NASA creates new senior climate advisor role

Washington (AFP) –


NASA announced Wednesday it was creating a new position of senior climate advisor as part of the administration of President Joe Biden's climate science objectives for the agency.

Gavin Schmidt, who currently heads up NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) in New York, will take 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.

NASA might be more known for its space exploration missions, but studying our home planet is also a core part of its mission.

It has more than two dozen satellites and instruments observing key climate indicators and is considered among the premier agencies in observing changes to the Earth.

According to a statement, responsibilities would include promoting climate-related investments in the Earth Science Division.

The new science advisor would also promote aeronautics and other technology initiatives focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Schmidt has headed GISS since 2014, and his main research interest is the use of climate modeling. He has authored or co-authored 150 scientific papers.

Biden has not yet set out his priorities for space exploration.

Under former president Donald Trump, the US embarked on the Artemis program by 2024 to return to the Moon, and use lessons learned there to develop a Mars mission.

Recent Democratic presidents have been less interested in crewed space exploration than their Republican counterparts, and the future of the program is uncertain.

Biden did however recently have a Moon rock put on display inside the Oval Office, heartening space fans that he might not turn his back on the Moon mission.