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Ocean Climate Laboratory

Acting Division Chief

The Ocean Climate Laboratory (OCL) was previously a division of the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), and is now a project of the NCEI Center for Coasts, Oceans and Geophysics. The primary objectives of the OCL are to:

  • Improve the quality of the NCEI's oceanographic data archives by using the data to perform scientific analyses
  • Develop improved ocean climatologies for annual, seasonal, and monthly compositing periods
  • Investigate interannual-to-decadal ocean climate variability using historical oceanographic data
  • Build scientifically, quality-controlled global oceanographic databases
  • Facilitate international exchange of oceanographic data

The OCL includes the International Data Exchange Group that conducts programs related to international affairs and oceanographic data exchange and also supports World Data Service for Oceanography, Silver Spring (WDS) (previously the World Data Center (WDC) for Oceanography). Operated under the auspices of the U.S. Academy of Sciences, the WDS is one of the U.S. discipline subcenters within the World Data System. There are two other World Data Centers for Oceanography: World Data Center for Oceanography in Obninsk (Russia), and World Data Center for Oceanography in Tianjin (People's Republic of China).

The OCL directs the international Global Oceanographic Data Archaeology and Rescue (GODAR) Project. Initiated by the NODC and WDC, this project was subsequently endorsed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. The GODAR Project has resulted in an increase of over eight million historical ocean temperature casts, 200,000 plankton casts, as well as many other data.

All data are made available internationally without restriction consistent with the data policy of the World Data System.