tv Hearing on Climate Change Weather CSPAN January 28, 2022 11:16am-12:47pm EST
join in the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, texts and tweets, live on sunday, february 6th, at noon eastern on booktv on c-span 2. next, a look at climate change with the administrator with the that national oceanic and atmospheric administration testifying before a sub house sub committee. the hearing was held before the tornadoes that struck several states on december 10th last year. welcome to today's environment sub committee hearing to discuss national oceanic and atmospheric administration earth system, sciences and stewardship policies. i would like to thank the partnership including the noaa
weather radio as well as the vet rent act which we will introduce soon to ensure veterans have pair dewhen competing for rental housing as civilians. i would like to women kul noaa's representative. are going dollar disasters which are on the rise. the environmental research extreme weather events and billion-dollar disasters are on the eyes and noaa's environmental research are critical to saving lives and safeguarding our economy. earlier this month hurricane ida
that made landful over 1,000 miles away caused historic damage across my district. an event of this magnitude shows us why we need to invest in resilience and not just recovery. supporting the work of noaa's dedicated researchers and forecasters will help improve lead times for extreme weather and evacuation alerts and better understand how climate change impacts storms like ida. in addition great firefighters rely on data to predict where the greatest inferno will spread, and farmers across the country are strategic about their irrigation and crop
decisions. the real-time ocean data will srpl a warning out and close beaches. noaa's assessments program provide crucial climate products and tools to make informed infrastructure. noaa is only able to provide this because of its extensive network of earth systems observations. these observational systems collect data from ships, air crafts, satellites, radar and more. noaa scientists then process and analyze the data to provide forecast predictions in an accessible manner for all of us to benefit from, and that's why my colleagues and i continue to support noaa's work, and that means understanding what the agency needs. it means providing the necessary high performance computing
capability to contkublgt research. it also means supporting noaa's workforce by diversity and it means pooling scientific integrity. we must work collectively to restore america's faith in science in our scientists. i am pleased the biden administration have taken steps for 2022 and beyond. i am looking forward to hearing administrator's vision for cutting edge science and how we in congress can support the agency's mission and tackling the problems we face today and in the future. >> thank you, chairman for
holding this hearing today. we have had great acting noaa administrators, it's been a few years since we have had a confirmed administrator, so i want to congratulate you dr. richard spinrad and look forward to looking together. communities around the country have struggled through the affects of extreme events including hurricanes, floods, droughts, wildfires and the collapse of fisheries, and nobody knows the lasting consequences of severe weather better than my constituents of oklahoma, the heart of tornado alley, and hail storms and large thunderstorms can pop up quickly leaving minutes for people to find safety. the data tools and services noaa
provides can equipped all americans with better access to more timely warnings and support. the never ending goal is to protect all lives and property. while weather forecasting and observations might be the most widely known output, noaa has a wide-ranging mission, these products and services have a tremendous economic impact and affect more than one-third of america's gross domestic product. the presence physical near for noaa was $6.9 billiona 22% from last year's enactive funding. with such a large increase proposed i look forward to hearing from the adds minute straighter on what his priorities are for the agency. while i am not opposed to investing in noaa's lifesaving products, we must add sure the administration is adequately prepared to handle a increased
budget, and this includes hiring, raising up new research projects and a variety of other issues. a lump sum of money with no strings atafrped can be a curse before it's a blessing. when it comes to the specifics of the budget request, i was disappointed to see it did not include any details regarding the earth prediction innovation center. this committee has had multiple hearings on epic and its timely implementation has been a priority for members on both sides of the i'll. it's a project critical to main staining national leadership, however i was pleased the system capabilities. it continued emtpau says on
computing. this, in turn, will evaluate the potential future directions for models and data assimilation. i hope to here more on how noaa can collaborate with other agencies, including the department of energy. cross agency collaboration, especially with an agency that is the clear subject matter experts the most efficient use of taxpayer money and we should encourage it as much as possible. lastly i look forward to know how noaa will share expertise to inspire and support thenext generation. the work conducted in the center provides property and lifesaving
services for the entire country, but in order to attract and keep the next generation of talent filling that center we must ensure our buildings, instruments, and the entire infrastructure are world class. the meteorologistists, oceanographers and biologists and other researchers should not have to settle for outdated buildings or cramped laboratories. every member of the committee has priorities for their district. again, i want to thank the administrator for testifying before the committee today and i look forward to the engaging discussion. madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. we're pleased to have the full committee chairwoman, ms. johnson today. the chair now recognized the chairwoman for an opening statement. >> thank you very much and good
