As I write this, DC is abuzz with anticipation of Snowmageddon 2.0 (both positive and negative anticipation depending on your perspective – commute agony vs. snowball fights and sledding on Capitol Hill), I am struck by the opportunity this will give us in the coming weeks and months to emphasize the importance of ocean science toward better understanding (and prediction) of climatic trends and associated severe weather risks. Our knowledge of the correlation between El Niño and Atlantic coast precipitation/storm activity results from decades of research by many of our member institutions. As our climate changes, with the associated effects on ocean conditions, we can only improve our comprehension of these changes and the resulting phenomena that impact our lives and our future through continuing research into both oceanographic and atmospheric dynamics, and the complex interaction between the two. I look forward to personally driving this point home during our upcoming Public Policy Forum which will involve many legislators, their staff, scientists, industry representatives, and other government officials. To butcher Winston Churchill’s quote – Never let a good snowball go to waste.
Jonathan W. White, RADM, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership