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Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Task Force Climate Change Update and
Science & Technology Needs
Rear Admiral Dave Titley, Ph.D.
Oceanographer of the Navy / Director Task Force Climate Change
October 15, 2009
This Presentation is Unclassified
• Task Force Climate Change
• Navy Arctic Roadmap
• What We Know
• Adapting to Climate Change
• Science & Technology Needs
• Way Ahead
Task Force Climate Change
• Established by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)
– To identify Navy action regarding climate change
– Near-term focus: Arctic
• Charter
– Develop a science-based timeline for Navy action
– Recommend Navy policy, strategy, investment, & outreach
• Service, interagency, & scientific community support
– Navy & Coast Guard Staffs, Office of Naval Research, Arctic Submarine Lab
– NOAA, NASA, Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security
– National Academies, leading climate science universities (APL-UW, WHOI),
Naval War College, National Defense University, Naval Postgraduate School
Coordinate & communicate Navy action regarding the Arctic & climate change
Task Force Climate Change
Focus Areas
U.S. Navy Photo
Comms & Outreach
Operations & Training
Policy, Strategy, Plans
5 Focus Areas
Readiness & Capability
Assessment & Prediction
Environmental assessment & prediction underpin all TFCC focus areas
Navy Arctic Roadmap
Key Themes
UNCLOS advocacy
Improved understanding
Regarding the current &
predicted environment
Informed investments
Providing a governance
framework that supports
security & stability
Providing the right capability
at the right time & cost
Increased experience
Through exercises & operations
Cooperative partnerships
With interagency and
international stakeholders
U.S. Navy Photo
Navy recognized as a valued joint, interagency, & international partner in the Arctic
What We Know
• Warming Earth is causing:
– Sea level rise
– Changing ocean chemistry, precipitation patterns,
hydrological & ecological systems
– Decreasing snow & ice extent
• Climate change projections are uncertain & variable
– Global temperature & precipitation patterns
well-modeled to 100 yrs
– Ice, tropical storm, sea-level rise, &
ocean acidity NOT well-modeled
• Climate change will impact the Navy
– Infrastructure, missions, operating areas
IPCC projections are insufficient for Navy force structure &
installation investment decisions over the next 30-50 years
Adapting to Climate Change
Battlespace On Demand
Linking Forecasts to Decisions
Decision Superiority: Making better decisions faster than the adversary
Naval Oceanography’s operational concept provides framework for developing
climate change adaptation strategies
Science & Technology Needs
Model Resolution
– Adaptive, higher-density observation net
– Regional scale spatial resolution
– Decadal scale temporal resolution
– Quantify uncertainty & confidence levels
– Provide probability distribution functions in output
– Represent variability across multiple temporal &
spatial scales
– Reduce uncertainty in ice, sea level rise,
water systems/precipitation, & tropical storms
Model Physics
Ice sheet dynamics & contribution to sea level rise
Impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems
Feedback processes & geo-engineering
Factors causing abrupt climate change
Recommend National Academies climate modeling study address these needs
National Climate Consortium
Current capabilities (IPCC) are lacking
Science & Technology needs are national, not TFCC, needs
Identified by the National Academy of Science and the
Office of Science & Technology Policy
Today’s National efforts are fractured & stove-piped
Multiple agencies working on the same problem
Observation systems, climate models, & decision support
A way ahead
Synchronize efforts across the US agencies
Leverage prior investments of each
Capitalize on the strengths of individual organizations
Unify climate & operational prediction capabilities when possible
To develop & implement a National climate observation & modeling strategy