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White House cancels NASA programme on greenhouse gas 

Washington: The White House has “quietly killed” a USD 10-million per year NASA programme that tracks carbon and methane, key greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, the journal Science said.

NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) tracked sources and sinks for carbon and made high-resolution models of the planet’s flows of carbon, said the report.

“Now, President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly killed the CMS,” it said, describing the move as the latest in a “broad attack on climate science” mounted by the White House.

The journal said NASA “declined to provide a reason for the cancellation beyond ‘budget constraints and higher priorities within the science budget.”

It also quoted US space agency spokesman Steve Cole as saying there was no mention of the CMS in a budget deal signed in March, which “allowed the administration’s move to take effect.”      

Cole, responding to a request for comment from AFP, said Trump proposed cutting the CMS project and four Earth science missions last year.

After much deliberation, the Congress decided they wanted those four space missions to be funded, writing them into the budget bill they passed in March 2018, he said.

But since CMS was not among them, it was cut as proposed, Cole said, describing the entire process as a joint effort by lawmakers and the executive branch.

Existing grants would be allowed to finish but no new research would be supported, he said.

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