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.

In a last-minute deal, Congress finalized agency budgets for fiscal year 2021, approved nearly a trillion dollars in additional pandemic response funding, and enacted major energy R&D policy reforms that have been in the works for the past two years.

The House is seeking to significantly expand weather and climate research programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for fiscal year 2021, while the Senate has not released its proposals.

Congress passed bipartisan legislation last week that delineates federal agency responsibilities for monitoring and anticipating the consequences of solar storms.

Acting head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Neil Jacobs and other top agency officials are at odds over an independent investigation that concluded he violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy during the controversy that erupted last fall over Hurricane Dorian forecasts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is accepting bids to build out its planned Earth Prediction Innovation Center, which aims to revolutionize how the agency develops forecast models.

The president’s latest budget request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration largely repeats past cuts, including a near halving of the agency’s main research office, while again prioritizing weather research over climate and ocean programs.