6.2 NOAA's in situ climate observing system: maintaining the climate record

Wednesday, 20 July 2011: 9:00 AM
Salon C (Asheville Renaissance)
Michael Palecki, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC

The manner in which in situ temperature and precipitation are observed in the United States is currently undergoing dramatic changes, with the deployment of the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) and the advent of the U.S. Regional Climate Reference Network (USRCRN). These networks are designed to measure temperature and precipitation in places expected to maintain long term land use / land cover stability, providing homogeneous and highly accurate measurements over many decades suitable for discerning national (USCRN) and regional (USRCRN) climate change while also serving additional critical missions. The traditional Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) Network remains the foundation of the U.S. climate record in a multi-tier climate observing system. COOP temperature and precipitation observations are necessary for the continuity of the climate record from past to future, and also provide a uniquely localized perspective on climate required by many stakeholders impacted by weather and water issues at a place. All three networks are important in their own right, but they provide far more value as a combined in situ observing system than the sum of the individual parts. The unique roles of each network will be described, along with their critical interdependencies. The relationships expected to develop between these systems and a new Nationwide Network of Networks, including citizen-based observation networks, will also be discussed.
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