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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-03-02
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Earth's Future 6 (2018): 80–102, doi:10.1002/2017EF000627.
    Description: Climate observations are needed to address a large range of important societal issues including sea level rise, droughts, floods, extreme heat events, food security, and freshwater availability in the coming decades. Past, targeted investments in specific climate questions have resulted in tremendous improvements in issues important to human health, security, and infrastructure. However, the current climate observing system was not planned in a comprehensive, focused manner required to adequately address the full range of climate needs. A potential approach to planning the observing system of the future is presented in this article. First, this article proposes that priority be given to the most critical needs as identified within the World Climate Research Program as Grand Challenges. These currently include seven important topics: melting ice and global consequences; clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity; carbon feedbacks in the climate system; understanding and predicting weather and climate extremes; water for the food baskets of the world; regional sea-level change and coastal impacts; and near-term climate prediction. For each Grand Challenge, observations are needed for long-term monitoring, process studies and forecasting capabilities. Second, objective evaluations of proposed observing systems, including satellites, ground-based and in situ observations as well as potentially new, unidentified observational approaches, can quantify the ability to address these climate priorities. And third, investments in effective climate observations will be economically important as they will offer a magnified return on investment that justifies a far greater development of observations to serve society's needs.
    Keywords: Climate observations ; Climate Observing System Simulation Experiments ; Value of information ; Economic value ; Grand challenges
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The effect of an increase in atmospheric aerosol concentrations on the distribution and radiative properties of Earth's clouds is the most uncertain component of the overall global radiative forcing from preindustrial time. General circulation models (GCMs) are the tool for predicting future climate, but the treatment of aerosols, clouds, and aerosolcloud radiative effects carries large uncertainties that directly affect GCM predictions, such as climate sensitivity. Predictions are hampered by the large range of scales of interaction between various components that need to be captured. Observation systems (remote sensing, in situ) are increasingly being used to constrain predictions, but significant challenges exist, to some extent because of the large range of scales and the fact that the various measuring systems tend to address different scales. Fine-scale models represent clouds, aerosols, and aerosolcloud interactions with high fidelity but do not include interactions with the larger scale and are therefore limited from a climatic point of view. We suggest strategies for improving estimates of aerosolcloud relationships in climate models, for new remote sensing and in situ measurements, and for quantifying and reducing model uncertainty.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN35100 , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (e-ISSN 1091-6490); 113; 21; 5781–5790
    Format: text
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