United States, Canada Begin New Climate Data-Sharing Agreement  

November 14, 2008

Officials from NOAA and Environment Canada announce a partnership to share weather and climate data, using high-tech monitoring stations located in their respective countries. The effort will improve the accuracy of each country’s data and give scientists a clearer, more accurate picture about climate change in North America.

NOAA recently installed a Climate Reference Network station in Egbert, Ontario, while Environment Canada set up a station from its Reference Climate Station system near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Weather and climate know no boundaries,” said Dr. Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “The goal of the exchange is to strengthen our ability to track changes in the climate that impact hundreds of millions of people throughout North America.” 

Since October 1, both stations have been logging real-time measurements of surface temperature, precipitation, wind speed and solar radiation – information vital for monitoring climate trends.

Scientists will compare each nation’s measurements and blend together the two networks to understand climate change and precipitation trends better. The ongoing collaboration between NOAA and Environment Canada will result in improved accuracy and common quality control procedures for the data – even a similar, common way to measure snowfall and snow depth.

In the United States, NOAA’s geostationary satellites relay the data from the 114 ground-based climate stations to the National Climatic Data Center, which posts the observations online so they are accessible to climate scientists and researchers worldwide. All CRN stations are strategically placed in rural environments, away from the influences of nearby urban areas that would confound the interpretation of any observed changes.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.