NASA and the National Climate Assessment: Promoting awareness of NASA Earth science

Monday, 15 December 2014: 3:02 PM
Allison K Leidner, NASA Headquarters, Earth Science Division, Washington, DC, United States
NASA Earth science observations, models, analyses, and applications made significant contributions to numerous aspects of the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) report and are contributing to sustained climate assessment activities. The agency’s goal in participating in the NCA was to ensure that NASA scientific resources were made available to understand the current state of climate change science and climate change impacts. By working with federal agency partners and stakeholder communities to develop and write the report, the agency was able to raise awareness of NASA climate science with audiences beyond the traditional NASA community. To support assessment activities within the NASA community, the agency sponsored two competitive programs that not only funded research and tools for current and future assessments, but also increased capacity within our community to conduct assessment-relevant science and to participate in writing assessments. Such activities fostered the ability of graduate students, post-docs, and senior researchers to learn about the science needs of climate assessors and end-users, which can guide future research activities. NASA also contributed to developing the Global Change Information System, which deploys information from the NCA to scientists, decision makers, and the public, and thus contributes to climate literacy. Finally, NASA satellite imagery and animations used in the Third NCA helped the pubic and decision makers visualize climate changes and were frequently used in social media to communicate report key findings. These resources are also key for developing educational materials that help teachers and students explore regional climate change impacts and opportunities for responses.