1.1 Mission and contributions to NOAA

The mission of the Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC) is to advance understanding and predictions of weather and climate variations on time scales ranging from a week to centuries. To achieve its mission, CDC develops and applies a wide range of research methods, particularly emphasizing state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques, to elucidate fundamental processes governing climate phenomena such as droughts, floods, and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, and to identify the causes of longer-term (decadal to centennial) climate variations. CDC also performs extensive intercomparisons of observational and climate model data, an activity vital to improving current research and prediction models.

The development of improved climate assessments and predictions enhances the Nation's economic and environmental security, and is a fundamental part of NOAA's mission. Diagnostic studies, for which CDC has exceptional breadth and expertise, vitally contribute to this process by linking basic observational and theoretical research to improvements in operational climate predictions and, ultimately, to the development of new climate products that better serve the needs of the public and decision-makers (Fig. 1.1). NOAA Strategic Goals directly addressed by CDC research include: 1) Implementing seasonal to interannual climate forecasts; 2) Predicting and assessing decadal-to-centennial changes; and 3) Advancing short-term forecast and warning services.

Linkages between diagnostic studies and climate disciplines

Fig. 1.1 Illustration of the linkages between diagnostic studies
and other climate disciplines.

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