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Geoscience Policy Monthly Review: December 2013

The Monthly Review is part of a continuing effort to improve communications about the role of geoscience in policy. Current and archived monthly reviews are available online.

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Natural Hazards

  • Reauthorization of NIDIS

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee passed the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 2431). In 2006, a NIDIS program for drought monitoring, forecasting, and early warning was established and housed within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NIDIS information is used by state and local governments, farmers, ranchers and others to monitor and predict drought conditions.  The bill was passed after Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) successfully amended the bill to include support for ongoing research on extreme weather and climate variability. Current authorizations for NIDIS expired December 31, 2012. The new bill would reauthorize NIDIS through fiscal year 2018. The Senate version of the NIDIS bill (S. 376) passed the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in October. The bills still require approval from the full House and Senate.

Sources: GovTrack

  • Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013

The Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2413) was passed in December by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. The bipartisan forecasting bill makes weather-related activities that concern public safety and the economy a top priority for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The bill aims to better align weather modeling, prediction, and forecasting at NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. The bill prioritizes efforts to extend and improve lead time for tornadoes and hurricanes. Language and information for the bill was provided by the weather community, including University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the American Meteorological Society, the Weather Coalition, and the National Academy of Sciences. The bill is in response to recent billion-dollar weather events, including Superstorm Sandy and a number of destructive tornadoes. The bill awaits House and Senate approval.

Sources: UCAR, GovTrack









Monthly Review prepared by: Maeve Boland, Geoscience Policy Director; Abby Seadler, Geoscience Policy Associate; and Sophia Ford, AGI/AAPG Fall Intern.



Compiled December 11, 2013