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Obama administration proposes national climate services

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration proposed a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service Monday, reorganizing the agency so it can provide Americans with predictions on how global warming will affect everything from drought to sea levels.

The initiative, modeled loosely on the 140-year-old National Weather Service, will provide forecasts to farmers, regional water managers and business operators affected by changing climate conditions. But it comes at a time when climate skeptics have become increasingly effective in attacking the credibility of global warming forecasts.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said the service will be able to provide advice on everything from where ski operators might want to refocus their activities in light of changing snowfall patterns to what farm crops will need increased irrigation.

In the same way businesses such as the Weather Channel and AccuWeather.com have taken advantage of the National Weather Service's predictions, Locke said, "You'll see much of the private sector will want to build on this one-stop shop of climate services."

The move does not come with a designated boost in funding, however.

The Washington Post

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