"Budget Cuts at NOAA Threaten Climate-Monitoring Satellite Program"

"Later this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to launch the JPSS-1 satellite. Completing a polar orbit 14 times each day, it will give NOAA an unprecedented amount of infrared and atmospheric data – information that’s necessary to keep weather forecasts, agricultural outlooks, and disaster plans accurate as Earth’s climate warms.

These benefits won’t come cheap. NOAA has budgeted $800 million for JPSS – an abbreviation for Joint Polar Satellite System – this year alone, and projects a nine-digit price tag for the mission each year through the mid-2020s.

But will NOAA be able to afford this satellite?  A White House budget memo obtained by the Washington Post on Friday reveals that the Trump Administration aims to cut NOAA’s budget by 17 percent next fiscal year. That’s in line with an 18 percent cut to the US Commerce Department, which administers NOAA. But the agency’s satellite data division would lose 22 percent of its funding, or $513 million."

Patrick Reilly reports for the Christian Science Monitor March 4, 2017.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, 03/09/2017