The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Program Office (CPO) has announced a $171 million pledge to 72 innovative projects across the United States working to fight against the climate crisis.
NOAA is an American scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce. According to its website, its mission is to “understand and predict our changing environment, from the deep sea to outer space, and to manage and conserve America’s coastal and marine resources.”
“These grants will spur the knowledge and innovation that is at the heart of President Biden’s executive order to tackle the climate challenge,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in a press statement. “The Commerce Department and NOAA are committed to bold action and these new awards are critical economic and research investments that will improve the health and security of communities across America.”
Over the next five years, universities and other research institutions will work in collaboration with NOAA researchers on these 72 projects taking place across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We have a narrow window of time to avoid costly, deadly, and irreversible future climate impacts,” said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., in a statement. “These new NOAA investments are essential to improve understanding of how to mitigate these impacts and bolster community resilience to climate change.”
The funding will be used for a variety of climate projects including; advancing environmental justice, improvements in climate models, ocean observations, COVID-19’s impact on local and regional air quality, planning for future floods, and studying how emissions and chemical reactions impact air quality in urban areas.
Additionally, CPO’s Regional Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program is beginning to build climate adaptation through collaboration with communities across America. RISA is funding new projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Alabama, Florida, Georgia.
"CPO's foundational science helps us anticipate climate risks while CPO's community resilience activities help us respond to those risks," said Wayne Higgins, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s Climate Program Office, in his own statement.
Some of the new grant money will also go towards the NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which trains the next generation of climate researchers and supports NOAA’s mission.