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tv   Hearing on Climate Change Weather  CSPAN  December 30, 2021 2:11pm-3:46pm EST

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weather emergencies, as well as the best act, which are be introducing students, to veterans who are housed in dial, when competing for rental housing as civilians. i also like to welcome our administrator, dr. richard, thank you for being here to testify about the vital work of this agency. the climate crisis is a very real impact that is taken today,
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underscoring the important of admission to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, and coast, sharing the knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. extreme weather events are going dollar disasters which are on the rise. the environmental research and storage of activities are critical to saving lives and safeguarding our economy. earlier this month, hurricane ida, which made landfall caused historic and deadly levels of rainfall and flooding across my district and region. new jersey is not a stranger to flooding. but an event of this magnitude makes us invest in resilience and not just recovery. climate change is rapidly testifying, and it has or moisture increasing flood risk. supporting the work of dedicated researchers and forecasters will help improve lead times for extreme weather and accusation
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alert. to better understand how climate change impacts extreme offense. americans note that the products and services are on a daily basis, often without even realizing it. the value an example is on the phone. in addition, fire fighters rely on meteorological data to figure out when ace inferno will spread. we use products to be strategic about our irrigation proposition. local officials use real-time data to issue warnings to close pieces. the regional integrated science and assessment program will make informed, infrastructure and plane decisions that will withstand changing climate and so much more. this will provide many more types of useful information because of its extensive network of earth systems and observation. these observational systems
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collect data from ships aircraft, satellites, radar and more. knowing scientists then processed to provide forecasts and predictions in a successful manner for all of us to benefit from. that is why my colleagues and i on the science committee must continue to support noah's work. it means understanding what the agency needs to expand with their current stewardship activities for future needs. it provides necessary high-performance communication capabilities to conduct research and earth systems models. it also brings their debts workforce with hiring diversity. last but certainly not least, it means pulling with integrity. the scientific enterprise took a beating over the last several years when it came to scientific integrity. we need to restore science with our invaluable federal scientist. i am pleased that the biden administration has taken steps to provide investments in fiscal year 2022 and beyond.
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these investments will be critical to advancing life-saving work and help americans across the country. i look forward to hearing the administrators spanish -- vision for cutting edge science and how we can support the legislation we face today. the chair recognizes ranking member bice for an opening statement. >> thank you. i also want to thank -- welcomed the administrator and they can for his time. although we've had some great administrators, it is been a few years since we have had a confirmed minister to. i want to congratulate you him, and i want to say i would like to work together. last year, there were 22 water and climate disasters in the united states. they exceeded $1 billion in losses. communities around the country have struggled to deal with the extreme events, including hurricanes, floods, droughts,
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wildfires and the collapse of the streets. there are lasting consequences to the severe weather. my constituency with that diploma. it is hard in tornado alley. found tornadoes will deal with funder storms, which follow quickly, leaving just minutes for people to find safety. natural disasters can be dousing a altering. the data and services that it provides can assist all americans with better access to our timely warnings and support. every new goal is to help all the property. with forecasting observation, it might be the widely known outfit, noaa has a high-ranking mission. management to observation. the products have a tremendous economic impact, and affect more than one third of america's domestic. the nuclear 22 need to request for noah -- noaa is a 22% ink
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crease for muster spending. with such a large increase, i look forward to hearing from administrators on the priorities for the agency. i'm certainly not opposed to investing, but we must ensure that administration is adequately put pairing -- preparing a budget. hiring, upgrade infrastructure, ranging you research projects, and a variety of other issues. money can be a curse before it is a blessing. therefore, priorities must be set and decisions must be made. when it comes to the specifics of the measure 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 it, and it is had a timely implementation that has
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been a priority for both sides of the aisle. it is a project that is absently critical to reclaiming and maintaining international 8 -- leadership in weather production. however, i was pleased to see noaa focus on increasing higher performance capabilities. last year, one of noaa system was ranked number 88 on the top 500 list of fastest supercomputers in the world. it continues into the acceleration of weather modeling across noaa and the national weather service. this in turn will improve predictions of high-impact weather events and evaluate the potential future direction for models and data assimilation. i hope to hear more on how noah can collaborate -- noaa can collaborate with other agencies, including the fastest supercomputers in the world. slick especially with an agency that is clear subject matter
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expert is the most efficient use of taxpayer money and we shouldn't encourage as much as possible. lastly, i look forward to discussing how noaa will leverage existing centers and scientific expertise to inspire and support the next generation of stem students. oklahoma is proud to have a component of noaa zipper structure, the national weather center. the work conducted provides lifesaving services for the entire country. it will keep the next generation of technology, and we must ensure that our instruments and the entire infrastructure are a world of us. meteorologists, oceanographers, by arguing just, and other researchers should not have to settle for outdated buildings or cramped laboratories. every member of this committee has priorities for their district, and i am sure the administrator has some as well. i am excited to hear how noaa
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plans to balance these and how we can maximize our returns on investment. again, i want to thank you ms. strader for testifying before the committee. i look forward to this engaging session. i yelled back the balance of my time. rep. johnson: we are pleased to have miss johnson with us. we now recognize the chairwoman for an opening statement. rep. johnson: good morning. i would like to give a warm welcome to our witness, noaa administrator dr. richard spinrad. he is testifying before the committee 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
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cutting edge science, but 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 an unprecedented string of natural disasters made worse by climate change. we've seen extreme heat and drought conditions out west that set the stage for this record-breaking wildfire season. last month, hurricane ida rapidly intensified in the gulf of mexico before making landfall, due to warmer water temperatures.
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in addition, warmer atmospheric conditions brought heavy precipitation leading to extraordinary flooding along the gulf coast and all the way up to new england. this one devastating storm killed dozens and left countless others with their property destroyed. each year seems to have more multi-billion-dollar weather and climate disasters than the previous. noaa's scientific observations, predictions, and warnings have always been vital to americans across the country. but they are becoming increasingly important for helping americans prepare for extreme events exacerbated by climate change. this committee is steadfast in supporting
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noaa as the authoritative source for weather and climate information. i am glad chairwoman sherrill spoke to the importance of this in her remarks. this committee has worked in a bipartisan fashion to authorize r&d activities that help reduce our emissions and mitigate climate change. noaas weather and climate programs also play an important role in addressing the climate crisis. noaa data can be used to inform adaptation and resilience decisions at a community level. noaas scientists contribute to major climate reports that influence policy around the world, including the national climate assessments and the ipcc assessment reports. it is reassuring to see the president elevate the importance of noaa within his administration.
