White House Shuts Down NASA’s Carbon Monitoring Program
NASA will be soon shutting down its $10 million Carbon Monitoring Program which keeps a track on the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions in view of the decision by the Trump administration.
Scientists and environmentalists say that the move could make it harder for countries to measure their greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
NASA’s program is responsible for compiling data from separate aircraft and satellite measurements of greenhouse gases including methane and CO2 across the globe and will allow the scientists to have a clear picture of the flow of carbon and other gases all over the Earth. The move will make it much harder for all the nations across the world to monitor and verify that their quotas are met according to the promises made at the Paris climate accord of which every nation of the Earth is a member – except the United States.
Kelly Sims Gallagher, Director of Tufts University’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy said in a statement that will become difficult for countries measure their emissions and also to know as to who is keeping their promises according to the Paris climate accords.
A NASA spokesperson said that while existing grants will be still used for the ongoing research, but no new research will be taking place to further study and monitor the emissions. NASA added that budget constraints and high priority for other researches as the reasons for the cancellation of the program.
The Trump administration has already been proposing budget cuts to NASA’s earth science programs that focused on climate change and the earlier Congressional budget also didn’t had the program included which kind of actually showed what will happen to the program.
Experts say that it is very ironic for the carbon monitoring program to be killed at this time when the Earth’s atmosphere passed the monthly average of 410.31 parts per million during the month of April citing that there was almost a 30 percent increase in the CO2 concentration worldwide. For over hundreds of years, the average concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere fluctuated between 200 and 280 parts per million and closing the program at such a peak time of the findings is seen as a major setback for efforts to curtail global warming and climate change.