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UK climate change funding cut by 25%

Weather soothsayers lose £4.3m

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The Met Office, home of UK weather soothsaying, is getting its climate research budget chopped by a quarter after the Ministry of Defence ended financial support to focus on "current operations."

A loss of £4.3m ($7m) funding will hit the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change, according to the science journal Nature. The research institute provides the government with bleeding-edge computer models indicating which parts of the UK should stockpile sunscreen and floaties for the coming Thermageddon.

The pull-out will be the first time Met Office climate research has gone without MoD money. For several years now, the MoD has been the Hadley Center's primary customer and funder for climate modeling.

"Global and regional security will be threatened by climate change, and the MoD is hopelessly wrong to think it is outside its responsibility," climate scientist Martin Parry told Nature. Parry formerly worked at the Met Office and is now with Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London.

An MoD spokesperson said the cuts, which take effect immediately, were made with the intent of "prioritizing success in current operations, such as Afghanistan".

The Met Office is reportedly in negotiations with its other funders - including the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change - to recoup the lost cash. ®

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