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US unveils new climate portal for decision-makers, public

The US government today unveiled a new web portal today that’s designed to meet a rising demand for information on how climate change might affect farming, public health, business and infrastructure.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Services site will serve as a one-stop shop for the agency’s climate-related information, data, products and services.

“More and more individuals — community planners, farmers, public health officials and small business owners — are seeking reliable, user-friendly climate data and information,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. “We envision this climate portal as the first step toward making the wealth of climate information at NOAA available in one easy-to-use resource.”

The site is designed to meet the needs of five broadly-defined user groups: decision-makers and policy leaders, scientists and applications-oriented data users, educators, business users and the public.

Highlights of the site include:

  • An interactive “climate dashboard” that lets users see a range of constantly updating climate datasets (including temperature, carbon dioxide concentration and sea level) over adjustable time scales;
  • A new Web-based climate science magazine called ClimateWatch that features videos and articles of scientists discussing their recent climate research and topics that cannot be relayed in charts and graphs;
  • Explanations and exploration of data products available from NOAA and partner agencies, with direct links to the sources of the comprehensive datasets;
  • Educational resources for students and teachers, including lesson plans for the classroom and laboratory, educational games and interactive media; and
  • Easy-to-understand fact sheets and presentations for professionals and the public about climate science, research and climate impacts.

US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today also announced plans to create a NOAA Climate Service line office dedicated to bringing together the agency’s climate science and service delivery capabilities.

“By providing critical planning information that our businesses and our communities need, NOAA Climate Service will help tackle head-on the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change,” Locke said. “In the process, we’ll discover new technologies, build new businesses and create new jobs.”

Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, said such information would help “bring about an economic recovery by more rapidly modernising our nation’s energy infrastructure.”

He added, “Addressing climate change is one of our most pressing environmental challenges. Making climate science more easily accessible to all Americans will help us gain the consensus we need to move forward.”

1 Comment

  • Joe
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Really impressed with the new NOAA Climate Services website; great work everyone!

Comments are closed.

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