$2.481 BILLION for climate research in 2011?

January 23, 2011 14:36

The amount of money being spent on climate change research this year is astounding.


How can climate scientists spend so much money?


Until a few days ago I knew that the US government spent an excessive amount of taxpayer money on climate change research. It was just a general notion; I had read occasional articles showing the funding of certain agencies like NASA but I didn’t know many specifics. Then on New Years Day, I wrote a very quick article where I randomly picked a document from a Google search showing funding for climate change. The numbers astonished me. I decided to take a closer look.

The document is the The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s report:


FY 2011

The entire report is here, but I am only looking at chapter 15 which is here. The report is basically a snapshot of US Federal spending on research, including budgets for 2011 and how these numbers compare to previous years. The chapter on climate change is short and easy to read. It shows that all US agencies that conduct climate change research are expected to have larger budgets for 2011. Remember, these numbers are not set in stone, but they will not be drastically different from the actual numbers. I also need to make a caveat. Just because this funding has been labeled ‘climate change research’ does not mean it is necessarily not linked to another field as well. For example, some of the costs associated are for satellites, which are important in more than just climate research. This is not entirely frivolous spending. Even so, the numbers are staggering. Let’s look at some agencies and their budgets.


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