morning. i would like to give a warm welcome to our witness, our new administrator, dr. richard spinrad. we is testifying before the committee today for the first time since he officially took the helm of the agency. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration plays a critical role in protecting american lives, property and economic prosperity. noaa is a unique agency that performs cutting edge science and it also provides critical, environmental service and stewardship. by looking at the earth as a system, we are better able to understand how the weather, ocean, climate and atmosphere interact. based on that understanding, noaa provides essential services
and products that serve us all. recently americans have experienced unprecedented string of natural disasters made worse by climate change. we have seen extreme heat and drought conditions out west that set the stage for this record-breaking wildfire season and last month hurricane ida rapidly intensified in the gulf of mexico before making landfall due to warmer water temperatures. in addition, warmer atmospheric conditions brought precipitation leading to extraordinary flooding along the gulf coast, and all the way up to new england. this storm killed dozens and left property owners with
property destroyed. each year seems to have more billion-dollar disasters than the previous. no scientific predictions and warnings have always been vital to americans across the country, but they are becoming increasingly important and this committee is steadfast in supporting noaa as the authority source for climate information. i am glad the chairwoman spoke to the importance of this in her remarks. this committee has worked in a bipartisan fashion to authorize activities that help reduce admissions and mitigate climate change. climate programs also play an
important role in addressing the climate crisis. noaa data can be used to inform aductation and resilient situations at a community level. it could influence policy appeared the world, including national climate assessments, ipc assessment reports. it's reassuring to see that the president has elevated the importance of noaa within his administration. we are the first senate confirmed administrator in over four years, who is also imminently qualified. the administration has significantly increased its budget request for noaa. noaa also has a seat out there in the white house level with groups tackling the most
pressing climate issues. i look forward to this hearing from my administrator, about his goals to advance noaa's mission of science, service and stewardship. noaa has an important role to play in addressing climate crisis, and we are fortunate to have an experienced leader like this administration to guide the agency. in closing, i, again, want to welcome you, administrator, and this will be our first of many positive interactions we have with this committee. with that i yield back. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. we are also pleased to have the ranking member, frank lucas. >> thank you. noaa has a broad array of responsibilities ranginging from weather forecasting and climate
prediction to ocean and atmospheric observation. noaa's work benefits america's farmers and ranchers, coastal communities, disaster personnel. land use planners, whether forecasters and every day citizens rely on noaa's daily work. noaa's inhouse research is groundbreaking and the publicly available environmental data they collect has an immense economic impact. that's why i am eager to hear from administrator, dr. richard spinrad today. i know that the administrator is very familiar with this committee and the work we do. in fact, to give you a sense of how intertwined our paths have been, administrator richard spinrad was present at the 2006 dedication of the weather center in oklahoma. there's a great picture of him
right next to jim cantore that i will have to share some day with everybody. all of this is to say i believe the administrator speaks the science committee's language. although we may not agree on the exact way to do things, i think we can engage in a meaningful discussion where both sides are heard and valued. at the end of the day, weather is nonpartisan. severe weather events don't travel along party lines, and as i have done in years past when republicans were in control, the administration's top priority should be aligned with noaa's core priority, protecting life and property. today i look forward to hearing from the administrator on hearing the advancements in improving and saving lives. noaa provides tools, data and
operations that are capable and applicable to literally every single district in the country, and they all depend on information noaa provides. but as more private sector companies, noaa must seek to balance its capacity with commercial data, simply put, noaa is no longer the only provider in the market and often times noaa's collection costs more than that acquired and the same quantity from a private sector. we can't assume endless increasing budgets, and at some point the balloon will pop. believe me i want noaa to be successful, and we can stand up
programs to acquire data that private industries cannot collect while preparing for a commercially competitive future. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, ranking member lucas. at this time i would like to give the opportunity for representative suzanne bonamici. >> thank you. it's really a pleasure to introduce dr. richard spinrad, the current administrator of national oceanic and atmospheric administration. he's an internationally renowned scientist, and in 2014 president obama nominated richard spinrad, and he is the head of the
national oceanic and atmospheric administration, and he has had leadership positions at the oceanographer, and was receiving the highest award for civilians. throughout his career, he has held multiple positions. earlier this year i had the honor of introducing the doctor at the confirmation hearing. his successful confirmation makes him the 11th noaa administrator. my alma mater is the university of oregon, and assuming the position of the noaa
administrator, he has been a force preserving and strengthening noaa's core mission of science and stewardship. he established a climate counsel and entrusted with coordinating. especially those communities most severely affected by climate change. additionally last week noaa announced the grant proposal for the great lakes operational programs and that will help the scientific community and others better understand our response to climate change. i want to thank the doctor for spending time with the committee this morning, and thank you again and i yield back the balance of my time.
