The Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center was established in August 1994 as a multi-institutional partnership, to conduct research and produce information products on climate variability related to the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate cycle in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).
PEAC’s first collaborators were the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Office of Global Programs (NOAA/OGP), NOAA National Weather Service – Pacific Region (NWS-PR), the University of Hawaii – School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology UH/SOEST, the University of Guam – Water and Environmental Research Institute (UOG/WERI), and the Pacific Basin Development Council (PDBC). While OGP and PDBC are no longer involved, PEAC now has additional partnerships with the NOAA Climate Program Office (NOAA/CPO), the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (NOAA/CPC), and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University (IRI).
The mission of the Pacific ENSO Applications Climate Center is to conduct research and develop information products specific to the USAPI on the ENSO climate cycle, its historical impacts, and latest long-term forecasts of ENSO conditions, in support of planning and management activities in such climate-sensitive sectors as water resource management, fisheries, agriculture, civil defense, public utilities, coastal zone management, and other economic and environmental sectors of importance to the communities of the USAPI.
A major focus of ongoing applied research at PEAC is the investigation of statistical correlations between ENSO and sea level. Seasonal sea level forecasts, discussion and verification are issued every three months in the Pacific ENSO Update newsletter. Previous issues of the Pacific ENSO Update newsletter can be found here.
Statistical studies on regional climatology and the ENSO cycle are underway at the University of Guam (UOG) and the University of Hawaiʻi (UH). This cooperative research activity is being led by the Water and Environmental Research Institute (WERI) of the UOG, through a sub-grant from PEAC. The studies aim to develop ENSO-related impact criteria for the Islands, through examination of:
- Historical floods and droughts, their causes, impacts on agriculture, and other information concerning water resources in each regional area;
- The pattern of severe weather phenomena such as hurricanes and typhoons in each regional area;
- The distribution of commercially important fish species within each regional area, in cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service; and
- Relationships with the ENSO cycle, with an aim for developing predictive forecasts of 6 – 18 month lead times for the region.
More information about the Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center can be found on their website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/peac/
The PEAC Center has published a paper titled “THE ROLE OF THE PACIFIC ENSO APPLICATIONS CLIMATE CENTER IN REDUCING VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE HAZARDS: Experience from the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands” in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
The article is available on the PEAC website at http://www.prh.noaa.gov/peac/data/Schroeder_2012_Role.pdf.
Header image: One of several washed-out sections of the main road on Babeldaob Island, Republic of Palau. The PEAC Center helps produce and provide weather and climate information and products to the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, so they may better prepare for extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and flooding. (Source: Pacific ENSO Applications Climate Center)