Develop Applications, Technology, and Products for Societal Needs

It is central to NCAR's mission to transition research results into information, science-based applied technologies, and decision systems that protect life and property and benefit society. Conducting directed research that is relevant to societal needs, providing scientific information to support public and private sector decision making, and contributing to national and international scientific assessments are important responsibilities. We collaborate with university partners, other research organizations, and the private sector to carry out these activities. In addition, many governmental and private sector organizations (domestic and international) provide funding to create applications that are tailored to their needs. Over the next three to five years, NCAR will

  • Define and undertake climate simulations that contribute to scientific assessments of climate change, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and U.S. national assessments expected under the U.S. Global Change Research Program
  • Develop decision-support systems in partnership with universities and other research organizations to assist the renewable energy, water, national security, agricultural, health, manufacturing, and transportation sectors
  • Develop, test, and transfer to operational agencies state-of-the-art numerical techniques for atmospheric, climatic, and space weather modeling, and support the research community by providing repositories of tested code, tutorials, and help desks
  • Integrate atmospheric and social sciences to assess and improve the utility of weather products and services and provide information on the societal impacts of weather and climate
  • Develop and transfer advanced observational systems to the research and operational communities in collaboration with our university partners

Looking farther ahead, we will begin to apply integrated assessment modeling techniques traditionally used for climate studies to weather-scale problems and needs. Additionally we will begin to experiment with "interactive" science and technology transfer systems in which a decision maker or planner will be able to enter cyberspace, specify certain parameters that define the problem they are addressing, and get a nearly instant response consisting of explicit decision information, guidelines for developing a tailored decision system, or further references relevant to their inquiry.