NASA has announced a new position of senior climate adviser within the agency, the first sign of a long-expected new emphasis on climate science within the agency under the Biden administration.
Gavin Schmidt, who currently heads up NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) in New York, will assume role in an acting capacity until a permanent appointment is made.
In a statement, acting NASA Chief of Staff Bhavya Lal, said: “The appointment of Gavin Schmidt will help ensure that the Biden Administration has the crucial data to implement and track its plan toward the path to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050, and a healthier, safer, more prosperous planet for our children.”
According to a statement, responsibilities would include promoting climate-related investments in the Earth Science Division.
The new science advisor would also promote aeronautics and other technology initiatives focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
NASA uses more than two dozen satellites and scientific instruments to observe and track key climate data, according to the agency. In his new role, Schmidt will be expected to communicate the agency’s research with the public and policymakers, and to work with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget.
Schmidt has headed GISS since 2014, and his main research interest is the use of climate modelling. He has authored or co-authored 150 scientific papers.