Committee Passes National Climate Service Bill

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Last week the House Committee on Science and Technology passed H.R. 2407, the National Climate Service Act of 2009. This bill is relatively short. From the committee’s press release

As amended, the bill would establish a Climate Service Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and it outlines an interagency process to establish a National Climate Service.

…“In a climate that is changing, it is imperative that we have reliable information to help us adapt and respond to these changes,” said Baird.  “My amendment puts in place a mechanism that will allow the best minds from every relevant federal agency to share information, and ultimately decide on the best structure, and organizational home for the National Climate Service.  By doing this, we will ensure that when the National Climate Service is created, it will be better able to identify the problems created by global overheating, and armed with this information, better able to find solutions.”

It looks like there is a 3 year ramp up period for the Service, led by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and carried out by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) of the National Science and Technology Council.

Why is this an HPC post? The text of the bill references computer modeling in several places, and it seems clear that any new large program aimed at providing national-scale climate information will be headed out to do some HPC shopping. From the text of the bill

Sec. 4, para b3: ensure operational quality control of all National Climate Service products including a transparent and open accounting of all the assumptions built into the global, national, regional, and local weather and climate computer models upon which such climate services and products are based;

Sec. 5 a) In General- The Under Secretary shall establish a Climate Service Advisory Committee to provide advice on…(4) computation and modeling needs, research needs, and other resources needed to develop, distribute, and ensure the utility of climate data, products, and services;

There is also a call for a lot of interagency “stakeholder” information sharing and cooperation, which I’m skeptical will actually happen, but there you go.