Budget requests for major agencies that fund atmospheric sciences and
climate change are mixed. The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) request would increase 2.4 percent to $5.6 billion; however, $48.0
million of the $132.2 million increase is a transfer of funds from the
Coast Guard. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
would decrease by 8.2 percent below the FY 2005 budget, but with increases
in an expanded tsunami warning network, climate research, extreme weather
warnings and forecasts, and weather satellites. The National Aeronautics
and Space Administration’s (NASA) budget would
increase by 2.4 percent with Exploration Systems rising by 17.9 percent.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) overall budget
would fall 3.8 percent, while Biological and Environmental Research would
decrease by 21.7 percent from the elimination of earmarks.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the Climate Change
Research Initiative (CCRI) have been merged into what is now known as
the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). The CCSP would decrease by
$27.0 million to $1.9 billion, a decrease of 1.4 percent (see Table
I-9). The Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP) that parallels
the CCSP would receive $2.9 billion, a decrease of $174 million or 5.7
The Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is developing
a decadal strategy for research in the earth sciences. A report, Earth
Sciences and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy
for the Future will influence the direction of future research, especially
in NASA. An interim preliminary report will be available in the spring
Nearly 60 countries and the European Commission, meeting in Brussels, agreed to a plan that over the next 10 years will revolutionize
understanding of the Earth. Agreement on the plan for a Global Earth Observation
System of Systems (GEOSS) was reached by member countries of the international
Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Some 40 international organizations
also support the emerging global network. Interest has accelerated since
the tsunami tragedy that devastated parts of Asia
The National Space Weather Program (NSWP) would continue in FY 2006 with
a 16 percent increase in NASA’s Living with a Star Program and level funding
for NSF’s solar-terrestrial programs. The upper atmosphere radar facility,
AMISR, will begin partial operation in 2005. The NAS report, Sun to
the Earth and Beyond:A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics,
published in 2004, will influence the direction of future solar-terrestrial
Introduction and Political Environment
Kyoto Protocol legally entered into force on February 16, 2005. The Protocol was adopted at the Conference of the Parties
3 (COP 3) in Kyoto, Japan on December 11, 1997. The Protocol sets binding targets to reduce emissions
5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. More than 100 nations have ratified
the Protocol and many developed countries have begun efforts to meet their
emission targets. The U.S. supports many R&D activities important to emission
reductions, but has not signed the Protocol.
of the atmosphere and its constituents is an international responsibility.
The GEOSS has as its goal the achievement of comprehensive, coordinated,
and sustained observations of the Earth system to improve Earth monitoring,
increase understanding of Earth processes, and enhance prediction of the
behavior of the Earth system. Global observations suffer from large temporal
and spatial gaps in data coverage, erosion of existing infrastructure,
inadequate data archiving, and no assured continuity for many systems.
A start has been made to rectify the situation, but it will take years
to implement and will be a continuing process.
trend is emerging in federal agency responsibility for Earth remote sensing
that will affect researchers in the latter part of the current decade
and into the next. NASA currently operates the three major Earth Observing
System (EOS) spacecraft (TERRA, AQUA and AURA) and a considerable number
of smaller missions aimed at specific Earth processes. The three EOS spacecraft
will not be replaced at the end of their missions. Weather and climate
researchers will have to rely on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration’s (NOAA) future operational missions for long term, continuous,
global data. Researchers already make use of the current NOAA meteorological
spacecraft, but recognize the limitations of the instruments.
in this decade NOAA, jointly with NASA and the DOD, will begin the polar‑orbiting
NPOESS program. In the first half of the next decade, NOAA will begin
the geostationary GOES-R program. The advanced spacecraft in these programs
will carry greatly improved instruments based on the heritage of the current
EOS instruments. These will be the backbone of weather and climate observations.
NASA will continue to operate individual research missions aimed at specific
processes and technology demonstrations. Part of this transition may be
seen in the plans for NASA to develop new Landsat class instruments for
NOAA to operate on NPOESS spacecraft.
President’s space exploration initiative continues to shape the NASA budget.
The initiative calls for human return to the Moon by 2020 in preparation
for human exploration of Mars. In response, NASA has reorganized its corporate
structure into four Mission Directorates: Science, Exploration Systems,
Space Operations, and Aeronautics. Other issues facing NASA are returning
the Space Shuttle to operation and either servicing or de-orbiting the
Hubble Space Telescope.
