Once climate change skeptic, new NASA chief Bridenstine wants Earth science to remain key agency mission

By Ledyard King

WASHINGTON — Newly installed NASA Administrator James Bridenstine said the agency will — and should — continue to monitor the Earth’s carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming, marking another break from many of the conservative lawmakers with whom he once served.

Two weeks after telling a Senate panel he now believes human activity is the primary source of climate change, the former GOP congressman from Oklahoma told a group of reporters Wednesday that NASA must continue its work on Earth science missions.

“NASA can lead when it comes to studying the Earth and studying the climate. That’s what we have been doing and that’s what we intend to keep doing,” he said. “And there’s no agency on the face of the planet that has the credibility to study and understand so that policy makers can make good decisions than NASA.”

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