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Enjoy NOAA's vital satellite imagery, while you still can

Enjoy NOAA's vital satellite imagery, while you still canU.S. satellites help us predict and prepare for powerful storms, even before they arrive at our door. The data let us to monitor climate change and map the effects on coastlines, glaciers, oceans and land. With satellite systems, we can tell when it's safe to fly a plane, steer a ship or drive a car.  This research — and far more — all falls largely under the umbrella of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the top U.S. climate science agencies. SEE ALSO: The first photos from a revolutionary new weather satellite are gorgeous Yet NOAA may soon be forced to dial back or pause some of this work if the Trump administration succeeds in slashing the agency's budget.  The White House aims to cut NOAA's funding by 17 percent from current levels, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by the Washington Post last week. Are you ready for the next round of @NOAA's GOES-16 images? See the first lightning mapper images on Monday @ — NOAA Satellites PA (@NOAASatellitePA) March 4, 2017 That includes eliminating $513 million, or 22 percent, of the current funding for NOAA's satellite division, and slashing another $216 million, or 26 percent, from NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.  Scientists said the deep cuts at NOAA would not only jeopardize academic research but also our ability to withstand storms and adapt to the effects of human-caused global warming.  A large low pressure system spins in the North Pacific Ocean in this water vapor imagery from Himawari-8. See more @ — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 2, 2017 "Any weakening of our technological, scientific and human capabilities related to weather and climate places American lives and property at risk," Marshall Shepherd, a leading climate expert and meteorologist at the University of Georgia, said in a Forbes column. For those unfamiliar with NOAA — and for all the weather and climate geeks — here's a quick tour of the agency's latest satellite-driven research. Chasing storms GOES infrared imagery shows the active system over the Plains that's slated to bring storms to the OH Valley. More @ — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 6, 2017 See the development and progression of the Midwest storms in this 72-hour GOES water vapor imagery. More imagery at — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) March 2, 2017 This GOES imagery indicates the potential for severe storms in the MS & OH River Valleys today. See more imagery @ — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 28, 2017 An area of low pressure in the Pacific brings moisture to HI in this animation from NOAA weatherView. Check it out @ — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) March 1, 2017 Charting climate change #Arctic sea ice on track to be among smallest winter #maximums on record @NOAA #NNVL #ocean #sea #extent — NOAA Research (@NOAAResearch) February 23, 2017 These maps of land surface temperature show just how much warmer Feb. 2017 is compared to last year! See more at: — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 15, 2017 Sun spotting The SUVI instrument aboard #GOES16 can see the sun in 6 ways, thereby improving space wx forecasts!!! Learn more at — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 28, 2017 First Solar Images from NOAA's GOES-16 Satellite: — Universal Science (@universal_sci) February 28, 2017 GOES-13's Solar X-ray Imager constantly monitors the the sun’s corona for X-ray photon emissions!!! Learn why at — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) February 22, 2017 Tracking coastal threats .@NASA @Patriots Want to see what New England would look like with sea level rise? Try out @NOAA's nifty tool: — Alt Sci,Space,&Tech (@altHouseScience) February 5, 2017 NOAA's sea level rise projections at Mar-A-Lago. Current mean high water up to six feet. — Eric Nost (@ericnost) February 19, 2017 The downtown peninsula in #Olympia, #Washington becomes an island at 5ft of sea level rise @NOAA) #ClimateChange — Gregory Foster (@gregoryfoster) February 19, 2017 In 2016, ocean plant growth bloomed in springtime as Arctic sea ice thinned. — NOAA (@NOAAClimate) February 7, 2017 Satellites help save whales from ship strikes. Learn more @NOAAResearch: — NOAA Satellites PA (@NOAASatellitePA) February 15, 2017 Interestingly, the budget memo shows only a tiny proposed cut to NOAA's National Weather Service. But without reliable, advanced weather satellites, the Weather Service will find it more difficult to do its job, meteorologists say. Satellites supply about 90 percent of the information that goes into weather forecasting models and are key tools for predicting severe storms like hurricanes and tornadoes. Conrad Lautenbacher, a retired vice admiral who was the NOAA administrator under President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post that Trump's budget proposal is "ill-timed, given the needs of society, [the] economy and the military.”  With the proposed cuts, "It will be very hard for NOAA to manage and maintain the kind of services the country requires," he told the newspaper. The cuts would hit the agency just as it prepares to put its first of several next-generation, multibillion dollar satellites into service, with GOES-16 slated to go live later this year. If the budget cuts are realized and cause delays in satellite production and deployment, they could cause gaps when current satellites reach the end of their service life, which would make weather forecasts less reliable. The budget blueprint is just the first word on government funding for Fiscal Year 2018, and Congress will have the final say over how deep President Trump's requested cuts actually will go. Additional reporting by Mashable Science Editor Andrew Freedman. BONUS: 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record, continuing a three-year streak

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