Leaked Document Suggests NOAA Oceanic Research Faces 26% Cuts

The Washington Post reports that:

The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post.

The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.

NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose $126 million, or 26 percent, of the funds it has under the current budget. Its satellite data division would lose $513 million, or 22 percent, of its current funding under the proposal.

The National Marine Fisheries Service and National Weather Service would be fortunate by comparison, facing only 5 percent cuts.


It certainly sounds as though wave buoys are under threat. This is from the “Climate” section of the NESDIS web site:

NOAA’s satellites, radars, buoys, stations, and gauges monitor the variability of the Earth’s climate and contribute to long-term data records.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) house over 20 petabytes of comprehensive atmospheric, coastal, oceanic, paleo‐climatological, and geophysical data from a variety of sources.

This data, available on a full and open basis, not only provides an accessible environmental record available both today and for future generations but also supports authoritative and timely assessments of our climate.

The division of NOAA responsible for the WaveWatch III model used by surf forecasters is the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which is part of the National Weather Service. At first sight that is not such bad news, but that does of course depend on whether the rumours are true, and if so which 5% of the NWS gets cut.

Watch this space!