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Federal Government Proposes Climate Change Office

NCSThe Obama administration proposes to create a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service that would provide information to help governments and businesses adapt to climate change, reports the New York Times. The centralized source of climate information would provide projections ranging from sea level rise to maps of the best sites for wind and solar power across the nation, according to the article.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, whose department includes NOAA, told the New York Times it would be similar to NOAA’s National Weather Service, which provides information on short-range environmental conditions. In this case, the proposed climate service will provide long-term projections of how climate will change, and hopefully spur a new private climate information sector, he added.

The proposal was prompted by state and local governments and the private sector asking the agency for help understanding how climate change will impact their operations, reports the New York Times.

The NOAA Climate Service office, which requires congressional committee approval, is not designed to curtail controversies over the accuracy of climate data, according to NOAA officials, reports the Washington Times.

In November last year, thousands of sensitive documents and emails were leaked including some climate change docs that indicate scientists may be overstating the case for global warming by manipulating data.

The NOAA Climate Service would incorporate some of the agency’s existing laboratories and research programs, including the National Climatic Data Center, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and the National Weather Service’s Historical Climate Network, reports the New York Times.

NOAA already has unveiled a new Website (www.climate.gov) as a single-entry point for climate data.

Administration officials hope to have the climate service established by Oct. 1, reports the New York Times. The agency won’t ask for a budget increase, according to the article.

Climate legislation including the House-passed and the Senate climate bills support a climate service, reports the New York Times.

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