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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.

House Science Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) convened a hearing last week to build support for his proposal to remove the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from the Commerce Department and make it an independent agency. Committee Democrats did not take a firm stance on the idea, seeking additional perspectives.

House Science Committee members called for expanding the use of commercial weather data and improving data assimilation at a recent hearing kicking off an effort to update policy for weather research.

Science agencies are releasing details of President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget request, which prioritizes research related to emerging technologies and climate change and includes a new emphasis on fusion energy.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received only about a third of the 17% increase requested for its base budget for fiscal year 2023, but Congress has recently provided NOAA with more than $7 billion in supplemental appropriations.

Major science and technology provisions in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act cover issues such as intelligence agencies’ adoption of emerging technology, biomanufacturing, the technological rivalry between the U.S. and China, and research capacity-building at minority-serving institutions.

Following a year of negotiation, a partisan spending bill called the Inflation Reduction Act is expected to be signed into law within days, delivering the largest-ever federal response to climate change as well as $2 billion to bolster science facility projects at DOE national labs.

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.