2004 was the fourth warmest year on record since 1880. Moderate to extreme
drought continued to affect large parts of the Western U.S. The year was dominated by the devastating Indian ocean tsunami. Nine tropical storm systems affected the U.S., including six hurricanes. Four of the hurricanes including
Charley, a Category Four storm, affected Florida. In total, tropical systems cost the U.S. an estimated $42 million.
the threat of materials released into the atmosphere, research on atmospheric
diffusion and transport of such materials has become increasingly important.
Agents that enter the atmosphere may interact not only with each other,
but chemically and biologically with the media that transport them.
burgeoning commercial importance of weather, climate, and space weather
information is illustrated by the increasing use of such knowledge by
the reinsurance industry and futures markets. The growth of private weather
and climate services and their partnerships with universities and users
is further evidence.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
NSF’s total budget would increase to $5.6 billion, up $132.2
million or 2.4 percent (see Table II-7). Within
this increase is a transfer of $48.0 million from the U.S. Coast Guard
associated with costs to operate and maintain three polar icebreakers.
Adjusting for this transfer would result in an increase of $84.2 million
or 1.5 percent. (For more on the NSF budget, please see Chapter
NSF’s Geosciences Directorate would receive an increase of
$14.9 million or 2.2 percent for a total of $709.1 million. The Atmospheric
Sciences Subactivity (ATM) would increase by $6.4 million or 2.7 percent
to $239.8 million. Atmospheric Sciences Research Support would increase
by 3.5 percent to $158.7 million. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) would increase by 1.3
percent to $81.1 million. These increases will target full operation of
the HIAPER aircraft, operation of the upper atmosphere radar, the Advanced
Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR), and improved cyberinfrastructure
and numerical models.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
total budget would decrease by 8.5 percent or $332.9 million below FY
2005, which includes congressional additions, with reductions in all offices
except the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
(NESDIS) and the National Weather Service (NWS). NOAA couches its budget
request in terms of a FY 2006 base that reflects the FY 2005 program without
the one-time congressional additions. In these terms, the request is an
increase of 7.3 percent above the FY 2006 base. It includes significant
additions for Global Earth Observations, Climate Research, an expanded
Tsunami Warning Network, and full funding for NOAA satellite systems.
would increase by 8.1 percent above the FY 2006 base to $963.9 million.
The next generation polar‑orbiting meteorological satellites, NPOESS,
would increase by $16.1 million to $321.0 million, an amount matched by
the DOD and aimed at the first launches late in this decade. An additional
$11.0 million would support adding a Landsat class instrument (to be supplied
by NASA) to the NPOESS payload. The next generation geostationary satellites,
beginning with GOES R, would be funded at $240.5 million with a launch
date in 2012. The NESDIS budget would include $12.0 million for data archives
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) would increase by 7.2
percent above the FY 2006 base to $372.2 million, which is $41.6 million
below the FY 2005 enacted level. This includes an increase of $18.0 million
to a total of $177.6 million for climate research. The tropical Pacific
and Atlantic buoy arrays, TAO and PIRATA, would be upgraded (with responsibility for
operation transferred to the NWS), new climate reanalysis data sets would
be developed, and research in aerosols, clouds, and climate change would
NWS would seek $6.0 million to strengthen the tsunami warning program.
NWS would receive an increase of $1.1 million for a total of $7.4 million
for the U.S. Weather Research Program aimed at improving global weather
forecasts and forecasts for severe storms, particularly hurricanes. The
Space Environment Center would stay at $6.9 million.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
budget would increase by $386 million or 2.4 percent to $16.5 billion.
NASA would streamline its structure into four mission directorates - Science,
Exploration Systems, Space Operations, and Aeronautics. Space science
and Earth science would be combined into the Science Mission Directorate.
Support for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is part of this mission.
the reorganization, it is not possible to compare FY 2006 levels with
FY 2005 programs. The new Science Mission Directorate would be funded
at $5.5 billion. Funding for HST would be reduced to $190.7 million from
$215.7 million to provide for a robotic deorbiting of Hubble. Living with
a Star would increase to $234 million, or 16 percent. The Earth System
Science Pathfinder Spacecraft program would increase to $136.0 million
or 26 percent. Funding would support the launch of the Solar‑Terrestrial
Relations Observatory and preparing the Solar Dynamics Observatory for
launch. NASA will undertake to build a Landsat class instrument for NOAA
to operate in the NPOESS program. The NPOESS Preparatory Program spacecraft
seems likely to slip beyond a 2007 launch date because of instrument development
problems. (For more on the NASA budget, see Chapter
DOE’s Office of Science (SC) budget would decrease by 3.8
percent to $3.5 billion. Much of the reduction would come from the elimination
of $79.6 million in congressional earmarks in Biological and Environmental
Research (BER), leaving the budget reduction for SC at 1.6 percent. BER’s
budget would decrease by 21.7 percent to $455.7 million. BER’s climate
change program would be maintained at nearly level funding. Emphasis will
be on the role of clouds and aerosols in an effort to parameterize better
their effects in climate change prediction models used in international
assessments. Global carbon cycle and basic research on the biological
sequestration in the biosphere would be continued. BER reconfigured its
atmospheric science program to support aerosol research emphasizing radiative
forcing due to indirect effects on clouds and the role of black carbon
and organic aerosols on climate.
