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NEW CLIMATE OBSERVATORY IN RUSSIA CLOSES GAP ON ARCTIC RESEARCH

NOAA image of proposed site of the Tiksi, Russia, climate observatory.April 19, 2007 The NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory will expand its Arctic observation with the addition of a new location in Tiksi, Russia, joining five existing laboratories placed internationally along the Arctic rim. It will be an important component of the NOAA Arctic Atmospheric Observatory Program, closing a significant gap in vital Arctic atmospheric research. Construction of the climate observatory will begin this summer. (Click NOAA image for larger view of proposed site of the Tiksi, Russia, climate observatory. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Located in north-central Siberia, nearly two miles northwest of the newly completed Tiksi weather station, it will take its place among the cluster of other observing research stations currently operating in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States. With more locations, the international science community can develop a more complete understanding of how Polar Regions ultimately influence the oceans, atmosphere and ecosystems.

NOAA image of newly completed Tiksi, Russia, weather station."Observations are vital to our understanding of the Earth's systems, and our current observations of the Arctic are revealing its importance to the health of the planet's atmosphere and oceans," said retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "More complete coverage of observations and in situ research will allow scientists to develop better models of how Polar Regions ultimately influence our oceans, atmosphere and ecosystems." (Click NOAA image for larger view of newly completed Tiksi, Russia, weather station. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

This new observation station is an example of increasing international cooperation in Earth observation around the world. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS, NOAA is working with its federal partners, the Russian Federation and with more than 60 other countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

NOAA image of map showing the proposed site for the Tiksi, Russia, climate observatory.The Tiksi lab was formed through a partnership with the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environment Monitoring (Roshydromet), National Science Foundation and NOAA. It will support the research needs of the international science community to provide data from intensive measurements of atmospheric conditions from the Earth's surface to the upper levels of the atmosphere. (Click NOAA image for larger view of map showing the proposed site for the Tiksi, Russia, climate observatory. Please credit “NOAA.”)

"The Tiksi laboratory is intended to support the research needs of the international community; across disciplines," said Alexander MacDonald, director, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. "The development of the facility is an excellent example of cooperation between Russia and the U.S. and will help to strengthen international collaboration in science, recognizing the importance of addressing environmental issues of common concern."

NOAA image of other observing research stations currently operating around the world.Information from the Tiksi research laboratory will provide scientists with a better understanding of the rates and processes of Arctic climate change, including the retreat of sea ice and permafrost. Tiksi was chosen for its geographically favorable atmospheric conditions consisting of very clean and clear air, which will provide the greatest possible measurements of solar radiation, aerosols, air chemistry, trace gases, cloud properties, water vapor, ozone, temperatures, winds and stratospheric properties. (Click NOAA image for larger view of other observing research stations currently operating around the world. Please credit “NOAA.”)

The Polar Regions are areas of significant polar land and ice mass in the northern hemisphere Arctic and southern hemisphere Antarctic. These regions are vital to scientific research, providing a more complete picture of how they interact with the atmosphere, oceans and other land masses around the globe. This year marks the beginning of the fourth International Polar Year (2007-2009). Initiated 126 years ago, the IPY encourages scientists from around the world to participate in a rare event that provides the international scientific community an opportunity to share research, data and global planning for future generations.

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 Commission of Fish and 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 Earth System Research Laboratory

NOAA Climate Portal

NOAA Research Portal

Media Contact:
Daniel Parry, NOAA Research, (301) 734-1092