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we have the first senate-confirmed administrator in over four years, who is also eminently qualified. the administration has significantly increased its budget request for noaa. noaa also has a seat on multiple white house-level interagency working groups tackling our most pressing climate issues. i look forward to hearing from administrator spinrad today about his goals to advance noaas mission of science, service, and stewardship. noaa has an important role to play in addressing the climate crisis, and we are fortunate to have an experienced leader like administrator spinrad to guide the agency. in closing, i again want to welcome you to the committee, administrator spinrad. i hope this will be the first of
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many positive interactions you have with this committee. with that, i yield back the balance of my time . rep. sherrill: we are also please have mr. lucas with us today. we recognize mr. lucas for an opening statement rated thank you. i have come my colleagues, welcome. it is great to have you here today. we've a broad array of responsibilities ranging from weather forecasting and climb prediction to ocean and atmospheric observation. noaa's work benefits america's and ranchers. coastal communities, disaster personnel. landless planners, weather forecasters, and everyday citizens rely on noaa's daily work hidden house research is ground breaking and the publicly available environmental data they collect has an immense amount of impact. that is why am eager to hear from the administrator, dr. rick spinrite today. as noaa's former chief scientist
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and head of oceanic and atmospheric research, i know the administrator is very nil your with this committee, and the work we do. in fact, to give you a sense of how intertwined our paths have been, administrator spinrite was present in his official oa our capacity at the 2006 dedication of the national weather service are in norman,, there's a great picture of him right next to jim kent tori that i want to share with everyone. all of this is to say that i believe the image strader speaks the science communities language. we may not agree on that exact way to do certain things, but i think we can engage in a meaningful discussion or both sides are heard and valued. at the end of the day, whether is nonpartisan. severe events don't travel along party lines. that's why we'll remind my
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colleagues, just as i have done in years past when republicans were in control, the administration's top priority should be aligned with those core priorities. putting life and property. today, i look forward to hearing from the human strader on how he envisions inventing those missions and having the ability to save lives. one issue i would like to address today is commercial data supply. prize tools covert to, and operations that are capable to literally applicable to literally every single district in the country. whether it is a ranch in oklahoma, a fishing captain in florida, firefighter in oregon, they all depend on information noaa provides. but is more private sector companies enter the picture, with the ability to gather their own environment weather data, we seek to balance the capacity with commercial data. simply put, noaa is no longer
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the only provider in the market. oftentimes, it has a collection of data with a same quantity of data from the private sector. i can't assume that we literally can't assume an endlessly increasing budget. at some point the bloom will pop. believe me. i want noaa to be successful across his mission areas. we can best ensure that by prioritizing ending and standing up to prove programs that the private history cannot collect data while preparing for a commercially competitive future. again, i want to thank you ms. rader's been today. i yield back the balance of my time. rep. johnson: thank you. i'd like to let the representative introduce her fellow oregonian. >> thank you. it really is a pleasure to introduce dr. richard spain rad.
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he is an administrator of the noaa, and a fellow oregonian. the doctor is an internationally renowned scientist and leader with more than 35 years of experience. she -- she worked under president obama. from 2003 until 2010, he served as the head of noaa's office of economic research and the national oceans permit. he has a leadership position with authors of nasal research and opportunity, and was awarded the civilian service award and the navy's highest civilian were pursuing throughout his career. he has held multiple faculty positions, including most recently as a professor of oceanography at oregon state university. earlier this year, i had the honor of introducing the doctor at this confirmation hearing in front of the senate commerce science and transportation committee.
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mr. coastal corporation bixby of the 11th noaa administrator, the first senate member since 2017, and the third from oregon state. now as measures of this committee especially represent if gonzales knows, my alma mater is the university of oregon, and yet i am extremely proud of oregon state university here. since assuming the position of noaa administrator engine, the doctor has been a force preserving strengthening the noaa core mission of science, stewardship and stewardess -- and service. he will lead leaders from the agencies and entrust them with corning client work across noaa. the councils also tasked with advancing equitable delivery of noaa science to all communities and especially those most severely affected by climate change. additionally, last week, noaa announced 41 million in grants from coastal oceanic and great
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lakes observation programs. that's going to help the scientific immunity and others better understand our valuable course and respond to climate change, so i want to thank the dr. for spending time with this community this morning. i look for to hearing more about the important work noaa's doing as our nation's premier climate science agency. thank you again, and cheer. i yield back balance of my time. rep. sherrill: you if i missed for your spoken testimony coming or wooden testimony will be included in the record prehearing brief we have. you have five minutes to question the witness prayed with that i'm pleased to turn over to administrator spin rad. dr. spinrad: thank you for the opportunity to testify today, regarding my priorities for the
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national oceanic and atmospheric in ministration. a special thanks goes to representative thank you. one week from today marks my 100th day as administrator of noaa. this happens to be my third tour of duty at noaa - previously, i served as chief scientist during the obama administration, and a few years before that, i led our office of oceanic and atmospheric research and the national ocean service. in my first 100 days as administrator, i can tell you that the urgency with which noaa is working to address our nation's most pressing challenges is like never before. from combatting the climate crisis and bolstering the equitable development and delivery of climate science and services; reinforcing scientific integrity and rebuilding our scientific workforce; ensuring our agency is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible; to promoting economic development while maintaining environmental stewardship - the noaa workforce has been firing on all cylinders to meet the increasing demands of our mission. that mission is science, service, and stewardship -- to understand and predict changes
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in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts; to share that knowledge and information with others; and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. as noaa administrator, i would like to share with you my main priorities in pursuit of this mission, and in alignment with the goals of the biden-harris administration. the first pillar of that mission - our science - is at the core of our agency and serves as the foundation for smart policy and decision-making. from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, we are observing, measuring, monitoring, and collecting data, and turning those publicly-available data into earth system models, information, tools, and forecasts for public use. noaa's trusted data are the basis for your weekend weather forecast that you can access on your phone with a press of a button; they provide your constituents with forecasts and warnings for harmful algal blooms; feed into our models that predict the movement of wildfire smoke in real-time; and identify impacts of climate change on fisheries and living marine resources to improve management. it is essential that noaa's data and information adhere to
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the principles of scientific integrity in order to maintain our trusted status and issue our lifesaving weather forecasts and warnings as well as our climate predictions and projections. the biden-harris administration has made upholding scientific integrity as a main priority, and i have already taken steps to ensure noaa not only meets, but exceeds, those expectations, including by requiring all noaa political appointees to complete scientific integrity training. the second pillar of our mission is service, and as administrator, i have made it one of my top priorities to expand upon noaa's authoritative climate products and services that can be applied to a diverse range of missions. we play a unique role in that not only do we collect data . we play a league -- unique role in that not only do we collect data, but and conduct research, but we are mandated to make it operational - research to operations,
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applications, and commercialization, or r2x as it is known in the scientific community. the operations part means that we must provide the public and our federal, state, tribal, and private sector partners with actionable environmental information in order to make decisions in the face of climate change. these decisions can range from businesses planning where to locate their next offices; municipalities looking to ensure their plans for construction of new housing developments will be resilient to increasing sea level rise, flooding, and heavy precipitation; large insurance companies seeking to incorporate climate risk into their insurance policies; or a resident of new orleans wondering if they should rebuild or relocate after the latest hurricane. my vision is that people will know they can turn to noaa for reliable, accurate, accessible, relevant, easy-to-use climate information for planning, adaptation, and resilience decisions and actions. and we are seeing increasing demands for this kind of information. as demonstrated by the record-setting summer of extreme heat, exceptional drought, raging wildfires, unprecedented floods, disastrous
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hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, the climate crisis is upon us and requires a whole-of-government response. at noaa, we are responding to the administration's call to action to work across the federal government to prepare data and information that can be applied to sustainable. the new blue economy offers climate spark innovation and economic growth. to fully realize noaa mission, i think it is important to focus on how equity is everything we do. this will better position noaa to help tackle the climate crisis, produce
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better science, deliver better services, be better stewards of the environment and the economy, and build a more inclusive workforce. thank you for hearing me, and i look forward to answering any questions you may have. rep. sherrill: will begin our first round of questions. the chair recognizes herself. i've minutes. flooding is the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters in the ice age. we see them sing affects from business owners and community members. we saw devastating and deadly flooding for hurricane ida. unfortunately, the forecasts were not as accurate as they could be. that is due in large part to outdated precipitation data. one woman in my district whose
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house flooded, and who had to be rescued along with her children said to me, if i have a class, i thought would be fine. they would pass the west. that is why i introduced a package of bipartisan bills to introduce the flood act. can you speak to the importance of having long-term accurate and complete weather data and climate data which mark what are you doing to ensure that we get the information we need to improve safety and resilience? dr. spinrad: i concur completely with the premise that you stated in your question. with regard to the need for improved forecast. when you look at what happened with hurricanes, and ida, we saw , for example, in central park, a 100-year-old record for rain rates. rainbow rates. it grew at twice.
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once with the hurricane. 1.3 inches per hour, and then a few days later, a week later, we saw hurricane ida get over three ages of rain. that was in the new york and new jersey area. we certainly recognize that this is a critical area that we need to focus on. we've made a lot of improvements for all. with respect to floods, specifically, i should point out this is all based on our concept of impact a's decisions are, so we want to make sure where we improvements include forecasting, for example, it is specific to where the impacts are greatest. in lives and property. part of this is going to be about increasing the resolution of forecast. we have recognized that 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.
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perhaps, more critical to any other of our environmental phenomena. to do that means advanced capabilities in high-performance computing. it means taking advantage of newer kinds of observations, more sophisticated radars, and doing research for high-resolution processes. i'd also point out that it means, in the case of letting probably upping our game with respect to working with her sister agencies. part of the flooding equation if you will is a really good understanding of the topography and the landscape which means close coordination with our colleagues at agencies like the united states geological survey. then last piece, i think to do this fine-tuning the high-resolution it's required for, example, to provide the accurate or cast for the concision we just described as making sure the great research that were doing in our laboratories with our colleagues in academia is effectively transitioning. we can't afford to say yeah, 20 years from now were going to have a great research product you. so i am moving aggressively to
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try and institute processes that allow us to do testbeds, valuations, get the product, if you will, out of the laboratory and into the forecast office. much sooner than we might've done in the past. >> i applaud you for those efforts. they are incredibly necessary. especially in northern jersey and other areas across the country. in april, we held a hearing on the importance of working towards climate equity and the need for proof climate services provided by the federal government prayed we heard from witnesses about the growing need for actionable climate information delivered in an accessible manner. this is critical to helping communities across america make informed decisions. you sort of alluded to this here discussion about getting information out. i have a few seconds and we can come back. depending on the way of the hearing, i'd like to understand your vision for expanding noah's delivery of climate delivery
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services that americans have business in equable excess information, tools, services to adapt to the changing climate. what additional mandates would noaa need to achieve this vision, and i'll take my answer for the record, and i may come back to you after others have had time to ask a question. thank you so much for your testimony. now, i'd like to recognize our ranking member, miss bice. >> thank you. dr., earlier this week, i introduced legislation to sponsor the congressmen that focuses on the noaa noaa weather radio. many don't know the system exist, but we are all too familiar with it in oklahoma and lifesaving capabilities the small radius had. also, many of us are very familiar with the beeping it makes. maybe in the middle of the night to make sure you're aware that their thunderstorms headed your way. while maintaining the existing system is certainly a priority,
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i worry about the ever digitized future or handheld radio is viewed as obsolete. can you talk about the future of noaa radio, the potential for upgrades. specifically, you touch on transitioning to ip-based mutations. backup can occasion options like satellites, and alternative options to reach the most from areas of the country. >> yes. thank, ranking member. this is a critical capability that noah brought a couple of decades ago. i would make a quick point with respect to the radio, as it started with a radio that would provide weather information. it has been such a success that is i think you know it's now expanded to a vast array of warning capabilities. it includes being used for amber alert. for less children, for example. so the tool is proven you it's worth extraordinarily. he reaches 95% of the american
