Week in Review 9.23.22

Science Committee Democrats
4 min readSep 23, 2022

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee newsletter! The SST Newsletter highlights the goings on of the Committee, the hard work of our Members, and a look ahead.

Amplifying the Arctic: Strengthening Science to Respond to a Rapidly Changing Arctic

On Tuesday, the Committee held a hearing to discuss the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee’s Arctic Research Plan. During the hearing, Members and witnesses also explored gaps in research and analysis, needed improvements to federal science capabilities, research vessels and infrastructure, and barriers to strengthening our response to local and global climate change impacts, such as carbon and methane emissions released from permafrost thaw.

“The Arctic is warming faster than any other part of the globe. Some changes are seen in a matter of years, not decades. Now, more than ever it is becoming clearer that what happens in the Arctic has both local and global impacts. People in my home state of Texas experienced a historic winter storm in February of 2021 that left many without running water, power, or heat for days. Researchers have linked this storm, western wildfires, and other extreme weather events in the lower 48 states to warming in the Arctic.”

- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Read the witnesses’ testimonies and watch the hearing here.

Chairwoman Johnson Applauds Senate Ratification of Kigali Amendment to Reduce HFCs

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which commits the United States to phasing down production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. HFCs are greenhouse gases that have a global warming potential over 1,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and are commonly used for cooling and refrigeration. The phase-out of HFCs is expected to avoid a half a degree Celsius of global warming between now and 2100.

“Almost exactly thirty-five years ago, the United States joined the international Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone depleting substances in global commerce. That agreement has been a success, as we see the ozone layer beginning to heal and on track to being restored to its 1980 condition before 2070… We must keep with this momentum and work to strongly support research and development efforts needed to make sure innovative, sustainable, and efficient cooling and refrigeration alternatives are available for all Americans.”

- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Read the full press release here.

Looking Back to Predict the Future: The Next Generation of Weather Satellites

On Wednesday, the Subcommittees on Space and Aeronautics and the Environment held a hearing to discuss the partnership between NOAA and NASA in the development, testing, acquisition, launch and management of NOAA’s operational weather satellites. During the hearing, Members also examined how lessons learned from past challenges in recent weather satellite programs are being incorporated into the future goals, architecture, and capabilities for the next generation of weather satellites.

“Today, advanced technologies, increased scientific understanding of the Earth system, and a burgeoning commercial space industry are providing new options and opportunities for our next generation of operational weather systems. We need to start by ‘Looking Back to Predict the Future’, and that story begins with NASA.”

- Chairman Dan Beyer (D-VA) of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather satellite programs play a key role in its mission to share Earth observations and scientific data used by the public, private, and academic sectors. Access to this knowledge is critical to communities in becoming resilient and weather-ready”

-Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) of the Subcommittee on Environment

Read the witnesses’ testimonies and watch the hearing here.

Coming up in Committee

Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing

Subject: “Trustworthy AI: Managing the Risks of Artificial Intelligence”

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022

Time: 10:30 a.m. ET

Place: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building and Online via Zoom

Witnesses:

  • Ms. Elham Tabassi, Chief of Staff, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Dr. Charles Isbell, Dean and John P. Imlay, Jr. Chair of the College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Mr. Jordan Crenshaw, Vice President of the Chamber Technology Engagement Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Ms. Navrina Singh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Credo AI

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Science Committee Democrats

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology