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World Class Advisor Named For NASA's Minor Role In Climate Change Efforts

By Keith Cowing
February 3, 2021
Filed under
World Class Advisor Named For NASA's Minor Role In Climate Change Efforts

NASA Announces New Role of Senior Climate Advisor, NASA
“In an effort to ensure effective fulfillment of the Biden Administration’s climate science objectives for NASA, the agency has established a new position of senior climate advisor and selected Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, to serve in the role in an acting capacity until a permanent appointment is made. “This position will provide NASA leadership critical insights and recommendations for the agency’s full spectrum of science, technology, and infrastructure programs related to climate,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “This will enable the agency to more effectively align our efforts to help meet the administration’s goals for addressing climate change.”
Keith’s note: According to the 27 January 2021 Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad Sec. 103 (c) NASA and other agencies will “shall develop and submit to the President, within 120 days of the date of this order, an analysis of the security implications of climate change (Climate Risk Analysis) that can be incorporated into modeling, simulation, war-gaming, and other analyses.” That is the only thing that NASA is chartered to do at this point.
It is commendable that NASA has selected its best, Gavin Schmidt, a world-renowned expert, for this position representing the entire agency. That said, it is not clear if he – and NASA – are actually expected to play a prominent role in the Administration’s Climate Change Task Force and related efforts – one that is commensurate with NASA’s substantial capabilities. NASA studies not just Earth’s climate and surface with a fleet of satellites it builds these systems for other agencies. Moreover, NASA studies climate on other worlds in our solar system – even beyond. Yet NASA is not on the Climate Task Force and is only tasked with writing a report that is due in 120 days. Maybe Gavin Schmidt can change the Administration’s mind on this decision to leave NASA on the sidelines.
NASA Is A Minor Part Of The Biden Climate Change Action Plan (Update), earlier post
Keith’s footnote: Dealing with Climate Change is one of the top urgent items that the Biden Administration has claimed to be focusing on since the moment that they won the 2020 election. You’d think that NASA would try and make its expansive Earth and Climate science portfolio front and center. As of the time I am posting this (11:20 am EST) NASA has yet to make mention of this senior climate change appointment on the agency’s main page or its Earth Science page. No mention at the main Science Mission Directorate web page or its Earth Science page. But they did tweet a link to its press release via @NASA to 45,000,000 people.
Its not as if NASA itself did not have advanced notice of its own news – NASA Public Affairs issued a press release at 9:38 am EST yet this article appeared on the Washington Post at 8:56 am filled with a long interview and quotes done well in advance of the official release. Yet NASA PAO’s websites still make no mention.
One part of NASA does not know what other parts are doing.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.