While Washington, DC was buried under snow Monday, the Obama Administration proposed reorganization of the Department of Commerce to create a new National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Service. The new office would target the nation’s fast-accelerating climate information needs.
According to the Washington Post, “The initiative, modeled loosely on the 140-year-old National Weather Service, will provide forecasts to farmers, regional water managers and business operators affected by changing climate conditions. But it comes at a time when climate skeptics have become increasingly effective in attacking the credibility of global warming forecasts.”
More and more, Americans are witnessing the impacts of climate change in their own backyards, including sea-level rise, longer growing seasons, changes in river flows, increases in heavy downpours, earlier snowmelt and extended ice-free seasons in our waters. With growing availability of information of all sorts, people are searching for relevant and timely information about these changes to inform decision-making about virtually all aspects of their lives.
NOAA, along with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ranks as one of the federal government's key agencies for monitoring the climate and conducting climate research.
The move is not planned until October 1, 2010, and will require the approval of Congress. To get a preview of the new climate service visit http://www.climate.gov.