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population. that is terrific, but it's not good enough. in fact, the last mile, and if you will, some extent the digital gap a lot of the population faces, that is what we are trying to address. you talked about modernization and you brought up what i would say are the two main components that we are working on right now. one is the incorporation through the internet providers so that we can do in fact expand the capability, and we are also looking at the increased number of transmitters out there. turns out we can get for 95 to 97% with the american population. somewhere between about 50 and a hundred new transmitters out there, so we know there are certain things we can do with current technology, and then finally, yes, absolutely. we are looking at the expanded capabilities of satellite-based backup for noaa weather radio. this is for the commercial sectors going. it makes perfect sense as part of our group thinking about
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moving for. i was civilly closed by adding that is my asportation is to miss traitor that just as we have seen a rather radio going from, if you will, just weather forecast to a broader array of cap these, i foresee no weather radio future to be noaa environmental radio. it will be providing all range of the forecast and predictions with the full spectrum of hazards and other natural events that we have to be warning people about, so there is a lot of opportunity for expanding capability of modernization of noaa weather radio. >> that speaking of modernization, i believe frank member lucas had mentioned in her opening statement about the importance of it ran oklahoma is home to the national weather service. it houses severe storm weber torrey and the storm prediction center. the work being done there is absolutely essential. it predicts and alerts the public of severe weather but also understands the root causes of severe weather and explores innovative ways to use that
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knowledge to improve forecasts and warnings. as these extreme weather events become more common, the need for more equipment, more full-time employees, more space operate is becoming urgent. you believe the national weather center is in need of expansion and upgrades, and what investment in the center to training the next generation of meteorologists? >> thank you for the question. i would point out that ricky member lucas brought up in his opening statement, i am proud of the fact that my name is on the building. i was the head of the office of oceanic and atmospheric research for the billy was put up. i followed his progress ever since. i've been there many times, and in the spirit of your question, just this past week, i'd a long conversation with dr. barry moore, who i think you probably know from the university. iphone and from years and years, and he brought the issue of potential expansion. i shared with him that i think the model that was originally invoked to establish the national weather center is just
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as valid now as it was then. i would like to undertake the effort to try to figure out what are the expansion requirements and opportunities for noaa's facilities did we have both research and operational facilities at the weather center, so i'm fully prepared to pursue that question in close conjunction with our colleagues at the university. interestingly, with the private sector inhabitants if you will, occupants of some of the facilities right near the center i look forward to having the discussion and i do think there is opportunity for consideration of expansion. >> thank. i yield back. >> thank you. i now recognize the chairwoman of the full committee, ms. johnson, provide miss. >> -- for five minutes. >> in a march report, by the committee's staff, it found that
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noaa's overall workforce had declined biome was 9% over the last decade. further, the report found that part -- particularly, in its stem workforce. with 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 workforce and the rest of the federal science enterprise reflect the diversity of america. can you please discuss how noaa is working to address the staffing declines in staff diversity issues identified in this report, and what is the agency doing to attract and retain more minority scientists and staff in a particular african-american scientist for staff, or how would you, how are
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you working to create a culture of inclusion, and is there anything congress can do to help to move these efforts along? wax thank you for that question. i share all of the concerns you described. the state quite bluntly, too much of noaa's workforce look like me. in the past, the answer has been that we will fix it over the next several generations. that's not good enough. 80% of our workforce is white. cities and percent is male. those numbers are changing slightly, there are specific things that we are doing with respect with the hiring process to have staff hired more aggressively to ring in capital experts to help move the process of hiring accelerated, if you will, and we see dramatic improvement in terms of the time it takes to get some buddy into the federal government.
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also looking aggressively to hire direct authorities. we have one of the strongest educational programs with historically black colleges and diversities and serving institutions. we are not taking advantage of that direct connection, if you will, so through educational partnership programs were looking at how we can expand, direct hire authority, give some of the graduates of these minority serving institutions opportunities to come aboard for quickly. i would also point out that we have dramatically enhanced the visibility and engagement with employee resource groups. we target areas of underrepresented communities within the workforce. we have a dialogue with them. we are working aggressively with our office of inclusion civil rights. we are identifying where the specific areas are that we can enhance the hiring activity, so there's a number of both programmatic and systemic, and
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if you will, policy areas where i'm moving to try to make very clear that we cannot wait for a generational change. there are things we need to do right now. the other part is how that the hiring process -- we have adverse selection panels and that we have a specific emphasis on recruitment of under representative populations within the workforce. rep. johnson: scientific integrity is at the heart of noah's -- noaa's work, and is vital to ensure the public's trust in federal science and scientists. however, some deficiencies in noaa scientific integrity policy were exposed in a june 2020 report by the national academy of public administration following hurricane darian. the sharp gate incident. i understand that the noaa
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scientific integrity policy was updated in january but it remains unclear what specific steps noaa's taking to limit the recommendations from the napa report. can you explain that, briefly? dr. spinrad: i take scientific integrity very seriously. i was a co-author of the original scientific integrity policy some 12 years ago. we have series concerns or political influence on the science. the 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. the incident that you described. but all share -- i will share that i was outside complainant referencing the particular activity, and i saw where the integrity policy has some flaws, and so, coming in at the admin straighter, i making sure that
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we are actively participating in the effort being led by the president's science advisor, eric lander, to bake -- make best practices, it establish them as the norm, and develop a governmentwide approach to scientific integrity. that's one thing. taking the best of class programs, if you will. the other is, one of the things we learned was that within noaa and specifically the department of commerce, or parent department, we needed to see bolstering of department policies. i've been in discussion with our secretary grades about how noaa can work with the department to ensure the departments policies are strong and effective as well. the third thing i would bring up is that from the day i arrived, i insisted that we make all political appointees in noaa --
