President Trump’s proposed budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has coastal communities, flood experts and some legislators worried. And of course, such cuts do impact insurance.
In the Trump budget target are grant programs:
• The $75 million Coastal Zone Management grants and Regional Coastal Resilience grants
• Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grants at $10 million
• The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is $23 million
• The Sea Grant Program is $73 million
In total the Trump proposal would cut almost $1 billion from the NOAA budget. It is currently $5.6 billion or $3 per person in the U.S. per year.
The cuts — if enacted — will be 17%.
Weather and flood experts like Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center worry the cuts will cut the warning time — or warnings period — when storms and rising seas hit some weather prone areas.
“Most people live near coastlines in our country and around the world, and need to be able to support their economy — and to try to prevent again the kind of devastation that we saw in Katrina and other storms,” she said.
Oregon State University environmental scientist and the former NOAA administrator under President Obama, Jane Lubchenco agrees. “In many cases, it’s local governments or state governments that have the responsibility, and most — especially the local governments — don’t have the wealth of information that the federal government does, and they don’t have immediate access to experts or resources to do a lot of the planning that they need to do. So, through the Coastal Zone Management grants, a lot of that information and expertise is made available to them,” she added.
Seattle, Washington area meteorologist Cliff Mass says the cuts are Draconian. “The proposed cuts are huge and would cripple the ability of the National Weather Service to improve the quality of weather predictions provided to the American people. NOAA’s satellites and numerical weather prediction is key infrastructure for the United States and a foundation of U.S. economic strength and protection of American lives. It needs more resources, not less," he said.
Another concern is how much the country depends on the weather information gathered by NOAA and its satellites. The Weather Channel and AccuWeather and other weather sources that distribute information to other media sources and to the people in general get much of their information from NOAA.
Energy industry meteorologist Matt Lanza said, “as a private sector meteorologist, I depend heavily on availability of data like this to do my job in energy.” He — and others — are calling the cuts to the satellite program “reckless.”
Other negative comments? Rick Spinrad — a former chief scientist for NOAA — said the cuts are short-sighted and ill-informed. “They reflect a misunderstanding of the value of NOAA's research and operations (especially satellite operations) on the safety and well-being of every American. Unless the administration is not interested in continuing to enhance the protection of the lives and property of our citizens through, for example, improved weather forecasts, watches and warnings, these cuts should not be implemented,” he said.
UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain finished off the comments by saying, “virtually all we know about Earth’s atmosphere and oceans comes from sustained decades of government-funded scientific research.”
Source link: USA TODAY