- Parabolic Arc
- June 2, 2023
Trump Administration Terminates NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System
The Trump Administration has killed NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a program that monitored carbon output worldwide, Science reports.
The move jeopardizes plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords, says Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy in Medford, Massachusetts. “If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement,” she says. Canceling the CMS “is a grave mistake,” she adds.
The White House has mounted a broad attack on climate science, repeatedly proposing cuts to NASA’s earth science budget, including the CMS, and cancellations of climate missions such as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3). Although Congress fended off the budget and mission cuts, a spending deal signed in March made no mention of the CMS. That allowed the administration’s move to take effect, says Steve Cole, a NASA spokesperson in Washington, D.C. Cole says existing grants will be allowed to finish up, but no new research will be supported.
The agency declined to provide a reason for the cancellation beyond “budget constraints and higher priorities within the science budget.” But the CMS is an obvious target for the Trump administration because of its association with climate treaties and its work to help foreign nations understand their emissions, says Phil Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts. And, unlike the satellites that provide the data, the research line had no private contractor to lobby for it.
Many of the 65 projects supported by the CMS since 2010 focused on understanding the carbon locked up in forests. For example, the U.S. Forest Service has long operated the premier land-based global assessment of forest carbon, but the labor-intensive inventories of soil and timber did not extend to the remote interior of Alaska. With CMS financing, NASA scientists worked with the Forest Service to develop an aircraft-based laser imager to tally up forest carbon stocks. “They’ve now completed an inventory of forest carbon in Alaska at a fraction of the cost,” says George Hurtt, a carbon cycle researcher at the University of Maryland in College Park, who leads the CMS science team.
The program’s cost is $10 million per year.
82 responses to “Trump Administration Terminates NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System”
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This is how Great Brittan killed aerospace in the UK. In their case the left wing kept killing the industrial efforts and defense programs started by right wing governments. Modern examples of what the right wing has done to the US is Regan’s killing of Carters wind power programs with the resultant transfer of that industry to Europe and now China. Another more near term example is the Republicans assault on the US solar power industry and their surrender of that industry to their friends in China.
American solar is hanging in there, with a greater emphasis on quality over quantity than what China produces, be it in power to area or in making them look good. OCO3 is just a sensor, something like it will go in it’s place in the next administration, unlike in your UK example, there is powerful push back, for instance recently California passed a law that will make it so almost all buildings built after 2020 will have rooftop solar, another is that data centers pay premium for all their energy to come from renewable sources
The US tried to invest in solar manufacturing. Remember Solyndra ? The fact is that the Chinese flooded the market with cheap solar panels, and American manufactures couldn’t compete at those prices. It was not any type of government assault, other than Obama trying to pick winners by giving energy department loans / grants to a company that was bankrupt less than 9 months later.
Not every company survives that’s life but not all of them failed either, example Tesla among others, it wasn’t picking winners it was supporting a bunch of players to see who sticks rather than let all of them fail
While Tesla continues to survive, they still have issues generating a profit. It not for having a PT Barnum-like showman as CEO, they would have closed up shop long ago. They still are going to have issues once all of these European electrics come to market. in 2019/2020. I don’t see how they compete against the likes of Jaguar, BMW, VW, Daimler, etc. All will be offering autos with equivalent range at a competitive price.
They are expected to turn a profit by outside investors Q1 of 2019 at latest, they are far from the only American solar company, don’t know them off the top of my head but many are focusing on either high output PV or transparent PV well ahead of anything China is likely to produce
In fact, Tesla WAS generating profits before they started the X and then the 3. Ppl do not realize that MS and MX have GPM of 30+%. In addition, the TM3 should be around 25% once they are up to 5K / week.
Same is also true in relation to SpaceX, I have seen some people suggest F9s are launching at a loss…
‘some’ people? I recall quite a few saying SX would fail and then later claiming that prices would double.
There are more, but their mix is usually 1/3rd US production, and 2/3rds Asian production with their more advanced factories overseas where foreign governments either pay for the infrastructure, or help pay for it. I THINK Tesla is the only solar manufacturer that only produces in the US, but I would imagine China will not allow that for long if Tesla is going to sell their solar rooftops in China. They’ll demand a Chinese production line, and get it.
china’s solar market while mostly low quality is flooded,
I hear many things about the Chinese market when it comes to wind and solar. I read that their rejection rate is high. In other worlds, Chinese grid operators reject accepting solar and wind power into their grids. It seems the US soaks up pretty much whatever it gets. And Texas sometimes goes 100% wind for hours at a time when the weather is right. Then there was this experience with a windfarm in Australia. So yes, I wonder how these things really pay off. If that Australian experience is indicative of the future, it looks like grids worldwide will probably adopt battery banks simply as a means of load matching. If so solar and wind will become much more viable and that lack of fuel costs will really come to the fore.
