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NOAA Announces FY 2012 Budget

Education & academia

US - President Obama has issued the FY 2012 budget for NOAA, requesting $5.5 billion for the nations oceanic and atmospheric agency.

The proposed budget includes key investments to strengthen NOAA’s most critical programmes and initiatives while addressing the administration’s goals of ensuring long-term economic growth, promoting innovation and American competitiveness, and reducing government spending.

The budget request represents a $56.8 million decrease compared to the 2011 budget. This budget focuses on programme needs, identifies efficiencies, and ensures accountability across the agency. Core functions and services are sustained, increases are requested for only the most critical programmes, projects, or activities necessary to meet the nation’s growing demand for NOAA’s services, and careful cuts are made throughout the budget.

“Perhaps most significantly, this budget clearly recognises the central role that science and technology play in stimulating the economy, creating new jobs and improving the health and security of Americans,” said Dr Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Americans rely on NOAA science, services and stewardship to keep their families safe, their communities thriving, and their businesses strong. Our work is everyone’s business.”

NOAA’s budget will focus on an ambitious array of strategic priorities, including:

  • Improving prediction of high impact weather and water forecasts
  • Supporting sustainable oceans, fisheries, and communities
  • Providing critical investments in satellites and sensors to further NOAA’s observational mission

This budget furthers NOAA’s commitment to strengthen science throughout the agency, providing support for the next generation of research and information to meet the growing demand for NOAA’s science and services and to drive economic recovery. The proposed request includes $737 million for research and development related to climate, weather and ecosystem science and for infrastructure to support NOAA’s R&D enterprise.

NOAA will also build upon and enhance its existing climate services to meet the nation’s rapidly growing data and information demands. Included in the FY 2012 budget proposal are the details for a reorganisation to establish a climate service within NOAA. The reorganisation is “budget neutral”; it does not change staffing levels, create new facilities or physically relocate any programmes or laboratories.