Weather and Society: Integrating Social Sciences into the Hydrometeorology Community. Hurricane Katrina

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1 Weather and Society: Integrating Social Sciences into the Hydrometeorology Community Jeffrey K. Lazo Director Societal Impacts Program National Center for Atmospheric Research Williams Memorial Lecture University of Nebraska - Lincoln March 12, 2008 Hurricane Katrina Landfall: August 29, 2005 in southeast Louisiana 1,800 Fatalities $80 Billion damages Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak February 5-6, Fatalities Damage unknown at this time 1

2 High Noon High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them J.F. Rischard. Basic Books, New York Global Commons 1. Global Warming 2. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Losses 3. Fisheries Depletion 4. Deforestation 5. Water Deficits 6. Maritime Safety and Pollution Humanity 7. Poverty 8. Peacekeeping, Conflict Prevention, and Combating Terrorism 9. Education 10. Global Infectious Diseases 11. Digital Divide 12. Natural Disasters Prevention and Mitigation Regulatory 13. Taxation 14. Biotechnology 15. Global Financial Architecture 16. Illegal Drugs 17. Trade, Investment, and Competition Rules 18. Intellectual Property Rights 19. E-Commerce Rules 20. International Labor and Migration Rules High Noon High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them J.F. Rischard. Basic Books, New York Global Commons 1. Global Warming 2. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Losses 3. Fisheries Depletion 4. Deforestation 5. Water Deficits 6. Maritime Safety and Pollution Humanity 7. Poverty 8. Peacekeeping, Conflict Prevention, and Combating Terrorism 9. Education 10. Global Infectious Diseases 11. Digital Divide 12. Natural Disasters Prevention and Mitigation Regulatory 13. Taxation 14. Biotechnology 15. Global Financial Architecture 16. Illegal Drugs 17. Trade, Investment, and Competition Rules 18. Intellectual Property Rights 19. E-Commerce Rules 20. International Labor and Migration Rules High Noon High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them J.F. Rischard. Basic Books, New York Global Commons 1. Global Warming 2. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Losses 3. Fisheries Depletion 4. Deforestation 5. Water Deficits 6. Maritime Safety and Pollution Humanity 10. Global Infectious Diseases 12. Natural Disasters Prevention and Mitigation 2

3 Overview Motivation Social sciences and hydrometeorology Conceptual issues in social science integration Opportunities for social sciences at NOAA Examples of social science work WAS*IS Motivation: SIP Mission The Societal Impacts Program aims to improve the societal gains from weather forecasting by integrating infusing social science and economic research, methods, and capabilities into the planning, execution, and analysis of weather information, applications, and research directions. What is the value of integrating SS into HM? What is does it mean to integrate SS into HM? Meteorological Enterprise U.S. government spending on meteorological operations and supporting research in fiscal year 2007 was about $3.4 billion (OFCM 2007) U.S. private-sector meteorological activities at about $1.7 billion (Spiegler 2007). Total U.S. meteorological spending on the order of $5 $6 billion a year about $53 a year per U.S. household, or around $1 a week 3

4 Social Science Funding FY 2003 Federal Obligations for Research in Atmospheric and Social Sciences, by Agency (dollars in thousands) Cabinet-level agencies Atmospheric sciences Social sciences Ratio Department of Agriculture 16, , Department of Commerce (includes NOAA/NWS) 161,158 10, Department of Energy 119,065 0 n.a. Department of the Interior 813 4, Other agencies Environmental Protection Agency 66,697 4, National Aeronautics and Space Administration 613, National Science Foundation 203, , DoC, all SS funding allocated to U.S. Census Bureau; none to NOAA or NWS. Sciences and Social Sciences Science: (knowledge obtained from) the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical world, especially by observing, measuring and experimenting, and the development of theories to describe the results of these activities: hard sciences: (a) science in which facts and theories can be firmly and exactly measured, tested or proved soft sciences: purportedly "scientific" however it is not based on reproducible experimental data hydrometeorology and social sciences? hard and and soft harder sciences? sciences!!! Sciences and Social Sciences Social Sciences Social science is the study of the customs and culture of a society 1 : a branch of science that deals with the institutions and functioning of human society and with the interpersonal relationships of individuals as members of society 2 : a science (as economics or political science) dealing with a particular phase or aspect of human society 4