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scientific integrity training and, straighten awareness of and familiarity of and respect for noaa scientific integrity policy, and i can tell you that as of today, every one of our appointees has taken that integrity training. that includes myself. rep. johnson: i yield. rep. sherrill: i recognize the ranking member of the commit for five mins. rep. lucas: my bill, the weather research and forecast invasion act of 2017 is the birthplace of noaa's commercial weather data program so as you might imagine, i'm quite invested in its success. so, can you, as you can imagine, i was thrilled when noaa awarded its third delivery order in august. but i'm concerned that we could be leaving valuable data on the table. as i understand, company's that were not in orbit when noaa initiated its commercial data,
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it is not eligible to display until a new proposal is initiated, potentially a year from the. after successfully testing verification by noaa, what recourse does the company have two immediately and gauge it with noah -- noaa two engaged with lifesaving data for the forecast. i would point out that i do share an appreciation for a desire to see more strong explication of commercial data. there is a cautionary note of course. with regard to that, we need to make sure that it beats the standards that are applied and also that it is stable. the -- in the worst-case scenario, we end up developing products and services that are critically dependent on commercial data, and for variety of economic or business reasons, that data is not available. part of the exercise, part of what we do, that is the evaluation process that we are now undertaking. with respect for the data you
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alluded to. it is actually data looking at something called radio occultation. how satellite data changes as goes to the atmosphere. we are getting 3000 profiles a day. it is really exciting. we'll see how the use the data, how to improve the forecast. once those assessments are made, and it will take low bit of time, for research to be done, for the demonstration of the efficacy and impact of the data. we want to make sure that we have established a process mechanism to ensure equality and the data accuracy and the sustained availability of the data. all that is fully consistent with the weather at, and everything that you built into the weather act. i am eager, in the spirit of being in the department of congress -- comments -- commerce to see a clear enterprise approach to acquiring commercial data, ensuring accuracy, and ensuring sustained ability. >> i appreciate that. as long as it's an ongoing
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process i think that's the direction. on a similar note, i want to talk about space weather data. the committee passed the pro-swift act last congress, and i was keen to include an amendment allowing no contract go to commercial weather data. in a meeting with my staff, noaa informed us that space weather data capacity is fluid in the commercial weather data program, it will request information. companies responded, but none met the mission. the rfi was sent out in september, that was before the swift act. it wasn't signed into law until october, so while noah -- noaa may have been proactive, i don't think the updated responsibilities for space weather related research forecasting and capacity, perhaps were fully considering that in the rfi. so, straighter, can you comment on or commit to publish another
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rfi or request proposal that would be related to this? >> i would like to get back to you on the specific the file that laid out. -- on the specifics of how that played out. but you have my commitment. >> that is all i can ask. >> thank you, ranking member lucas. and now i will defer to the committee counsel for recognition. >> i want to talk about hypoxia, hypoxic zones in coastal water off the western coast. ocean temperatures are warming. there could be a decrease in water's ability to retain oxygen and that exit worse.
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oregon grappled with episodes that not only disrupt ecosystems, they also disrupt the welfare of the coastal economy. episodes of the coastal economy is threatening crabs. that is responsible for 39.5 million dollars in annual value over the past decades. what are some challenges noaa face now in monitoring and preventing hypoxia? what can congress do in addition to providing appropriate -- >> thank you for that question congresswoman bonamici. i am familiar with the issues as i think many oregonians and folks in the u.s. are because it impacts each food rises and availability.
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the fundamental here -- issue here is observation capability. we are rolling out capabilities for measuring hypoxia. this is one of those phenomena for the which the observational capability was needed years ago but it is only now currently really getting hard and and -- hardened and turned on. some crabbers now include oxygen sensors for making these observations. we are incorporating this in the observing systems. many parameters are being observed. research investment into predictability is one of the tough nuts to crack. it is one thing to say this will happen -- was going to happen yesterday in the ocean. it is another to say, this will happen next week. we are doing extensive research
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with science centers and universities in the pacific northwest. we also have the authority for developing al jarreau blooms and hypoxia events of national significant -- algal blooms and hypoxia events of national so that vegan -- national surveys against -- national significance strategies. once people understand what is noaa's responsibility and the ep a responsibility we will have a better handle on how we specifically want to address this. >> that is really helpful. i want to ask you too, i really appreciate that noaa is engaged in efforts to mitigate the west effects of climate crisis, particularly in fisheries, estuaries.
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let me ask you about the climate counsel that reflects the biden administration's full of government approach. what are its priorities? >> d noaa -- the noaa climate counsel is the only counsel that reports directly to me. we have a lot of councils for human resources and many things. this council was set up shortly i arrived as administrator. it is the leading career folks from the agency. already, we have used this counsel to establish priorities as we formulate our fy 23 budget. it has helped build the equity framework for climate products and services. i now have a document the counsel has developed. we are using the council to develop the rest of government. so, we invited the special envoy
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for will climate, john kerry, his office, to talk with our know it climate counsel as well and we are doing the same thing within the department. so, it is a two way communication mechanism and a strategic body to define policy and priority for the agency. >> i want to follow-up on chairwoman johnson's question. we have had a conversation over diversifying the workforce of the sciences. one of the things in particular is the lack of women in jobs, particularly, at noaa. it is getting women in the field and also keeping them there. dr., will you commit to carrying on policies that adopt her son of an put in -- dr. sullivan put in place to address sexual harassment, that has been particularly and ensure -- an issue at the research level. >> absolutely.
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i will go one further than kathy sullivan. we have already setup a sexual assault, sexual harassment counsel. we have built in many processes, especially with our ships, to make sure we have prevented that and established an office for workplace violence prevention and response. we have taken actions in setting up facilities and mechanisms. i have made a strong message in that regard. for the first time in noaa history, half of our assistant administrators are women now. we will have an opportunity shortly because the head of the national weather service has announced his retirement. we may have a woman in that position as well so we are moving on aggressively >>. >>inc. you for that commitment. my time is expired.
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i yield back. >> mr. fencer is recognized. >> thank you chair cheryl and ringing member. administer spin red decided to get legislation to mitigate the impact of radar obstruction on detection and prediction capabilities. these obstructions were dressed in a fall 29 in joint study on the impact of wind farms and weather radar. whether forecasting can be affected by nearby buildings, terrain, and wind turbines. that said, it is crucial that we do not restrict the growth of clean wind energy by putting excessive redtape on windfarm construction. potential legislation would focus on researching and testing options like new processing algorithms, radar, commercial date are in those technologies.
