The Obama administration announced a restructuring of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, creating a federal climate service accessible to all Americans with the click of a mouse.
NOAA has already introduced a NOAA Climate Services web portal, described by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as a "one stop shop of climate services."
Although open to everyone, the Climate Service is aimed at those industries and fields most directly affected by climate change, such as agriculture, water management, ski resorts and insurance. It is expected that over 500 NOAA employees will be redirected to work for the new Climate Service, but funds will be reallocated rather than added to avoid raising the budget. Because of the large scale of the restructuring, the Climate Service will have to be approved by Congress.
NOAA Climate Services will act as a balance to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, thus far the definitive global voice for climate change science. The idea is that skeptics and critics of the IPCC will be able to turn to the NOAA portal for raw data, explanations, and the latest updates in climate change science. The Climate Service will be run as an open source flow of official research, intended by the Obama administration to act as a double-check, or barrier, against skeptics' claims and attacks. Credible science requires peer review and skepticism, but many attempts to discredit the IPCC have been based on politics rather than science. These attacks may be baseless, yet they remain influential to the public and politicians when it comes to forming opinions and making plans for action (or not.)
Check out the NOAA Climate Services page here.