The White House administration has announced that it is ending the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Carbon Monitoring System (CMS).
The announcement comes after the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii announced its findings that atmospheric CO2 levels averaged at or above 410 parts per million throughout the month of April for the first time in human history.
The CMS is a $10 million per-year project that is now set to lose all its funding.
Not only did the program monitor CO2 levels and emissions, but also helped other countries to quantify emissions as the result of deforestation.
Accurate monitoring of carbon and methane emissions has been one of the biggest challenges faced by the signatories of the Paris Climate Accord, with most countries submitting estimates based off of the amount of fuel used in transport, energy, and industry that are generally inaccurate.
The CMS system was seen as an excellent lever by which to pressure high-emissions countries who have resisted accurate reporting requirements like India and China to comply.
Now, it is likely that resistance to such monitoring and reporting will only increase in light of the U.S. administration’s decision.
Steve Cole, a spokesperson for NASA, said:
“The winding down of this specific research program does not curb NASA’s ability or commitment to monitoring carbon and its effects on our changing planet. In fact, Gedi, a new ecosystem carbon-monitoring instrument, is set to launch to the International Space Station this summer.”