policy forum Robert M. White* President Emeritus, Natural Academy of Engineers 1. Introduction 2. Background National demands for weather, climate, and hydro- For well over a century, the United States govern- logical services are changing rapidly. As a result, in- ment has provided an increasingly costly infrastruc- stitutional relationships in the conduct, operation, and ture for making weather, hydrological, and climate provision of meteorological science, services, instru- observations, including communications networks for mentation, and equipment are evolving. Weather, the rapid collection and dissemination of meteorologi- flood, and climate science operations and services for cal information. Currently, the government expends the general public, as well as business and government about $1 billion (including some $600 million annu- sectors, are now provided by the federal government ally for weather satellites) annually to provide global and many private sector interests, both traditional and weather information (Anthes et al. 2001). The National modern. New market opportunities for weather ser- Weather Service has recently completed a $4 billion vices are emerging at a breathtaking pace, as are new modernization program (Anthes et al. 2001) installing, opportunities for infrastructure provision. among other facilities, a network of new advanced Responding to some of these and other
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jul 1, 2001
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