Trump Cancels NASA Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Program

More insanity from the Trump administration. Europe will now become the leader in international carbon monitoring. Phil Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, told Science, “we really shoot ourselves in the foot if we let other people develop the technology,”.

This comes less then a month after a Climate Change denier took over NASA.

Paul Voosen of Science Magazine writes:

You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.

The move jeopardizes plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords, says Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University's Center for International Environment and Resource Policy in Medford, Massachusetts. "If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement," she says. Canceling the CMS "is a grave mistake," she adds.

The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA's earth science budget, including the CMS, and cancellations of climate missions such as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3). Although Congress fended off the budget and mission cuts, a spending deal signed in March made no mention of the CMS. That allowed the administration's move to take effect, says Steve Cole, a NASA spokesperson in Washington, D.C. Cole says existing grants will be allowed to finish up, but no new research will be supported.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 01:  Rep. James Bridenstine (R-OK) testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during his confirmation hearing to be administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Democratic members of the committee expressed reservations about Bridenstine's qualifications to head NASA, including his political career and lack of science credentials.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 01:  Rep. James Bridenstine (R-OK) testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during his confirmation hearing to be administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill November 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Democratic members of the committee expressed reservations about Bridenstine's qualifications to head NASA, including his political career and lack of science credentials.  

 

Think Progress on Jim Bridenstine, Trump’s reckless choice to head NASA.

The decision to end the CMS marks a major swipe at NASA’s climate efforts and indication of what the agency may look like under Jim Bridenstine, who took over last month. Bridenstine’s confirmation process took seven and a half months, the longest time NASA has ever gone without a permanent leader.

A Republican Oklahoma congressman, Bridenstine is the first elected official to serve in this position, something Democratic lawmakers worry will make him too political. He is also a climate science denierwithout any scientific credentials.

Under pressure from Congress during his confirmation, the congressman pledged his support for the Earth Science division. Bridenstine has historically suggested the division be moved out of NASA entirely, potentially to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is also reeling from spending cuts.