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Cuts to Environmental Monitoring “Willfully Blinding” the Nation

Scientific American reports that many science policy experts are "startled" by the Trump administration’s proposed budget for 2018 that envisions dramatic cuts in funds for monitoring air and water quality, climate change and more.

Pres. Donald Trump’s administration could be willfully blinding itself—and the nation—when it comes to the environment…

[T]he consequences of weakening U.S. environmental monitoring abilities would be serious for everyone, says Brenda Ekwurzel, director of climate science for the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate and Energy Program, echoing other policy experts. “So many people need our environmental intelligence," she says. “It’s saving lives, saving businesses money and reducing harm.”

Noting that the budget proposes cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 31 percent, which would eliminate 3,200 EPA positions, and would reduce its Office of Research and Development budget by almost half, Kei Koizumi, visiting scholar at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) says, “Even if the agency is able to get data about the environment, it wouldn’t have the scientists and research conditions to make sense of it.” The article also says that the EPA cuts would affect grants to outside groups that track the environment.

NOAA resources for teaching climate


NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, maintains the website Climate.gov as a source of timely and authoritative scientific data and information about climate. The goal of the site is “to promote public understanding of climate science and climate-related events, to make our data products and services easy to access and use, to provide climate-related support to the private sector and the Nation’s economy, and to serve people making climate-related decisions with tools and resources that help them answer specific questions.”

The Scout Report (January 9, 2015 — Volume 21, Number 1) says that the site “provides all the resources teachers need to bring the subject to life.”

NASA Brings Earth Science ‘Big Data’ to the Cloud with Amazon Web Services

NASA has announced that it is making a large collection of NASA climate and Earth science satellite data available to the public via the Amazon cloud.

  • NASA Brings Earth Science ‘Big Data’ to the Cloud with Amazon Web Services, by Ruth Marlaire, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. RELEASE 13-307 (Nov. 12, 2013).

    By using the cloud, research and application users worldwide gain access to an integrated Earth science computational and data management system they can use on their own.

    The service encompasses selected NASA satellite and global change data sets — including temperature, precipitation, and forest cover — and data processing tools from the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), a research platform of the NASA Advanced Supercomputer Facility at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

  • NASA NEX, Amazon.

    Three NASA NEX datasets are now available, including climate projections and satellite images of Earth.

    More information here.