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New NOAA Archive Gives Temperatures from International Satellites Since 1981

NOAA satellite image of global sea surface temperature anomalies for Jan. 22, 2007.Jan. 22, 2007 NOAA completed a first-of-its-kind, long-term archive for international satellite-based observations of global, high-resolution ocean temperatures, dating back as far as 2005. Eventually, the data holdings will extend back to 1981. NOAA is now able to acquire, archive and provide access to satellite-based sea surface temperature products and information from a variety of national and international partners. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of global sea surface temperature anomalies for Jan. 22, 2007. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

The effort is part of the larger Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment, a complex system of models that monitors and forecasts ocean variability. The GODAE High Resolution SST project's Long Term Stewardship and Reanalysis Facility in Silver Spring, Md., established by the NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center, is making all of the satellite data available online.

"Ocean surface temperatures are critical for applications that range from hurricane forecasting and climate modeling, to defining marine mammal habitats and coral bleaching," said Zdenka Willis, NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center director. "The ocean temperature archive is a significant contribution to the international effort to connect the scientific dots by linking the world's environmental satellites with the thousands of land and sea data stations in order to yield the science on which sound policy is built. That initiative is known as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems."

NODC is part of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service, which also contributes new SST products generated at its National Climatic Data Center, Center for Satellite Applications and Research, and Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution. Work in the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research has led to improvements in SST products and methods for understanding the effects of daytime warming on the data.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA GODAE High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Project

NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center

Media Contact:
John Leslie, NOAA Satellite and Information Service, (301) 713-1265