UH Climate Center Hangs on Federal Budget Debate

Flickr: Marc_Smith

Ask Hawaii climate scientists what they'd do with an extra $3 million in federal funding, and you'll get a long list of answers.

They say they'd hire more researchers to study eroding coasts, rising sea levels and imperiled coral reefs. They'd study how changing bird and mosquito habitats could affect avian-borne diseases.

“One important thing for us to focus on is water resources,” said Chip Fletcher, the associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Hawaii's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. “Basically, how will climate change affect the generation of rainwater?”

Scientists at UH Manoa, UH Hilo and the University of Guam could start crossing things off their million-dollar bucket list — if debt negotiations in Congress go the way they hope. The proposed Pacific Islands Climate Science Center is another example of a Hawaii program facing an uncertain future as Congress tries to slim down the federal deficit.

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