NOAA 2006-031
Contact: Greg Romano
NOAA News Releases 2006
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The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration signed an agreement today with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology to formalize their commitment to improving meteorological and hydrological forecasting. The agreement was signed by retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service, and Dr. Geoff Love, director of meteorology, as part of a World Meteorological Day celebration in Melbourne, Australia.

“This agreement fosters a mutual exchange of scientific and technical expertise to enhance both countries’ capabilities in delivering the most sophisticated meteorological and hydrological data available,” said Johnson. “This is an important step in advancing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, which will be a key part of our ability to forecast and warn of natural disasters on a global scale.”

Thousands of individual instruments are gathering observations around the globe. GEOSS provides a way to integrate these instruments so they can communicate with each other. The result is more accurate weather forecasts, more effective water and air quality monitoring, improved aviation safety, reduced energy costs and other societal and economic impacts.

The five-year agreement is accompanied by an implementation strategy for Australia to adopt the digital forecast process developed by NOAA’s National Weather Service. Through its National Digital Forecast Database, NOAA provides a seamless mosaic of forecast elements to the public to use in creating text, graphic, grid and image products. This technology will be shared with Australia to improve forecasts and to provide a standardized protocol for more effective information sharing.

A second component to the agreement is the enhancement of international tsunami warning systems. The technology exchange will help Australia and the U.S. support the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System and accelerate Australia’s capacity for planning, deploying, applying, and operationally supporting deep ocean tsunami detection platforms such as the U.S. Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting Tsunamis (DART) buoy stations. Additional cooperation will occur in the areas of warning system design and exchange of sea level data related to these warning systems.

“We are creating a structure and a network of scientists in both countries, to share data and to provide technical capabilities,” said Love. “This serves to enhance the understanding of global weather and climate through collaborative research and it provides a foundation for GEOSS and other international activities.”

“A fundamental tenet of GEOSS is to work within our own countries and across borders in partnership to mitigate the impacts of hazardous events on the world’s population,” Johnson added. “Our efforts should be founded on collaboration, partnership, and integration of services, and should recognize characteristics of climate regions, watersheds, and ecosystems; and should optimize the latest science, technology, and training.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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 our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

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