Risk-Informed Investments in Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
Speaker: Dr. Richard W. Spinrad, Assistant Administrator, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
In the decades and century to come, humankind will experience - and thus benefit and potentially suffer from - dramatic changes in the nature of the world's oceans and
atmosphere, and their impacts on society. Therefore, investment strategies to protect human health and safety, sustain viable ecosystems, provide national security, and enhance economic development are inextricably tied to understanding society's impact on the oceans and the oceans' impact on society.
Understanding the interactions of the ocean with the atmosphere and land are critical for reducing
uncertainty in forecasting climate change, predicting severe storms, and sustainably managing ecosystems. This lecture will show that the risk associated with decisionmaking
increases when scientific research is lacking.
Scientific discovery directly informs a risk-management strategy that maximises economic and societal benefits. Further, the lecture will demonstrate that risk-management principles must be applied to research investment strategies to create a balanced research portfolio prioritising research objectives, identifying high risk/high impact research,and ensuring investments in breakthrough technologies outpace potential adverse impacts. In other words, oceanic and atmospheric research have extraordinary implications to risk-informed decision-making from a local to global scale.