You also get what you pay for when it comes to buying Chinese panels they don’t produce as much energy or last as long from what I understand, they flooded the low quality solar market sure, but you get more for your money and sky access from anywhere else, and if you want them to be discreet well that’s also not available from China
that is not entirely accurate. There are a couple of good chinese solar makers. Tristne and Yingle (sp on both). They are rock solid which is why Solar City used them. That will stop shortly when they have their NY plant up fully.
True enough, but on average,
true. The average chinese cells are still around 16-17% efficiency.
All Americans and I think all western are above 20%.
In addition, the majority of Chinese panels really are junk.
Go look at how the Chinese government kickstarted their industry and took over global production from the US. They were all Solyndras. Every single one of them. They still are. When are you going to realize that you insist on having companies compete on a open playing field against immortal companies with the full backing of nation states that have no qualms about choosing winners and losers. Their companies win, and ours lose, and you refuse to do anything about it.
Yes, the Chinese did a better job of making sure their manufacturers win.
Mr. Trump seems to be trying to do something about it. Not getting a whole lot of help from your side of the aisle though.
And look at how the Chinese have responded. They made a very clever move. Look at who asked for these tariffs and what happened to them, and who did it. Tariffs are not going to kick start more American manufacturing of solar cells and panels. I’m afraid you’re going to have to spawn more Solyndras and combine that with protectionist policies just as they do in Europe and China.
I think I’d prefer to see how Tesla’s Buffalo works does first.
not sure if you realize this, but the record on that investment was actually better than private investors do.
One area that O COULD/SHOULD have helped was to put tariffs on China’s panels and keep them from dumping them here.
So you’re saying Trump was right about China?
i have been angry at Trump for speaking CORRECTLY about China and then doing nothing. He is FINALLY starting to do his job.
And I would say that it is time for us to put on a vat of say 18%, along with tariffs on any nation’s goods where they have loads of tariffs on us. China blocks nearly everything.
You are aware that tariffs are a tax on Americans?
Yes they are, and the tariffs that other nations have charged us to block our goods has cost America plenty.
A constructive move the Republicans should have made on this front is forcing American scientists to open up their work. This closed source approach that has crept into American science is a bad development, and feeds the paranoia on all sides. Science is not supposed to be like a business enterprise and atmospheric heat balance has little weapons potential. There’s no need for secrecy beyond competitive advantage over other groups.
Actually, the science data is not closed. You can obtain the raw data for the asking. They have kept somethings to themselves because no matter what, the far right will use it to attack them, so, they keep the washing of the data to themselves.
Do note that Kock bros paid good money to have the best lab that was against AGW go over all of that. After looking at the data and the washing, they said that it was all valid and changed course saying that AGW is the real threat.
I think the climate science community is making a mistake by not open sourcing their software and data. Yes it opens them to attack. However the way you fight demagogic politics is by counterattacking them on every front and being as open as you can be. Yes it’s more difficult, science has a more difficult job to do in trying to communicate a very complex nuanced concept to a public looking for a simple yes/no answer. The left is trying to counter propaganda with more propaganda, and the simple fact is the right makes better propaganda than the left. It’s time for the science community to come to the realization that they’re losing the PR battle.
Both Willy Ley (1940) and Issac Asimov did a good job explaining climate change. Its why I accepted in the 1970’s, along with reading some of the research they referenced, and supported nuclear power. Maybe they need to republish those essays.
While I loved and admired their writings, they did their best. It was a ongoing thread even back then. Consider this gem from 1958. It’s climate opera but there were groups back then considering the problem, and no doubt were ‘proved wrong’ in the 1970’s when the data showed net cooling in North America. Of course we did not understand the dynamics of aerosols having a cooling effect until the clean air act, industry moved from the US to China and then the halt to air travel in US airspace after 9/11. Yet the data was there in front of us. Ever wonder why some of the coldest winters in the Northern Hemisphere happened in WWI and WWII? After 9/11 it made sense, war production was pumping the atmosphere with gigatons of soot. Willy Ley and Issac Asimov could not do a good job of describing climate change, because we can’t do a good job of describing it. We can’t predict it yet, all we can do is measure it’s chaotic trajectory after the fact. The real problem of climate policy is that it impacts the making of money. If it did not impact that, it would not be a problem.