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it would involve consultation with private industry, academia, noaa, the faa, and the dod among other group. have noaa or other national weather service conducted research on specific technology based options to reduce obstruction when developing systems? >> yes. thank you for that question. i appreciate your invoking the issues with our calling at dod and faa who share similar concerns. as a consequence, we have a wind turbine radar interference working group addressing those issues chaired by the department of energy. i would say there are a couple of potential approaches. you alluded to one, being -- beam forming using the current system. we are researching that. i would also point out that i
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work for many years and became fascinated with the loose -- the use of basil ray radar by that navy. going on 20 years, i have been a strong advocate of radar essay potential -- as a potential replacement. what are the approaches we might night -- we might take? can we use the next generation of radar as a solution while balancing the renewable energy industry? >> thank you mr. spindrad. i appreciate that collaboration. we need to always together. would you and other members at noaa be open to joining with my office and other representatives from the wind energy industry to have a discussion on potential legislation solutions for mitigating the effects of radar? >> we would be more than happy to cooperate. >> i am very grateful for that. thank you.
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this is a big topic. my district's number one agriculture -- or, the number one wind producer under the country. thank you for that. >> thank you. >> i yield back. >> i needed to unmute. thank you very much for hosting this hearing. dr., thank you for your present and testimony. i come from michigan where the great lakes are literally our lifeblood. the lakes outline our boundaries. they define who we are as a state. we have 10,000 miles of great lakes shoreline in the region. they are central to our livelihood, our economy. part of my district that i represent includes the lake
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huron shoreline, part of this vibrant coastal economy. according to noah --noaa, michigan's coastal economy employs 1.7 5 million people each year, with $92 billion in wages. the great lakes fishing industry is critical to the health of the communities across the region. commercial, recreational, tribal fishing generates $7 billion in economic activity annually and supports 75,000 jobs through the region. we look to strengthen and bolster our coastal communities. one of the things has -- that has evolved is fish farming at all a culture. -- is fish farming and aquaculture. when done properly, aquaculture can create high-quality food that is abundant and affordable. however, importantly, when done improperly camp -- when done
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improperly, it can do more harm than good. we have seen in michigan proposals for aquaculture in the great lakes. there is one aquaculture operation on the osama river which contains the so-called holy waters of trout fishing, a very sensitive ecosystem that supports trout. these operations can create massive pollution, spread disease, spawn invasive species and a multibillion-dollar fisheries in the great lakes. -- and threaten multibillion-dollar fisheries in the great lakes. at one point noah -- noaa weather encouraging aquaculture under the great lakes. that is why i have introduced legislation to ban harmful aquaculture in the great lakes and federally designated scenic rivers including the osama river
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-- osabo river in my district. can you address noaa role in making sure -- >> thank you representative kilby. -- kildee. you said that when aquaculture is done properly it may have an offense. -- benefits. i think that is the sweet spot for what noaa can bring to the table. we are very proud of our resources. rc grant program and also the great lakes environmental research lab that provides our main access for research activity in all the great lakes. the science has been done in a credible peer-reviewed -- properly, in my view means that
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science has been done in a credible peer-reviewed manner to assess the real impact. what are the real environmental or legal consequences of any particular approach? that is our responsibility. to drive what states and other local authorities may do, then, to interpret that science with establishing policies associated with aquaculture. it is the same argument i would make with respect to offshore aquaculture in the open ocean. we have a responsibility to make sure that the determination for what is proper is best on the -- based on the best possible scientific information. we have the horsepower and the intellectual capacity to do those studies that will provide the answers to policymakers like yourself to make the right decisions. >> i appreciate that, dr. spindrad. i wonder if in the few remaining seconds you might comment on other ways we can improve the
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blue economy in coastal communities data great lakes. >> my short answer, sir, is to listen. we are doing that now. we are going to regional climate equity roundtables to hear what are the answers to exactly the question you raised specific to the great lakes. in detroit, in october, to do exactly that. i do not want to presume or pre-designate what we think the answer is for building out the blue economy in the great lakes. i have my own personal views based on experience but i want to listen. municipalities, industries, local communities, stakeholders, your constituents, i want to hear what they think they need in order to build on the blue economy on the shores of the great lakes. >> thank you so much. i appreciate this. i appreciate the hearing, madam chair. i yield back. >> mr. katzen is recognized. >> thank you.
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thank you, mr. spindrad for coming and thank you to the committee. i want to chat about methane monitoring. 30 to 80 times as potent a greenhouse gas as co2. we are currently debating rules about possibly putting a fee on the release of methane. the nature of that fee is outside the jurisdiction of this committee. the way we calculate methane admissions is potentially outside the jurisdiction of this committee if we are talking about production, collection, distribution, consumption facilities. it is my understanding, and please correct me if i am wrong, that there is potentially as much as a 60% gap between the amount off methane we calculate from bottom-up analyses of leaders to top-down analyses from the satellites under your control.
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therefore, to some degree, our jurisdiction. some of that is because of man u function of the meters. -- malfunction of the meters. if you could educate us, first, on the degree to which satellite-based systems here contract methane and to what degree you have the granularity to actually get down and locate the point of methane released. let me stop there. i have follow-up questions, but i see you nodding your head. i welcome your general thoughts. >> thank you so much congressman kasten. --casten. first, i want to commit to getting a technical briefing to your staff on that. we have wonderful scientists working on observational technologies and i would love to have them talk specifically about what i know to be some of the highly geographic variations
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in that difference you have described. so, maybe 60% in one place, 10 in another. what are the reasons for that? part of it is the dynamics of what is driving the distribution of methane so you may not be able to observe it with one technology or another. you have started to give the answer i was going to bring up. that is the bottom top-down approach. we interpret bottom-up to mean giving a list of all sources, so many cattle operations, big loadings, so many services in a particular area. that means you should have so many tons of methane emitted per day. the top-down is using atmospheric observations to make these measures and try to conclude what the total emission is in a particular area. the gap between the bottom-up and top-down is highly variable. so, that is where our research is trying to close the gap. a lot of it depends on understanding the chemical and
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physical dynamics of how methane moves and changes. you are right. it is a potent greenhouse gas but it is -- it has a shorter half-life than carbon the oxide -- carbon the oxide. that is why some variants are dependent on time. so, to make sure we give yourself access to current capabilities. >> let's definitely do that. i understand that the saying will move to the atmosphere and you will try to figure it out. but with the data you have, and the data you could have subject to future technologies and funding, do you have the technical ability, at least in theory, to go down and identify the specific location of a methane release? or is that an insoluble problem? will we always be stuck depending on the bottom-up meters? >> my impression as we have the
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technical capability. it is a pragmatic question. can you deploy that number of sensors to make the kinds of optimizations you are talking about? i could characterize the degree between my home, falls church, and capitol hill. to do so, i would want many different temperature sensors between falls church and capitol hill. with methane, our ability to pinpoint depends upon the intensity of observational systems. >> i appreciate that. let's follow-up. i want to make sure that if we are going to go through and create these monetization no externalities, -- monetizational externalities, which i think is good, we have a good mix. whether that is a science problem or an algebra problem. >> very good.
