New US Federal Climate Change Service Launching - Will Unify NOAA Research Under One Office

united states flooding photo
NOAA responds to millions of annual requests for climate data vital to planning and operations. In vulnerable areas, infrastructure can be designed with a better understanding of projected sea-level rise, flooding and/or changes in hurricane frequency and intensity. Photo and caption: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that it will be unifying all its climate change research capabilities into a single office, the NOAA Climate Service. Agency head Dr Jane Lubchenco said the new office will be "Working closely with federal, regional, academic and other state and local government and private sector partners [and] will build on our success transforming science into usable climate services."NOAA touted the Climate Service's formation by saying,

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.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke weighed in on the value of this new agency to all Americans: "By providing critical planning information that our businesses and 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."

The current director of the National Climatic Data Center, Thomas Karl, will act as transitional director of NOAA Climate Service. Six regional directors will be announced shortly.

NOAA climate portal screengrab image

NOAA Climate Portal Website Launched
As the public face of the Climate Service, NOAA has also launched, also known as the NOAA Climate Portal, that will serve as "a single point-of-entry for NOAA's extensive climate information, data, products and services."
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.

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