NOAA 2007-R304
Contact: John Leslie
NOAA News Releases 2007
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The center that tracks the movement of behemoth Antarctic icebergs and analyzes sea ice throughout the world, is celebrating 30 years of interagency cooperation this month. The National Ice Center, a tri-agency partnership between NOAA, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, hosted a commemorative ceremony today at the new NOAA Satellite Operations Facility building in Suitland, Md.

The event featured past and present NIC staff and remarks from NOAA Administrator, retired Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere; Mary E. Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service; Rear Adm. Fred Byus, oceanographer of the Navy; Rear Adm. Timothy McGee, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; Rear Adm. Craig Bone, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for prevention; and George Newton, recent chairman of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Since 1976, the NIC has provided global operational ice analyses and other ice services for the U.S. armed forces, U.S. government agencies, including NOAA’s National Weather Service and the National Science Foundation and the general public.

Routine ice analyses from the NIC are used mostly for mission planning and safe navigation, in or under ice-infested waters. They are also incorporated into weather forecasts and are the comprehensive global record of sea ice extent that can be used for climate monitoring. Using satellite imagery and other information sources including buoy data and ice models, the NIC is the only ice center in the world that monitors sea ice in both the northern and southern hemispheres, analyzing the Arctic, Antarctic and other ice-covered waters.

“The National Ice Center has served the global community with distinction, whether helping cargo ships steer clear from dangerous icebergs, or providing data to scientists studying changes in the extent of sea ice,” Lautenbacher said.

Navy Cmdr. Cory Springer, director of the NIC added: “The NIC is much more than a partnership. It is truly integrated activity whose products meet the requirements of several U.S. government agencies.”

Even before the NIC was created, NOAA and the U.S. Navy began working together in 1956 with the collocation of the U.S. Fleet Weather Central and the National Weather Bureau in Suitland. In December 1976, a formal memorandum of agreement created the Navy/NOAA Joint Ice Center. In 1995, when the U.S. Coast Guard became a partner, the name was changed to the National Ice Center.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by 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, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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