On 1 October 2008, the AMS Council adopted a Policy Statement titled, “On the Infrastructure Supporting Weather, Water, Environmental, and Climate Sciences, Services, and Assessments” and this Policy Statement was in force until October 2012. As the expired Statement indicates, “The infrastructure supporting weather, water, environmental, and climate sciences, services, and assessments is a critical national resource. It is essential for optimal decision-making with respect to the protection of life, mitigating losses, environmental stewardship, efficiency of weather- and climate-sensitive sectors of our economy, and national security.”
The content of the Statement is still very much valid and the message it provides is timely. It is essential that such a Policy Statement remain in force especially given the change of the federal government administration and the continued federal budget pressures that put many of the nations’ weather, water, environmental and climate measurement systems at risk of decline due to inadequate funding for ongoing support, maintenance, upgrades and replacement.
The aim of the proposed effort is to review and update the 2008 “Infrastructure” Statement to reflect the current and future needs and to clearly articulate that the infrastructure described in the proposed Policy Statement is absolutely essential for the provision of weather, water, environmental, space weather(?), and climate services to this nation and others around the world. The statement would also underpin the recently approved AMS statement on Weather, Water and Climate priorities. The updated Statement should also reaffirm that “The American Meteorological Society urges Congress and the Administration to provide continual attention to and enhanced support of these vital national resources.”