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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco Unveil Landmark Climate.Gov Portal to Climate Information

February 8, 2010

In a press conference earlier today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco unveiled a new Web site that will serve as a single point-of-entry for NOAA’s climate information, data, products and services. This climate portal will provide information about the impacts of climate on nearly every aspect of our lives from agriculture and energy to transportation.

“More and more individuals – community planners, farmers, public health officials and small business owners – are seeking reliable, user-friendly climate data and information,” said 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 be adaptable and to respond to changes in users’ needs. Users are encouraged to offer comments and feedback; web designers will continue to update the site based on that feedback.

Known as the NOAA Climate Service Portal, the site is designed to address 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 (e.g., temperature, carbon dioxide concentration, and sea level) over adjustable time scales;
  • A new Web-based climate science magazine called ClimateWatch, featuring 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.

“This site presents climate issues in an exciting way. Storytelling is an ideal approach to convey scientific information, and NOAA has lots of great climate stories to tell,” said Lubchenco. “NOAA scientists are helping to solve the mysteries of how Earth’s climate system works and they are engaging with resource managers and business leaders across the nation and around the world to share their knowledge and benefit society.”

NOAA is one of the leading government agencies monitoring the state of the climate system worldwide, conducting climate science research, producing models to better understand and predict future climate scenarios and assessing the impacts of climate variability and climate change on global, national and regional scales. In recent years the agency has seen more visitors to its Web sites seeking information, asking questions and expressing concerns about climate change. In addition, the users of climate data and services are expanding to include business, local governments and many sectors concerned about the economic and societal impacts of climate change.

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.