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Research Project: Uncertainty of Future Water Availability Due to Climate Change and Impacts on the Long Term Sustainability and Resilience of Agricultural Lands in the Southern Great Plains

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Title: Communicating climate information across binational boundaries at the regional scale - lessons learned from North America

item MUTH, MEREDITH - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item APPLEBY, BILL - Environment Canada
item BORISOFF, SAMANTHA - Cornell University
item BRETTSCHNEIDER, BRIAN - University Of Alaska
item Brown, David
item SALDANA COLIN, JUAN - Non ARS Employee
item DELAND, SYLVAIN - Environment Canada
item FLEETWOOD, RICK - Environment Canada
item GARFIN, GREGG - University Of Arizona
item DE GROOT, ERIK - Environment Canada
item IBARRA, MARTIN - Non ARS Employee
item KLUCK, DOUG - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item LEROY, SARAH - University Of Arizona
item MECRAY, ELLEN - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item PARTAIN JR., JAMES - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item THOMAS, RICK - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
item WOLOSZYN, MOLLY - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: American Meteorological Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2017
Publication Date: 1/7/2018
Citation: Muth, M., Appleby, B., Borisoff, S., Brettschneider, B., Brown, D.P., Saldana Colin, J., Deland, S., Fleetwood, R., Garfin, G., De Groot, E., Ibarra, M., Kluck, D., Leroy, S., Mecray, E., Partain Jr., J., Thomas, R., Woloszyn, M. 2018. Communicating climate information across binational boundaries at the regional scale - lessons learned from North America [abstract]. American Meteorological Society Proceedings. Available at:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: Communities are increasingly requesting climate information tailored at regional scales to better understand location-specific impacts and risks. To meet this demand, NOAA and other partners are producing periodic synthesis reports that efficiently communicate critical information about climate conditions and impacts in a specific region. This effort, which began in 2012, now includes many unique regional products, but all are produced collaboratively with numerous partner organizations. Four of these ‘Regional Climate Impacts and Outlook Reports’ are now being developed jointly on a regular basis with Canada (Gulf of Maine, Great Lakes, Alaska and Northwest Canada) and Mexico (Rio Grande-Rio Bravo). Produced on either a quarterly or monthly basis, these reports typically describe seasonal weather and climate variations and impacts during the previous three-month period, and present a climate forecast for the coming 3-month season. This binational coordination results in a seamless, bilingual (when necessary), highly coordinated product that is transferrable across boundaries. While the development and partnership process varies between regions, there are shared lessons learned for addressing obstacles unique to the binational context, such as different languages, forecast model variations and release schedules, reporting units, topics, and web hosting issues. Despite these challenges, these collaborative efforts have demonstrated mutual benefits for the three countries. Contributors and audiences have found the reports useful for increasing decision-makers’ awareness about climate predictability and impacts at different scales (local, state, provincial, and federal). Moreover, regularly produced experimental and quasi-operational online products serve as a calling card and point of departure for discussions with stakeholders about their needs for more specific and process- or research-based climate services, such as adaptation or drought plans, workshops, and forecasts for specific parameters and lead-times. At the technical level, a jointly produced product encourages each country to review and blend climate information from both sides of the border into one set of maps, and to explain discrepancies between forecasts. Having an organized binational group at a regional scale has aided in the assessment and communication on other potential climate events of interest in a specific region (e.g., El Niño Impacts to the Great Lakes). These collaborations have also led to the improvements of existing products, such as developing 30-year climate averages for the Great Lakes region that synchronize with U.S. averages to produce a geographically uninterrupted map across the international border. Evaluation of these products has occurred both formally (e.g., surveys) and informally (e.g., email, word of mouth, workshops). Feedback has been largely positive, with product users approving of the content, length, and level of complexity of the narrative. A key component to the success of these international collaborations is developing and encouraging a sustained dialogue on climate issues, which can be especially valuable during major extreme events. Initiatives such as the North American Climate Services Partnership (NACSP) can provide platforms for the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned across the different regions.