Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama urged to spend billions on weather research

Reuters: Weather scientists on Tuesday urged Barack Obama to spend $9 billion on satellites and research to prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires and examine links between destructive weather and climate change. Members of the American Meteorological Society meeting in Phoenix said they want Obama, who becomes U.S. president on January 20, to provide the funds over the next five years.

"There are some very basic research questions that need to be addressed so that we can make wise policy ... and better protect people and infrastructure," said John Snow, a hurricane expert at the University of Oklahoma. Severe weather kills people across the country each year, and homeowners, businesses and insurers are hit by billions of dollars in direct damages and disruption to services.

…The United States needs a new generation of weather observation satellites to replace aging systems and provide better forecasting and climate analysis, the scientists said. "We do not have sufficient (weather observing) satellites already manufactured to continue beyond the middle of the next decade," said Joe Friday, a former president of the society. "If we lose that satellite capability, we set back forecasting by 30 years," he added….

Wind sock, shot by KMJ (selfmade), Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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