>> thank you. as our witness should know, you will have five minutes for your spoken testimony. your written testimony will be included in the record for the hearing. when you completed your spoken testimony, we will begin with questions. each member will have five minutes to question the witness. with that i am pleased to turn it over to administrator richard spinrad. >> ranking member, and members of the sub committee as well as ranking member lucas and sherrill. thank you to representative suzanne bonamici for the introduction. thank you. this is my third tour of duty at noaa, and i served during the obama administration and before that i led the office in noaa and the national ocean service. the urgency in which we are
working to address the most pressing challenges is like never before, in bolstering the equitable delivery of services, and rebuilding our scientific workforce. ensuring our agency is diverse, equitable and accessible to promoting economic development while maintaining environmental stewardship, the noaa workforce has been firing on all cylinders to meet the demands of our nation. to conserve and manage postal and ecosystem and resores. i would like to share with you my main priorities in pursuit of this mission and in alignment with the goals and the biden and harris administration. the science is at the core of
our agency and foundation of smart policy and decision making, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, we are observing and collecting data and turning the data into earth system models information, tools and forecasts. noaa's trusted data are the basis for your weekend weather forecast. provide our constituents will harmful warmings and feed into the models that predict wildlife and wildfire smoke movement in real time. it's essential that we adhere to the principles of scientific integrity and issue lifesaving warnings. the biden/harris administration has made this apriority.
the second pillar of our mission is service. i made it one of my top priorities to expand noaa's role of the priority authoritative provider of weather forecasts, navigational charts and fishery stock. we are mandate to make it operational. this means we must provide public and our federal, state, tribal and industry partners with information to make decisions in the face of climate change. these can range from municipalities, large insurance companies seeking to incorporate climate risks into their insurance policies, and a
resident of new orleans learning if they should rebuild or relocate. my vision is no matter the need people can turn to noaa for easy to use climate information. we are seeing increasing demands for this kind of information, as demonstrated by the record-setting summer of extreme heat, drought, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other extreme events. the climate crisis is upon us and requires a whole of government response. the third pillar of our mission, stewardship. stewardship means we can serve our lands, waters and natural resources and protecting people in the environment for now and generations to come. noaa is dedicated to promoting economic development while maintaining environmental stewardship. the two can go hand and hand. we create opportunities for sustainable economic growth across the country, including by providing training for the next generation of climate-ready workers.
this alliance is another of my top priorities to advance the new blue economy, which is looking to the data for sustained development, the new blue economy offers opportunities for climate smart innovation and economic growth. to fully realize noaa's mission, i made equity a central focus to make sure equity is not something we do but everything we do, and this will help better produce better science and deliver better services and be better stewards of the earth and economy. thank you all again for inviting me here today, i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> well, thank you. at this point we will begin our first round of questions. the chair recognizes herself for five minutes.
