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NOAA chief urges creation of a new National Climate Service to coordinate information

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  • pat neuman
    NOAA chief urges creation of a new National Climate Service to coordinate information By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , Associated Press Last update: May 13, 2008 - 4:20
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2008
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      NOAA chief urges creation of a new National Climate Service to
      coordinate information
      By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID , Associated Press

      Last update: May 13, 2008 - 4:20 PM


      WASHINGTON - With concerns about global warming rising along with the
      planet's temperature, the head of the federal agency in change of
      weather research and forecasting is proposing creation of a new
      National Climate Service.

      Conrad C. Lautenbacher said Tuesday a climate service within his
      agency could combine data from the research and analysis work done by
      several agencies, as well as coordinate climate information for the
      government.

      "In the future I think it would make a lot of sense for us to separate
      the science from the political furball of policy," he said.

      Lautenbacher is head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
      Administration, which includes the National Weather Service, National
      Ocean Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and other activities.

      Currently, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program integrates climate
      research by 13 government agencies. Lautenbacher said he felt it would
      make a more sense to have something that is a lot more organized,
      pulling together data from both U.S. agencies and other countries
      around the world.

      Today everybody just cherry-picks the data that support their point of
      view, Lautenbacher said of the debate over climate change. "We need to
      deal with this in a scientific manner."

      Whether there is warming or not, no one doesn't want solid, scientific
      information, Lautenbacher said. That, he added, could depoliticize the
      arguments.

      The Bush Administration has been reluctant to subscribe to limits on
      carbon emissions that other countries have sought in an effort to
      combat global warming.

      But Lautenbacher said the White House has signed off on "the idea" of
      a climate service, and he said he plans to seek funds to help organize
      it in the 2010 budget.

      In NOAA, for example, the Climate Prediction Center that looks at
      long-term outlooks is part of the Weather Service's National Centers
      for Environmental Prediction, while data on climate is compiled by the
      National Climatic Data Center, a part of the National Environmental
      Satellite, Data and Information Service.

      The difference between weather and climate is basically one of time.
      Weather happens from day to day, while climate is the overall averages
      — and extremes — of weather over seasons and years.

      Some have described the difference as "climate is what you expect,
      weather is what you get."

      A new Climate Service would not have any regulatory power, he
      stressed. It would provide data to other agencies for their use — for
      example to the Transportation Department, Department of Agriculture
      and Department of Energy.

      And a National Climate Service would not take over climate research
      carried out by other agencies such as NASA, Environmental Protection
      Agency or U.S. Geological Survey, he said.

      ___

      On the Net:

      NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

      http://www.startribune.com/nation/18899439.html

      --
      Pat N
      http://picasaweb.google.com/npatnew
      Email: npatnew@...
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