Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as long as 4 years ago, hoped that NOAA would be the home of what they were calling Climate Services. Today, with the launch of a new Web site called climate.gov, NOAA's Climate Services has debuted, albeit modestly.
Congressional fans of the idea have proposed that Climate Services grow to be a $300 million clearinghouse for climate prediction tools, adaptation services, and analytical data streams to equal the National Weather Service—with an equally diverse set of customers in business and government who want to know what the changing climate will mean for them.
For now the Obama Administration has aimed low, with a flashy but easy-to-use Web site that brings together some of NOAA's climate information but acknowledges that there is much government climate data yet to be synthesized and made easy to understand. And its proposed funding for this year is also modest: $1.5 million, for the Web site.