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The NCEI Ocean Climate Laboratory Team (OCL) works to improve NCEI's oceanographic data archives through scientific analyses, developing and improving annual, seasonal, and monthly regional ocean climatologies, investigating interannual-to-decadal ocean climate variability, building scientifically, quality-controlled global oceanographic databases, and facilitating international exchange of oceanographic data.
The OCL includes the World Data Service (WDS) for Oceanography, Silver Spring. Operated under the auspices of the U.S. Academy of Sciences, the WDS is one of the U.S. discipline subcenters within the International Science Council's World Data System. The WDS for Oceanography has two international counterparts: the World Data Center for Oceanography in Obninsk (Russia), and World Data Center for Oceanography in Tianjin (People's Republic of China). All data are made available internationally without restriction, as laid out in the World Data System Data Policy.