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Also, explain to this Canadian why NASA is researching climate. Isn't NOAA supposed to be the agency for that?
When I worked at a US Geological Survey office that also archives all the US Govt satellite and aerial imagery, there was a memo that was sent out around 1993 or so. All research projects had to show how they were helping the study of global climate change. If they didn't, they were candidates for having their funding cut. The only exceptions were the ones that were being paid by external agencies or governments. So NASA is researching it for the same reason other agencies are: they have some expertise that can be useful and the funding keeps other projects alive.