Science and Technology programs would decrease by 21.3 percent. Total
basic research (“6.1”) funding would decline by 12.9 percent to $1.3 billion,
applied research (“6.2”) would fall 14.7 percent to $4.1 billion, and
advanced technology development by 24.5 percent to $5.1 billion. The Army
and Air Force have been traditional sponsors of atmospheric research and
have a significant interest in the CCTP.
total budget would decrease from $8.0 billion to $7.6 billion, a decrease
of 6 percent. The S&T programs in clean air and global change would
be reduced by 6.0 percent to $188.0 million.
USGCRP, an interagency climate research program, was codified by the Global
Change Research Act of 1990. Its goal is to increase understanding of
the Earth system and provide a sound scientific basis for national and
international decision making on global change issues. That program has
produced a large body of important and useful research that now needs
to be used, especially in the developing world.
June 2001 the President established two climate initiatives: the Climate
Change Research Initiative (CCRI) that focuses on areas of uncertainty
and reduction of those uncertainties, and the National Climate Change
Technology Initiative (NCCTI) to strengthen and coordinate federal leadership
of climate change related technology R&D.
Science Program (CCSP)
USGCRP and the CCRI have been merged into a CCSP; however, there are separate
budgets for each. The program, consisting of 13 departments and agencies,
is coordinated through an interagency program office located within NOAA.
The USGCRP would increase by $11.0 million or less than 1.0 percent to
$1.7 billion. CCRI would decrease by $38.0 million or 17.0 percent to
$183.0 million. That would provide $1.9 billion or a decrease of 1.4 percent
in the CCSP (see Table I-9). Expenditures for
NASA satellites are the largest item in the CCSP budget, consuming about
62 percent of that budget.
CCSP released its strategic plan in July 2003, which was reviewed by the
National Research Council. Research efforts are coordinated through a
set of seven linked interdisciplinary research elements: Atmospheric Composition,
Global Climate Variability and Change, Global Water Cycle, Land Use and
Land Cover Change, Global Carbon Cycle, Ecosystems, and Human Contributions
Global Change Research Act of 1990 directs the program to prepare assessments
that focus on a variety of science and policy issues important for public
discussion and decision making. These assessments will cover the full
range of CCSP goals. Three draft assessments have been released for public
comment. They cover Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations,
the North American Carbon Budget, and Climate Models. It is important
to note that much of the material is in scenario form, that is they are
“what ifs”. They are not predictions. More assessments will be released
during FY 2006. A workshop in Washington, DC in late 2005 or early 2006 will engage constituencies
and provide feedback on research and measurement developments.
Technology Program (CCTP)
CCTP is composed of two parts, a climate change technology related R&D
program and the NCCTI. There is a significant deployment aspect to this
program, and thus much of the CCTP program is not classified as R&D.
The CCTP is guided by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change of 1992 of achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations
in the atmosphere that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference
with the climate system, yet within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems
to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is
not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable
funding would fall $174.4 million or 5.7 percent to $2.9 billion (see
Table 1). The CCTP goals are to reduce emissions from energy end use and
infrastructure, energy supply, and non-CO2 gases; advance CO2
capture and sequestration; enhance measurement and monitoring; and fortify
the foundations. A Strategic Plan is being developed.
CCTP crosses program boundaries, thus making it difficult to discuss an
integrated program. Renewable energy, hydrogen fuel initiative, FutureGen,
nuclear energy (Gen IV), fusion energy (ITER), and carbon sequestration
are some key areas of focus for the CCTP.
Table 1: Climate Change Technology
in millions of dollars).
FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 % Change
Actual Enacted Request FY 05-06
of Agriculture 45 48 35 -27.3%
28 30 7 -75.1%
of Defense 52 75 60 -20.5%
of Energy 2,390 2,497 2,509 0.5%
of the Interior
1 1 1
of Transportation 30 26 2 -90.9%
Protection Agcy. 110 109 113 4.0%
227 244 128 -47.7%
Science Foundation 11 11 11 6.6%
___ ___ ___
CCTP 2,893 3,040 2,866 -5.7%