doctor, flooding is the most common and widespread of all natural disasters in the united states, and in north jersey we have seen the devastating affects of repeat flooding events for business owners and community members. earlier this month we saw devastating and deadly flooding brought by the remanence of you are hurricane ida, and our forecasts were not as accurate as they could be and that's due in large part to outdated precipitation data. one woman in my district whose house flooded and had to be rescued by boat along with her young children during the storm said to me at 5:00 i heard we were going to be fine, the storm was going to pass to the west. that's why i introduced a package of bills called the flooding act and precip act. can you speak to the importance of having long term accurate and complete weather data and climate data? what is noaa doing to ensure
communities get the information they need to improve safety and resilience? >> thank you. i concur completely with the premise that you stated in your question with regard to the need for improved forecasts. you know, when we look at what happened in the northeast with both hurricane henri and ida, we saw, for example, in central park a 100-year-old record for rainfall rate broken twice, once with hurricane henri where we saw as many inches per hour, and then hurricane ida we got over three inches of rain in an hour. we recognize this is a critical area that we need to focus on. we made a lot of improvement in forecasts overall, forecast for severe storms. with respects to flood,
specifically, and this is all based on our concept of impact decision support, and we want to make sure where we are making improvements in flood forecasts, and they are specific to where the impacts are greatest in lives and properties. part of this will increase the resolution of forecasts. what we recognized is especially with flooding how fine a grid one has in the models that are used by forecasters to predict where flooding is going to occur is critical, perhaps more critical than other environmental phenomenon, and that means advanced capability and it means taking advantage of new archives of observations and more sophisticated radars and doing research on high resolution processes. i would also point out, it means also in the face of flooding probably upping our game with working with sister agencies.
part of the flooding equation, if you wills a good understanding of the topography and landscape, which is working with agencies like the u.s. archival survey. and then the higher resolution is necessary to provide the forecasting, is to make sure the great research we are doing in our laboratories and academia is transitioning, and we can't say 20 years from now we will have a great research product for you, so we are moving progressively to institute to get the product, if you will, out of the laboratory and into the weather forecast office much sooner than we might have done in the past. >> i applaud you for those efforts, and so in april we held a hearing on the importance of working towards climate equity
and the climate services provided by the federal government, and we heard pwtd growing need for authorize taeusive actionable, and this is critical to agencies making informed decisions. i have a few seconds, and we can come back depending on the length of the hearing, but i would love to understand your vision for expanding noaa's delivery of services to make sure every american, business and organization has access to information and tools and services they need to adapt to the changing climate. what other mandates would noaa need to feed this vision? i will take my answer later at this point and will come back if we have time. now i would like to recognize our ranking member.
>> thank you. earlier this week, doctor, i introduced legislation to be sponsored that focused on the noaa weather radio. many don't know the alert system exists, but in oklahoma we are all too familiar with the life-saving capabilities these small radios have. also many of us are very familiar with the beeping it makes maybe in the middle of the night to make sure you are aware that there are thunderstorms headed your way. while maintaining the existing system is certainly a priority, i worry about the ever digitized future where a handheld radio is viewed as obsolete. can you talk about the potential for upgrades and specifically can you touch on transitioning, backup continuity options like satellites and alternative options for the most remote areas of the country. >> yes, thank you.
this is a critical capability that noaa brought to the floor a couple decades ago, and it was a noaa weather radio and would provide weather information, and it has been such a success, and i think you know it has expanded to a vast array of warnings, including amber alerts for lost children, so the tool has been proven it works extraordinarily. the last mile, and if you will, to some extent the digital gap that a lot of populations face is what we are trying to address. you talked about the modernization and brought up what i would say are two of the main components that we are working on right now, and one is the incorporation through internet providers so we can
expand the capability. also we are looking at the number of increased transmitters out there, and it's somewhere between 50 and 100 new transmitters out there. we know there are certain things we can do with current technology. do with current technology. finally, yes, absolutely. we are looking at the expanded capabilities for satellite based back up for noaa weather radio. it makes perfect sense. it's part of our thinking of moving forward. i see noaa weather radio to be noaa environmental radio. we have to be warning people about. there's a lot of opportunity for
expanding capability and modernization. >> we wish to tell you about the importance of it. oklahoma is the home to the national weather center. the work being done there is essential to predicting and alerting the public of severe weather. also understanding the root causes of severe weather and exploring ways to improve that knowledge and forecast and warnings. as these extreme events become more common, the need for more equipment, more full-time employees and more space to operate is becoming urgent. >> thank you for that question.
