RISA projects work with NOAA's stakeholders to minimize risks associated with climate change. (Photo: NOAA/FIS)
NOAA announces new regional climate science collaborations
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced three new Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) awards, totalling USD 11 million over five years, to climate science collaborations in Alaska, California/Nevada, and the Carolinas. Funds for years two through five are subject to the availability of annual appropriation.
“These projects will help build national and regional capacity to understand and minimize the risks associated with a variable and changing climate,” said Jane Lubchenco, PhD, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
“RISA enables the interdisciplinary research needed to tackle big challenges such as impacts to water, food, infrastructure, and ecosystems. The programme strengthens NOAA’s climate efforts by bringing science and service communities together.”
The three new awards include the Alaska Centre for Climate Assessments and Policy (ACCAP – University of Alaska-Fairbanks), the California-Nevada Applications Programme (CNAP- Scripps Institution of Oceanography), and the Carolinas Integrated Science and Assessments programme (CISA – University of South Carolina). All three institutions will conduct research efforts collaboratively with other universities and research organizations.
Scientific expertise is coupled with the ability to work collaboratively with those responsible for managing resources and communities at local, state and regional levels. As such, RISA projects work with many of NOAA’s stakeholders including water utilities, state and local governments, land and wildlife managers, land and sea grant extension services, NGOs and the private sector.
All three teams will address issues expressed by regional decision makers. The Alaska centre will focus on coastal and living marine resources with potential topics including sea ice extent and the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure to storms.
California-Nevada will address water supply, planning and preparedness for wildfires and coastal management.
The Carolinas project addresses early warning and preparedness for drought, groundwater vulnerability to saltwater intrusion and shellfish pathogens.
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA/NMFS
The teams will support dialogue between scientists and decision-makers through which social scientists and outreach experts can evaluate the use of climate information.
RISA teams, along with NOAA's Regional Climate Centres and regional climate service directors, work with state climate offices to help regional stakeholders address the challenges of a changing climate.
RISA team members are also key contributors to research and assessment activities of the cross-federal agency National Climate Assessment overseen by the US Global Change Research Programme. Through the national assessment, RISA teams help NOAA expand and enhance interagency partnerships at the regional level.