Winter 2013 Meeting

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)


January 8-10, 2013


The 2013 Winter ESIP Federation Meeting will be held at the Renaissance Washington, DC Dupont Circle Hotel (1143 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007).


Draft TEXT for October 1 telecon...

ESIP Federation Winter Meeting 2013

ESIP Advancing Earth Science Information: From Climate Assessment to Intelligence to Action

In this working meeting following closely on the release of the 2013 National Climate Assessment report of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the ESIP Federation will assemble data experts from agencies, universities, and research corporations to address new challenges for building actionable intelligence on climate impacts from earth data resources. The goals of this meeting are to generate innovative technology solutions to data issues posed by the Assessment, and to forge working teams to pursue these solutions in the coming year.

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Using climate challenges to create tools

Using data effectively to support action

Beyond data publication to Earth intelligence

The ESIP Federation Advancing Climate Assessment to Intelligence to Action


More Theme Ideas

  • National Climate Assessment
  • Investments and Opportunities in Big Data
  • Using Data/Technology to Support...
  • Climate, Change & Data/Tech Needs to Support Earth's Grand Challenges
  • Data and technology to address pressing global changes

Data and Technology for Climate Change and Sustainability – Theme for ESIP Winter 2013 Meeting (Draft)

Melting Ice

Impacts of climate change are highly visible today. Arctic ice has shrunk to the lowest level ever recorded, according to recent satellite data (August 2012) that shows a massive melt is still under way. In July 2012, NASA reported that ice all across the vast glacial interior of the world's largest island (Greenland) was melting – a "freak event" that hadn't occurred for at least 150 years. The landscape and ecology of Alaska is changing rapidly. At a recent US senate hearing ( in July 2012), tribal leaders testified and asked for action as climate change is sweeping indigenous villages into the sea in Alaska, flooding the taro fields of Native Hawaiians and devastating the salmon population from which Indian tribes in Washington state draw their livelihood.

Natural Hazards

The frequency and intensity of natural hazards (floods, droughts, and wildfires) has increased noticeably worldwide. In 2011, Texas and Oklahoma experienced the worst heat-wave, drought and wildfires in history. In fact, 2011 recorded the highest payout in recent years by insurance companies for disaster events. The first Asian Climate Change Summit held in February 2011 accepted that climate change is a significant global environmental challenge and the prospect of extreme climate change and its potentially devastating economic and social consequences are of great concern to the insurance industry. This year (Jan 2012) the second summit took the debate a step further to look at the specific measures and efforts that the insurance industry must take nationally and on the global arena to ensure resilience and its readiness to step up the demands for cover.

Natural Resources

The shortage of water is being recognized worldwide impacting agriculture and sustainability. Many of these factors have been exacerbated by climate change and the links are being discussed and evaluated by scientists worldwide. Large cities worldwide are taking notice, and through the efforts of C40, the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group currently headed by Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, most major cities around the world have made a priority to include climate change impacts in the city’s infrastructure planning, natural resources availability and sustainability.

US Government Action

A draft of the National Climate Assessment sponsored by OSTP and led by USGCRP, is expected to be released in December 2012, just before the ESIP Winter 2013 meeting; several members of ESIP have been collaborating on this major project. One of the key needs that is likely to emerge from this assessment is stakeholder access to relevant data and actionable information, and cross agency collaboration in mitigation and adaptation efforts. Since climate change is likely to have the most severe impacts on the populations in regions with poverty and lack of infrastructure to support basic needs, USAID has included integration of climate change as a part of their strategy for development. US Navy is concerned about instability resulting from potential population migration looking for food and water as climate change exacerbates already difficult conditions. Through Task Force Climate Change led by the US Navy, the DOD has made a priority to address security concerns due to the opening of the polar route created by melting of the Arctic.


At the Summer 2010 ESIP meeting, we had invited Tom Wilbanks (ORNL) and Eileen Shea (NOAA) to address the ESIP on IPCC and NOAA perspectives on climate change and its impacts, launched a new cluster named “Energy and Climate” within the ESIP, and initiated a teacher training program regarding climate change. With new observational evidence and increased worldwide awareness, expected release of National Climate Assessment draft, and ESIP’s new partnership with USGCRP, it may be quite appropriate for ESIP to use a theme oriented around "Data and Technology for Climate Change and Sustainability" at the ESIP 2013 Winter meeting. Plenary and keynote Speakers from USGCRP, USAID, NASA, NOAA, and DOD could provide a perspective that addresses the compelling reasons why earth science data for climate change is at the heart of worldwide sustainability and growth, and what questions remain to be answered.

USGCRP is a formal cross-agency effort while ESIP is an informal cross-agency federation focusing on data and technology, and some synergies can be leveraged by ESIP to assist USGCRP in carrying out the next steps beyond the National Climate Assessment. Questions that need to be addressed can be provided by the agencies prior to the ESIP Winter meeting and further discussed at the meeting to identify specific projects that ESIP can undertake going forward. Various working groups within ESIP can propose technologies and data they can bring to bear to address those questions.