i'm proud of the fact that my name is on that building. he brought up the issue of potential expansion. i shared that i think the model that was originally invoked to establish the national weather center is just as valid now as it was then. i would like to figure out what are the expansion requirements and opportunities for noaa facilities. i'm fully prepared to pursue that question in close conjunction with our colleagues at the university and also with some of the private sector
inhabitants. i look forward to having that discussion. i do think there's opportunity for consideration. >> thank you. i yields back. >> thank you representative. i now recognize the chairwoman ms. johnson for five minutes. >> thank you very much. on a march report by this committee found that noaa's overall work force declined by almost 9% over the last decade. further, the report found that noaa particularly in itselves work force suffers from gender and racial minority staffing disparities. these findings are deeply concerning to me. i'm committed to working with my
colleagues to ensure that noaa's work force and the residents of the federal enterprise reflects the diversity of america. can you discuss how noaa is working to address the staffing declines and staff diversify issues identified in this report and what is the ages to attract and retain more minority scientists and staff in a particular african-american scientist for staff or how would you -- how are you working to create a culture of inclusion and is there anything congress can do to help to move these efforts along. >> thank you for that question. i share all of the concerns you've described to state quite bluntly. too much of noaa's work force looks like me. in the past the answer has been, we'll fix that over the next
several generations. no, that's not good enough. 80% of our work force is white. 67% is male. those numbers are changing slightly. there's specific things we are doing. with respect to the hiring process, i can tell you, we have staffed to bring in the capital experts to help move the process of hiring. we have seen dramatic improve m in terms of the time it takes to get somebody into federal government. i would point out noaa has one of the strongest educational programs with historically black colleges. we're not taking enough advantage of that direct connection, if you will. through education partnership programs we're looking at how we can expand direct hire authority, give some of the graduates minority serving institutions opportunities to
come on board more quickly. i would point out that we have dramatically enhanced the visibility and engagement. we have dozen of these with targets areas of underrepresented communities within the work force. i begun a dialogue with them. we are working aggressively with our office of inclusion and civil rights to identify where the specific areas are that we can enhance the hiring activity. there's a number of both systemic and if you will, policy areas where i'm moving to try to make have clear that we cannot wait for a generational change. there thing fwheesds to do right now. we make a specific emphasis on recruitment of underrepresented populations within the work
force. >> thank you very much. scientific integrity is at the heart of noaa's work and is vital to ensuring the public's trust in federal science and scientists. mg i understand that noaa scientific policy was updated in january but remains unclear. what specific steps noaa is taking to implement the recommendations from the napa report. >> i take scientific integrity very seriously.
that policy was held up as one of the examples of one of the better policies among federal agencies for many years. i was not with the government back when that policy was tested a few years ago. i saw whether scientific integrity policy had some flaws. coming as noaa administrator, i'm making sure we are actively participating in the effort being led by the president science add visor to take best practices among all the federal agencies policies. establish them as the norm and develop a government wide approach to scientific integrity. taking the best of class programs.
policies for strong and effective. the third thing i would bring out is from the day i arrived, i insisted that we make all political appointees at noaa take scientific integrity and demonstrate and awareness of and familiarity and respect for noaa scientific integrity policy. i can tell you that as of today, every win of our appointees has taken that scientific integrity training, including myself. >> thank you very much. i yield. >> thank you. i recognize the ranking member mr. lucas for five minutes. >> thank you.
