NOAA 2004-R301
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2004
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The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) newest high-tech climate monitoring stations, part of a nationwide effort to better track America’s temperature and precipitation trends, are now operating in Alamo and Muleshoe, Texas.

The stations are part of NOAA’s U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN), and are designed to provide high quality climate data that can be used by U.S. decision makers working on programs impacted by climate variability and change.

“NOAA's CRN is an example of the tools needed to address the five overarching goals of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. The CRN is a step toward providing observations to improve the understanding of our climate system and our climate modeling capabilities, and ultimately reduce uncertainties that challenge our scientists and stakeholders,” said Dr. James R. Mahoney, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, NOAA’s deputy administrator.

“The new network will inject as much concrete data as possible about what the climate is doing now, and how it will be impacted in the future,” said Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. Karl conceived the CRN system and is one of the world’s leading experts on climate change.

Currently, 46 CRN stations are operating in 28 states, logging real-time measurements of surface temperature, precipitation, wind speed and solar radiation.

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites play a key role relaying data from the ground-based stations to NCDC, which posts the observations online.

Bruce Baker, CRN chief scientist, said the network will integrate with other existing observation systems and “close any open gaps in data collection and verify the accuracy of the data.” Additional deployments are planned for the next two years. NOAA officials said a total of 100 stations are planned throughout the rest of the nation by 2006.

The NOAA Satellites and Information Service, NCDC’s parent agency, operates three data centers, which house global databases on climatology, paleoclimatology, oceanography, solid Earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics and solar-terrestrial physics.

The agency also is the nation’s primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. It operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used for weather and ocean observation and forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications, including sea-surface temperature, fire detection and ozone monitoring.

NOAA 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 the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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