The Dec. 13 Health & Science article “Bad news for glaciers: A Delaware-size iceberg is splitting off from an Antarctic ice shelf” continued The Post’s excellent coverage of the existential threat of climate change. But one aspect of the story has escaped attention thus far: The Trump transition team is threatening to reduce, if not end, NASA’s vital role in gathering data on climate change around the globe, despite that for nearly six decades one of the agency’s principal statutory objectives has been the scientific study of Earth and its atmosphere.
NASA’s efforts resulted in the first weather satellites and Earth-resources craft such as the Landsat program and include this recent glacial discovery. Another example, just announced, is GeoCARB, a low-cost space-based platform for monitoring greenhouse gases and vegetation health throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Perhaps the rationale of shutting down NASA’s climate-data collection is that what we don’t know somehow can’t hurt us. I hope The Post will closely monitor the status of NASA’s scientific climate studies in the crucial period ahead.
Robert F. Allnutt, Bethesda
The writer is a former NASA employee.