On Thursday, Nov 29, at the University of Maryland Research Park, representatives from NOAA & UMD CIRUN met with executives from both the private and public sectors to discuss the real world applications that new NOAA weather and climate research present to the public.
In attendance were 17 representatives from various fields, including agriculture, commercial real estate, emergency response planning, oil and gas, and urban planning.
At the meeting, NOAA & UMD scientists explained how the data gathered in NOAA research might be able to better their respective organizations when looking to the future.
According to meeting coordinator CIRUN director Steve Halperin, of the organizations present, “some already receive climate info and use it, and others would like to.”
Others came because they wanted to see why it was useful.
Using real estate development as an example, Halperin explained that when constructing new buildings, it’s necessary understand the weather 20-30 years in advance and plan accordingly.
“On the east coast, generally you expect their to be a greater intensity of storms and higher temperature in the summer,” Halperin said.
“What does that mean?” he continued, “for one thing, you probably need to build property a little farther away from the ocean… insulate better… and put in higher building standards.”
Looking forward, air conditioning companies and energy companies can expect increased demand he said.
“They will need to plan for it,” says Halperin, noting these are not changes that can simply be carried out over night.
Halperin said the initial idea for last week’s meeting came about in the spring of 2011, when he and UMD ESSIC director and ConE chair Antonio Busalacchi were fortunate to “stumble across” the risk manager for a major commercial development company – one who saw the implications of NOAA’s research from early on.
Afterwards, both Halperin and Busalacchi saw the potential for meeting on the topic that included a more widespread audience.
Almost a year later Halperin says that for some sectors, the meeting was a wake up call.
“Everyone walked away quite satisfied… they had a better sense of what NOAA did and how it could be useful for them,” he said.
The day prior, NOAA hosted the representatives for a reception and tour of the the new NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction located at the University of Maryland Research Park.