Figure 2: Current NOAA-NESDIS data archive volume projections under the Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS), in petabytes (Source: Updated May 4, 2006 from NOAA, 2003)

NOAA deserves praise for the steps it has taken and is taking to address its considerable and growing data management challenges. For instance, the recently completed Assessment of NOAA’s Environmental Data and Information Management report (NOAA, 2006) includes a comprehensive, NOAA-wide assessment of data management capabilities organized by its mission goals. This effort, along with the establishment of the NOAA Observing Systems Council (NOSC) and its components (NOAA Observing System Architecture (NOSA), Data Management Committee (DMC), and Chief Information Officer (CIO) efforts) will eventually bear fruit in an appropriate enterprise-wide culture and coordinated best processes, if they can be made effective.

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