>> as you might imagine i'm invested in its success. as you can imagine p i was thrilled when noaa ordered its third order in august. i'm concerned we could be leaving valuable data on the table. after successfully testing and verification by noaa, what recourse does a commercial company have to immediately engage with noaa to provide this life saving data for weather forecast. >> i do share your appreciation for and desire to see a more
strong exploitation of commercial data. there's cautionary note and we node to make sure it meets the standards applied and also sustainable. in the worth case we end products that are critical on the provision of data. part of what we do with respect to the data you alluded to which is actually data looking at something called radio -- how satellite data changes as it depose through the atmosphere. we're getting 3,000 profiles day. it's really exciting to see how we will use that data, how it will improve the forecast. it will take time for the research to done, the efficacy and impact.
we'll want the make sure that we have accomplished processes and mechanisms. all of that is fully consistent with the weather act and everything you built into the weather act. >> i appreciate that. as long as it's an ongoing process. on a similar note i want to talk about space data weather. i included an amendment. in a meeting with my staff, noaa informed us that space weather data capacities are included in the commercial weather data programs most recent request for
information. the rfi was sent out in september before the proswift act. it wasn't signed into law until october. can you comment on or commit to publish another rfi or request proposals that would be related to this space whether commercial data. >> i would like to get back to you on the specials of how that played out. you have my commitment to look into that and see what the appropriate next step would be. >> that's all i can ask. thank you. yield back. >> thank you ranking member lucas. now, i'm going to defer to
committee council for the order of recognition. >> thank you so much. i want to talk about hypoxia. hypoxic zones have been in the coastal waters. locations change on a yearly basis. ocean temperatures are warming. it can be a decareerdecrease in water's ability. it's one of the most intense seasons to date. that industry has opinion responsible for $39.5 million in annual value over the past
couple of decades. what are some of the bigst challenges noaa faces now and what can congress do. what can congress do to address these challenges. >> thank you for that question. the fundamental issue is observation. we are building out capabilities for measuring hypoxia. you may be aware that some
include oxygen sensors as a device for making these observations. it's one thing to say this is what happened yesterday in the ocean. it's another thing to say be prepared. this will happen next week. i should point out we also have the authority for developing hypoxia events. that thank you for the support on that. we will be putting up the federal register notice on that draft policy very soon.
from the agent. people in charge of the weather service, satellites, the assistant administrators. i now have in front o me, if you have stock that the coup similar had developed, we're using this council to engage the rest of government. it serves as two way communication mechanism. >> that's very encouraging. in my remaining time, i want to follow up on chairwoman johnson's question. we had many conversations in the sub committee but on the full committee over the years.
it's getting women in the field. can you commit to carrying on the policies and practices that dr. sullivan when she was noaa aministraor put in place to help address sexual harassment which was been a problem on research? >> absolutely is my short answer. i'll go one further than my good colleague and mentor, in many respects, we have set up a sexual assault, sexual harassment council. we have established an office for workplace violence, prevention and response opinion
as you know radar forecasting can be affected by nearby buildings, terrain and wind turbines. that said, it's krushl that we do not restrict the growth of clean wind energy by putting excessive red tape on wind farm construction. they would involve consultation with private industry, academia, noaa, the faa and the dod among other groups. >> thank you for that question. i especially appreciate your
invoing the issues with our colleagues at dod and faa who share similar concerns. we have a wind turbine radar interference working group that's addressing those issues. it's shared by the department of energy. i would say there are a couple of potential approaches. it's informing, using the current systems in slightly different manners. we are researching that. i would also point out i worked for many years and i became fascinated with the use of radar by the navy and potential weather radar and going on 20 years, i've been a strong advocate of the potential application of radar as potential replacement. in conjunction with your question, not just how do we use nexrad but we can use the next generation as a solution while
>> thank you very much for hosting this hearing. i come from michigan are the great lakes are our life blood. the lakes outline our boundaries. they define who we are as state. we have 10,000 miles of great lake shoreline in this region. they are central to our livelihood. the great lakes fishing industry is critical to the health of these communities across the region.
they can spread disease. they can spawn invasive species. they can threaten the fisheries in the great lake. at one time the program was encouraging operations in the great lakes. that's why here in congress i have introduced legislation to ban harmful practices in both the great lakes and in federally designated wild and scenic rivers. if you could discuss the role in noaa's concept of a new blue economy and commit to us that ensuring that it's not used directly within the great lakes or in the rivers, could you comment on that? >> yes. thank you. i was listening carefully to the way you asked your question. you used one phrase.
