About The International Research and Applications Project (IRAP)
The NOAA International Research and Applications Project (IRAP) supports activities designed to link research and assessments to practical risk management challenges in regions where weather and climate affect U.S. interests at home and abroad.
What is IRAP?
The IRAP is home to NOAA’s decision support research focused on countries and regions where weather and climate impacts may affect U.S. economic, development, scientific and security interests. IRAP seeks to create practical knowledge, bridges and partnerships among the scientific community’s multi-disciplinary research and services activities, and serve the needs and capabilities of decision makers and resource managers around the world with a stake in risk management, adaptation and development. The IRAP is intended to generate useful information for decision makers within the U.S., and also to serve as a cornerstone of NOAA's contributions to international efforts to catalyze and build climate services-related knowledge and infrastructure for adaptation, development, and risk management, including, inter alia, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).
IRAP continues NOAA’s long-term commitment to advancing international decision support
research and capacity building activities related to weather and climate across multiple time scales, dating back to the early 1990s. These efforts have evolved over time in response to the state of the science, and the needs and capacities of decision makers and other stakeholders (
Vaughan, et. al, 2014). Examples of activities supported through this effort over the last 20 years include the development of Regional Climate Outlook Forums; pilot applications research, training and capacity building projects; interdisciplinary competitive research grants focused on impacts and vulnerability; and long-term institutional investment in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.
The first round of IRAP funding supports an ongoing core project entitled Integrating Climate Information and Decision Processes for Regional Climate Resilience. This project connects the synthesis, interpretation and translation of physical climate information (including monitoring and prediction capabilities) with interdisciplinary applications research on impacts, vulnerabilities, decision making needs, capabilities of information users, and the enhancements of the institutional and technical capacities for the application of climate information to support proactive planning and response in the Caribbean, India and Bangladesh.
The primary objective of this initial round of IRAP funding for Integrating Climate Information and Decision Processes for Regional Climate Resilience is to enhance societal preparedness in the face of weather to climate-related impacts by fostering the effective development and application of capacity, information and knowledge in the context of current and future adaptation and development paths. The US Agency for International Development has been a key partner in the first round of IRAP funding, providing additional support for activities focused in the Caribbean.
The current IRAP team is co-led by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and the University of Arizona. Members of this innovative, multi-institutional research group bring to the table a diverse suite of expertise spanning the physical and social sciences, as well as experts in training, policy development and analysis, regional knowledge, development, communications and outreach. The IRAP team itself serves a boundary function, providing a range of research-based activities linking basic climate science to impacts and decision-making needs.
Where Does IRAP Work?
Current IRAP activities focus on several regions within the Caribbean and the Indo-Gangetic Plain; these regions were selected after consideration of a combination of conditions both within, and external to the agency, including, inter alia: existing scientific, technical and institutional capabilities and partnerships; emerging opportunities for research, cooperation and applications for adaptation and risk management; and the presence of opportunities to address a range of key climatic and development issues across multiple time scales. Specifically, IRAP is working on climate services and the use of information in Jamaica, the broader Caribbean, India, and Bangladesh. This prioritization enables IRAP to optimize the investment of resources and allow for substantial focus, partnership development, and analysis. The IRAP team works closely with a suite of national, regional and international institutions to co-develop and implement research, develop experimental products, and advance training and capacity building to build resilience through sustained, reliable and timely climate services and assessments. Please see the IRAP Webpage for more information about specific partners and activity updates in each of these regions: http://irapclimate.org/
Future Directions for IRAP: FY 18 and beyond
Based on the increasing importance of understanding and predicting climate-sensitive health risks to ensure health, stability and well-being of US Interests at home and abroad, the IRAP seeks to bridge the gap between scientific capacity and institutional ability to use sub-seasonal to seasonal climate information to predict and manage climate-sensitive health risks that threaten our health, livelihoods, international development strategies and security. Please see the FY 18 CSI FFO and the IRAP Information Sheet for additional guidance and information.