Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program

Committee on Climate Data Records from NOAA Operational Satellites

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program Committee on Climate Data Records from NOAA Operational Satellites Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. 50-DGNA-1-90024 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09703-7 Copies of this report are available upon request from The Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, The National Academies, 500 Fifth Street NW, Keck 702, Washington, DC, 20001; (202) 334-3512. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE DATA RECORDS FROM NOAA OPERATIONAL SATELLITES DAVID ROBINSON (Chair), Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey ROBERTA BALSTAD, Columbia University/CIESIN, Palisades, New York ROGER BARRY, World Data Center for Glaciology, National Snow & Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado JANET CAMPBELL, University of New Hampshire, Durham RUTH DEFRIES, University of Maryland, College Park WILLIAM J. EMERY, University of Colorado, Boulder MILTON HALEM, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (ret.), Greenbelt, Maryland JAMES HURRELL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ARLENE LAING, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado RANGA MYNENI, Boston University, Massachusetts RICHARD SOMERVILLE, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego PAUL D. TRY, Science and Technology Corporation, Silver Spring, Maryland THOMAS VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University, Fort Collins NRC Staff SHELDON DROBOT, Study Director (First Report) AMANDA STAUDT, Study Director (Second Report) ROB GREENWAY, Senior Project Assistant

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ROBERT J. SERAFIN (Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado M. JOAN ALEXANDER, Colorado Research Associates, Boulder FREDERICK R. ANDERSON, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C. MICHAEL L. BENDER, Princeton University, New Jersey ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MARY ANNE CARROLL, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor CAROL ANNE CLAYSON, Florida State University, Tallahassee WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado KERRY A. EMANUEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge DENNIS L. HARTMANN, University of Washington, Seattle PETER R. LEAVITT, Weather Information, Inc., Newton, Massachusetts JENNIFER A. LOGAN, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts VERNON R. MORRIS, Howard University, Washington, D.C. THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University, Fort Collins ROGER M. WAKIMOTO, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Ex Officio Members ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director PAUL CUTLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Senior Program Officer GERALDEAN HOURIGAN LANTIER, Research Associate LEAH PROBST, Research Associate ELIZABETH A. GALINIS, Senior Program Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Coordinator ANDREAS SOHRE, Financial Associate

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program PREFACE To understand our climate system more completely, it is imperative that we have climate data records (CDR) that possess the accuracy, longevity and stability to facilitate credible climate monitoring. This includes CDRs from environmental satellites, which have been surveying our atmosphere, oceans and lands for the past four decades. Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., and others within NOAA are to be commended for accepting the mandate to better understand climate variability and change. Our committee was tasked with assisting NOAA as it designs a plan that should establish this agency as the chief steward of satellite CDRs. Following a series of committee teleconferences, an information gathering workshop was convened in August 2003, with several dozen scientists providing valuable input to the committee’s endeavor. Numerous telecons, e-mails, and face-to-face meetings in Washington, D.C. and Boulder, Colorado followed, and the committee’s first report was published in March 2004 (NRC, 2004). NOAA officials were briefed and, over the following year, took the report under advisement as they prepared the first draft of a Scientific Data Stewardship Implementation Plan. As originally tasked, the committee reconvened in March 2005, was briefed by NOAA officials, and subsequently prepared this short report in which we evaluate the efficacy of the draft plan. Many individuals provided important information and insights as we prepared our reports. Thanks go to Mitch Goldberg, John Bates, George Ohring, and Thomas Karl for their CDR leadership within NOAA. On behalf of the entire committee, I want to express gratitude to Chris Elfring, Amanda Staudt, Sheldon Drobot, and Rob Greenway of the National Research Council’s Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate for their unfailing support of our endeavor. Finally, many thanks to my fellow committee members for their excellent contributions. As I stated in the preface to the 2004 report, this reflects their dedication to the science community and illustrates their belief that, by having the opportunity to help guide NOAA in the detailed development of an end-to-end CDR program, they can make a difference. DAVID A. ROBINSON, Chair Committee on Climate Data Records from NOAA Operational Satellites

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Mark Abbott, Oregon State University, Corvallis Lee Branscome, Climatological Consulting Corporation, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Susan Ustin, University of California at Davis Frank Wentz, Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, California Steven J. Worley, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Christopher Justice of the University of Maryland, College Park. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Review of NOAA’s Plan for the Scientific Data Stewardship Program CONTENTS     INTRODUCTION   1     SCIENTIFIC DATA STEWARDSHIP ORGANIZATIONAL ELEMENTS   5     CLIMATE DATA RECORD GENERATING ELEMENTS   7     SUSTAINING CLIMATE DATA RECORDS PROGRAMS   8     CONCLUDING REMARKS   10     REFERENCES   11     APPENDIXES         A   Committee on Climate Data Records from NOAA Operational Satellites—Statement of Task   15     B   Executive Summary of Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites   16     C   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff   21

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