Friday, February 27, 2009

President Obama's Budget: Science

From the Wall Street Journal:

Climate-Change Research Gets Big Boost in Budget
Climate-change research would get a boost in funding under the budget as a result of a refocusing of resources at several agencies.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would receive $1.3 billion for new weather satellites and climate sensors, as well as research into climate and ocean research.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration would refocus its efforts on global climate research, a major change from the Bush years, when next-generation space flight programs were a priority. NASA's budget calls for a $1.5 billion increase over the next two years, with its fiscal 2010 budget totaling $18.7 billion, and it will be charged with developing new space-based sensors to "deploy a global climate research and monitoring system.">>>MORE

HT: Environmental Capital

That last bit is important. There are enough problems with the Goddard Institute for Space Studies datasets and the adjustments that have to be made to the raw data that it is just ridiculous in the twenty-first century not to have sensors and monitors dumping not just peta- and tera-bytes of data but exa-, zetta- and yotta-bytes. Lay it on us and let's see what's really going on.

A related story:

From NewScientist: Obama backs Moon return in NASA budget

...Under the proposed budget, the agency would receive $18.7 billion in 2010. Combined with $1 billion in funding provided in an economic stimulus package signed into law last week, NASA would get $2.4 billion more than it did in 2008.

Climate change

"It's a nice number," Logsdon told New Scientist. "Between the proposed increase and the stimulus package, NASA's $2.4 billion [would leave it] better off than it was last year."

The budget would also likely be a boost over 2009 funding levels. The agency's 2009 budget has not yet been settled. NASA has been operating at 2008 funding levels under a continuing resolution since October 2008.

But on Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed an omnibus bill to fund NASA for 2009. It calls for a $360 million increase in the agency's human exploration budget, which includes $2.9 billion for the Constellation programme. NASA's science budget would decline $200 million from 2008 levels. The US Senate is now considering the bill.

Climate change research and monitoring tops the list of funding highlights in the overview of NASA's budget request, but the budget for specific agency programmes is not included. A detailed budget request is not expected before April.