 can reliably produce atmospheric estimates on scales ranging from weather events to long-term climatic trends. Not only does 20CRv3 recreate a “best estimate” of the weather, including extreme events, it also provides an estimate of its confidence through the use of an ensemble. Surface pressure statistics suggest that these confidence estimates are reliable. Comparisons with independent upper-air observations in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrate that 20CRv3 has skill throughout the twentieth century. Upper-air fields from 20CRv3 in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century correlate well with full-input reanalyses, and the correlation is predicted by the confidence fields from 20CRv3. The skill of analyzed 500-hPa geopotential heights from 20CRv3 for 1979–2015 is comparable to that of modern operational 3–4-day forecasts. Finally, 20CRv3 performs well on climate time scales. Long time series and multidecadal averages of mass, circulation, and precipitation fields agree well with modern reanalyses and station- and satellite-based products. 20CRv3 is also able to capture trends in tropospheric-layer temperatures that correlate well with independent products in the twentieth century, placing recent trends in a longer historical context.

Open access
Annarita Mariotti
,
Cory Baggett
,
Elizabeth A. Barnes
,
Emily Becker
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Amy Butler
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Dan C. Collins
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Paul A. Dirmeyer
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Laura Ferranti
,
Nathaniel C. Johnson
,
Jeanine Jones
,
Ben P. Kirtman
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Andrea L. Lang
,
Andrea Molod
,
Matthew Newman
,
Andrew W. Robertson
,
Siegfried Schubert
,
Duane E. Waliser
, and
John Albers

Abstract

There is high demand and a growing expectation for predictions of environmental conditions that go beyond 0–14-day weather forecasts with outlooks extending to one or more seasons and beyond. This is driven by the needs of the energy, water management, and agriculture sectors, to name a few. There is an increasing realization that, unlike weather forecasts, prediction skill on longer time scales can leverage specific climate phenomena or conditions for a predictable signal above the weather noise. Currently, it is understood that these conditions are intermittent in time and have spatially heterogeneous impacts on skill, hence providing strategic windows of opportunity for skillful forecasts. Research points to such windows of opportunity, including El Niño or La Niña events, active periods of the Madden–Julian oscillation, disruptions of the stratospheric polar vortex, when certain large-scale atmospheric regimes are in place, or when persistent anomalies occur in the ocean or land surface. Gains could be obtained by increasingly developing prediction tools and metrics that strategically target these specific windows of opportunity. Across the globe, reevaluating forecasts in this manner could find value in forecasts previously discarded as not skillful. Users’ expectations for prediction skill could be more adequately met, as they are better aware of when and where to expect skill and if the prediction is actionable. Given that there is still untapped potential, in terms of process understanding and prediction methodologies, it is safe to expect that in the future forecast opportunities will expand. Process research and the development of innovative methodologies will aid such progress.

Free access
Annarita Mariotti
,
Cory Baggett
,
Elizabeth A. Barnes
,
Emily Becker
,
Amy Butler
,
Dan C. Collins
,
Paul A. Dirmeyer
,
Laura Ferranti
,
Nathaniel C. Johnson
,
Jeanine Jones
,
Ben P. Kirtman
,
Andrea L. Lang
,
Andrea Molod
,
Matthew Newman
,
Andrew W. Robertson
,
Siegfried Schubert
,
Duane E. Waliser
, and
John Albers
Full access
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
John J. Kennedy
,
Thomas M. Smith
,
Shoji Hirahara
,
Boyin Huang
,
Alexey Kaplan
,
David E. Parker
,
Christopher P. Atkinson
,
David I. Berry
,
Giulia Carella
,
Yoshikazu Fukuda
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Finn Lindgren
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Simone Morak-Bozzo
,
Nick A. Rayner
,
Victor Venema
,
Souichiro Yasui
, and
Huai-Min Zhang

Abstract

Global surface temperature changes are a fundamental expression of climate change. Recent, much-debated variations in the observed rate of surface temperature change have highlighted the importance of uncertainty in adjustments applied to sea surface temperature (SST) measurements. These adjustments are applied to compensate for systematic biases and changes in observing protocol. Better quantification of the adjustments and their uncertainties would increase confidence in estimated surface temperature change and provide higher-quality gridded SST fields for use in many applications.

Bias adjustments have been based on either physical models of the observing processes or the assumption of an unchanging relationship between SST and a reference dataset, such as night marine air temperature. These approaches produce similar estimates of SST bias on the largest space and time scales, but regional differences can exceed the estimated uncertainty. We describe challenges to improving our understanding of SST biases. Overcoming these will require clarification of past observational methods, improved modeling of biases associated with each observing method, and the development of statistical bias estimates that are less sensitive to the absence of metadata regarding the observing method.

New approaches are required that embed bias models, specific to each type of observation, within a robust statistical framework. Mobile platforms and rapid changes in observation type require biases to be assessed for individual historic and present-day platforms (i.e., ships or buoys) or groups of platforms. Lack of observational metadata and high-quality observations for validation and bias model development are likely to remain major challenges.

Open access