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>> thank you madam chair. thank you dr. spindrad for being with us today. i represent alice county in florida in the tampa bay area surrounded on three sides by water. literally, it is a peninsula on a peninsula. as you can imagine, i have worked a lot with noah. it is critical -- with noaa. it is critical to my district and florida as a whole. i have been a long time supporter of the agency and have worked closely with noaa on a number of issues including reducing red tide. you may be aware of a bill i introduced in congress last year on the prevention and control of harmful algae brooms -- blooms. i was pleased to see the harmful algae bloom control incubator. can you tell me more? >> thank you. thank you for your support over the years.
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i appreciate that. this is an exciting opportunity reflected in a 7.5 million federal funding opportunity -- 75 -- 7.5 million federal funding dollar opportunity for an out gay bill -- and algie bloom incubator -- algae bloom incubator. we will look for technical feasibility. it is -- is it a sound concept? we want to look for environmental feasibility. solutions may have more damage to the varmint than the blooms -- the environment than the blooms itself. then, feasibility, scalability. what works in a laboratory might not work in a larger scale environment. so, technical feasibility. environment oh -- environmental reliability. then, scalability. those are the three main things we will look for in the
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proposals and i hope we get overwhelmed with proposals. >> this summer's red tide outbreak in tampa bay has been the worst loom observed -- algae bloom observed in years and it is returning again off anna maria island. i wrote to governor desantis urging him to request that noah determined the outbreak of national significance that would unlock federal funds for mitigation. congress gave noah -- noaa and the epa in 2019. despite the glowing problem -- the growing problem, noah has yet to implement the authority. --noaa has yet to implement the authority. why hasn't noaa used the authority yet? >> we are drafting. the federal register has been
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inviting -- the federal register notice inviting comments from the public on that should be coming out soon. we are working closely with the apa -- the epa who share some responsibilities on that. >> florida is home to several noaa facilities. several are in dire need of repairs and upgrades including the national hurricane center, the atlantic laboratory in miami. the impacts of climate change on these facilities make the situation more urgent. can you provide me on an update with plans for facility repairs and relocations, particularly, in the southeast? >> i would like a bit of a placeholder. i think we would want to spend more time with your staff to get more detailed responses to that. but somebody who has worked for noah for almost 20 years now, i have been to almost every noaa facility including those in southeast florida over many years.
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i share concerns about sustaining capabilities. we cannot be asking scientists to be doing work in facilities where there -- their safety and ability is compromise. so, we have undertaken a number of regional assessments of facilities to see, where are the priorities for investment? we have an investment bill. we are having trouble keeping up. we are hoping moves on the hill with respect to infrastructure will help resolve that. specifically, what facilities and where to spend our part of this conference of study we have done. we have done proper regional studies and we have two more in the next several months. >> thank you, doctor. i yield back. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, madam chair and ranking member and dr. spindrad
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as well. i am ranking member on the space and aeronautics subcommittee of this full committee. while most of noaa falls under the environmental subcommittee jurisdiction the office of space commerce files -- falls under the space subcommittee jurisdiction. the committee has a long history of oversight legislation. last year the national academy of public administration issued an independent report that concluded that the department of commerce is best suited to perform fsa -- the faa tax -- tasks within federal government and the osc views space tracking management as a predominantly a data management function rather than a prescript of role. the department of commerce, the ability to manage large,
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diverse, and complex data sets and provides technical expertise and other support to the office of space commerce for awareness and traffic manager. -- traffic management. as a result of the report findings, the appropriations act of 2021, the merger of space commerce with the office of commercial remote sensing in regulatory affairs and also provided $10 million to initiate open data architecture for space awareness. it appears that noaa is using these funds to pay for studies to revisit the topics. these cuts come on top of personnel changes that the --
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that threatened the department of congress capabilities. madam chairwoman, i would like to add two op-eds to the record, please.
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>> i am having meetings to address all of the issues you identified. we are taking very specific actions. for example, the data repository associated space situational awareness you alluded to, there will be interagency demonstrations conducted shortly within the next several weeks for agency partners. it is aren't, based on that inspiration, -- our intent, based on that demonstration, to bring it up to congress so you can observe consistent with the law. we are also looking at alternatives for the organizational design. the merger you alluded to requires careful consideration of the operational responsibilities and regulatory responsibilities.
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we do that in fisheries. we want to make sure we get it right. we are looking at alternatives. we will have that analysis ready shortly. i would point out that space traffic management is a little bit of a different animal in terms of authorities. the authority of the office of space commerce resides with the department of commerce, not with noaa. it is time to return that so they can leverage expertise in that apartment and chlorinate
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with other agencies on a level playing field. i hope we see extradition there. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i think the chair. dr. spindrad, thank you for being here today and your dedication. it is good to see someone so long in the business. a much better understanding is needed of the stratospheric composition for accurate modeling of the climate system dynamics. the geo satellite constellation is scheduled to launch in early 2030, including the geo xo central, which has an atmospheric composition sensor. with this satellite help build a baseline understanding of the stratospheric aerosols? >> yes. >> how would the resulting data
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contribute to climate science? >> part of climate science, and a lot of people tend to think of climate science is purely physical, about temperature, wind, or water. but a lot of the initial conditions that set off what will happen are driven by atmospheric chemistry. in the most fundamental matter, -- manner, depending on what the particulates are in the atmosphere, they either reflect sunlight resulting in cooling or may absorb sunlight, which will result in local heating. so, having a good understanding of the chemical construct of the particulates and makeup of the atmosphere is critical. >> the satellite launch is still a decade away. there is an urgent need for actual data right now. how can noaa improve monitoring and modeling of atmospheric composition in the short term?
