groups are increasingly limited by the cost of long-term data storage.

Consistent data storage protocols need to be adopted that preserve ancillary data and original sample rates along with interoperability standards for data interchange. Indexes need to be based on agreed metadata vocabularies (e.g., Marine Metadata Interoperability Project5) for search and reference efficiency. Data density and timely accessibility of information to and from nonfederal sources are some obstacles to be resolved, although there has been slight progress (Box 3.5).

It is hard to dispute the widespread desire for a central information hub and the value that could be derived from it. The major challenge lies in its initiation. There is no shortage of candidate organizations well suited to facilitate the design and implementation of a central information hub, though effective data management requires resources. Because permanence is a critical characteristic, there would be an expectation of long-term and stable support for this important activity. Given the broad and critical nature of these needs, which reaches beyond the issue of sea ice predictability, it may be most appropriately addressed by a high-level, cross-cutting entity.



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