NASA has 'renewed emphasis' on practical science applications: Climate official

ANI | Updated: Mar 20, 2021 10:58 IST

New York [US], March 20 (ANI): NASA's acting senior climate advisor Gavin Schmidt said on Friday that the space agency s seeing a "renewed emphasis" on practical applications of science under the Biden administration.
"The federal government doesn't pivot on a dial quite as much as one thinks it should sometimes, but I think there is this renewed emphasis on making sure that the science that is being done is being done in the service of practical things that we need to be doing," Schmidt, who is also director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said in an interview as quoted by The Hill.
He added that when the agency needs to work on making its projections include real-world impacts.
"We want to know that the impact of that policy or not that policy would be on not just climate, but also air quality and also public health and also ecosystems," he said. "We haven't done that to the extent that we really could be."
As reproted by The Hill, the climate advisor role was created in February this year, and its duties include providing recommendations for agency leadership on climate-related science, technology and infrastructure programs. The advisor will also advocate for NASA climate investments in the government at large.

Schmidt said he's just in the role in an acting capacity for now, because the agency didn't want to do anything permanent before its leadership was established.
On Friday, President Joe Biden officially nominated former Florida Senator Bill Nelson to lead NASA.
The Hill further reported that Schmidt said the areas that have already been part of the agency's climate portfolio include trying to reduce flight emissions and capturing carbon that's emitted into the air.
"We've been doing stuff in aeronautics in terms of more efficient flying, we've been doing stuff with biofuels to get emissions down," he said.
"We've been doing stuff on direct air capture which turns out to be important for the space station but maybe that can be extended to [a] larger scale."
When asked about applications to commercial aviation, Schmidt said, "It's not quite as simple as NASA has an idea and then suddenly next week everybody's applying it."
"Getting innovations into the private sector is something actually that NASA has been historically been quite good at, but these things take work. You have to make sure that the technology is applicable, that it's affordable, that it's appropriate for the broader needs," he added. (ANI)