5 Sciences and Social Sciences Anthropology Communication Economics Geography History Linguistics Political science Psychology Sociology Other social sciences? Education Law Social Work Development studies Information science Sociobiology Behavioral Sciences between physical and social... Social Sciences What makes SS different from physical sciences? Different questions Different methods and theories Different concepts about what constitutes science? What do people want when they say we need social sciences? Economics for program justification Explain to people how to understand what they are being told Accounting, management, outreach, advertising What do people want when they say we need social sciences? Research Applications Operations Decision support tools? Integrating Social Sciences Integrating Research what does this mean? Disciplinary Multi-disciplinary Inter-disciplinary Trans-disciplinary Issue with integrating social sciences with science e.g., agent based models... leads to a restricted perception of what it means to integrate these constrains the human dimension into what fits into the science dimension? 5

6 Sciences and Social Sciences Science is the production of knowledge Science is not an arbitrary process Science is not simply a point of view Why is this relevant? because some who advocate trans-disciplinary work are against something rather than for something e.g., against what they perceive economics to be rather than for integrating economics with other disciplines Integrating Social Sciences Comparison of economics and communication Economic Theory Macroeconomics structure and behavior of economy as a whole money, inflation, prices, and employment Microeconomics decisions of how to allocate limited resources in the face of unlimited wants 3 agents individual / firm / government objective maximize utility / profits / societal welfare constraints income / production / budget Communication Theory Rhetorical Semiotic Phenomenological Cybernetics Socio-psychological Socio-cultural Critical Integrating Social Sciences Economics and Social Sciences economics IS a social science! economics economy economics is amenable to modeling and quantification What about the humanities? philosophy ethics logic epistemology Metrics (National Academy of Sciences 2005) process input output outcome impacts 6

7 Hydromet and Social Sciences: What is Happening Now? Hydromet and Social Sciences: What is Happening Now? NOAA s Long Term Goals 45 min tornado warning 1-3 hour flash flood warning other.. NOAA funded NRC Panels Communicating Uncertainty Multifunction Phased Array Radar NOAA Announcement of opportunity with NSF International Activities Office Economics Primer Hydromet and Social Sciences: What is Happening Now? March Madrid WMO International Conference on Secure and Sustainable Living: Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Services ( THORPEX - World Meteorological Organization (WMO): Accelerating improvements in the accuracy of one day to two week high-impact weather forecasts for the benefit of society, the economy and the environment ( The Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) End User Integration team to study social, policy, behavioral, and technical interface issues around the use of DCAS systems in weather impacted decision making and response. ( American Meteorological Society Annual Meetings Fourth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research, January 11 15, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona ( American Meteorological Society Board on Societal Impacts ( 7

8 Hydromet and Social Sciences: SIP Supported Activities Research Information Resources Community Support and Development Weather and Society Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) Overall U.S. Sector Sensitivity Assessment (OUSSSA)...one-third of the private industry activities, representing annual revenues of some $3 trillion, have some degree of weather and climate risk. (Dutton, 2002) Evaluate sensitivity of 11 U.S. economic super sectors to weather variability Writing results for BAMS manuscript $469 Billion US economic sensitivity to weather variability SPUV & CoFU SPUV -- Assess people s sources, perceptions, uses, and value of weather forecast information CoFU -- Explore people s perception of, interpretation of, and preferences for weather forecast uncertainty information Methodology Survey questions developed iteratively, pre-tested at several stages Controlled-access, Internet-based survey of U.S. public Analysis based on N=1465 responses 8

9 Percent of Respondents 50% Local TV Cable TV 40% Commercial or public radio Other webpages 30% Newspapers 20% NWS webpages Friends, family, co-workers, etc. NOAA 10% Weather Radio Telephone weather info source Cell phone, 0% PDA, pager, etc. 75 F F F F F Other (± 1 F) (± 2 F) Mean (± 5 F) Monthly (± 10 F) Access Planned future work (with existing survey data) Geographical analysis Average person gets weather forecasts 115 times/month equates to 300 billion times/year! Analysis of use of forecast uncertainty information for decisionmaking scenarios Cross-analyses with demographics, other questions Warning Decisions in Extreme Weather Events How extreme weather warnings are communicated, interpreted, and used by different participants Interactions among: forecasters public officials media public Case Studies hurricanes - Miami flash floods - Boulder Collaborators Kathleen Tierney and Jeannette Sutton -- U. of Colorado - Natural Hazards Center Ann Bostrom -- U. of Washington, School of Public Affairs Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak NWS service assessment of February 5-6, 2008, tornado outbreak, 59 deaths Societal impacts was a key component of the assessment to help better understand the large loss of life 7 days in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, interviewing members of the public to explore: what information people had about the severe weather situation; how they interpreted that information; what decisions they made; what factors influenced their decision-making 9

