Why you should care about proposed NOAA cuts

Posted at 11:30 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 12:43:59-05

If you like to know the weather or when the threat of a wildfire is high or why we had one of the warmest February's on record, then you should care about proposed cuts to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

"It's been said, 'why do we need NOAA? We can get all our information from the Weather Channel,' well the Weather Channel gets all of their information from NOAA," said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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Despite that reality, and according to an internal memo obtained by the Washington Post, the Trump administration wants to slash NOAA's budget by seventeen percent.

Research funding, satellite programs and oceanic research would all face steep cuts.

David Titley, NOAA's chief operating officer under the Obama administration also spoke with the Boulder Daily Camera and told the newspaper, "there is a declared war of regulation and undeclared war on both climate science in particular and education and knowledge in general."

The cuts would create "a loss of really valuable information that is used by all kinds of people in all sorts of life," Trenberth said.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, Trenberth added we still need to collect data about it.

"That's where the debate should be not on cutting out the information, the evidence that's flowing into those decisions," he said.

If the cuts go through as planned, Trenberth said it would be devastating not only for NOAA scientists but for future generations.

"It means a lot worse decisions will be made of all sorts," he said. "NOAA is not just a leader nationally for all the weather and climate, but internationally [as well]."

The Trump administration is not expected to release its 2018 budget until early next week. 

Denver7 has reached out to NOAA for comment but has not heard back.