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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Proposed Rise for Oceans' Agency Budget as Satellite Costs Mount
15 February 2011 6:20 pm
Although 2012 budget documents for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) are still being vetted by the Department of Commerce and the White House, the big picture has emerged: NOAA's expensive array of environmental satellite systems are hoping to receive the lion's share of the president's generous increase for the agency. But getting that requested hike through Congress won't be easy.
The NOAA request is $5.5 billion, a 16% increase over its current FY 2010 spending level. (Congress has yet to pass a 2011 budget.) A big change is a structural reorganization of the department with the creation of the National Climate Service as a full line office. Meant to serve like the National Weather Service or the National Ocean Service, the new office hopes to provide climate information that industry, government, and the public will find useful. The office will take over data and information management archive activities from the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, which has been renamed the National Environmental Satellite Service.
Scientists are enthusiastic about the president's $5 million proposal to expand coastal radar for surface current monitoring through the Integrated Ocean Observing System. That emphasis "sends a clear signal of the importance of regional operators to collect, distribute, and synthesize ocean observations," said Eric Terrill, director of the Coastal Observing Research and Development Center at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, in a statement. This would be the first increase for the program since it moved from a program dependent on earmarks to one mostly driven by competitive grants.
But the biggest change to NOAA's budget would be to its equipment in space, not in the water Last year, the Administration announced that it planned to split the troubled NPOESS satellite program into two parts, one run by NASA and NOAA, called JPSS, and another run by the Pentagon, called DWSS. The 2012 budget contains an additional $688 million for JPSS; a key launch, of a preparatory mission called NPP, is set to occur in October after years of delays. The budget of its satellite branch would grow by an additional $40 million above the 2010 level because of work on other proposed satellites.
Getting that money will be a tall order, however. Last week, House of Representatives appropriators proposed lopping $1.2 billion off NOAA's current budget as part of $62 billion in reductions across the federal government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. Such a cut, if enacted, would put particular pressure on NOAA's effort to pay for its fleet of satellites.