you said when it's done properly they have benefits. i think that's really the sweet spot for what noaa can bring to the table. we're proud of our research that provides main access for research activity in all of the great lakes. properly, means the science has been done in a credible, peer reviewed valuable manner to assess what is the real impact, what are the real environmental or ecological consequences of any particular approach. that's our responsibility to drive what state and other local authority may do to interpret the science. it's the same argument that i would make with respect to offshore. we have a responsibility for
ensures the determination of what is proper is based on the best possible scientific information we can collect. that where i'm confident we have the intellectual capacity to do those studies that will provide the answers that policy makers like yourself will need to make the right decisions. >> i appreciate that very much. my short answer is to listen. we're doing a number of regional climate equity round tables to hear what are the answers to exactly the question you raised specific to the great lakes.
it's my understanding that there's potentially as much as 60% gap between the amount of methane we calculate and from the satellites under your control and to some degree our jurisdiction. i'm wondering if you could educate us a degree to satellite or ground systems you have contract methane and to what degree you have the granularity to get down and locate the point of methane release.
not to pick on the point but i understand that the methane will move through the atmosphere and you'll try to figure it out. with the data you have or if you prefer, with the data you could have subject of future technologies and future funding, do you have the technical ability, at least in theory and a fiscally unkept world to go down and identify the specific location of the methane release or is that an insoluble problem? >> i can character what the difference of temperature is between my home and falls church and capital hill.
sgla i want to make sure if we're going to go through and create this which a good market focus that we're including everybody in that mix. as long as there's a gap, we have a problem. i don't know if that's a science problem or algebra problem. look forward to continued conversations. >> very good. >> mr. chris is recognized. >> thank you very much. thank you doctor for being with us today. i represent pinellas county in florida. it's surrounded on three sides by water so it's a peninsula or the peninsula of florida. i worked a lot with noaa. it's critical to my district and florida as a whole. i've been a long time supporter
of the agency. have worked closely with noaa n a number of issues. can you tell me more about this opportunity and what noaa is seeking to accomplish by it? >> thank you for your support over the years. really appreciate that. this is an exciting opportunity. it's reflected in federal funding opportunity that we put out for harmful bloom control technology. we'll solicit the best ideas. what does best mean? what we're going to look for is technical feasibility. is it a sound scientific concept. we also want to look for
congress gave noaa and the epa authority in 2019. >> we are o developing a draft policy. the federal register notice inviting comments from the public on that policy should be coming out very soon. we have moved out on that. we are working closely with our partners at epa who share some responsibilities especially in fresh water on that.
>> the impact of climate change makes the situation more urgent. can you provide me with an update on facility repairs in the southeast. >> thank you. i would like a bit of a place holder because i think we would want to spend more time with you and your saf to get detail responses. we can't be asking our scientists to be doing work in facile tills where their safety and ability to get clean power and clean water is compromised. we're having a hard time keeping up.
we have done four of the regional studies. we have two more we will do as exercises in the next several months. >> thank you very much. i see i'm running out of time, so i will yield book. thank you. >> p while most of noaa falls under the environment subcommittee's jurisdiction, the office of space commerce falls under the space sub committee jurisdiction. last year the national academy
of public administration issued an independent report that concluded, number one, the department of commerce is best suited to perform ssa tasks within the federal government. three, the department of commerce with its proven ability to effectively manage large, diverse and complex data sets provides essential technical expertise and other support to the office of space commerce for situational awareness and traffic management. as a result of the napa report's findings, the appropriations act of fiscal year 2021 approve the merger of the office of space commerce with the office of commercial remote sensing,
regulatory affairs and also provided $10 million to initiate a pilot program and initiate an open data architecture for space situational awareness. rather tan using the funds to carry out the law, it appears that noaa is using these fy'21 funds to pay for more studies to revisit the topics of the napa study. these cuts come on top of personnel changes that threaten the department of commerce ability to meet the space situation awareness responsibilities. two op eds i'd like to enter it into the record.
