Identifying and understanding critical thresholds for extreme weather events is key for communities to develop effective adaptation strategies.
Dr. Rick Spinrad, NOAA’s Chief Scientist, addressed participants of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 and international viewers in a video presented at the US Center. The session, Healthy People, Healthy Planet: US Programs and Partnerships for Health Resilience was hosted by the Department of State and involved EPA and HHS. In his address, Dr. Spinrad underscored the importance of robust, sustained integrated information systems (IISes) for providing environmental information that spans the weather-climate continuum and supports resilience to climate and health challenges faced in the 21st century and beyond. These IISes not only provide “the right information at the right scales, far enough in advance, along with the right tools” for decision-makers, but also serve as “gateways for improving our research, observations, and prediction capabilities”. Dr. Spinradhighlighted the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS), which is being developed to integrate NOAA’s advancements in observing, understanding, and modeling the Earth system with societal needs for resilience to extreme heat – not only with US partners such as the CDC, but also with international partners including India and Germany. Additionally, Dr Spinrad called out the pilot Cholera Integrated Information System in Bangladesh, which NOAA is developing cooperatively with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support development goals.
The National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) – a NOAA-CDC collaboration that facilitates an integrated approach to extreme heat risk reduction by providing a suite of decision support services to prevent heat related illness and death – is launching its web presence on Monday, May 23, 2016. The NIHHIS portal will serve as the nexus for heat-health information from NOAA, CDC, FEMA, DOD, OSHA, SAMHSA, ASPR, NIH, EPA, and others, and will point decision makers to case studies, tools, trainings, reports, and other resources that inform decisions and reduce heat-related risk.