RussianFederation, United States Sign Science Agreement
publishedby States News Service
The U.S. National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA) and the Russian Federation’s Federal Service forHydrometeorology and Environment Monitoring (ROSHYDROMET) signed a memorandum ofunderstanding June 23 that is intended to help upgrade the Russia’s weather andenvironmental observation network.
The agreement will help ROSHYDROMET offer more accurate weather forecasts,strengthen its institutional capacity for emergency preparedness anddisseminating information, and modernize computing and telecommunicationsfacilities. The agreement is a significant and gratifying opportunity to workcollaboratively with Russia on crucial environmental areas, said NOAAAdministrator Conrad Lautenbacher.
ROSHYDROMET head Alexander Bedritsky said the agreement promoted cooperation inexchanging scientific resources, personnel, technical information and servicesin the fields of meteorology, hydrology and oceanography in both countries. The effort is funded with loans from the World Bank and the Russian Federation.
Modernization will include upgrading the World Meteorological Center in Moscow,the Regional Meteorological Centers in Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk, and the datastorage and archiving facilities in Obninsk. A high-speed communications systemwill be created to link the four resources.
ROSHYDROMET meteorologists and hydrologists are visiting NOAA facilities in theUnited States, including the National Weather Service weather and river forecastoffices and climate data and environmental prediction facilities. They will alsovisit the Meteorological Service of Canada.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration and the Russian Federation’s Federal Service for Hydrometeorologyand Environment Monitoring (ROSHYDROMET) today signed a Memorandum ofUnderstanding that will serve to upgrade ROSHYDROMET’s observational network.The agreement will help ROSHYDROMET provide more accurate weather forecasts withgreater lead time; strengthen its institutional capacity for emergencypreparedness and improved information dissemination; and modernize dataprocessing, archiving, computing and telecommunications facilities.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Alexander Bedritsky, head of ROSHYDROMET, andretired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary ofcommerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. Under the agreement,NOAA will assist ROSHYDROMET modernize its forecasting and hydrological services.The agreement is a significant and gratifying opportunity to workcollaboratively with Russia on crucial environmental areas, Lautenbacher said.The NOAA National Weather Service underwent a similar major modernization effortduring the 1990s, and I am pleased we can share that experience with the RussianFederation.
Emphasizing the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation, Bedritsky saidthat the agreement promoted cooperation in exchanging scientific resources,personnel, technical information and services in the fields of meteorology,hydrology and oceanography in both countries. Funded with loans from the WorldBank and Russian Federation, the effort will help support the Russian society’schanging needs for potentially lifesaving weather and climate data and servicesover the coming decades.
Designed to facilitate the hydrometeorological security of Russia’s estimated145 million people and its property and economy, the agreement will bring animportant range of benefits through: – More accurate weather forecasts that will help reduce loss of life andproperty due to extreme weather and climate events. – Improved hydrometeorological services that will support the development andoperation of Russia’s infrastructure and transportation, public utility andagricultural services. – Improved understanding of global weather patterns and accelerated dataexchange that will contribute to more effective weather forecasting in theregion and for neighboring countries. – Accumulation of scientific data and promotion of its exchange across nationalborders and scientific disciplines.
Modernization will include upgrading the World Meteorological Center in Moscow,the Regional Meteorological Centers in Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk, and the datastorage and archiving facilities in Obninsk. A high-speed communications systemwill be created to link these four resources. To prepare for the Russian andU.S. collaboration, ROSHYDROMET meteorologists and hydrologists are now visitingNOAA facilities in the United States, including the National Weather Serviceweather and river forecast offices and climate data and environmental predictionfacilities. They will also visit the Meteorological Service of Canada.
The agreement is a vital link in the emerging GlobalEarth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The Russian Federation, Canada andthe United States are actively engaged in building GEOSS, which is supported bynearly 60 countries and over 40 international organizations. By linking manythousands of valuable individual technological assets as one comprehensive,integrated and sustained global system, GEOSS aims to ensure that 21st-centurytechnology will be as interrelated as the planet it observes, predicts andprotects. With global and U.S.10-year implementation plans already in place, andseveral other countries now developing national plans, GEOSS will revolutionizeour understanding of Earth and how it works over the next decade.
The emergence of GEOSS reflects challenging global needs. In 2003, forinstance, smoke from giant Siberian forest fires affected the air quality inSeattle, Wash.. This past January, Russia and northern Europeexperienced the strongest storms in 40 years. About 100 electric plants were putout of order in Russia.
GEOSS will help reduce loss of life and property from such hazards. It will helpmitigate the impact of other disasters, such as last December’s devastatingtsunami. GEOSS will make it possible to forecast next winter’s weather months inadvance. It will help predict where and when malaria, West Nile virus, SARS andother diseases are likely to strike. GEOSS will make more effective monitoringof forest fires possible, and provide farmers with immediate forecasts essentialto maximizing crops yields. Energy costs, in the United States alone, could becut by about $1 billion yearly.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancingeconomic security and national safety through the prediction and research ofweather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship ofthe nation’s coastal and marine resources.