Trump administration shuts down NASA’s $10-million carbon monitoring program while CO2 levels soar

NASA will be shutting down its Carbon Monitoring System which kept tracks of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Experts say that this move can make it harder to measure emissions in the atmosphere.

NASA will be shutting down its Carbon Monitoring System which kept tracks of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Experts say that this move can make it harder to measure emissions in the atmosphere. Getty Images/Mark Wilson

By Jean-Pierre Chigne | Tech Times

14 May 2018

The Trump administration has killed NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System, which was responsible for compiling data from separate satellite and aircraft measurements of CO2 and methane emission across the Earth.

This program allowed scientists to have a picture of the flow of carbon all over Earth.

Needed to comply with Paris climate accords

The Trump administration’s move to shut down the Carbon Monitoring System was first reported by Science. This move will make it harder for nations to be able to verify that quotas are being met according to the promises in the Paris climate accords. Every nation on Earth, except the US, is part of the accord.

Kelly Sims Gallagher, Director of Tufts University’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, told Science that if emissions aren’t being measured, countries will not know who is keeping their promises according to the Paris climate accords.

A spokesperson for NASA told Science that existing grants like the Carbon Monitoring System will be allowed to finish but that no new research will be taking its place. NASA cited budget constraints and other research that is marked a higher priority as the reason for the cancellation. No specific reasons were given for the shutdown of the program.

The Trump administration has been proposing budget cuts to NASA’s earth science programs which focus on climate change. The last Congressional budget didn’t have the Carbon Monitoring System included which showed what was going to happen to the program.


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