NOAA 2004-R305
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s newest high-tech climate monitoring station, part of a nationwide effort to better track America’s temperature and precipitation trends, is now operating in Death Valley, California. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The station is part of NOAA’s U.S. Climate Reference Network, and is designed to provide more robust data sets and greater amounts of referencing information to U.S. decision makers on climate variability and change.

“NOAA's CRN is an example of the tools needed to the 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, improve our climate modeling capabilities, and ultimately reduce uncertainties that challenge our scientists and stakeholders,” said James R. Mahoney, Ph.D., 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, 56 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:

Additional deployments are planned for the next three years. NOAA officials said a total of 100 stations are planned throughout the rest of the nation by 2006.

Bruce Baker, CRN chief scientist, said the network will integrate with other existing observation systems to “close any open gaps in data collection and verify the accuracy of the data.”

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

The agency is also 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

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