New NOAA projects include drought prediction research

New NOAA projects include drought prediction research

NOAA project grants include funding for drought prediction research, community climate adaption assessments

NOAA's Climate Program Office this month released details on 53 new projects that will share $48 million in funding for research on Earth's climate system and climate decision tools.

Related: New NOAA drought center to focus on risk management, research

NOAA expects the projects to result in more accurate weather and climate prediction, early warning of drought hazards, more robust decision-support services, enhanced community and drought preparedness, and improved ability to respond and adapt to public health impacts.

The funds will be distributed over the life of the projects, many of which span one to five years.

NOAA project grants include funding for drought prediction research, community climate adaption assessments (Thinkstock/JuanCruzdF)

"Every day, communities and businesses in the U.S. and around world are grappling with environmental challenges due to changing climate conditions and extreme events," said Wayne Higgins, director of the Climate Program Office. "People want timely and relevant scientific information about where and why climate variability and change occur and what impacts that has on human and natural systems. CPO's competitive grants play a vital role in advancing understanding of Earth's climate system and in transitioning our data, tools, information, and operations to applications the public can use to improve decision making."

Project priorities
The projects included in CPO's announcement will have broad priorities:

• Provide high-quality, long-term global observations, climate information and products; $5.1 million for projects to produce global and regional indices to help monitor climate, weather, and sea ice trends, which provide information to forecasters, researchers, and decision makers in communities across the country.

• Provide leadership and support for research, assessments, and climate services to key sectors and regions; $24.4 million — including $19.5 million for Regional Integrated Sciences & Assessment Programs from Hawaii to New York — to improve the ability of local communities to prepare for and adapt to climate change.

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• Improve critical forecasts and bolster earth system models; $10.2 million to improve predictions and projections on a range of time scales from weeks to seasons, to decades, and centuries in the future.

Related: Longer, more severe 'megadroughts' likely in Southwest, Plains

• Improve prediction of drought and other extreme events; $8.4 million to improve earth system models and predictions through the North American Multi-Model Ensemble System, a state-of-the-art seasonal prediction system, and help fund the creation of a new task force and improved software infrastructure for NOAA weather and climate models.

CPO manages competitive research programs that fund climate science, assessments, decision-support research, modeling improvements, and capacity-building activities.

While each program has its own focus, together they demonstrate a commitment to advancing integrated climate research and enhancing society's ability to plan and respond to climate variability and climate change.

CPO's network of partners, specialists, and principal investigators will broadly integrate research findings from these projects to help build resilience in the face of climate challenges, NOAA says.

A full list of awards, as well as individual announcements for each program, is available online.

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