Budget Axes NOAA’s Climate Service


While the EPA’s climate work survived last week’s confrontation over government funding, another area of climate research that did not. The Climate Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was killed before it even really got started. (Details of the budget cuts have been emerging pretty slowly. The full bill is here. The relevant section is on page 218.)

The vision for the NOAA climate desk was to bring a bunch of the climate work the agency already does under one umbrella in order to improve the organization and distribution of information on the subject. Climate Science Watch outlined the main goals of the service last year, and NOAA has a prototype for the division’s website over at Climate.gov that should give you a decent sense of what the division was supposed to do.

Basically, NOAA’s climate service would have provided up-to-date information about climate in order to better inform the public and policymakers. Much like the agency’s weather service, it would offer a way to share the agency’s work monitoring, modeling, and assessing data. But budget cuts now bar NOAA from using any funds to create this climate division.

The GOP hates anything that has the word “climate” attached to it, but I don’t anticipate that this cut will functionally change NOAA’s work. NOAA is already doing this work, so this is a cosmetic cut more than anything.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.