The burden of the cuts has fallen heaviest on climate scientists, and if the old instruments fail it will create gaps in data from the poles covering microwave measurements of sea-surface temperature, the hydrological cycle, and sea ice. The marriage was always doomed because weather forecasting and climate research have different needs, according to a report from a US National Research Council panel. In recent years, weather forecasting has taken top priority for many policy-makers. "When push came to shove, the climate research fell off the table," says the panel's head, Antonio Busalacchi of the University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Now climate scientists want a divorce. Busalacchi recommends a National Climate Service specifically to gather climate data. The Senate is considering that option. Although some climate instruments were restored to the budget this year, the Government Accountability Office warned of a lack of long-term plans for climate research.
The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), NOAA