"Scientists Fear Climate Data Gap as Trump Aims at Satellites"

"Among the sweeping cuts in the Trump administration’s 53-page budget blueprint released last month, one paragraph stood out to climate researchers. It proposed eliminating four of NASA’s climate science missions, including instruments to study clouds, small airborne particles, the flow of carbon dioxide and other elements of the atmosphere and oceans.

The blueprint is as much a political document as a fiscal plan, in this case designed to send a message that the administration intends to pursue a long-sought goal of some conservatives: to clamp down on NASA’s study of Earth rather than space. But Congress may have other ideas, especially since the projects are not very costly. The savings from eliminating the earth science programs, which include the missions, would total $102 million out of a proposed agency budget of $19 billion.

Long before President Trump was elected, climate researchers have warned that the nation’s climate monitoring capabilities — which include satellites as well as air- and surface-based instruments — were less than adequate and faced data collection gaps and other uncertainties. Elimination of any of the missions would be a further blow, they said."

Henry Fountain reports for the New York Times April 10, 2017.

Source: NY Times, 04/11/2017