With growing concern over global warming, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working to collaborate with resource developers in the arctic to assure protection of the environment.
In Anchorage on Aug. 23, NOAA officials said they have reached an agreement to enhance collaboration on ocean, coastal and climate science for the Arctic with Shell Exploration and Production, ConocoPhillips and Statoil USA E&P Inc.
The agreement calls for sharing scientific data sets, including weather and ocean observations, biological information and sea ice and sea floor mapping studies.
NOAA said the agreement would provide a framework to share high quality data to enhance NOAA’s ability to monitor climate change and provide useful products and services for responsible energy exploration activities in that region.
The dramatic reduction in sea ice as a result of climate change has raised new environmental, economic and national security issues that have immediate and long term impacts for human life, livelihoods, coastal communities and the environment.
Under secretary of Commerce Jane Lubchenco said that despite the wealth of scientific research conducted in the Arctic environment to date a lot remains unknown and no single government agency or entity has the resources or capacity to do it along. Lubchenco said the partnership would significantly expand NOAA’s access to important data, enhance its understanding of the region and improve the nation’s ability to manage critical environmental issues efficiently.