This story was originally published by Newsweek and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Hurricane Harvey is strengthening as it approaches the Texas coast, and the massive storm is underscoring another big disturbance on the way: the battle over President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the National Weather Service.
Charged with providing weather forecasts and warnings, the National Weather Service also makes its data available to hundreds of companies that use it for everything from smartphone applications to agricultural equipment. Trump earlier this year proposed cutting its budget by 6 percent and that of its parent agency, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), by a mammoth 16 percent. It was an unprecedented proposal in the National Weather Service’s storied history, which extends back to 1890, when it was founded as the U.S. Weather Bureau.
Trump also proposed huge subcuts for programs that engage in computer modeling of storms, as well as observation of storms and dissemination of data. Tsunami research and prediction would be cut, along with supercomputing investments and a program to extend more ... Read more