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The Nation Hurricane Center in Miami. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Richard W. Spinrad is the first Senate-confirmed administrator of NOAA in five years, which has its advantages in Washington.

What they're saying: “That immediately gets doors open and gets me access,” Spinrad told Axios in an interview following an interagency climate and equity roundtable in Detroit on Tuesday.

What's happening: Spinrad, who previously served as the agency's chief scientist, said he's been quietly working to raise his agency's profile in the Biden administration, which has an all-hands-on-deck approach to climate change and other topics of interest to the agency.

  • “I have had in the last three months close to 30 meaningful meetings with the heads of probably 20 different agencies,” he said.
  • “You may not be seeing that immediately in the public eye. But we are positioning NOAA for a much, much more visible and influential role in the federal government.”

Context: Spinrad is also organizing multiple offices within his agency that touch on climate to form a NOAA Climate Council.

  • The goal is to avoid information getting stove-piped within the National Ocean Service, Office of Atmospheric and Oceanic Research and other entities, each of which has its own functions and subcultures.

The intrigue: NOAA is just one of at least 13 federal agencies dealing with climate science from NASA to the Energy Department.

  • Spinrad said since he took the helm in June, he’s become convinced that the federal government should determine which agency has the lead role in providing certain types of climate information.
  • “Our nation needs some clarity on who's got the con, who is responsible, who is that authoritative source for climate information?” he said.

Go deeper: NOAA sailed a drone into the strongest storm on Earth

Go deeper

Definition of success at UN Climate Summit is in flux

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow is less than 20 days away, and diplomats have entered a crucial period when expectations are raised or lowered to guard against any blowback that might come from a particular outcome.

Driving the news: Officials in the U.S. and abroad are sending clear signals that the odds that COP26 will meet some of its most important goals are diminishing, for a variety of reasons both macro and micro in scale.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.