Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by NASA as part of a crackdown on “politicized science,” his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.
Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.
Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University, said NASA has a “critical and unique role” in observing Earth and climate change.
“Without the support of NASAa, not only the U.S. but the entire world would be taking a hard hit when it comes to understanding the behavior of our climate and the threats posed by human-caused climate change,” he said.
“It would be a blatantly political move, and would indicate the president-elect’s willingness to pander to the very same lobbyists and corporate interest groups he derided throughout the campaign.”
NASA has appointed two officials, Tom Cremins and Jolene Meidinger, to lead the transition to the new Trump administration. However, the president-elect’s team has yet to formally review the space agency.
“The Nasa community is committed to doing whatever we can to assist in making the executive branch transition a smooth one,” a NASA spokesman said. “The agency remains focused on the future, a future that will improve our understanding of our changing home planet from NASA’s unique platforms in space.”