Yesterday's budget proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would add $110 million to its budget for a total of $4.48 billion. That's a big increase for an agency that for much of the past decade has had a mostly flat budget hovering at about $4 billion. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco has focused the proposed increase on climate research, in line with President Barack Obama's clear priority toward climate research across his budget. (Even the State Department has become involved, holding a conference call this morning to highlight funding in its budget for assistance on energy and programs to protect rain forests abroad.)
Lubchenco wants to boost climate research at her agency by proposing an increase of $16 million in 2010 for efforts including comparisons of climate models, competitive research that academic scientists can compete for new studies to track rapid changes in the Arctic, and ocean-acidification monitoring.