A climate research program led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego scientists that has spent more than a decade understanding California's climate risks has been extended to broaden its emphasis in Nevada and take on more coastal issues in California with renewed funding from NOAA.
NOAA today announced three new Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) awards, totaling $11 million over five years, to climate science collaborations in Alaska, and the Carolinas in addition to the California/Nevada Application Program (CNAP) that is based at Scripps.
"The diverse natural and human setting in California and Nevada sets up a unique and contrasting palette of exposure and response to climate variation," said Scripps climate researcher Dan Cayan, who is one of the three lead investigators of the program. "Our renewed CNAP RISA will allow us to continue to learn about problems faced by decision makers and assist them as they prepare for and adapt to climate changes, both natural and anthropogenic."
CNAP has drawn together climate and hydrologic expertise at Scripps with physical and social scientists from other research institutions in California and Nevada. This group has developed collaborations with key users in the two states, including State of California officials who are grappling with climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning and a consortium of agency scientists and managers who study and manage wildfire in the region.
The three new awards also include the Alaska Center for Climate Assessments and Policy (ACCAP - University of Alaska-Fairbanks) and the Carolinas Integrated Science and Assessments program (CISA - University of South Carolina). All three institutions will conduct research efforts collaboratively with other universities and research organizations. Funds for years two through five are subject to the availability of annual appropriation.
"These projects will help build national and regional capacity to understand and minimize the risks associated with a variable and changing climate," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "RISA enables the interdisciplinary research needed to tackle big challenges such as impacts to water, food, infrastructure, and ecosystems. The program strengthens NOAA's climate efforts by bringing science and service communities together."
Scientific expertise is coupled with the ability to work collaboratively with those responsible for managing resources and communities at local, state and regional levels. As such, RISA projects work with many of NOAA's stakeholders including water utilities, state and local governments, land and wildlife managers, land and sea grant extension services, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.
RISA teams, along with NOAA's Regional Climate Centers and regional climate services directors, work with state climate offices to help regional stakeholders address the challenges of a changing climate. RISA team members are also key contributors to research and assessment activities of the cross-federal agency National Climate Assessment overseen by the United States Global Change Research Program. Through the national assessment, RISA teams help NOAA expand and enhance interagency partnerships at the regional level.
These three new partnerships join eight ongoing RISAs.