One of the country’s major federal science agencies seems to have been forced to abandon climate change research as a key organizational focus, the New York Times revealed this week. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization is responsible for managing the National Weather Service and using its network of satellites to forecast the effects of climate change. Rather than concentrate on resiliency efforts, NOAA is now charged with prioritizing “a safe, secure and growing economy.”
…The presentation also included a new emphasis: “To protect lives and property, empower the economy, and support homeland and national security.”
NOAA, whose mandate includes forecasting for hurricanes and cyclical storms like El Niño, had remained relatively immune so far from the influence of climate change skeptics within the Trump administration. Just last month, NOAA researchers recorded the highest-ever levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a historic result that an agency scientist called “a whole lot of bad news.”
….Previous government interventions into NOAA affairs suggest the White House would be unlikely not to intervene with an agency under its watch that continues to publicly discuss the potentially devastating effects of climate change.