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Monday Keynote Address: A Critical Decade for Climate Action

K. Barrett

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of the Under Secretary, Silver Spring, MD 20910

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published three reports over the last year that provide the most updated assessment of climate science, including the physical science, adaptation, and mitigation. The science is clear: We are not yet on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degreesā„ƒ, and this decade is critical for meeting global emissions targets.

While these concerning findings are important, there is also  progress being made at all scales. There is increasing evidence of climate action worldwide, and a growing number of diverse voices within the climate movement. Within the U.S. federal government, climate change is increasingly being centralized in  a range of decisions, including science, economics, infrastructure, and society. 

At NOAA, we are a leader in climate data, products, and services. This leadership relies on our robust global network of monitoring, which  enables improved decision making through climate impact identification and tracking. In this way, NOAA scientists are central to understanding the global changes in our oceans, lands, and atmosphere and to building a Climate Ready Nation. In this presentation, Ms. Barrett will discuss the high-level findings of the IPCC reports, and how NOAA is responding to the science-based call for urgent climate action. 


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Ko Barrett is the Senior Advisor for Climate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In this role, Ms. Barrett is responsible for providing strategic advice and direction within NOAA to enable the Agency to align, integrate, and extend its capabilities to best provide the climate services needed to address the climate challenge. In 2015, Ko Barrett was one of the first women elected to serve as a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a position she still holds. Ms. Barrett chairs the Gender Action Team and the Science Board for the Scholarship program and brings a talent for facilitating consensus to advance the work of the organization.