"Interior Department’s Climate Science Centers Persevere"

"Will Badlands National Park have enough forage in the future for its bison herds? Can the Wind River Reservation manage tribal water storage to account for the fact that snow now melts earlier? Could flash droughts be predicted more accurately, such as the one that Montana experienced last summer that led to one of the worst ever wildfire seasons in the state?

All of these questions, and many more, are being addressed at eight regional Climate Science Centers created during the Obama administration. Their mission is to support scientific research to help public land managers and tribes respond to the multitude of climate change effects underway in national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal took a big swing at the centers, proposing to cut their numbers in half and reduce their budget by a third. But the Trump administration didn’t try to eliminate them outright as it has many other Obama climate change initiatives. The key to their resilience is that they don’t focus on the kinds of climate science that the Trump administration likes least — research into the human role in climate change and how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now supporters of the Climate Science Centers believe there’s hope the centers will ride out the Trump administration."

Elizabeth Shogren reports for High Country News December 7, 2017.

Source: High Country News, 12/12/2017