>> without objection. it's stalling u.s. space specific management. will you commit to implementing united states executive branch policy and carrying out the law related to space situational awareness. >> thank you. >> we are taking some very specific actions. i would note that the data repository associated with space situational awareness that you
alluded to, it be a demonstration conducted here very shortly within the next several weeks for agency partners and it's our attempt to base on that demonstration bring it up to congress so you can observe what we have gone consistent with the law itself. we're also looking based on the napa report at a number of al -- alternatives. the merger requires careful consideration of operational
responsibilities. you may want to take a look at that. we try to clarify what we are doing consistent with the law. >> the authority of the office of space commerce resides with the secretary of commerce, not with noaa. i hope we can sew some expedition happening there. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time.
>> a much better understanding is needed of the composition and chemistry, the gerks o xo constellation is expected to launch in the early 2030s. will this satellite as planned help build a baseline understanding of the aerosoles? >> yes. >> how would it contribute to climate science? >> a lot of people think it's about temperature but a lot of initial conditions that set off what's going to happen are driven by atmospheric chemistry. they either reflect sunlight
resulting in local cooling or they may absorb sunlight. >> how can noaa improve its molding of the composition in the short term with the tools and equipment that are available? >> we have a couple of capabilities. one is thank you to the hills support for acquisition of another of a gulf stream 550.
>> what policy changes does no need to advance its mission? >> i think we actually have a lot of authority. we have 200 different authorities to conduct a lot of these activities which is at issue. we could talk about it at some point. i believe part of this boils down to understanding what the nature of the interagency dynamic is which is why i've been vocal about noaa having a lead as the primary authoritative source for products an services just as we are for weather navigational chart ts. i think that's a required capability.
>> it will monitor air quality during daylight hours. can you describe how noaa is contributing to this mission and how advanced air quality monitoring will contribute to the agency's decision making. >> i would like to get back to you on that. i think that requires a detail technical element. i'd like to make sure we get that right. >> is nop preparing for sales on the projects which could come as early as next year? >> we're working very closely with our colleagues.
>> with that i'll yield back. thank you. >> thank you for letting me pop on even though i'm not a member of the subcommittee to ask a few questions about the wildfires. i have just a couple of questions. first, how will the next generation of noaa satellites improve wildfire detection and monitoring. also, what other space based
observation capabilities for near realtime detection has noaa explored. have we thought about small satellite constellations and finally, what is noaa doing on interagency collaboration when it comes to wile fire modelling and detection. not just with other agencies but also with non-federal partners to improve prevention and response? >> yes. thank you for that question. i use noaa information to make a decision to spend money to do a fuel abatement effort on my property. this touches people at the very personal level right in their pocketbook. i resonate very much with the tone of your question.
at noaa, we are responsibility for the detection side using satellite and capabilities. now that we have higher resolution for detecting lightning, we can predict where the fires are going to initiate. then comes the human element where our incident meteorologists are unseen with the firefighters. we need to continue training them. the last part of our responsibility is in the, if you will, the effects of the fire. we have new products that will allow high resolution where the smoke is going to go.
it will be a 15 million dollar investment but operational asset for those meteorologists. we have the inner agency working group. >> thank you very much for that insight. i'm wondering, in addition, to the high level interagency work, what capacity do you have to work with other actors. the state of california we have in oregon does as well.
you have legal authority. do you have the resources to do all of that. what's the status? >> we do have a lot of authorities. we have a lot of capability. i made the personal convenience of the governors that if they need embedded fire meteorologists we're ready to provide that. we also have people embedded in the interagency fire center up in boise. we do have the capability. there are no constraints with respect to our work with the private sector and i would say engagement has known been an issue for us. >> thaink. the california and the wildlife and the loss of property and
life but the smoke comes all the way to the east coast. it's an issue for the whole country and i thank you for your information. i yield back. >> before bringing our hearing to a close, i want to thank the administrator for testifying before our committee today. the record will remain open for two weeks for questions the committee may ask of the witnesses. the witness is excused and the hearing is now adjourned. thank you so much.
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