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Home » About CPO » Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan

The plan leverages CPO’s position at the intersection of NOAA”s science and service missions, the climate research community, and the broader climate enterprise to help guide the office towards its vision: “People, businesses and the environment thriving in the face of climate impacts.”  The plan will also enable the office to lead a research agenda and forge partnerships that enhance society’s ability to make effective decisions.

Strategic Plan 2015-2019 cover

The office has arranged all of its strategic objectives around four major goals:

  1. Partnerships – Promote partnerships that build on mutual strengths and interests, and advance the value and impact of CPO work.
  2. Integrated climate research – Achieve a fully integrated research program to advance scientific understanding, monitoring, modeling and prediction of climate and its impacts to enable effective decisions.
  3. People & culture – Empower people and their role in the organization to sustain a highly skilled and competent workforce prepared to deal with changing needs and conditions.
  4. Business processes – Adapt CPO’s infrastructure, management practices, and business processes to sustain high performing and responsive programs, products, and services.

The plan is organized to provide a strategic roadmap for climate that guides CPO’s research agenda and forges partnerships that enhance society’s ability to make effective decisions.  Additionally, the Strategic Plan stresses integration and coordination across CPO’s and NOAA’s climate assets and maps out research-to-operations strategies for improving NOAA’s service delivery in all of NOAA’s line offices through development of prototype tools, including early warning systems for preparedness and response.

The CPO Strategic Plan, which has been prepared with extensive input from internal and external stakeholder communities, articulates how NOAA will address the Societal Challenges identified by the Climate Goal, advance understanding, and accelerate improvements in operational products and services for effective decision making. It affirms a strong commitment to both integrative activities in support of key Societal Challenges as well as to the Foundational Capabilities that sustain these activities and further our scientific understanding of climate.

Next steps include developing a five-year Implementation Plan and an improved process for developing Annual Operating Plans beginning in FY15 that will link strategy and execution.

This map, based on U.S. Drought Monitor data, shows drought and abnormally dry conditions across the contiguous United States on July 10, 2012. Yellow indicates areas that are not in drought but are abnormally dry. Darker shades of orange and brown indicate varying degrees of drought, with dark red-brown indicating exceptional drought. Light gray indicates water, and charcoal gray indicates U.S. land areas unaffected by drought and areas outside of the country, which are not covered by the analysis.

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 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 to learn more about our science and services and how they’re benefitting society; or at to learn more about the Climate Program Office and its grants programs.


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