International space weather agreement
28 June 2012
The US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United Kingdom Government Office for Science this week (26 June) agreed to strengthen the countries' collaborative efforts to protect critical infrastructure from the impacts of space weather.
Space weather storms originate on the sun and can affect the advanced technology and power systems people rely on every day. This agreement is the latest step in an effort to combine the space weather resources and scientific expertise of both countries. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama highlighted the countries' space weather partnership in London in May 2011, and again at the White House in March of this year.
"To effectively manage space weather threats, strong collaboration is required among scientists, forecasters, emergency planners, industry and others. I am pleased that, in recognising the seriousness of these threats, the UK and NOAA are working together to better understand and forecast space weather and to use that knowledge to safeguard lives, livelihoods and property," said Dr Kathryn D Sullivan, NOAA Deputy Administrator.
Sir John Beddington, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, said, "Space weather is a global challenge that requires a coordinated response. The inclusion of space weather in the UK's National Risk Register is evidence that we are already taking it seriously. Today's joint statement will build on this and see the UK and US working more closely together to better understand and respond to space weather threats."
The full statement can be found on NOAA's website.
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Briefing note: 09/12
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