NOAA is raising its climate profile, its head says

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Richard W. Spinner is NOAA’s first Senate-confirmed administrator in five years, which has its advantages in Washington.

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What are they saying: “It immediately opens doors and gives me access,” Spinrade told Nerdshala in an interview Tuesday after an interagency climate and equity roundtable in Detroit.

What are you saying: Spinrad, who previously served as the agency’s chief scientist, said he has been quietly working to raise his agency’s profile in the Biden administration, including a focus on climate change and other topics of interest to the agency. It has comprehensive point of view.

  • “I have had about 30 fruitful meetings with heads of 20 different agencies in the last three months,” he said.
  • “You might not be seeing it in the public eye right away. But we are positioning NOAA for a much more visible and influential role in the federal government.”

Reference: Spinrade is also organizing several offices within its agency that touch on climate to form the NOAA Climate Council.

  • The goal is to avoid information being stove-piped within the National Ocean Service, the Office of Atmospheric and Oceanic Research and other entities, each of which has its own functions and subcultures.

Intrigue: NOAA is one of at least 13 federal agencies that deal with climate science, from NASA to the Department of Energy.

  • Spinrad said that since he took office in June, he has become convinced that the federal government should determine which agency has a major role in providing certain types of climate information.
  • “Our country needs some clarity about who’s got the con, who’s responsible, who’s that authoritative source for climate information?” he said.
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go in: NOAA sent a drone into the most powerful storm on Earth


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