Tags: noaa | budget | cuts | climate change

NOAA Budget Cuts to Starve Climate Change Research?

Image: NOAA Budget Cuts to Starve Climate Change Research?
(NOAA)

By    |   Monday, 06 Mar 2017 06:40 AM

Proposed NOAA budget cuts could starve climate science research funding, weather satellite programs, and various efforts to study the health of the country's coastline, according to a budget memo reported on by the Washington Post.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is part of the Commerce Department, could see a 17 percent cut, said the memo.

The Office of Management and Budget has asked the Commerce Department to provide information on the cost of laying off employees while providing a 1.9 percent pay increase for those remaining in January 2018, said the Post.

The OMB budget online targeted specific NOAA spending on education, grants and research. It's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose 26 percent of its budget, or $126 million, while the NOAA's satellite data division would lose $513 million, or 22 percent, of its current funding.

"NOAA is the lead agency for the nation's weather forecasts, weather satellites, fisheries, ocean services and climate monitoring," said J. Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia's Atmospheric Sciences Program, in Forbes magazine.

"If you rely on TV weather forecasts, use a weather app, eat fish, enjoy boating or claim your status as an Earthling, these cuts potentially have implications for you. It is early in the process so it is beyond the scope of my intentions here to get into the politics."

Jeff Watters, director of government relations for ocean advocacy nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, said on the organization's blog that the budget proposal could have a wide range of consequences – from farmers to those who work along and off the coast.

"Information on the proposed budget is still short on details, and we will learn more in the coming days and weeks," Watters said. "But it's worth closely examining the proposed cuts, because they provide valuable information on how the (President Donald) Trump administration views our ocean and coasts – and the people that rely on them."

The Post said newly confirmed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week that "securing adequate appropriations from the Congress" in a budgetary constraint period "will be a major challenge."

The OMB document called on the Commerce Department to explore greater usage of privately owned commercial satellites and commercial cloud services.

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Proposed NOAA budget cuts could starve climate science research funding, weather satellite programs, and various efforts to study the health of the country's coastline, according to a budget memo reported on by the Washington Post.
noaa, budget, cuts, climate change
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2017-40-06
Monday, 06 Mar 2017 06:40 AM
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