NOAA 03-118
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jana Goldman
10/1/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
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NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
ANNOUNCES FIRST AWARD IN GLOBAL OCEAN DATA ASSIMILATION EFFORT

The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), a collaboration of 15 federal agencies, has funded the first of two projects provided as a U.S. contribution to the international Global Ocean Data Experiment (GODAE).

The project, “Global Ocean Prediction with the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model,” will be led by Dr. Eric P. Chassignet of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami in Miami, Fla.

Chassignet’s project is the first of two awards planned to demonstrate the utility of near-time ocean data for such areas as marine transportation and safety, fisheries management, Navy applications, management of offshore and coastal areas, and climate and seasonal forecasting. An announcement for a second award is anticipated early in the next fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

“The ocean affects our lives every day. By gathering and understanding the information the ocean offers, we can help safeguard our families, our economy, and our nation,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, NOAA administrator, and vice chair of the National Ocean Research Leadership Council, the governing body of NOPP, “This is a major step forward as the NOPP agencies work together to look at ways to improve our ability to use information collected from the ocean.”

GODAE envisions a global observing system feeding near-real-time data into an associated modeling and assimilation capability that will deliver regular, comprehensive information on the state of the oceans, making ocean monitoring and prediction a routine activity similar to what exists today for operational weather forecasting.

NOPP will make a major investment in this GODAE project. The proposed funding level for the first three years is $5.7 million with a two-year extension at a level of $6.1 million. Chassignet will receive $2.8 million for the initial part of his project with the possibility of a $3 million two-year extension. NOPP has an option – depending on progress made and the availability of funds – to continue support for an additional two years.

NOPP has supported a number of activities that have established a foundation for U.S. contributions to GODAE. With GODAE now moving into its demonstration phase, Chassignet’s project will help demonstrate the utility of near-real-time data assimilation in operational settings, in order to provide critical feedback needed to justify the continuing long-term basin-scale ocean observing systems. This will involve building new and strengthening existing partnerships between the research community and operational centers.

During GODAE’s five-year planning phase, a steering committee organized the U.S. effort. GODAE has now moved into a demonstration phase from 2003 to 2007. One example of a GODAE demonstration project is the current effort deploying Argo floats over the world’s oceans by 14 countries and the European Commission; as of Sept. 20, 869 of the planned 3,000-float global array are now operating.

Chassignet’s project will be managed by the Ocean.US, the National Office for Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observations, established by NOPP to lead sustained operational efforts supported by U.S. agencies such as NOAA and Navy.

NOPP, a collaboration of 15 federal agencies, provides leadership and coordination of national oceanographic research and education programs. The participating agencies are the U.S. Navy, NOAA, National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Minerals Management Service, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of Budget and Management, Department of State, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Homeland Security.

NOPP was established by Congress in 1996 to assure national security, advance economic development, protect quality of life, and strengthen science education and communication through improved knowledge of the ocean.

On the Web:

National Oceanographic Partnership Program: http://www.nopp.org

Global Ocean Prediction with the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model: http://www.bom.gov.au/GODAE