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Trump Administration Cancels NASA Plan to Track Greenhouse Gases

The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA's earth science budget

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At a time when the world is struggling to fight climate change, US President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed a NASA system to monitor the flow of greenhouse gas, the media reported.

The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA’s earth science budget, including NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), the Science Magazine reported this week.

It has now scrapped the funding for the US space agency’s CMS which has until now used satellite and aircraft instruments to monitor carbon dioxide and methane levels remotely — spending $10m each year, the Independent reported on Thursday.

Canceling the CMS “is a grave mistake”, Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University’s Centre for International Environment and Resource Policy, told the Science Magazine.

NASA
NASA. Pixabay

“If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the (Paris climate) agreement,” Gallagher added.

Other scientists also expressed their concerns about the impact the killing oc CMS would have on fighting climate change.

Scrapping the system was “disappointing”, said Stephen Hagen, a senior scientist at Applied GeoSolutions in New Hampshire.

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“(This) means we’re going to be less capable of tracking changes in carbon,” he added.

But the NASA system has been an obvious target for Trump who had begun the withdrawal process from the Paris accord.

The accord was signed in December 2015 by nearly 200 countries to curb global carbon emissions and contain global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. (IANS)

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NASA Launches “Remote Sensing Toolkit To Help Users Search For Data

The "Remote Sensing Toolkit" provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input, NASA said in a statement on Thursday.

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NASA
"Our mission to bring NASA technology down to Earth is expanding with the release of this remote sensing toolkit," Lockney said. Pixabay

NASA has launched an online toolkit to make it easier for users to find, analyse and utilise the most relevant satellite data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts.

The “Remote Sensing Toolkit” provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input, NASA said in a statement on Thursday.

The toolkit is designed to help users search for data, as well as ready-to-use tools and code to build new tools.

“This new tool makes finding and using NASA satellite data easier than ever before, and we hope it sparks innovation among the entrepreneurial community and leads to further commercialisation of NASA technology and benefits people across the world,” said Daniel Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer programme executive.

“Our mission to bring NASA technology down to Earth is expanding with the release of this remote sensing toolkit,” Lockney said.

Through its constellation of Earth observation satellites, NASA collects petabytes of data each year.

NASA
Through its constellation of Earth observation satellites, NASA collects petabytes of data each year. Pixabay

The variety of open source tools created to access, analyse and utilise the data from these satellites is familiar to millions of science users, but accessing and utilising this data remains daunting for many potential commercial users.

For example, NASA’s remote-sensing data and tools are spread out across dozens of sites.

The NASA Technology Transfer programme reviewed more than 50 websites and found that no source provided a comprehensive collection of information or a single access point to begin a search.

This prompted the US space agency to introduce the Remote Sensing Toolkit.

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“Remote Sensing Toolkit will help grow the number of users who put NASA’s free and open data archive to work for people,” said Kevin Murphy of NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington. (IANS)

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