NOAA Expands World Ocean Database

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Oct. 31 the release of a significantly expanded World Ocean Database 2005, the world's largest collection of scientific information about the oceans of the globe.

The new 2005 database, which has an additional 900,000 temperature profiles not available in the previous database issued in 2001, captures 29 different categories of scientific information from the oceans, including temperature, salinity, oxygen level and nutrient content.

The 2005 database also includes information about tritium, freons, noble gases and isotopes found in the oceans. The database was compiled by the Ocean Climate Laboratory, part of the NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center. NODC is part of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.

"Having such detailed and extensive data about the world's oceans is a major key to understanding how the oceans are changing, and how this change impacts the overall atmosphere above," said Zdenka Willis, director of NODC. "The database also is a crucial part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS, as a reliable source of oceanic information."

The NOAA World Ocean Database 2005, which contains information dating as far back as 1800, can be accessed at

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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