Proposed NOAA cuts would make predicting extreme weather even harder. - Grist


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Proposed NOAA cuts would make predicting extreme weather even harder.

The Trump administration reportedly plans to make deep cuts to the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, a key provider of information about the climate and weather.

All told, the proposed cuts amount to a full 17 percent of the agency’s budget, according to various reports. But the deepest would slash money for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, which operates a squad of satellites monitoring the environment. These satellites tell scientists about climate variability, weather, oceans, and much else.

Roughly 90 percent of weather data in the United States comes from NOAA. So the cuts would stymie efforts by scientists and meteorologists to measure and predict not just everyday weather patterns, but also tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms.

Predicting hurricanes is already challenging enough, but it’s increasingly important as climate change adds fuel to big storms.

The administration would also scrap federal money for NOAA’s Sea Grant, a program that supports university research to assess the vitality of coastlines and their ecosystems.

Over the weekend, scientists and climate realists took to Twitter to vent their outrage.

Apart from accurate climate data, there’s another thing we’ll certainly miss if satellites wind up on the chopping block: