Monday, February 08, 2010

NOAA's New Office & Web Portal To Address Climate Issues

Feb 8: Individuals and decision-makers across widely diverse sectors -- from agriculture to energy to transportation -- increasingly are asking NOAA for information about climate change in order to make the best choices for their families, communities and businesses. To meet the rising tide of these requests, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the intent to create a NOAA Climate Service line office dedicated to bringing together the Agency's strong climate science and service delivery capabilities.
    Secretary Locke said, "By providing critical planning information that our businesses and our communities need, NOAA Climate Service will help tackle head-on the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change. In the process, we'll discover new technologies, build new businesses and create new jobs." Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator said, "Working closely with federal, regional, academic and other state and local government and private sector partners, the new NOAA Climate Service will build on our success transforming science into useable climate services. NOAA is committed to scientific integrity and transparency; we seek to advance science and strengthen product development and delivery through user engagement."

    Leaders from numerous public and private sector entities support the creation of NOAA Climate Service. A NOAA release included supporting quotes from Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy; Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change; the Navy's Task Force Climate Change; and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Additionally, NOAA include a link to comments from other leaders from government, business, science and environment.

    NOAA said that unifying its climate capabilities under a single climate office will integrate the Agency's climate science and services and make them more accessible to NOAA partners and other users. Planning has been, and continues to be, shaped by input from NOAA employees and stakeholders across the country, with close consideration given to the recommendations of the NOAA Science Advisory Board, National Academies and National Academy of Public Administration.

    NOAA Climate Service will encompass a core set of longstanding NOAA capabilities with proven success. The climate research, observations, modeling, predictions and assessments generated by NOAA's top scientists -- including Nobel Peace Prize award-winners -- will continue to provide the scientific foundation for extensive on-the-ground climate services that respond to millions of requests annually for data and other critical information. Thomas Karl, director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, will serve as transitional director of NOAA Climate Service. New positions for six NOAA Regional Climate Services Directors will be announced soon and will provide regional leadership for integrating user engagement and on-the-ground service delivery within the Climate Service.

    NOAA also unveiled its new website -- -- that will serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA's extensive climate information, data, products and services. Known as the NOAA Climate Portal, the site addresses the needs of five broadly-defined user groups: decision makers and policy leaders, scientists and applications-oriented data users, educators, business users and the public. Highlights of the portal include an interactive "climate dashboard" that shows a range of constantly updating climate datasets (e.g., temperature, carbon dioxide concentration and sea level) over adjustable time scales; the new climate science magazine ClimateWatch, featuring videos and articles of scientists discussing recent climate research and findings; and an array of data products and educational resources.

    Access a release from NOAA with links to various comments and related information on the new office (click here). Access the NOAA Climate Service office website (click here). Access the new NOAA Climate Portal (click here). Access a separate release on the Climate Portal (click here).