A spending panel of the US House of Representatives voted today to restore a small NASA climate research program that the administration of President Donald Trump has quietly eliminated. (Click here to read our previous coverage)
The House Appropriations panel that NASA oversees unanimously approved an amendment to a 2019 spending bill that mandates the space agency to reserve $ 10 million in its budget for a "climate monitoring system" "that studies" biogeochemical processes to better understand the main factors that drive climate change in the short and long term. "
That sounds almost identical to the work that NASA's Carbon Monitoring System was doing before the Trump administration targeted the program, which was approaching $ 10 million annually, for elimination this year. The movement said they jeopardized numerous research projects and plans to verify the national emissions cuts agreed in the Paris climate agreements.
The amendment is now part of a $ 62 billion spending bill that It covers the departments of commerce, justice and several science agencies including NASA, and was offered by Representative John Culberson (R-TX), president of the spending panel that oversees NASA, and Culberson cited the importance of the climate program as part of the The agency's efforts to track all sources of greenhouse gas emissions, Culberson also thanked Representative Matt Cartwrigh t (D-PA) for exhorting it to restore funds for the monitoring system.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, and will ultimately have to be reconciled with a parallel bill in the Senate. It will probably be several months before Congress completes the action on the 2019 budget.
Here is the text of the amendment:
Under NASA, science, after the paragraph entitled Earth Science Decadal, insert the following: System of climate monitoring: Within the funds provided for Earth Science. No less than $ 10 million will be for a Climate Monitoring program, which includes competitive grants to help develop the necessary capacities for monitoring, reporting and verification of biogeochemical processes to better understand the main drivers of climate change in the short and long term term.