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Recommendations from MARCDAT-I, Boulder 2002.
C. Technical Issues Working Group
Data that add the most information to the existing database should be given priority for digitisation.
Notes: Taking place within e.g. ICOADS, CLIWOC and EMULATE.
The research community should have access to preliminary data. Identification and documentation should clearly distinguish final from interim products, and advise users of potential duplication and lack of QC in the interim products.
Notes: ICOADS now offers data for 1998-2002 from a new "real-time" archive, and is beginning to offer supplementary (add-on) datasets in standard formats: http://rda.ucar.edu/datasets/ds530.0/.
Further work is needed on the identification and documentation issues.
Use a new, fully documented format for interim and newly-digitised data.
Notes: A new ascii IMMA format is now offered by ICOADS, by the CLIWOC project for 1750-1854 European ship logbook data, and helping to meet requirements of the VOSClim project. IMMA format documentation is available here:
The JCOMM Expert Team on Marine Climatology agreed at its first session (Gdynia, Poland, 7-10 July 2004) to publicize the format more widely (e.g., through a JCOMM technical report) and to continue to be involved in its evolution and development. More information can be found on:
icoads.noaa.gov/etmc/, document 4.1)
Continue development and application of new QC techniques and utilization of metadata.
Status: Some QC progress
Notes: Preliminary work has been done on an "adaptive" QC for SST, which shows promise for other variables. The resulting SST 2-degree monthly summaries can be accessed from this webpage: http://rda.ucar.edu/datasets/ds540.1/MSS-rqst-list.html?g=16. The resulting QC flags have also been merged into IMMA format for 1784-1997.
Continue wide distribution of all data in appropriate formats, and share software to access and analyse the data. Data should be available freely, e.g. over the Internet, or at a minimum cost for media.
Notes: ICOADS data freely available from on-line sources, or at cost of reproduction on other media. All Hadley Centre data sets now freely available (no licence required) from http://www.hadobs.org.
The real-time data collection centres should keep original copies of the GTS data stream. A comparison of GTS receipts at these collection centers should be made.
Notes: NCEP's BUFR format preserves the original message strings. NCDC is also translating NOAAPort GTS data into the IMMA format with attached original message strings. Some preliminary comparisons have been completed between these sources, and this work continues.
Incorporating modern high quality, high temporal resolution data into ICOADS.
Notes: As of October 2005, FSU has defined a procedure, in
collaboration with the ICOADS group, to create hourly sub-samples from
higher temporal resolution meteorological reports collected on
research vessels. The subsampled data will be provided to ICOADS in
the IMMA format using a newly designed supplemental record. The
supplement will provide multiple navigation, meteorological, and near
surface ocean measurements from research vessels, and accommodates
multiple measurements for a single parameter (e.g., 2 air temps. from
port and starboard sensors). The supplement also contains an
uncertainty measure for each parameter. A set of rules has been
established to select from the multiple values in the supplement to
populate the core of the IMMA ICOADS record. Once a few more minor
bugs are worked out, all original one-minute sampled meteorological
reports collected by FSU during the World Ocean Circulation Experiment
will be provided to ICOADS. The procedure will be used as part of an
ongoing effort to place additional research vessel records into ICOADS.
There should be a mirror data site for the new ICOADS database.
Notes: As a first step in this direction, mirroring arrangements were developed between NOAA/CDC and NCAR. The focus of this initial mirroring was on the ICOADS website and metadata (hosted at CDC). In addition, NCEP Real-Time (NRT) observations, which serve as an interim update to ICOADS, are being mirrored, since these data have only been preserved at CDC. Longer-range work is needed to ensure that all major ICOADS data and products are, at minimum, fully duplicated at separate formal archive locations, and actively mirrored if this becomes more feasible.
For further information, or to provide status updates, contact: