YPG becomes global warming monitor
Nearly everyone has heard about global warming and its effects on our environment – it has become a frequent topic of watercooler conversation and a concern around the world.
Now Yuma Proving Ground is helping to do something about the problem.
YPG was selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to become a site for a climate reference network (CRN) station, which was constructed earlier this year at a remote proving ground site.
The CRN will provide the nation with a climate-quality benchmark for real-time measurements of air temperature, precipitation and other important weather data.
More than 100 CRNs have been built throughout the continental United States to monitor climate conditions over the next 100 years. The Air Resources Laboratory is one of the three NOAA offices taking part in the program and provided the engineering design, measurement capabilities and expertise for the stations. NOAA is also responsible for maintaining the sites and regular calibration of the sensors.
Data being collected will be used for future analysis and include air temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, precipitation amount and ground surface temperatures.
"YPG is the perfect place to have a CRN station because we have no encroachment issues and our station is in an undisturbed area," said Dean Weingarten, meteorology team chief. "We will ensure the site is kept in pristine condition because it's critical to get high quality surface measurements."
The CRN program is designed to consist of climatological sites that measure precise calibrated data with the goal of offering scientists a detailed standard for studying climate records.
According to Weingarten, past climate records recorded at the proving ground were not designed to measure tiny differences in climate over time. Existing sites were designed as weather sites and accuracy to a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit was not critical.
"This program is good for YPG because there were no costs involved for us and it will provide additional data with minimal maintenance," said Weingarten. "It makes good sense for the proving ground to cooperate with other federal agencies in projects that are in the national interest."
All data collected at the CRN are recorded by satellite and ongoing analysis will be conducted by NOAA. In the future, representatives from NOAA will visit the YPG site to photograph and monitor surrounding vegetation to observe the effects that would bias the measurements.
Anyone can access the data being collected at the CRN by visiting www.atdd.noaa.gov/uscrn.htm.