Planned reductions threaten EOS data studies



The Earth Observatory System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) will provide a structure for data management and derived products from EOS satellite instruments slated for launch over the next 2 decades. Within the EOSDIS framework, the EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) are responsible for providing data, information services, and support to the global change research community. Although much of the development has been in anticipation of the future launch of the EOS instruments, each of the DAACs now has significant geophysical data holdings, which will soon be available through the prototype Version 0 Information Management System.

The EOS budget is facing a 9% reduction in total budget from $8 billion to $7.25 billion through FY2000. Instruments and flight operations have been cut previously, but now EOSDIS—currently at $2.5 billion—must bear a portion of the cuts of the order of $375 million. Among possible candidates for cost savings, serious consideration is being given to closure of up to three DAACs, including those at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The $30–40 million savings that this produces is considerably reduced, however, by the need to consolidate their functions elsewhere, and perhaps with more complex management, higher labor, and other costs.