Waleed Abdalati…Who he?

I’m the kind of space nerd who can make a podcast about where to build a Moon base, write to National Geographic when one of their reporters makes up the astronomical part of her story and complain to a show‘s organizers when a picture of the Orion Nebula is hanged upside down. I’ve been a member of the Planetary Society since 1991, and of the British Interplanetary Society since 1985.

Still, I had never heard until yesterday of NASA Chief Scientist, Waleed Abdalati.

Little wonder though, as I’m more of a deep-space buff who doesn’t get excited about Earth-observing satellites, for example those measuring ice stuff, Dr Abdalati’s specialty.

So who’s the guy who replied to a letter asking NASA to stay away from “unbridled advocacy” on climate change, by stating “NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry” (a response “not all that relevant” to the original request, as noted by Judith Curry)? And more importantly, what are or have been his views on climate change?

In conclusion, seldom in the past or maybe never has Dr Abdalati (whose contribution to the founding of advocacy center CIRES isn’t immediately clear) been far from alarmist positions, even if he is not known as a major voice of doom and gloom. And that Slide 17 above might provide some hope (as long as the guy wakes up about GISS, that is).