Imagine that someone mentions that there is a study of surface wind patterns in the Gulf of Mexico. How can the data be located? Who has gravity data for Alaska? Is there a study relating tree rings and carbon dioxide in the Yellowstone area?
These and numerous other questions about data can be answered by an environmental data base maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The National Environmental Data Referral Service (NEDRES) is a “yellow pages” directory for locating environmental data in the United States. NOAA provides the service as part of its responsibility to archive and document environmental data. The data base is accessed via a local telephone call using a computer terminal or personal computer, and the results can be listed on the user's terminal or printed at the computer site.