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Advancing the Use of Historical Environmental Data through the Climate Database Modernization Program
Eric Freeman, Clive Wilkinson et al.
NOAA's Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP) has been rescuing environmental data for more than ten years. During that time, information located on fragile media has been imaged and preserved, and historical data has been digitized to provide access to more than 55 million imaged records previously difficult to obtain or fully unavailable to the public. CDMP rescues many types of data, including ocean, terrestrial, and upper air. By digitizing national and international ship logbooks, global observations over the oceans are being made available to the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Dataset (ICOADS) to enhance the spatial and temporal coverage of the most extensive surface marine meteorological archive in the world. Marine rescue efforts are not limited strictly to surface meteorological observations and also include projects related to sub-surface ocean observations, as well as biological and marine ecosystems information. CDMP coordinates with the RECovery of Logbooks And International Marine data (RECLAIM) project to locate, document and prioritize the rescue of new sources of data and metadata for future projects with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of historical observing practices as well as augmenting data coverage in sparsely observed areas. Over the past decade, CDMP has also digitized large amounts of terrestrial data from data sparse areas around the globe. These data are essential to the International Surface Temperatures Initiative, a renewed effort at creating a comprehensive international data holding of all land meteorological data to address gaps including inadequate temporal and spatial coverage. By working with private and public sector partners towards a mission to make data available for science, CDMP is advancing understanding of the earth's physical environment and preserving the past for generations to come.