About the Climate Program Office

Understanding climate variability and change to enhance society’s ability to plan and respond

Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

NOAA provides science, data, and information that Americans want and need to understand how climate conditions are changing. Without NOAA’s long-term climate observing, monitoring, research, and modeling capabilities we couldn’t quantify where and how climate conditions have changed, nor could we predict where and how they’re likely to change.

Societal Challenges

NOAA’s climate science, data, and information improve the nation’s resilience. Specifically, we help communities, businesses and citizens to:

  • Reduce vulnerability to extreme weather;
  • Prepare for drought and water resource challenges;
  • Manage risks to coastlines and coastal infrastructure;
  • Sustainably manage marine ecosystems; and
  • Adapt to and mitigate climate impacts.

NOAA’s Climate Program Office (established in October 2005) provides a unique and highly flexible climate research enterprise that focuses on: 

  • competitive grant programs that advance and extend our research capabilities;
  • partnerships with academia, businesses and other agencies to develop and deliver targeted research and data products; and
  • knowledge and information to improve public climate literacy and decision-making needed to maintain resilient economies and environmental services

CPO designs, deploys, and maintains an integrated global network of oceanic and atmospheric observing instruments to produce continuous records and analyses of a range of ocean and atmosphere parameters. Credit: NOAA.

Central to our mission: develop and sustain a global in situ climate observing system. From the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere, NOAA’s instruments are a vital part of an international system to monitor Earth’s climate. The resulting data and knowledge are summarized in world-class, peer-reviewed publications.

We leverage the aforementioned climate science capacity and capabilities to provide the nation with critically needed early warning systems that are timely and relevant for stakeholders at a range of scales spatially (local to global) and over time (weeks to decades). Of course, NOAA doesn’t do all of these things alone. We forge and evolve partnerships with entities across the federal government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and businesses to optimize the delivery of climate data and information to stakeholders. Where applicable, we facilitate innovation and development of commercially viable products and services in the private sector.

For water managers, global climate models have insufficient resolutions to help them make decisions on local scales. CPO-funded climate researchers are helping by “downscaling” projections from global models so they can be used in more detailed, regional models. Photo by Brian Kahn.

CPO’s programs are helping U.S. farmers prepare for dry soil, scorching heat, and other climate impacts in recent summers. The map above, based on the U.S. Drought Monitor, shows drought and abnormally dry conditions across the contiguous U.S. on July 10, 2012. View large image and description.

Recent Accomplishments

Observations and Monitoring

  • Completed the Climate Reference Network— NOAA’s benchmark United States climate observing network
  • Worked with more than 70 partners to implement over 50% of the sustained Global Ocean Observing System

Understanding and Modeling

  • Over 300 active grants
  • Over 700 published papers per year, contributing to our understanding of climate variability and change

Informing Decisions

  • Supported climate training workshops, and reports directed to needs of resource managers
  • Funded National Research Council reports, including America’s Climate Choices to provide advice to the nation on responding to climate change

Program Development

  • 647K unique visits to NOAA Climate.gov last year (62.5% more than previous year), communicating climate science to the public
  • 186 Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellows, 35 AMS Graduate Fellows, and 11 Post Docs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) since inception of programs

Visit us online at www.climate.gov to learn more about our science and services and how they’re benefitting society; or at www.cpo.noaa.gov to learn more about the Climate Program Office and its grants programs.

Email: oar.cpo.office@noaa.gov

ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION

Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

CONTACT US

Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

CPO.webmaster@noaa.gov