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>> we have a couple of capabilities. one of which of course is the hills support for acquisition of a gulfstream 550. we would be putting in for additional g5 50. these allow us to do relatively high out of two stratospheric observation. having that platform alone will be a major improvement. >> very good. what additional resources does noaa need it to advance its mission? >> i think we have a lot of authority. we have 200 authorities to conduct these activities. that in itself is an issue we can talk about at some point. i believe that part of this boils down to understanding what the nature of the interagency dynamic is. i have been rather vocal about
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noah noaa noaa -- --noaa having a lead as the authoritative store -- a source for climate products and services just as we are for weather, charts, fishery stocks, etc.. i think that is a required capability. >> so the data is unrestricted to congress. teacher advances have been made in our ability to monitor -- major advances have been made in our ability to monitor air quality with satellites. i am glad that noaa is partnering to monitor air quality during daylight in a higher spatial resolution. can you describe how noaa is contributing to this mission and how air quality monitoring will contribute to agency decision-making?
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i am excited to see that offshore wind is being considered in the west coast. because of the deeper water, we require new technology. his noaa prepared for upcoming sales on those projects as early as next year? >> we are working very closely with our colleagues at interior specifically on the borough of ocean management on executives issues. >> exciting. i yield back. thank you. >> ms. lofgren is recognized. >> first, thank you for letting me pop on even though i am not a member of this subcommittee. to ask just a few questions about the wildfires way should. -- the wildfire situation. this has been a catastrophe in
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the west and our home state of california. certainly, federal resources are needed. sometimes, i think that we underestimate how improving modeling data can actually help in this situation. i have a couple questions. how will the next generation of noaa satellites improve wildfire detection and monitoring. also, what other space-based observation capabilities for real-time detection has noah explored? have we thought about small satellite constellations? finally, what is noaa doing on interagency collaboration when it comes to wildfire modeling and detection? with other agencies, but also, was nonfederal partners to improve prevention and response. >> yes, thank you for that
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question congresswoman lofgren. i am from oregon. my home in central oregon was within a few miles of the biggest fires this year. this for me is very personal. if i can briefly state, i used noaa to make a decision to spend money to do a fuel abatement effort on my property. so this touches people at a very personal level in their pocketbook. i resonate with the tone of your question. at noaa we are responsible from the detection side using satellites and also aircraft capability. one of the dramatic improvements noted by the president a few months ago is our lightning for, a relatively new capability -- a lightning wrapper -- a lightning wrapper, a relatively new capability. -- a lightning mapper, a relatively new capability. we can predict where fires will initiate.
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then, the human element. we need to continue training incident meteorologists. a lot of people believe it is done by computers or machines. it is actually the people that make the difference. the last part of our responsibility as in, if you will, the effects of the fire. the smoke. we have new products that will allow high resolution where the smoke is going to go. you had asked about the research component. we are excited about a fiscal year 2022 element we have established a fire whether test. it will be an investment to conduct the research you are talking about but also to operationalize it for incident meteorologists. the last comment is that the highest level of concern of the white house, the administration, why we have the interagency working group on fire looking at the best processes to develop
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for research and operations to mitigate and protect the public from an increased frequency and intensity in the future. >> thank you for that inside. i am wondering, in addition to the high-level interagency work, what capacity do you have to work with other actors, for example, in california, we have, and oregon doesn't help. even private-sector individuals -- oregon does as well. even private-sector individuals are getting involved. do you have the legal authority, the resources to do all of that? >> we have a lot of authority. we have a lot of capability. in the president's comments on fire a couple months ago i made the personal commitment to the governors that if they need embedded fire meteorologists we are ready to provide that and we also have people embedded in the interagency fire center in boise.
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so we have capability where there are no constraints with spread to our work with the private sector -- spoke to our work with the private sector. -- with respect to our work with the private sector. >> the fire season is now virtually year-round because of climate change. not only does a defect california and of the wildlife and off property and the like, but the smoke comes all the way to the east coast. so it is an issue for the whole country. thank you for your information. >> i want to think the
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administrator for testifying today. the record will remain open for two weeks for additional statements from the members and any additional question the committee may ask of witnesses. the witness is excused. the hearing is adjourned. thank you so much. >> during the pandemic applications have been lower than pre-pandemic levels. we are committed to ensuring that everyone who qualifies for ssi benefits receives them. we launched the national public service announcement campaign on tv, radio, and social media and have enlisted local community-based organizations across country to help us reach people who may be eligible. over 3000 groups have committed to help us identify and assist people interested in applying for ssi either by identifying the people so we can obtain an application for benefits or by helping the person complete an application for benefits. we have designated employees to work with these grooves and review the applications and evidence and obtain applications
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or process applications. finally we are using data to identify people receiving benefits you may be eligible for additional benefits from the ssi program. we are sending notices to let them know they can apply for ssi. we expect to send about 1.4 million of these notices in total by june of 2022. >> tonight, a look at updating the supplement security income program, and antipoverty initiative for seniors and people with disabilities. watch that senate finance subcommittee hearing at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also go to or use our c-span now video at. -- video app. >> next week on c-span, wednesday the senate rules committee holds a hearing on the u.s. capitol police since the january 6 attack. five coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. thursday at seven of km,
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coverage through the day marking the one-year anniversary -- 7:00 p.m., coverage through the day marking the one-year anniversary of the attack. the supreme court hears oral arguments in two administrations dealing with the biden vaccine mandates. live coverage begins at10:00 a.m.. both the house and senate return january for the start of the second session of the 117th congress. the senate takes up the president's climate and social spending plan known as tilde back better despite west virginia democrat joe manchin's announced opposition to the bill. senate democratic leadership also votes to take up voting rights legislation which may require changing filibuster rules. there is a february 18 headline for both chambers of congress to pass additional federal spending legislation to prevent government shutdown. watch these developments once congress returns or you can
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