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COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE DATA RECORDS FROM NOAA OPERATIONAL SATELLITES

STATEMENT OF TASK

The ad hoc committee charged to conduct this study will assist the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA-NESDIS) as it designs a plan to create climate data records (CDRs) from existing and new instruments aboard NOAA satellites for understanding, monitoring, and predicting climate variations and changes. The committee will provide input to the plan by summarizing major needs for and uses of climate data records, examining different approaches and strategies for generating climate data records, and identifying key attributes of CDRs that have proven useful. NOAA would then use this information as guidance to develop its plan for producing CDRs from operational satellites. Once the plan is drafted, the committee will review the draft Climate Data Records Plan to ensure that it is sound, comprehensive, and includes mechanisms for continued user involvement, and it will recommend improvements to ensure that CDRs are processed according to established scientific methods and packaged in forms that are useful for real-time assessments and predictions of climate as well as retrospective analyses, re-analyses, and reprocessing efforts.

In phase I, the committee will organize and host a workshop to facilitate discussion of a NOAA white paper that will outline its preliminary ideas on satellite data utilization for climate applications, and it will write an interim report that

  • Summarizes major needs for and uses of climate data records,

  • Examines different approaches and strategies for generating CDRs, and

  • Identifies key attributes of examples of successful attempts to create high quality CDRs from satellite data.

Questions to be addressed in the workshop and by the committee include:

  • How does a CDR become a community standard (i.e., established as legitimate)?

  • How can NOAA ensure that the CDRs are responsive to user needs?

  • What are the key attributes of successful CDR generation programs?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different models or strategies for producing CDRs, such as using partnerships among government, academia, and the private sector; different blends of space-based and in situ data (e.g., all space-based versus some balance); or other approaches?

  • How can NOAA learn from present and past efforts such as the NOAA-NASA Pathfinders, EOSDIS, etc.? What are the successes and failures, and how do we emulate the successes or avoid the pitfalls?

Phase 2 will begin when NOAA provides the committee with a draft of its Climate Data Records Plan (estimated to be approximately 3 months after delivery of the interim report).



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