I don’t think war production was the problem so much as war destruction. Burning an entire city puts a lot of soot in the air. And we and the Brits burned a lot of cities to the ground in WW2.
Of course if, as I do, you believe the entire edifice of climate science is a self-dealing fraud from top to bottom, then the reason for all the secrecy becomes very evident. The motivation for all the dog-in-the-manger-ist defense of said secrecy is also transparently obvious.
From your POV I can see that. However since I work with these folks I can tell you what I SEE are project administrators acting like a business because of competition and an opposition that they see as irrational, and that they lost trying to be open and frank for a long time. Many climate scientists see themselves as having been beat out by ignorant louts and about 10 years ago changed their public front face match the tactics and strategy of their opposition. It’s difficult to constantly interact with opposition on a day to day basis, very few people like myself enjoy it. And fewer still can have a knock down drag out argument and then suggest that ‘we punch out’ and go have lunch. I can see your POV. My POV is we’re planetary engineers but not by intention. Our actions and systems will have more and more impact on the evolution of the planet, and future planets. We’re going to have to deal with it. We don’t know enough for the EPA to totally have the problem handed to them, and the Leese Fare fantasy of the Libertarians can’t deal with the issue. And the Lord God Jehova will bail us out fantasy of the Republicans is not going to work either. Right now the EPA is all we have, and neither side is willing to come to the table, and show their deck of cards and talk honestly. Both sides want to defeat the other side. Which has taken this from a man vs nature problem to a man vs man conflict.
Climate science is a particularly egregious example of fraud and self-dealing on the part of so-called “scientists,” but it’s hardly the only one even if it is almost certainly the worst – mainly because Leftist orthodoxy is now combined with garden variety greed and venality in fueling the malignancy. The amount of fraud being found in other areas of government grant-supported science also seems to increase every year. This is not something that can be allowed to stand. It is also obvious that self-policing is not working. I am working on a modest proposal of my own about what to do about all this that I hope to finish and get published before year”s end.
Being an astronomer, I suppose the whole concept of scientific fraud is more than a bit alien to you. I mean it’s not like one can simply assert that one has found a new planet/moon/asteroid/whatever in order to curry favor with government funders and other sources of grant money. As Agent Mulder famously said, the truth is out there. But self-aggrandizing bamboozlements are a lot easier to gin up in many other fields.
they keep the washing of the data to themselves
Exactly. And there’s more than “washing” going on there too.
Nice to see the Koch brothers now get their name capitalized in your comments. Now if you could just spell it correctly. Ah well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Actually they don’t, at most they don’t tell how the sensors are made, if you take the time to look for it you can get the raw data
Ah well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
That’s because they didn’t have us on that job.
It will come back with a new name
This program is only $10 million a year. That’s chump change.
Actually it’s small enough the money could probably be raised privately putting it 100% out of the reach of politicians. Probably a desirable goal if you want stability for it in the future.
Might happen anyways, if they manage it right they can either do it through universities as a non profit or even crowd funding
It would be interesting to see Starlink leave a space for adding in a science instrument per sat. Then it would be possible to add in a number of these for cheap.
At first I thought the “carbon monitoring system” was something the FBI was doing to keep track of people.
It seems like the parties to the Paris accords should be paying for carbon monitoring. I know it’s not a lot of money compared to other programs, but the US really has no part to play in verifying that other countries are meeting the goals set in a accord that we aren’t part of. Just like someone else gets to verify that Iran isn’t building nuclear weapons .
America may not be part of Paris (and I am glad that we are not; like kyoto it is worthless), but we still have responsibilities to CONTINUE lowering our emissions along with dealing with the science in this.
And market forces will be the force for continuing to do so.
June 6, 2017 / 2:17 PM / a year ago
UPDATE 1-U.S. carbon emissions seen at 25-year low in 2017
“U.S. emissions have been falling for several years, largely because coal consumption is declining as power plants increasingly use gas to generate electricity. Coal lost its title as the primary fuel for power plants to gas in 2016 after holding that crown for a century.”
Well, you learn something new everyday.
We don’t officially leave this non-binding pact until 2020. Of course, retiring the coal plants is really the low-hanging fruit of this puzzle. Diesel engines are probably the next step, but there are too many semis and trains in fleets that aren’t going to be replaced overnight.
More than 1/2 of the trains in AMerica are owned by Burlington Northern. For the last 5-10 years, they have been moving their engines over to nat gas. Turns out that it is cheaper to run these on nat gas than on diesel.
