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Climate Change

As climate change grows in importance as a societal and environmental issue affecting the nation and the world, FYI is committed to covering climate research policy and funding. FYI tracks policy developments that have implications for the conduct of climate science and congressional oversight of federally funded climate science.

30 Jun 2011

The  House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a divisive hearing recently  to examine the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposal  to create a Climate Service. Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) opened the hearing by  noting his “irritation” with the lead witness, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco,  whose written testimony was delivered to the Committee late. Said Hall, “The Committee invited NOAA more than three  weeks ago. It is truly appalling that this testimony was 26 hours late and is  27 pages.”

15 Nov 2012

“I  am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human  behavior and carbon emissions.  And as a  consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do  something about it.” – President Obama

6 Jun 2014

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on May 29 to evaluate the process that the United Nations used in producing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report.  The Members of the committee were divided along party lines on issues including data analysis, data quality, transparency in author and study selection and whether the report provided biased information.  The hearing preceded President Obama’s announcement of new greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants. 

16 May 2014

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) held a May 9 meeting during which they discussed advanced manufacturing partnerships, systems engineering as it relates to healthcare and the implications of Chinese advancements in science, technology, and innovation. 

9 Apr 2014

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a summary report for policymakers which outlines the findings in the fifth of a series of assessment reports.  The studies address the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change.  Topics covered include assessment and risk management, observed impacts, and building resilience.  Vulnerability and exposure to human and natural systems, impacts of current and future climate change and potential for adaptation are also addressed in the most recent sum

1 Apr 2014

The Administration announced plans for a Climate Data Initiative on March 19 as a part of a series of actions which began with President Obama’s June launch of a Climate Action Plan.  The announcement comes as the Administration seeks to leverage climate data resources to support preparedness for climate events.  The Initiative is intended to strengthen resilience to climate change while increasing the accessibility of government climate data.  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) jointly introduced an Innova

28 Mar 2014

The AAAS announced its What We Know initiative in mid-March and recently published a report on climate change to contribute to a larger discussion on climate change issues.  This topic was addressed in President Obama’s State of the Union though its existence is heavily debated in Congress, with many people unsure about it.  In January, the President announced ways that the Administration would pursue action on climate change.  “Changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods,” Obama noted as he called

17 Jan 2014

The Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a December 12 hearing to assess efforts at the National Weather Service (NWS) to improve access, accuracy, and timing of weather forecasting and predictions.  The hearing demonstrated the bi-partisan interest in preventing economic losses and reducing the human toll caused by extreme weather events.  Coordination and cooperation efforts by the weather community were a focus of the discussions throughout the hearing as senators sought to build a “weather ready nation.”

13 Feb 2013

Last night’s State of the Union address and an event this morning held by the Office of Science and Technology Policy demonstrate the Obama Administration’s continued emphasis on the importance of research and development and related policy matters. The following are excerpts from the President’s State of the Union address regarding R&D funding, climate change, STEM education, and immigration reform:

R&D Funding:

19 Dec 2013

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee easily approved two important weather bills during a quick mark-up session on December 5.  In contrast to other committee markups that have reflected significant partisan differences, Republican and Democratic members commented on the bipartisan nature of the negotiations regarding the bills, acknowledging important input from the weather community in the development of the legislation.

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