News Picks : NOAA struggles to maintain Pacific weather prediction system
24 January 2014
Nature: Budget problems may hinder efforts by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to forecast El Niño and La Niña weather events. After the El Niño of 1982–83, NOAA developed a network of 55 moored buoys in an area of the Pacific Ocean known as the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean. In concert with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, which maintains another dozen buoys, NOAA monitors weather conditions and water temperatures in the area. But drastic budget cuts in 2012 have prevented NOAA from properly maintaining the system, and it is beginning to deteriorate. Researchers from around the world will be meeting next week at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California to discuss solutions.