On 22 June, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing to examine the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposal to create a Climate Service. The plan, which was first announced in 2010, would require the reorganization of several parts of the agency.

Some members of Congress have raised objections to the agency’s planned reorganization, which NOAA hopes to initiate in fiscal year (FY) 2012. Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) raised concerns during the hearing about the impact of moving half of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research under the jurisdiction of the new climate division. “My objection to this proposal has been the concern that the focus to create a climate service will severely harm vital research at NOAA by transferring resources away from fundamental science to mission-oriented research and service-driven products,” said Chairman Hall.

Other Republican members of the committee questioned whether or not NOAA had violated a provision included in the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution that barred the agency from using funds appropriated by the bill to establish a climate service. NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco stated that the actions taken by NOAA to hire six regional climate service directors were completed long before the appropriations bill was enacted.


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