NOAA 2004-R303
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that an additional $2.5 million will be included in the multi-year cooperative agreement it signed with the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison. The agreement, initially signed in 2001, will support research on the applications of Earth-orbiting satellites to the analysis and prediction of weather and climate. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The agreement has a total value of more than $20 million through September 2005. It strengthens a partnership between UW and NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service to use satellite data from the agency’s two geostationary and polar-orbiting spacecraft to better understand environmental trends and the effects of clouds and radiation. Scientists hope this knowledge will lead to improved climate and weather forecasts.

“This cooperative agreement puts scientists in an ideal position to maximize the satellites’ advanced technological instruments to get critical data that will improve the quality and reliability of our forecasts,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are committed to working with academic institutions to improve our awareness, appreciation and understanding of the environment.”

CIMSS, one of four cooperative research institutes funded by NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service, was established in 1980 by a Memorandum of Agreement between NOAA and UW.

According to the guidelines of the agreement, CIMSS will study ways to better incorporate satellite instruments into weather and climate prediction, as well as improve operations in the areas of remote sensing, data collection and archiving.

"Whenever the government and private sector can work together, the nation -- and its people -- benefit from the outcomes," said Gregory W. Withee, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellites and Information Service. "Because climate and weather are so complex, it's going to take a team approach, which uses satellite data, to advance the knowledge of our changing environment."

NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service is the nation’s primary source of space-based oceanographic, meteorological, and climate data. It operates the nation’s environmental satellites, which are used for ocean and weather observation and forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications. Some of the oceanographic applications include sea-surface temperature for hurricane and weather forecasting and sea-surface heights for El Niño prediction.

The agency also operates three data centers, which house global databases in oceanography, climatology, solid Earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics and paleoclimatology.

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. As part of NOAA’s Strategic Plan, NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service is committed to seeking valuable input to build and sustain strategic national and international NOAA partnerships through this program.

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