news and notes
Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society - (BAMS)
The plan, Benton said, establishes three major areas of activities: climate impact assessment, climate system research, and climate data, information, and services. Each of the areas involves scientific and technical efforts requiring input from experts in diverse fields. Through their activities it will be possible to learn more about climate, improve the ability to predict it, anticipate how human activity can affect it, and show how to exploit climate resources more effectively while
... ng strategies to respond better to climate events of all kinds. Federal spending for these activities in the fiscal year beginning October 1979 is estimated at $114.2 million. In the area of climate impact assessment, the preliminary plan calls for measuring and determining the significance of climate fluctuations on human activities and the natural environment. Under the National Climate Plan, the effort will provide integrated analyses of the social, economic, or political consequences of climate variations-such as lost income to farmers, increased prices of consumers, altered irrigation rights, or layoffs to workers at factories shut down by loss of heating fuel. The plan also integrated research efforts needed for a better understanding of the nature of climate processes and the mechanisms that produce variations in climate on a global and regional basis. The third major area of activity in the plan-climate data, information, and services-will be concerned with obtaining accurate observations on climate behavior, storing such information appropriately, using it for analyses and projections, and making it readily available to those who have a need for it. The plan also concerns itself with the continuing increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "Because of the great significance of the issue," the plan says, "special care has been taken to assure that the National Climate Program addresses adequately all the relevant problems," including the ability to predict the environmental, economic, social, and political costs and/or benefits of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. The plan stipulates measures for increasing international cooperation in climate research, monitoring, analysis, and data distribution; and calls for the establishment of several non-Federal Experimental Climate Forecast Groups at which innovative approaches to climate forecasting would be developed, evaluated, and tested, all on a research basis.