Asked and answered – CO2 is not a villain. Get over it.
The federal government is cutting back its ability to monitor greenhouse gas emissions, and scientists are crying foul.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spends roughly $6 million per year to sample carbon dioxide, methane and nearly 20 other gases using a global network of ground stations, tall towers and aircraft.
But faced with shrinking budgets and an uncertain fiscal future, NOAA has stopped measuring greenhouse gas levels at a dozen ground stations, eliminated some aircraft monitoring and cut the frequency of remaining measurements in half. The agency scrapped plans to expand its network of tall towers and is now moving to shut down some of the seven existing sites.
The cuts come at a time when governments are pushing for more detailed information about sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. Scientists say the decision to shrink NOAA’s monitoring network — the world’s largest — threatens their ability to provide those answers.
“The reality is that countries are making commitments that will cost millions, if not billions, of investment in climate-related work, and governments want more certainty about what’s happening, what other countries are doing,” said Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project. “We barely have enough to provide what a lot of agencies are asking for. The prospect of having fewer sampling stations around the world is a frightening one.”