BTW, Burlington ALONE, uses 7% of diesel in America.
And we all know where Tesla Semis are going to do to the industry.
I’m not so sure about the long-haul trucking industry, but there is definitely some movement towards moving short-haul / local trucking to electric. That’s what Walmart is going to try, and UPS / FedEx are testing electric vans as well. This might actually be an area where Tesla could survive because there really isn’t as much established competition.
Actually there are others….
“Anheuser-Busch to buy up to 800 Nikola hydrogen-electric trucks
May 03, 2018 Brian Straight, managing editor “
Yes, BN has a lot of natural gas resources available.
Don’t worry, Elon Musk is working on it 🙂
“Semi is the safest, most comfortable truck ever. Four independent motors
provide maximum power and acceleration and require the lowest energy
It’s easy for Musk to say that. He’s not a truck-driver that lives in his truck.
I’d like to see the numbers on how long / how many miles it takes to break even when you compare a new Freightliner with a Tesla. The upfront cost difference between the 2 is huge.
That is correct. So many on the right scream that it was Obama that was killing coal, but it never was. It has been pure market forces. Nat gas AND wind AND nuclear are all cheaper than coal. As such, Nat Gas and Wind are replacing coal.
Oddly, the 2 best ones are not being done. The first is geo-thermal which is the CHEAPEST form of energy in America, esp. in the west. We are not making use of it the way that we should.
The second is nuclear. We need to get our 4th gen SMRs going. While the economics are uncertain, I seriously doubt that we can make a real go with just wind/solar, like so many like to push.
In fact, the cleanest nations on this planet are NOT using wind/solar.
They use a combination of hydro, geothermal and nuclear.
And they are also the cheapest.
The Obama administration certainly was actively trying to kill coal. That market forces were already doing it was immaterial. The Obama administration didn’t believe in market forces.
It would be nice if Jim Bridenstine stepped in said it’s important we know what’s going on in terms of global carbon emissions even if we’re not in the Paris Accord.
But, here’s the thing. First, he can say it happened before he became administrator, so….hey not my call. Second, his main promise to Congress was to follow the decadal survey on Earth science. If this program isn’t specifically stipulated in the decadal, and I don’t know if it is, then he may not go out on a limb to try to revive it.
It’s a shame because it seems like a pretty useful, cost effective program for an agency that Congress is showering with budget increases.
As it is, this follows an all-too-familiar pattern of Republicans saying we need more data about global warming, but then trying to cancel everything that provides them with said data. The less they know, the less pressure to act.
I would rather push Elon to add a small science bay to each of the starlink sats and then allow for private companies/gov/etc to put a single small science instrument per sat. Seriously with 12K sats up there, it should be possible to get small instruments on these.
He probably will put room for payload hosting and rideshare on Starlink amortize it faster
oh, this guy is an IDIOT if he does this.
China is cheating like mad. OCO2 has quietly seen this.
It is why CHina admitted to lying about 17% of their coal, and that STILL did not cover it.
OCO3, along with Japan’s new sat are required to prove this.
Heck, with OCO3, it will show that not just CHina is cheating, but other nations.
And no, America is NOT amongst them. We are the most honest in this, probably due to being the most monitored as well.
If this idiot kills OCO3, like, wow. Just amazing at how incredibly stupid he really is.
Personally, I have to blame O for part of this. THis was to go up and after O got back from a meeting with China over Paris accord, he paused the OCO3 launch. Had he not done so, but instead simply required the OCO3 to treat the data the same way that OCO2 currently does (they keep quiet about the nation’s cheating), for say 5-10 years, then it would have been good.
OCO3 will be back with a new name
we needed it up there 5 years ago.
I hope that you are right.
While Trump pulled us out of Paris accord, local actions, esp. the move to EVs via tesla, will continue to drop America’s CO2. BUT a number of nations are already cheating. It has to be stopped.
It will be, coal in the US is dying and there’s nothing that can be done about it, and there’s enough environmental non-profits that there are other avenues the mission can be funded through
yeah, the citizens need to keep pressure on utilities to NOT do coal. As slong as we continue building no new coal plant AND shutting down the older ones (esp since they are inefficient), we will get our electricity cleaner.
Now, we simply need to quit building nat gas plants and instead put up small nukes such as NuScale and others.
Nat gas is produced as a biproduct of petrochemical industry not as a specific product, and it’s better to burn it than let it enter the atmosphere, there are other sources that can power gas turbines as well, waste sources primarily, as for nukes, i am not sure how much they are needed right now.
