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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

FYI covers NOAA’s weather and climate research supported through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, operational weather forecasting capabilities at the National Weather Service, and its extensive monitoring of the atmosphere through ground, air, and space –based sensors.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget is increasing by about $450 million in fiscal year 2022, and the Biden administration is seeking a further $1 billion boost for the coming fiscal year. Top priorities include expanding the agency's climate information services and accelerating work on next-generation weather observation systems.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science Advisory Board has proposed 33 weather research priorities for the agency to address in the coming decade, which include increasing its computing power 100-fold and better understanding how social factors affect forecast dissemination and use.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s $5.4 billion annual budget will jump by close to 20% for fiscal year 2022 if either the House or Senate’s version of appropriations legislation is enacted. NOAA will also begin to receive its nearly $3 billion allocation from the special infrastructure bill just approved by Congress, and it could see billions more from the reconciliation bill currently under debate.

The special infrastructure spending legislation just approved by Congress includes around $25 billion for energy technology demonstration projects, as well as targeted budget increases for R&D programs at the Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey.

With telecommunications applications increasingly occupying radio spectrum bands close to those used for critical satellite-based weather monitoring and research, the House Science Committee is examining why federal agencies have had difficulty reconciling their spectrum-related interests.

The Biden administration proposes to increase the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration topline budget by a third to just under $7 billion in fiscal year 2022, focusing on expanding the agency’s climate research programs, developing a more distributed weather satellite architecture, and launching diversity and equity initiatives.

President Biden announced last week that he is nominating oceanographer Rick Spinrad to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Spinrad previously served as head of the agency’s research office and as its chief scientist.

Amid President Biden’s government-wide focus on climate change, lawmakers are again considering the merits of creating a federal “climate service” to help the public better access and understand the various climate information products produced across agencies.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science Advisory Board is aiming to complete a study by year’s end on weather research priorities, which Congress mandated in lieu of a proposed decadal survey for the field.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s appropriation for fiscal year 2021 includes funding increases for climate and weather research programs as well as continued support for ongoing weather satellite acquisition projects.