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In early 1991, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) initiated a large-scale, international effort to assess the atmospheric effects of pollution introduced by the burning of more than 500 oil wells in Kuwait. This effort resulted in a myriad of measurements from aircraft, satellite, and surface stations. In coordinating these programs, WMO assumed responsibility for integrating and disseminating these measurements to international research organizations in a systematic and timely fashion. As a first step in addressing this responsibility, a workshop was convened at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) July 22–24. It was decided there that NCAR would serve as the central archival site for the Kuwait oil fire data.

Since that time, the NCAR Research Aviation Facility has hired new staff and begun development of the Kuwait Data Archive (KuDA). Examples of data resident in KuDA include various measurements from the NCAR Electra sensors, satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, lidar data, and the National Meteorological Center model output. Other aircraft data sets and surface measurements are still undergoing processing and quality control before being submitted to the archive.