Edit as we become less reliant on refined petroleum products nat gas from that source will decrease
Actually, nat gas is separate from oil. Coal mines produce it, as do nearly all oil mines. Oil/coal can be split and then hydrogenated to full capacity, but, it really makes little economic sense, at this time, assuming that you have plenty. For someplace like CHina, it makes great sense to do so. They could clean up their air, AND extract lots of useful minerals.
America should be doing the same thing. Coal is loaded with lots of ‘pollutants’ that are elements that we need.
We really need nuclear power NOW. Not the monster 1GW reactors, but the small 50-250 MW 4th gen. With these, we could desalinate water for free. Likewise, using the waste heat, we can take the current coal slag (millions of tons of pollutants that have been cleaned up from coal plants), and separate out the useful items economically.
Likewise, after building enough of these, we can replace all coal and nat gas plants.
Or virtual power plants
its also a byproduct of fractional distilation
Technically, it is NOT a byproduct. That is what the distillation is all about. Basically, it separates oil into numerous various products based on the chain length, going from 1 (methane or nat gas) to 2 (ethane), etc. IIRC, gasoline is in the range of 5-15, while diesel is 10-20.
Kerosene and jet fuel are simply excess fuel in range of 5-20.
true but its still produced no matter what so we might as well use it if we need the other petroleum products but we dont need nukes, we can instead use virtual power plants (basically a really big battery charged with rooftop solar) due to redtape i consider nukes second to last resort in power generation with the last resort being coal,
Nat gas is produced as a biproduct of petrochemical industry not as a specific product
Where do you get these crazy ideas?
they get more money from diesel and gasoline, if it wasn’t for those nat gas would not be as economical
The amount of natural gas extracted along with liquid petroleum is trivial and, as much of this was typically flared off at the wellhead for many years, contributed negligibly to the overall supply. Gas for power, heating, etc., almost all comes from purpose-drilled wells. That was true of gas tapped from gas-only or gas-mostly geological reservoirs in the past and of gas tapped from hydraulically fractured deep rock strata today.
It may be dying. But, that still hasn’t stopped yhe powers that be from building a coal mine in the Sabine County area of Eastern Texas.
Is it thermal coal or met coal? Met coal will still have quite some demand
Don’t know, yet. Many people here still use well systems for water. We are concerned about the ground water quality.
Technically China is not really cheating. Under the Paris Accords as a developing nation they are free to increase their CO2 emissions.
Article 4 – 1 of the Paris Accord
“In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2,
Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as
possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties,
and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available
science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources
and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the
basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to
Below is the link to China’s submitted plan and goals under the Paris Accord
The English version starts on page 17. Note their overall goal.
“To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early”
They then talk about reducing CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, total emissions rise with the GDP while emissions per GDP unit decline.
So what China is doing is just under reporting, either to look good or simply that is what the folks doing the reports are reporting to meet their “goals”. But then this is a long tradition in communist nations where failure to meet goals usually results in an all expense paid relocation to Siberia, Inner Mongolia, or some other garden spot of the nation. As a result reporting the successful meeting of goals has been elevated to a fine art form.
Then they would have absolutely NO REASON to lie about how much fossil fuel they use. OCO2 is showing that CHina’s emissions are higher, possibly MUCH higher, than what they report.
When OCO2 first came on-line, at the end of the first year, china was forced to admit that their coal was 17% under reported for the last 40 years or longer (and that is how they phrased it IIRC).
BTW, the current ‘peaking’ that they did several years ago, was a joke. That was when their economy was crashing. They kept it quiet as to how bad it was, but apparently it was much worse than what they gov would admit to.
China is no longer a developing nation. They should be considered a developed nation. Just my opinion.
It really should not matter if developing or not. Basically, we need all nations to kill off their coal.
From what I’ve been able to determine, the CMS program does not “monitor carbon output worldwide.” It uses ground-based inventories and measurements and airborne sensors. NASA can operate freely in U.S. airspace and that of any other cooperating nation, but it has no ability to monitor carbon over China or Russia with these instruments. Just these two nations account for a very sizable fraction of the world’s total land area.
NASA’s own website has no comprehensive description of CMS, especially no coverage map.
Given that the U.S. is no longer a party to the so-called “Paris Accords” – and yet is, ironically, the only large nation likely to actually meet the carbon reduction targets contained therein due to the ongoing conversion of much U.S. baseload power generation from coal-fired to fracked gas-fired, invoking “Paris” as a justification for CMS seems a long stretch.