U.S. Geological Survey scientist Sasha Reed studies how changing temperatures and precipitation patterns affect soil and ecosystems. The agency is warning international colleagues that data and research they rely on could be severely curtailed under President Trump’s proposed budget. Credit: Jennifer LaVista/USGS
A USGS email alert to international scientists says a wide range of research areas would be hit, including work on flood risks, wildfires and climate change.
By Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News Jul 14, 2017
A U.S. Geological Survey program coordinator has sent an alert to colleagues around the world, warning that the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget cuts, if approved, will undermine important data-gathering programs and cooperative studies in areas including forests, volcanoes, flooding, wildfires, extreme precipitation and climate change.
The email went to 500 researchers on June 19 to give them time to comment on the proposed changes and prepare. In it, Debra Willard, coordinator for the USGS Climate Research and Development Program, wrote that the cuts “would reduce or eliminate the availability of current data and collaborations between the USGS, other agencies and universities.”
The reductions threaten as many as 40 programs involved in monitoring the speed and severity of climate change impacts and the effects of other land use changes, Willard said.
So far, the agency has received responses from dozens of scientists in Europe, Asia, and North America.
“There was a consensus that suspension of the USGS projects would impede ongoing activities in the international research and policy communities,” Willard said of the responses.