The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is slated to discontinue its research on climate change as part of a shift in its mission priorities
Tim Gallaudet, the acting head of the Department of Commerce, introduced a slide presentation Sunday, which showed a new NOAA mission statement, according to the New York Times.
While the past mission statement noted that the department is committed “ to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts,” the new statement reads that the NOAA is committed only “to observe, understand and predict atmospheric and ocean conditions.”
The slide presentation also emphasized themes touted by the presidency of Donald Trump, which includes the protection of “lives and property,” as well as a pledge to “empower the economy, and support home and national security,” according to Think Progress.
Scientists at the NOAA and National Air and Space Administration released reports earlier this year detailing that the Earth's land surface temperatures are among the highest ever recorded. NASA determined that 2017 was the second warmest year on record, while NOAA has recorded it as the third highest, due to differing methods of data collection.
Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy and a former NOAA scientist, criticized the change of terminology, saying that “understanding the changing climate is becoming more critical by the day, as the effects of global warming mount.”
Last month the Trump administration cut the budget for National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Carbon Monitoring System. The system is charged with compiling data from various satellite and aircraft measurements of CO2 and methane emissions around the planet.
Since taking office his administration has proposed several budget cuts to federal agencies dealing with climate change.