NOAA Climate Website Goes Black During Gov’t Shutdown

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The government shutdown resulted in the country’s top global warming research agency going dark while other websites affiliated with the group remained open, albeit under limited capacity.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website has made its climate change data unavailable until Congress enables the website to remain publicly online. NOAA will continue providing information that is “necessary to protect lives and property are operational and will be maintained,” according to a description on the agency’s website.

“NOAA.gov and many associated websites are unavailable while others remain live but not supported,” the website added. Other sites remain online, but under diminished capacity — the National Weather Service, for instance, has not gone dormant.

Once funding runs out for the agency, the Commerce Department plans to keep the following services online: “Weather, water, and climate observing, prediction, forecast, warning and support.” The sites were temporary shuttered as Republicans and Democrats haggled over government funding.

Republican leadership in the Senate managed to garner enough Democratic votes Monday to break a filibuster on a short-term spending bill to fund the government through Feb. 8. The budget impasse led to a government shutdown Jan. 19.

Democrats blocked the passage of a stop-gap measure that would have funded the government for four weeks due to the lack of an immigration deal that provided protections for Dreamers, foreign nationals that illegally entered the country as minors.

Both parties took substantial risks. Republicans refused to bend to the Democrats’ demands to negotiate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, while the minority party largely unified to use the shutdown deadline to exact protections from the GOP for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants.

Republicans tried to sweeten the deal, offering Democrats a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, as well as the delay of some unpopular health care taxes. Republicans believed the public would blame Democrats if the sweetener was rejected.

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