. "Appendix B: Long-Term Sustained Observations for Climate." Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011.
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Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions
Earth observations in support of climate and global change research are an emerging national imperative that engages a number of federal agencies. However, high-level policy direction appears to be necessary to ensure that the high-precision measurements required by the climate research community are sustained along with the routine (operational) observations of weather-related variables. Drawing on a decade of previous NRC studies4 as well as its own experience, the committee found that:
This is a governance problem, not an issue of basic expertise. It is further challenged by conflicting agency aspirations, especially regarding new funding for specific research areas like climate studies.
A higher-level policy structure could prevent situations where agencies or contractors seek legislation to secure desired responsibilities and their associated funding.
There is a current lack of sufficient in-house expertise within NOAA/NESDIS to address the full range of issues required for sustained space-based climate monitoring as distinct from satellite observations to support the National Weather Program.
An efficient, long-term spaceborne environmental data acquisition system that has the ability to integrate new measurements could provide a framework for interagency collaboration. Such a data acquisition system currently does not exist, and no steps are being taken to develop it.
It may not be necessary or even desirable to have all the expertise in one agency; however, operational agencies should be aggressively involved from the outset in the technologies they need to have implemented and tested and should be responsible for providing resources that are commensurate with their needs.
Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: Part I. Science and Design (2000); FromResearch to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction: Crossing the Valley of Death (2000); Satellite Observations ofthe Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (2003); Extending the Effective Lifetimes of Earth ObservingResearch Missions (2005); Earth Science and Applications from Space: Urgent Needs and Opportunities to Serve the Nation (2005); EarthScience and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (2007); and Ensuring the Climate Record fromthe NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring (2008). Each NRC report was published by the National Academy Press (after mid-2002, The National Academies Press), Washington, D.C., in the year indicated.