NCDC needs up-to-date knowledge of what data and services are available elsewhere. As the system for providing climate data and interpretive expertise becomes more distributed, the NCDC should take a lead role in ensuring that adequate communication among the participants is maintained. Frequent reassessments should be made of the capabilities of these other participants, and conversely, informational updates on the capabilities of the NCDC. The Internet, and the growing suite of services that have evolved from it, provide means for implementing this recommendation.

Conclusion

The NCDC is the largest single source of climate data in the world, and the panel was impressed by the commitment of its staff to archive and disseminate the data in their charge to an extremely broad user community. As concerns about global change continue to mount, the demands and sophistication of this community are bound to likewise expand, placing new strains on the ability of the NCDC to satisfy its users. At the same time, a new generation of measurements threatens to overwhelm an archival system not yet prepared to deal with it. As our recommendations suggest, the panel is concerned that unless proper resources are applied, the NCDC will no longer be able to fulfill its mission. Were this to occur, the entire climate-research community, and all those who depend on it for climate information, would certainly suffer. While some funds could probably be diverted from data acquisition efforts to data rescue and access needs, additional funds are also needed from NOAA and/or other agencies that have an interest in global environmental change, including those participating in the GCDIS. The NCDC must more clearly identify its priorities and more forcefully advocate for the special needs of climate data. The management of environmental data is becoming increasingly important for research and public policy. As NOAA rethinks the way in which data and information are managed throughout the agency, it must ensure that its user communities are well served.



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1993 Review of the World Data Center-A for Meteorology and the National Climatic Data Center NCDC needs up-to-date knowledge of what data and services are available elsewhere. As the system for providing climate data and interpretive expertise becomes more distributed, the NCDC should take a lead role in ensuring that adequate communication among the participants is maintained. Frequent reassessments should be made of the capabilities of these other participants, and conversely, informational updates on the capabilities of the NCDC. The Internet, and the growing suite of services that have evolved from it, provide means for implementing this recommendation. Conclusion The NCDC is the largest single source of climate data in the world, and the panel was impressed by the commitment of its staff to archive and disseminate the data in their charge to an extremely broad user community. As concerns about global change continue to mount, the demands and sophistication of this community are bound to likewise expand, placing new strains on the ability of the NCDC to satisfy its users. At the same time, a new generation of measurements threatens to overwhelm an archival system not yet prepared to deal with it. As our recommendations suggest, the panel is concerned that unless proper resources are applied, the NCDC will no longer be able to fulfill its mission. Were this to occur, the entire climate-research community, and all those who depend on it for climate information, would certainly suffer. While some funds could probably be diverted from data acquisition efforts to data rescue and access needs, additional funds are also needed from NOAA and/or other agencies that have an interest in global environmental change, including those participating in the GCDIS. The NCDC must more clearly identify its priorities and more forcefully advocate for the special needs of climate data. The management of environmental data is becoming increasingly important for research and public policy. As NOAA rethinks the way in which data and information are managed throughout the agency, it must ensure that its user communities are well served.