Defining Actionable Information

At a session of the October 2011 Open Science Conference of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), government, academic, and business leaders addressed climate science needs in service to society. A key recommendation that resulted from this discussion was for agencies such as NOAA to provide “actionable” climate information.

To better understand what characterizes “actionable” climate information and how such information can be exploited, IGES convened the Executive Roundtable on Climate, Private Sector Engagement, and Strategic Forecasting in April 2012 in Asheville, North Carolina. Roundtable participants agreed that climate information is most useful and valuable when it informs decisions. They found that actionable climate information targets a variety of time and spatial scales and meets the following criteria: credibility, translatability, and high present value.

In order to further define actionable climate information and consider how this information can be delivered and used to better manage risk and guide adaptation, leaders in the public, private and international arenas came together during a Town Hall session at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) 2013 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. The Town Hall was part of a National Climate Assessment Special Session.

This session report, prepared by IGES with support from the North Carolina State University’s North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies (NCICS), presents details about the town hall, including background, list of participants, as well as key observations derived from the discussion.