Earth Science: November 2016 Archives

Trump's space policy reaches for Mars and the stars, Space News

"NASA should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies."

"Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on 'politicized science', The Guardian

"Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as "politically correct environmental monitoring". "We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research," Walker told the Guardian. "Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission. "My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump's decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science."

Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax, Politifact

"At one point, Clinton said, "Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese." Did he? Yes, though he later said it was a joke. The original source of this claim was a tweet Trump sent on Nov. 6, 2012, as we noted in a January 2016 fact-check of a similar claim by Clinton's Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders."

Trump admits 'some connectivity' between climate change and human activity, CNN

"President-elect Donald Trump conceded Tuesday there is "some connectivity" between human activity and climate change and wavered on whether he would pull the United States out of international accords aimed at combating the phenomenon, which scientists overwhelmingly agree is caused by human activity."

Keith's note: Last week a number of articles appeared with the startling (at least to the authors) news that President Trump was going to cut all of NASA's Earth science programs. The authors based this arm waving on quotes in the Guardian by on-again/off-again/on-again Trump transition team advisor Bob Walker. This is not the first time Walker has said something like this. Back in the middle of October, in a Space News op ed, Walker made similar comments. Other than these two comments by Walker we have little else to go on except some off-handed, indecisive quotes from Trump himself on climate change. So - will Trump gut NASA space science? We only have some hints from someone who may or may not actual know what Trump is going to do. If Trump does take a run at NASA's Earth science programs he'll have allies such as Sen. Ted Cruz and House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith who have been going after climate-based research funding for years. Then again, Trump may find himself consumed by far more pressing issues. We won't know until a Trump space policy emerges and a Trump team is installed on the 9th floor at NASA Headquarters.

NASA chief slaps down climate sceptic senator Malcolm Roberts: 'You hold a number of misconceptions', North Queensland Register

"A senior NASA official has taken the extraordinary step of personally rejecting the claims of One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts that the agency had falsified key data to exaggerate warming in the Arctic. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Senator Roberts he was "mistaken" in his assertion that the US agency had "removed" Arctic data to mask warming in the 1940s."

Letter from Gavin Schmidt (NASA) to Malcolm Roberts (Australian climate denier)

"Thank you for your letter of the 14th November requesting information about the NASA GISTEMP analysis of global surface temperature history. Much of what you ask for is available directly from our website. Links there will lead you to the entirety of the raw data we use, all of which is public domain, along with our analysis code, which is also public. However, you appear to hold a number of misconceptions which I am happy to clarify at this time. Firstly, in the graphs you show the data is quite clearly (and correctly) labelled as originating from GHCN."

NASA's Earth Science Mission Portfolio, NASA OIG

"NASA's Earth science portfolio adequately reflects stakeholder input, ESD's approach to developing the Architecture Plan was reasonable, and the Plan includes missions that address all six of the Agency's Earth science focus areas. However, due primarily to budget issues and the availability and affordability of launch vehicles, NASA has not carried out the Architecture Plan as intended and is increasingly reliant on an aging Earth observation infrastructure to monitor the planet. Specifically, although the Architecture Plan envisioned launching 17 missions by 2020, including 11 by the end of 2016, as of September 2016 the Agency had launched only 7 missions, and it is unlikely the others will launch on the schedule outlined in the Plan. Consequently, as missions are delayed the Architecture Plan has become increasingly outdated and includes missions that may become a lower priority for the science community. While the delays have not prevented NASA from substantially meeting stakeholder needs for Earth observation data, more than half the Agency's 16 operating missions have surpassed their designed lifespan and are increasingly prone to failures that could result in critical data loss and gaps in long-term observation records."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Earth Science category from November 2016.

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