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Climate Data and Predictions for Coastal Solutions Working Group

The US CLIVAR Working Group on Climate Data and Predictions for Coastal Solutions (“Climate & Coasts”) was initiated in January 2024 and will continue through summer 2026. The group consists of 16 experts across physical oceanography, coastal observing systems, ocean modeling, dynamical downscaling, coastal pollution, fisheries, climate projections, and coastal communication.

Along the U.S. coastlines, climate-related pressures such as sea-level rise, flooding, marine heatwaves, storms, and, more generally, the compounded effects of ocean-atmosphere weather extremes, are rising and leading to more vulnerable natural and human coastal systems [e.g., Colburn et al. 2016; Pershing et al. 2019; Sweet et al. 2022]. While a few communities are in the process of developing solutions strategies for climate resilience, a significant disconnect still exists between the climate science community, their ability to co-produce and deliver actionable information and predictions, and the coastal stakeholders who are in need of incorporating this information into their decision-making processes [Porter and Dessai, 2017]. This gap is even more significant for under-served communities, which are disproportionately impacted by climate and have limited to no access to climate information, expertise, and resilience-planning tools.

US CLIVAR released a report outlining a strategic plan for addressing the next generation of research on climate at the coast [Nielsen-Gammon et al. 2021], which highlights a unique opportunity for US CLIVAR to bring its integrated approach, from observations to modeling to prediction to applications, to inform and support the development of coastal climate solutions. To advance the US CLIVAR Coastal Initiative, this working group will establish essential research building blocks for developing a U.S. coastal climate prediction and impact information system, trusted and vetted by the climate and coastal science community, that can inform equitable coastal solution strategies. These building blocks can be divided into two main categories: 

  • Co-designing and Communicating Climate Information for Equitable Coastal Solutions: Towards incorporating stakeholder needs into the science of coastal climate predictions, thereby delivering actionable climate information for coastal solutions.
  • Downscaling Coastal Climate Information, Predictions, & Uncertainty: Advancing user-inspired research to bridge the gap between large-scale climate forecasts and relatively small-scale coastal climate information needs.

The results from the Climate & Coasts working group effort are intended to address the disconnect between the climate science community, their ability to co-produce and deliver actionable information and predictions, and the coastal stakeholders who are in need of incorporating this information into their decision-making processes.

Main Objectives of the Working Group

Following the motivation presented above, the working group builds around the recognition that (1) the climate research community needs to understand the stakeholder needs and use those to inform critically essential gaps in research, and (2) the stakeholder community also needs to understand how to access and use existing climate information and predictions. The working group’s efforts are organized around three main objectives and corresponding tasks to establish a research framework for co-developing equitable, trusted, and actionable climate information for coastal communities. 

  1. Co-designing actionable climate information & forecast targets for coastal solutions: Leverage a discrete set of existing coastal pilot projects and communities, which are already engaged with boundary organizations (e.g., IOOS Regional Associations, Climate Mayors, Resilient City Catalyst, Center for Sea-Level Rise Solutions, Ocean Visions), to identify what the user needs are in terms of climate downscaling information and forecast targets.
  2. Innovations for downscaling coastal climate information, forecasts, and uncertainties at the decision-making scales: Assess the current capability and science gaps for downscaling climate onto forecast targets at the spatial and temporal scales identified by decision-makers. Convene experts from the climate and coastal modeling, and from the social, biological, chemical, and computer science communities to better define and quantify the forecast target products, which span several social-ecological-environmental dimensions, and link them to the downscaling of climate predictions. Provide boundary organizations with information needed to develop strategies for climate resilience.
Climate Data and Prediction for Coastal Solutions Working Group

Emanuele Di Lorenzo (co-chair)

Brown University

Samantha Siedlecki (co-chair)

University of Connecticut

Clarissa Anderson (co-chair)

Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System at Scripps

Malin Pinsky (co-chair)

University of California, Santa Cruz

Marybeth Arcodia

Colorado State University

Shuyi Chen

University of Washington

Lisa Colburn


Elizabeth Drenkard


Baylor Fox-Kemper

Brown University

Andra Garner

Rowan University

Ben Hamlington

Caltech/NASA JPL

Ben Kirtman

University of Miami

Bob Kopp

Rutgers University

Matt Newman


Mercedes Pozo Buil

University of California, Santa Cruz/ NOAA SWFSC

Desiree Tommassi