Inside NOAA: News from the Office of the Administrator

Greetings:

NOAA monitors Earth’s health and transforms observations into scientific understanding that helps citizens, businesses, and leaders solve the problems they face every day. We’re always looking for better ways to provide the environmental intelligence–the timely, accurate and actionable information–that people need to live wisely and well. One challenge for which environmental intelligence is especially important, is the food-energy-water nexus. The multifaceted interactions among the food, energy, and water systems are complex and interdependent; and therefore the solutions require multi-sector engagement.

Climate change is having a profound impact on this nexus, which is exacerbated as many sectors of our economy and daily lives all pull from the same drop of water. Climate change as well as other factors such as population growth and water contamination create stresses on water, energy, and agriculture resources and systems in multiple and sometimes unexpected ways.

Across the globe, widespread drought and heatwaves are becoming more common ­- reducing crop yields, raising food prices and impacting freshwater supplies. Fortunately, rapid advances in science, innovations in technology, and interdisciplinary research, such as the work taking place at the new National Water Center, are creating new capabilities to more effectively understand the impact of climate change on the interdependent nature of energy, water and food resources. NOAA is developing integrated water data and tools such as new drought information products so that decision makers have greater foresight and can plan ahead, adapt and remain resilient.
Later this year, countries from around the world will meet in Paris to talk about climate change impacts. We are presented with an opportunity to act on climate, foster conversation, and develop agreements that preserve and protect our planet for future generations.

Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

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