Global Change Information for Informed Decisions


Global Change Information (GCI) is key to informing local and regional decisions on building communities that are resilient to changes in the global climate.  Government activities such as Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT), Climate Data Initiative (CDI) and the Global Change and Information System (GCIS) provide this information to help inform these decisions, but more coordination is needed of agency data and information providers.  One of the strategic goals of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is inform decisions on global change.  To accomplish this, the USGCRP is engaging the community of decision makers so that the GCI provided by the government can better serve their needs.  This session will focus on the steps necessary to build a solid foundation of GCI that will be used by communities to inform important resilience decisions.

Panel Discussion Agenda (Draft):

  • Robert Wolfe - Introduction/Background (5 minutes)
  • Panel Introduction and Short Presentation (5 to 10 min. each)
    • David Meyer, NASA - Climate Data Initiative
    • LuAnn Dahlman, NOAA - Climate Resilience Toolkit
    • Sarah Zerbonne - USGCRP Adaptation Science IWG
    • Jerry Johnston, DOI - GeoPlatform
    • Robert Wolfe, USGCRP - Global Change Information System
  • Discussion (25 minutes or more) - questions from the audience

Robert Wolfe, USGCRP

  1. Around for ~20 years with reports every 5 years
  2. Most recent global change report came out in 2014. Available @
  3. Key Message 5: Take steps to improve collaborative decision processes including developing new decision support tools and building human capacity to bridge science and decision-making.
  4. What can ESIP do collectively?
    1. Clusters
    2. Collaborations areas (wiki, email list, etc.)
    3. Testbed
  5. What can individual ESIP members do?


David Meyer, NASA

  1. Climate Data Initiate (CDI) overview
    1. Climate Action Plan (CAP)
    2. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT)
  2. NASA’s Role
    1. Manage
    2. Coordinate with GSA and EOP
    3. Engage communities of resilience
    4. GSA user study
  3. Federal Data & Tools for Assessment


LuAnn Dahlman, NOAA

  1. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT) has been available for year.
    1. User numbers continue to increase.
  2. Taking Action = Case Studies
  3. Multiple Topics
  4. Over 200 tools
  5. Currently working on 5 key steps, with sub-steps and a decision point to follow
  6. Climate change and climate variability are the main reasons for a visit to the CRT site
  7. CRT is evolving to:
    1. Help identify indicators that matter for their valued assets
    2. Quantify the point at which damage/disruption occurs.


Sarah Zerbonne, USGCRP/ASIWG

  1. Adaptation Science Interagency Working Group (ASIWG) formed as a result of the Climate Resilience Task Force.
    1. Formed of science and mission agencies
  2. ASIWG focuses on:
    1. Identification of stakeholder research and information needs to inform adaptation decisions.
    2. Document and coordinate Federal adaptation resources
    3. Provision and coordination of adaptation science


Jerry Johnston, DOI

  1. The role of government in the geospatial ecosystem has changed.  The government is no longer the sole producer of information.
  2. Geospatial use is pervasive in the public sector.
  3. Challenges to address:
    1. Inability to locate the right data with search results
    2. Past approaches have not allowed for partnership with the NSDI.
  4. Strategic Plan is on NSDI website:
    1. Goal 1: Develop capabilities for National Shared Service.
  5. – What’s New
    1. Hosted in a commercial cloud service (AWS)
    2. New redesign of website


Robert Wolfe, USGCRP

  1. US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is coordinated across 13 agencies.
  2. Global Change Information System (GCIS) connects global change information with findings.


PANEL DISCUSSION (*no presentation slides*)

  • CRT will show median, 10%, and 90% points in the range of projections.  Will be shown only for best and worst case scenario and not labeled as RCPs.
  • CRT is only US case studies currently.  Focuses on using data from  Will hopefully move to international case studies in the future.
  • CRT has 5 tool filters related to desired task or action.
  • Potential for ESIP to engage with “Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities.”
  • ESIP could also help with displaying model output via web services.  Perhaps a collaborative area within ESIP.
  • Distinction between weather-based decisions (ex. turn on AC or paint house) vs. climate-based decisions (ex. do we have enough energy to support AC?).
  • ASIWG has mostly focuses on federally focused adaptation to date.  Beginning to explore connections to regional and local groups.
  • How does the State Department or COP21 use data to make decisions?  à Potential ESIP educational outreach to these groups.
  • What types of training are current civil engineers and city planners receiving to be able to incorporate climate data into their planning?
    • Cost-benefit analyses dictates many decisions for city planners
    • ESIP could engage engineer and planner communities.
Wolfe, R.; Global Change Information for Informed Decisions; Winter Meeting 2016. ESIP Commons , November 2015