Scientists urge US to help improve weather predictions

The next American president must increase funding for research and forecasting to monitor climate change, Reuters reported scientific organisations as saying. The groups warn that US$2 trillion in US economic output could be at risk due to extreme weather events.

"We don’t think we have the right kind of tools to help decision makers plan for the future," Jack Fellows, from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, told Reuters.

The groups, which include the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society, have urged Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican rival John McCain to support US$9 billion in investments between 2010 and 2014. The funding would pay for satellite and ground-based instruments that observe the earth’s climate and for computers to help make weather predictions more accurate.

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