Nation’s Ocean Observing System Completes Year-Long Data Standardization

Water & Weather Data Clear and Consistent Across All U.S. Regions

December 28, 2009

The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is a federal, regional, and private-sector partnership working to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information.

The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is a federal, regional, and private-sector partnership working to enhance our ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

As of this month, mariners, coastal managers, and many other users seeking timely and tailored ocean and Great Lakes conditions are now able to access standardized data sets across all U.S. regions. This marks the completion of a milestone in a national effort to link federal and non-federal sources of ocean and coastal observations and forecasts, to include water level, salinity, temperature and wind and wave data.

“For years, users have compiled data from different sources and manually converted them into formats that work together – from Celsius to Fahrenheit, for example,” said Josie Quintrell, Executive Director of the National Federation of Regional Associations. “This effort will save time and money and ensure the protection of people and property on or near the water.”

Conducted by NOAA, other federal agencies and 11 independent regional associations of ocean observing partners, this year-long project to ensure consistent standards and Web services for various data sets are available via the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®)—a system designed to enhance America’s ability to collect, deliver, and use ocean information.

“Data from IOOS can be used for a variety of purposes, from providing information for safe and effective maritime commerce to enhancing water quality, as well as models for searches and rescues,” said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS Director. “Conditions observed by IOOS are also studied by experts to prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change.”

IOOS delivers the data and information decision makers need to take action to improve safety, enhance the economy and protect the environment. These data provide a larger picture of the interaction between the ocean and global climate systems and advance our understanding of potential climate change impacts on our marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

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.