TABLE 4.3 NOAA Data Centers

Data Center

Host Institution and Location



National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC

Climate of United States

Archive of weather data


National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, CO

DMSP satellite archive


World Data Center-A for marine geology and geophysics


Solar-terrestrial physics

Solid Earth geophysics


National Ocean Data Center, Silver Spring, MD

Coastal oceanography

Ocean climate

Biological oceanography


National Snow and Ice Data Center,

University of Colorado

Snow and ice, cryosphere

World Data Center-A for glaciology


The committee recommends meeting the following data-systems requirements in addition to what is planned for operational data processing:

  • A long-term archiving system is needed that provides easy and affordable access for a large number of scientists in many different fields.

  • Data should be supported by metadata that carefully document sensor performance history and data processing algorithms.

  • The system should have the ability to reprocess large data sets as understanding of sensor performance, algorithms, and Earth science improves.

  • Science teams responsible for algorithm development, data set continuity, and calibration and validation should be selected via an open, peer-reviewed process (in contrast to the operational integrated data processing system and algorithms, which are being developed by sensor contractors for NPOESS).

  • The research community and government agencies should take the initiative and begin planning for a research-oriented NCDS and the associated science participation.


Integrated Program Office (IPO), National Polar–orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). 1996. Integrated Operational Requirements Document (First Version) (IORD-1) 1996. Issued by Office of Primary Responsibility: Joint Agency Requirements Group (JARG) Administrators, March 28. The updated IORD and other documents related to NPOESS are available online at <>

National Research Council (NRC), Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data. 1998. Review of NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

National Research Council, Space Studies Board. 2000a. Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Meteorological Satellites, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

National Research Council (NRC), Space Studies Board. 2000b. Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: I. Science and Design. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). 1999. Global Change Science Requirements for Long-Term Archiving, Report of the Workshop, Oct. 28-30, 1998. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo., March.

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