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Contact: John Leslie
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AND LATIN AMERICAN OFFICIALS TO EXPAND COOPERATIVE EFFORTS FOR EARTH
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration earlier this month joined representatives from 15 Latin American nations for the Earth Observation Partnership of the Americas in Buenos Aires. Participants discussed implementing new strategies to quicken and strengthen the development of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems in the region, including the exchange of satellite resources to improve tracking of weather, climate and other environmental trends, and to improve training among scientists.
“As regional partners, we know the benefits information-sharing will have on our ability to understand better the complex phenomena of climate and weather,” said Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly (USAF ret.), NOAA deputy under secretary for oceans and atmosphere. “This information will also help us better predict when these changes will occur and the impacts to people and their respective economies.”
NOAA and the other national representatives agreed to partner in linking regional networks. One regional network would be arranged between users of meteorological data from the Costa Rican ground station, non-meteorological data users from the Central American Environmental Information System in Panama and the Montevideo Group University Association, an alliance of 17 South American universities.
NOAA and representatives from the other nations will also explore joint ventures to develop satellite sensors for next-generation spacecraft. Further, as NOAA develops new satellites, it will provide guidance on upgrading ground systems in the countries that receive and process the data, and train the users who handle the information.
“NOAA satellites – and the data they collect – are critical to forecasting the weather, no matter if you are in California or Chile. Educating and training scientists must be a top priority for government and scientific organizations around the globe,” said Gregory W. Withee, assistant administrator for the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.
GEOSS, established in February 2005, will help all nations involved produce and manage information in a way that benefits the environment, as well as humanity by taking a pulse of the planet. The United States has joined over 55 countries, the European Commission and over 40 international organizations in adopting a 10-year implementation plan that will revolutionize the understanding of Earth and how it works.
Workshop participants hope that these efforts can be duplicated in other parts of the Americas as well. “What we accomplished in Argentina is just the start of future cooperation and better exchange of Earth observation data,” Kelly added.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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.