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Snowy egret, Cardiff © Robert Sommers 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Come rain or come shine

Bettman
If you don't want people talking about Climate Change, which you spent your time debunking while running for election, it makes sense to disembowel the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 


Anything to do with climate change research is purportedly heading for draconian cuts in the prospective budget.
The Trump administration budget proposal would slash the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by more than $1 billion next year, forcing the agency to cut about 8 percent of jobs. The weather service, part of NOAA, would lose 355 jobs, including 248 forecasting positions.Other proposed cuts at the NWS include $11 million slashed from the tsunami warning program, and a $15.5 million reduction to ocean surface and marine observation programs.
More about the entire topic here.
If you think it's only a joke to suggest that the Trump administration would terminate an active observatory once we've gone through the expense of putting it in orbit, well, then you haven't read the rest of the budget proposal, which attempts to follow through on earlier threats to gut NASA's Earth-observing missions. Two are not yet launched. One is a satellite called CLARREO pathfinder, which is intended to develop instruments for a follow-on satellite to produce detailed climate records. Another, PACE, would track ocean-atmosphere interactions. Two other satellites would have specific instruments shut down—one of them an Earth-observing camera championed by Al Gore that has been targeted by every Republican administration since he left the vice presidency (the Bush administration shelved the working hardware rather than put it in orbit).
But the most striking thing is the call to shut down the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, which has only been in operation for less than four years. The ability to monitor Earths' carbon dioxide fluxes was considered so important for following climate change that NASA built a second after the first was lost in a launch accident. The Trump administration would now shut it down.
It's not only in space where environmental monitoring would be cut. For the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), there is a clear theme to the budget request: efforts to collect data or study our home planet get funding cuts, and climate-related efforts doubly so.
Both agencies are cut by about 20 percent in total. The only increases in NOAA's budget are for facilities or operating costs, with the exception of work to incorporate data from new European weather satellites. About 250 positions would be cut from the National Weather Service, with another 25 cut from the Tsunami Warning Program as one of the two US Tsunami Warning Centers would be shut down. A NOAA summary document notes that "Support for [tsunami] preparedness education, outreach, and innovation research will cease."
Funding for development of weather forecast models, hydrological models, ocean observations and ocean acidification research, climate research, and university partnerships would all be cut. Although the budget seems to reverse last year's call to scrap several future weather satellites—endangering weather forecasting as older satellites die—it cuts $565 million from two satellite programs without really explaining how that would be done.
In addition, as the above snippet mentions, the budget has the National Weather Service in its sights. 355 jobs are slated to be cut.
Sobien told weather.com Tuesday that if the budget proposal is approved, it would mean that by 2019, more than a quarter of the NWS staff would be eliminated. 
"That means many offices will have to close or close nights and weekends," Sobien said of the proposed staffing cuts. "Already, many NWS staff work months at a time with no days off and are forced overtime."
"What you will see is a decrease in forecasting and warning accuracy," Sabien said, adding that inaccurate forecasting will "cost us all a whole lot more than $75 million."Literally, this (proposed budget) is risking all of our lives to save a few million dollars," he added. 
How many times can you say idiotic? Looks like we are in for stormy weather. And lets fast track pipelines in our national parks as well. I would like to ask my Republican friends, especially you socially liberal, fiscal conservative types, how much of this stuff you are prepared to own? Yea or nay, make yourselves heard so that we have a record, okay?

1 comment:

Sanoguy said...

Your photo of hear no evil, speak no evil see no evil fits the article perfectly!!

It is going to be so hard for any future administration, whether R or D, to recover from this train wreck. I am not the religious type, but, "God Help Us"!