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NOAA chief backs bid for climate-change agency

The chief of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has called for the creation of a National Climate Service to manage and disseminate information about global warming.

Like the National Weather Service, the service would fall within NOAA and be a repository for federal research that would be accessible to agencies and the public alike. NOAA administrator Conrad Lautenbacher says that having a central scientific organization to collate this information could help to depoliticize climate research. The service would not have any regulatory authority.

The Senate Committee for Commerce, Science and Transportation passed legislation by John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts) to create such a Climate Service last December. Lautenbacher says that the White House supports the idea in principle. NOAA plans to seek funding to organize the service in the 2010 budget proposal.

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NOAA chief backs bid for climate-change agency. Nature 453, 441 (2008).

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