Recommendations from Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites (NRC, 2004)

OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: NOAA should embrace its new mandate to understand climate variability and change by asserting national leadership for satellite-based Climate Data Record generation, applying new approaches to generate and manage satellite Climate Data Records, developing new community relationships, and ensuring long-term consistency and continuity for a satellite Climate Data Record generation program.

Supporting Recommendation 1: NOAA should utilize an organizational structure where a high-level leadership council within NOAA receives advice from an advisory council that provides input to the process on behalf of the climate research community and other stakeholders. The advisory council should be supported by instrument and science teams responsible for overseeing the generation of Climate Data Records.

Supporting Recommendation 2: NOAA should base its satellite-based Climate Data Record generation program on lessons learned from previous attempts, which point out several unique characteristics of satellite Climate Data Records, including the need for continuing calibration, validation, and algorithm refinements, all leading to periodic reprocessing and reanalysis to improve error quantification and reduce uncertainties.

Supporting Recommendation 3: NOAA should define satellite Climate Data Record stewardship policies and procedures to ensure that data records and documentation are inexpensive and easily accessible for the current generation and permanently preserved for future generations.

Supporting Recommendation 4: NOAA should develop new community relationships by engaging a broader academic community, other government agencies, and the private sector in the development and continuing stewardship of satellite Climate Data Records.

Supporting Recommendation 5: NOAA should consider existing U.S. multi-agency organizations for implementation of the Climate Data Record program, rather than devising a new structure. The most appropriate organization is the Climate Change Science Program.

Supporting Recommendation 6: NOAA should pursue appropriate financial and human resources to sustain a multidecadal program focused on satellite Climate Data Records.

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