Oregon Climate service

THE OREGON CLIMATE Service at Oregon State University offers monthly climate statistics for various stations in Oregon. It is located on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, Oregon, and is the state depository for weather and climate information. It is affiliated with Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS). Oregon Climate Service data may be accessed on the World Wide Web. They include a monthly means and extremes dataset for stations throughout the state for the years 1961-90. Parameters contained in this dataset are mean temperature, extreme mean, pre cipitation, and degree days. There are also two other monthly datasets dealing with precipitation and temperature for individual years. The time period varies for each observation station. The daily precipitation dataset dates back to 1961 and consists of precipitation evaluations measured in hundredths of an inch for various locations in Oregon. Daily data are also available for Corvallis, Oregon beginning July 1, 1996 to the present.

The OCS mission is to collect, manage and maintain Oregon weather and climate data, to supply weather and climate information to those within and outside the state of Oregon, to educate the people of Oregon on current and emerging climate debates, to perform independent research related to weather and climate topics. OCS liaises with: National Climatic Data Center, Western Regional Climate Center, National Weather Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Climate Prediction Center, American Association of State Climatologists and other state climate offices. On average, the Oregon Climate Service receives approximately 6,000 telephone or mail enquires per year. It publishes the Oregon Weather Summary, a monthly report on the current climatic conditions in Oregon. In addition, OCS has published numerous data summaries and special reports, which include climate zone summaries, agricultural regions summary, local climatological data, precipitation maps of Oregon, Oregon counties, U.S. States, and the United States in general.

The OCS is partially funded by the State Government. It has been active in crucial areas of research for the understanding of global warming, such as El NiƱo/Southern Oscillation and its influence on Western climate, climate change, drought and flood studies, precipitation mapping (the PRISM project), and wind modeling. George H. Taylor is the State Climatologist for Oregon and directs the OCS, supervising its staff of 10. He is in favor of trying to reduce the human impact on climate, but he is not persuaded that anthropogenic greenhouse gases either from coal-fired power plants or motor vehicles emitting carbon dioxide are the main causes. Taylor believes that natural variations and cycles of climate have a bigger role. He describes climate system, as "very, very complex," and states that "the more we learn, the more we see that we really don't understand it." This is why he is skeptical of models that stress human impact on weather as the main cause of global warming.

sEE ALsO: Climate; Oregon; Oregon State University.

BIBLIOGRApHY. Brad Knickerbocker, "Global-Warming Skeptics: Might Warming Be 'Normal'?" Christian Science Monitor (September 20, 2007); Oregon Climate Service, www.ocs.orst.edu (cited November 2007).

Luca Prono University of Nottingham

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