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Climate Reference Network
The United States Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consists of 114 stations in the 48 contiguous States and an additional 7 stations installed in extreme environments in Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Each station is strategically placed away from urban and suburban influences to avoid any possible misinterpretation of changes observed. The USCRN reports multiple observations per hour for temperature and precipitation. This temporal resolution of the data provides additional climate information, such as precipitation intensity and duration of extreme events.
What We Do
ARL is one of three NOAA offices cooperating in the USCRN program. Our scientists at the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division provide the engineering design and measurement capabilities and expertise for the stations, including the deployment and maintenance of the sites and regular calibration of the sensors. They also provide analysis of emerging sensor technologies for future applications. High quality data for all sites in near-real time are provided by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.
Why It Is Important
The lack of high quality surface measurements of precipitation and air temperature historically has hampered the ability of climate scientists to fully characterize the national and regional climate signals with confidence. The USCRN provides the Nation with a climate-quality benchmark observing system for real-time measurements of air temperature and precipitation that meets national commitments to monitor the climate of the United States for the next 50-100 years. The USCRN also provides a platform of opportunity to add additional sensors (i.e. soil moisture, soil temperature, relative humidity, wind, pressure) for future climate monitoring activities.
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