National Climatic Data Center

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The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina is the world's largest active archive of weather data.

The Center has more than 150 years of data on hand with 224 gigabytes of new information added each day. NCDC archives 99 percent of all NOAA data, including over 320 million paper records; 2.5 million microfiche records; over 1.2 petabytes of digital data residing in a mass storage environment. NCDC has satellite weather images back to 1960.

Data are received from a wide variety of sources, including satellites, radar, remote sensing systems, NWS cooperative observers, aircraft, ships, radiosonde, wind profiler, rocketsonde, solar radiation networks, and NWS Forecast/Warnings/Analyses Products.

The Center, provides historical perspectives on climate which are vital to studies on global climate change, the greenhouse effect, and other environmental issues. The Center stores information essential to industry, agriculture, science, agriculture, hydrology, transportation, recreation, and engineering.

The NCDC says:

Evidence is mounting that global climate is changing. The extent to which man is responsible is still under study. Regardless of the causes, it is essential that a baseline of long-term climate data be compiled; therefore, global data must be acquired, quality controlled, and archived. Working with international institutions such as the International Council of Scientific Unions, the World Data Centers, and the World Meteorological Organization, NCDC develops standards by which data can be exchanged and made accessible.
NCDC provides the historical perspective on climate. Through the use of over a hundred years of weather observations, reference data bases are generated. From this knowledge the clientele of NCDC can learn from the past to prepare for a better tomorrow. Wise use of our most valuable natural resource, climate, is the goal of climate researchers, state and regional climate centers, business, and commerce.

NCDC also maintains World Data Center for Meteorology, Asheville. The four World Centers (US, USSR, Japan, China) have created a free and open atmosphere in which data and dialogue are exchanged.

NCDC maintains the US Climate Reference Network (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/uscrn/) datasets amongst a vast number of other climate monitoring products (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/monitoring.html).

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