Cantwell on Alarming NOAA, NASA Climate Reports: “The Science is Undeniable”

Federal scientists find 2021 is Earth’s 6th warmest on record, continuing upward trend. Senator Cantwell: “Build Back Better would be the largest investment in mitigating and adapting to climate change in our nation’s history.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, underscored the need for the critical investments in mitigating and adapting to climate change that are included in the Build Back Better bill following release of separate analyses by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The analyses found that Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2021 was the sixth warmest on record (NASA analysis found 2021 tied for sixth with 2018) and collectively, the past eight years were the eight warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880.

“The science is undeniable. The Earth is warmer and the climate has changed; NOAA and NASA have documented that, globally, the past eight years were the hottest in modern record keeping, continuing a trend that began 45 years ago,” said Sen. Cantwell. “Before things get worse, we must double down on both slowing climate change and ensuring that our people and economies have the tools needed to adapt to its impacts, including more frequent and intense weather disasters. Build Back Better would be the largest investment in mitigating and adapting to climate change in our nation’s history, providing funds for game-changing actions to slash our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in half over the next decade, spur construction of more resilient infrastructure, and speed the transition to a clean energy future.”

Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a report that the United States had 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2021, the second most in any year. Washington state experienced several of its own extreme weather events last year, including devastating wildfiresrecord-breaking heat and drought, and flooding.

The Build Back Better (BBB) bill includes significant funding to help combat climate change, invest in weather science infrastructure, and promote climate resilience. As Commerce Committee Chair, Cantwell led efforts to include $9.2 billion in funding for NOAA programs in the BBB, including $859 million to fund additional supercomputing processing power necessary to run the most advanced weather and climate models that provide more accurate predictions and timely forecasting. NOAA funding would also support climate science and research grants for universities to advance our knowledge of the causes and impacts of extreme weather, as well as the impacts of climate change. NASA would receive $365 million to further support research and development, sustainable aviation advances, and Earth observations related to understanding climate change and to enhance climate resilience and sustainability, including $25 million to improve wildfire fighting operations.

These investments are part of the largest investment in clean energy and measures to address climate change in American history. BBB would dedicate over $555 billion to accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels, which will enable the United States to meet its science-based targets of reducing greenhouse gases by half by 2030 while creating jobs, growing domestic industries, and advancing environmental justice.

NOAA’s webstory on the report can be found HERE.

NOAA’s Global Climate Report is available HERE and NASA’s full data set from 2021 is available HERE.