International space weather agreement: Statement from NOAA Deputy Administrator Kathryn Sullivan and UK Government Chief Science Adviser Sir John Beddington

June 26, 2012

Today, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom Government Office for Science agreed to strengthen the countries’ collaborative efforts to protect critical infrastructure from the impacts of space weather.

Space weather storms originate on the sun and can affect the advanced technology and power systems people rely on every day. The agreement announced today is the latest step in an effort to combine the space weather resources and scientific expertise of both countries. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama highlighted the countries’ space weather partnership in London in May 2011, and again at the White House in March of this year.

“To effectively manage space weather threats, strong collaboration is required among scientists, forecasters, emergency planners, industry and others. I am pleased that, in recognizing the seriousness of these threats, the UK and NOAA are working together to better understand and forecast space weather and to use that knowledge to safeguard lives, livelihoods and property,” said Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, NOAA Deputy Administrator.

Sir John Beddington, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser said: "Space weather is a global challenge that requires a coordinated response. The inclusion of space weather in the UK's National Risk Register is evidence that we are already taking it seriously. Today's joint statement will build on this and see the UK and US working more closely together to better understand and respond to space weather threats."

The full, complete statement is available online.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook , Twitter and our other social media channels.