Introduction

In keeping with its charter, the Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data (CGED) responded to a request by Dr. Kenneth Hadeen, the director of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), to review the World Data Center-A (WDC-A) for Meteorology, as well as its parent organization, the NCDC. Both data centers are administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The WDC-A for Meteorology is collocated with the NCDC, and together they constitute the single largest repository of climate data in the world. The CGED asked Dr. Richard D. Rosen to chair a review panel, formed from members of the CGED, the National Academy of Sciences, and the center's user community. The panel, which met at the NCDC on June 15-16, 1993, followed guidelines for data center reviews that have been formally adopted by the CGED to achieve consistency among different review panels.

Prior to the review, questions prepared by the CGED were submitted to the data center directors and the members of the review panel. The questions (Appendix A) were designed to focus discussion on the goals and responsibilities of the data center; the identity of the user community and their relations with the data center; the acquisition, analysis, and distribution of data; archival policies; and the adequacy of the hardware and software systems to process current and projected datasets.

The questions, the site visit, and the experience of members of the review panel who used the data center, served as the basis for the panel recommendations. An agenda for the site visit was prepared by the WDC-A for Meteorology and is included as Appendix B . The review panel looked at aspects of the WDC-A for Meteorology and the NCDC, with the goal of evaluating the operations of both organizations and making suggestions for improving their services. Although all the topics raised in Appendix A were discussed to some extent, this report focusses only on the issues deemed most important to the panel.



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1993 Review of the World Data Center-A for Meteorology and the National Climatic Data Center Introduction In keeping with its charter, the Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data (CGED) responded to a request by Dr. Kenneth Hadeen, the director of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), to review the World Data Center-A (WDC-A) for Meteorology, as well as its parent organization, the NCDC. Both data centers are administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The WDC-A for Meteorology is collocated with the NCDC, and together they constitute the single largest repository of climate data in the world. The CGED asked Dr. Richard D. Rosen to chair a review panel, formed from members of the CGED, the National Academy of Sciences, and the center's user community. The panel, which met at the NCDC on June 15-16, 1993, followed guidelines for data center reviews that have been formally adopted by the CGED to achieve consistency among different review panels. Prior to the review, questions prepared by the CGED were submitted to the data center directors and the members of the review panel. The questions (Appendix A) were designed to focus discussion on the goals and responsibilities of the data center; the identity of the user community and their relations with the data center; the acquisition, analysis, and distribution of data; archival policies; and the adequacy of the hardware and software systems to process current and projected datasets. The questions, the site visit, and the experience of members of the review panel who used the data center, served as the basis for the panel recommendations. An agenda for the site visit was prepared by the WDC-A for Meteorology and is included as Appendix B . The review panel looked at aspects of the WDC-A for Meteorology and the NCDC, with the goal of evaluating the operations of both organizations and making suggestions for improving their services. Although all the topics raised in Appendix A were discussed to some extent, this report focusses only on the issues deemed most important to the panel.