NOAA 2005 White House-01
Contact: Scott Smullen
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The Bush Administration today announced a plan to expand U.S. tsunami detection and warning capabilities as part of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, the international effort to develop a comprehensive, sustained and integrated Earth observation system. The plan commits a total of $37.5 million over the next two years.

“President Bush is committed to ensuring the safety and protection of U.S. lives and property through a system of monitoring and emergency response that will mitigate the effects of natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis,” said John H. Marburger III, science advisor to the president and director, Office of Science and Technology Policy. “This plan will enable enhanced monitoring, detection, warning and communications that will protect lives and property in the U.S. and a significant part of the world. Working through GEOSS and other international partners, The U.S. will continue to provide leadership in planning and implementing a global observation system and a global tsunami warning system, which will ultimately include the Indian Ocean,” Marburger said.

With this new investment, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will deploy 32 new advanced technology Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami buoys for a fully operational tsunami warning system by mid-2007. In addition, the United States Geological Survey will enhance its seismic monitoring and information delivery from the Global Seismic Network, a partnership with the National Science Foundation.

The new system will provide the United States with nearly 100% detection capability for a U.S. coastal tsunami, allowing response within minutes. The new system will also expand monitoring capabilities throughout the entire Pacific and Caribbean basins, providing tsunami warning for regions bordering half of the world’s oceans.

The United States has led the GEOSS effort since 2003 when the G-8 called for establishing a global observation system. The Bush Administration launched the GEOSS process by hosting the first Earth Observation Summit in July 2003. GEOSS now has 54 participating nations including India, Indonesia and Thailand. The GEOSS design for this new system is scheduled to be adopted at the Third Earth Observation Summit that will be held in Brussels this February.

The United States developed a Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System, which, like the GEOSS plan, focuses around nine societal benefit areas, including “Reduce loss of life and property from disasters” and “Protect and monitor our ocean resources.” The U.S. strategic plan will serve as the U.S. component to the GEOSS implementation plan.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Congress established OSTP in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the impacts of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead an interagency effort to develop and to implement sound science and technology policies and budgets and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end. The Director of OSTP serves as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and oversees the National Science and Technology Council on behalf of the President.

On the Web:

The Office of Scienc and Technology: http://www.ostp.gov

Global Earth Observation System of Systems — GEOSS: http://earthobservation.org

Draft U.S. Strategic Plan: http://iwgeo.ssc.nasa.gov