10 Extreme Weather Sourcebook updating to 2006 research on Storm Data Information Resources Weather and Society Watch Newsletter 2nd year Free subscription Community Support and Development North American THORPEX Societal and Economic Research and Applications WAS*IS CULTURE CHANGE weather & society * integrated studies Sponsored by the NCAR Societal Impacts Program 10

11 WAS*IS Vision -- To change the weather enterprise by comprehensively & sustainably integrating social science into meteorological research & practice WAS*IS mission 1. Build an interdisciplinary community of practitioners, researchers, & stakeholders -- from the grassroots up -- who are dedicated to the integration of meteorology & social science Capacity building -- creating a community for lifelong collaboration & support! WAS*IS mission 2. Providing opportunity to learn and examine ideas, methods, and examples related to integrated weather-society work Tools GIS, surveys, qualitative methods Concepts problem definition, speaking the same language, end-to-end-to-end process Topics risk perception, vulnerability, resilience 11

12 The WAS*IS Adventure Originally envisioned as only 1 workshop Have now been 5 workshops and counting! Original 2-part Boulder WAS*IS (Nov 2005 & Mar 2006) Condensed 3-day Norman WAS*IS (April 2006) 2006 Summer WAS*IS (July 2006) Australia WAS*IS (January-February 2007) 2007 Summer WAS*IS (July 2007) NOW accepting applications for 2008 Summer WAS*IS workshop, August 7-15, 2008 Grand total of 145 WAS*ISers, 20+ from NOAA! Change is under way: A small sample of WAS*IS-related activities Kevin Barjenbruch (WCM at SLC) Melissa Tuttle Carr (The Weather Channel) Key messages Improved communication, collaboration between govt and private sectors to benefit entire enterprise Synergistic approach will lead to improved products and services and increased visibility Presentations to over 500 people NWS Regional (Western, Central, and Eastern) and National Headquarters NWA and AMS Annual Meetings 12

13 NWS Integrated Services Database Craig Schmidt (Public and dissemination program manager, WRH MSD) Standardize collection and utilization of different types of information to improve NWS efficiency and service -- emphasize high-impact weather Database to include Searchable contact information for stakeholders in WFO/RFC area (e.g., customer needs, satisfaction, outreach/event information) Weather information (e.g., surface obs, fire weather, marine weather) New Conceptual Model of Warning Accuracy Development of new metrics emphasis on societal relevance Barnes et al., October 2007 issue of Weather and Forecasting Decision-making During a Winter Storm Survey of people s actual behaviors during the Dec 20-21, 2006, CO winter storm Assessed people s sources of forecasts, factors influencing decision-making, and perceptions of forecast accuracy 60% 40% 20% % of respondents who stayed home based on self-reported fear or anxiety when driving during winter conditions 0% None Low Moderate High Sheldon Drobot, 2007: 13

14 Eve Gruntfest s Collaboration with National Weather Center Weaving social science into the NWC fabric With NSSL and several OU entities 3-year project, 2 grad students, 1 postdoc Activities will include: Build strong, integrated community of academicians, practitioners, researchers, and others in Norman area Assess viability of a new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at OU in societal impacts of weather and climate change Emphasis on involvement with OU Hazardous Weather Testbed Other WAS*IS Elements Output WAS*IS paper (Demuth et al., BAMS, November 2007) Conferences and meetings Networking and collaborations Outcome NWS Advanced Workshop, October 24-25, 2007 Australia WAS*IS 2009 Conclusions Challenge to integrate social science research into hydrometeorological activities Understanding why to do this Understanding what this means Top down Bottom up Thank you for listening!!! 14

15 References Katrina pictures: Knabb, Richard D; Rhome, Jamie R.; Brown, Daniel P (December 20, 2005; updated August 10, 2006). Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Katrina: August National Hurricane Center. National Academy of Sciences Thinking Strategically: The Appropriate Use of Metrics for the Climate Change Science Program. Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. National Weather Service Performance Measures: OFCM (Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology) The Federal Plan for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research: Fiscal Year Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Robert T. Craig Communication Theory as a Field. Communication Theory. May (2) pp Spiegler, D.B The Private Sector in Meteorology- An Update _PrivateSectorInMeteorologyUpdate.pdf. Accessed December 27,

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