NOAA 2002-072
Contact: Bob Hopkins
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr. USN (Ret.), U.S. undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator today announced new U.S. funding for the Global Climate Observing System, an international effort to investigate global climate change processes and observations located within the World Meteorological Organization.

The announcement was made during Lautenbacher's address to the opening plenary of the World Meteorological Organization Executive Council in Geneva. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The $600,000 in new U.S. funding will help support the GCOS Second Report on the Adequacy of the Global Climate Observing System. The funds will come to GCOS from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assesses information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.

The GCOS funds are part of a total of $2.7 million in State Department funding to the IPCC in FY02. Dr. Harlan Watson, senior climate change negotiator and special representative at the State Department, recalled President Bush's commitment to improving climate observing systems, particularly in developing countries, and said, "We are pleased to work closely with NOAA to implement the president's initiative."

"This new funding for the GCOS global observing effort further demonstrates the administration's commitment to working with our international partners to build a sound base of scientific knowledge for future global climate change policy decisions," said Lautenbacher. "Expanding global climate observation will require cooperation and coordination from the international community in realizing our collective end goal of having the tools we need to take the pulse of mother earth."

President Bush's Clear Skies and Global Climate Change Initiatives announced in February call for the U.S. to provide funding for high-priority areas of climate change science over the next five years. The U.S. will also provide resources to build climate observation systems in developing countries and encourage developed countries to match our American commitment.

Lautenbacher is in Europe to meet with senior leaders from European and international ocean, climate and space organizations during a week-long trip (June 7-13) to promote international cooperation and support for expanding the present global climate observation system.

In Geneva, Lautenbacher addressed the executive council of the WMO, the U.N. organization that serves as the authoritative scientific voice on the state and behavior of the earth's atmosphere and climate. Prior to Geneva, Lautenbacher met with officials in Darmstadt, Germany, and Paris. Lautenbacher will travel to London and meet with British officials before returning to the U.S. on Thursday, June 13.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources.

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