NOAA Calls for Creation of Climate Change Agency

A longtime National Weather Service meteorologist is pushing for a new sister agency focused on predicting climate change. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Alaska Region Climate Service director James Partain talked about the idea during a monthly climate change teleconference yesterday, as a way to focus research and forecasting.

Partain is one of six regional directors hired last year to promote the climate branch idea, which still faces funding approval. Alaska is second only to Antarctica in terms of the poor performance of forecasting models.

Partian says upgraded climate models need to be fed and ground-truthed with better weather observations. He also stressed the importance of improving the timely distribution of forecasts to decision makers and the general public.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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