In the 1970s, NASA’s planetary exploration budget fell dramatically. It was then that the agency really got into the business of studying our home planet from orbit. It was also a time when people were beginning to realize that our climate could change relatively fast, on the scale of the human lifespan. Today, we know that our climate is changing at an unprecedented rate and that humans are a key part of that change. NASA continues to launch new satellite missions, and is also relying on aircraft (manned and unmanned), as well as scientists on the ground, to take vital measurements of things like snowpack and hurricanes, augmenting the big-picture view we get from space.
NASA’s role is to make observations of our Earth system that can be used by the public, policymakers and to support strategic decisions. Its job is to do rigorous science. However, the agency does not promote particular climate policies.