This list of 30 issues that the independent Govt Accountability Office (GAO) analyzed is mind-boggling. The U.S. Federal Government, says the GAO, is embarrassingly underprepared to deal with the volume and increasing frequency of climate related disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, droughts in the southwest, super tornadoes in Oklahoma, etc. They conclude(!) that funding for disaster response and post-disaster planning is completely inadequate and in need of an overhaul.
The GAO’s list also points out that the nation’s weather satellites, operated by NOAA, are near the end of their useful life spans and are in dire need of replacement.
(The satellite) systems are critical to weather forecasters, climatologists, and the military to map and monitor changes in weather, climate, the oceans, and the environment.
Federal agencies are currently planning and executing major satellite acquisition programs to replace existing polar and geostationary satellite systems that are nearing the end of their expected life spans. However, these programs have troubled legacies of cost increases, missed milestones, technical problems, and management challenges that have resulted in reduced functionality and slips to planned launch dates. As a result, the continuity of satellite data is at risk.
The GAO’s High Risk Report is absolutely worth clicking through. Each of the 30 items are categorized and easy to read. The two above on climate and satellites also include video summaries.