NASA begins a mission to better predict climate impacts - science

NASA begins a mission to better predict climate impacts – science

NASA wants to deploy advanced satellite technology and better monitor storms and melting ice sheets. With this program, the space agency wants to help speed up scientific discoveries.

The US Space Agency has made plans to deploy improved satellite technology to better monitor the impacts of climate change around the world.

Karen St. GermainThe head of Earth Systems at NASA said the information collected will be free of charge and easily accessible to the public. To this end, the agency wants to collaborate with private companies, scientists and foreign governments.

“The idea is to allow more scientific actors to view the data and thus accelerate the pace of scientific discoveries,” says Saint-Germain.

NASA says the mission is to create a new Earth Systems Observatory (ESO), which can support global efforts focused on climate change, disaster relief, fighting forest fires and improving agriculture.

The new satellite images display images at a higher resolution than the current ones and combine two different satellite wavelengths. The program is expected to start in 2027-2029.

The role of aerosols in climate

One area of ​​focus will be to determine the role that aerosols play in extreme weather conditions and climate change. Aerosols are piles of small dust or liquid particles in the air, such as fire smoke, desert sand, volcanic ash, or pollution from factories. They nourish the clouds and give the water droplets something tangible to stick to.

By better understanding the movement of aerosols, scientists can predict where and how clouds will form. “More aerosols have a cooling effect – the so-called” negative radiative forcing “- that counteracts the effects of greenhouse gases, that is, global warming, says Paolo Sibi, a researcher at the Grantham Institute. Simply, this is because more aerosols produce more clouds. But we don’t yet fully understand just how great this effect is.

By developing satellite monitoring systems for clouds and aerosols, Ceppi explains, researchers hope to more accurately measure the amount of aerosols in the sky and better understand the composition of clouds around them.

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Storms and hurricanes

NASA’s Saint-Germain says a better understanding of aerosols can help predict weather extremes, such as hurricanes currently sweeping across southern Asia. It can also help predict how hot the Earth will be, as different types of clouds reflect different amounts of sunlight.

Saint-Germain says the rapidly increasing storms have become more frequent in recent years. NASA’s new ESO will investigate how and why this happens, so authorities can better predict when storms become dangerous.

The President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Petteri Taalas, recently drew attention to gaps in global observations and early weather prediction systems. He said only half of WMO’s 193 members had the most recent and highest quality early warning services. He also mentioned that “severe gaps” in weather observations, especially in Africa and island states, have a “significant negative impact” on the accuracy of warnings in a timely manner, locally and globally.

Sea level rise

In addition to severe weather, the ESO satellites will track changes on Earth, such as melting of ice sheets. Saint-Germain explains that this is important for understanding the rate of global warming and sea level rise, but also for predicting sea levels at specific locations.

“For example, if you look at the sea level around Greenland, you see that it is higher from a very far away. This is because Greenland is like a big bowl of ice. There is a lot of extra mass and gravity, so it is literally pulling water towards itself and thus raising the sea level.” Saint Germain says. If half of Greenland melts, then gravity will decrease and sea levels will drop, she said.

She explained that parts of the coast of the United States are slowly rising because, in fact, they have been bouncing back since the last Ice Age. Therefore, when assessing the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities, the degree of land elevation must be carefully considered in the calculations.

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This piece originally appeared in Major climate news.

The US Space Agency has made plans to deploy improved satellite technology to better monitor the impacts of climate change around the world. Karen Saint-Germain, head of Earth Systems at NASA, said the information gathered will be free and easily accessible to the public. To do this, the agency wants to work with private companies, scholars, and foreign governments. “The idea is to allow more scientific actors to access the data and thus speed up the pace of scientific discoveries,” said Saint-Germain. NASA says the mission is all about the new Earth Systems Observatory (ESO) to be set up, which can support global efforts to tackle climate change, disaster relief, forest fires and improve agriculture. The new satellite images show a higher resolution image than the current image and combine two different satellite wavelengths. The program is expected to start in 2027-2029, and one of its focus areas will be defining the role that aerosols play in extreme weather and climate change. Aerosols are piles of small dust or liquid particles in the air, such as fire smoke, desert sand, volcanic ash, or pollution from factories. They feed clouds and give water droplets something tangible to stick to, and by better understanding aerosol movement, scientists can predict where and how clouds will form. “More aerosols have a cooling effect – the so-called” negative radiative forcing “- that counteracts the effects of greenhouse gases, that is, global warming, says Paolo Sibi, a researcher at the Grantham Institute. Simply, this is because more aerosols produce more clouds. But we don’t yet fully understand the exact magnitude of this effect. ”By developing satellite monitoring systems for clouds and aerosols, researchers hope to more accurately measure the amount of aerosols in the air and better understand cloud formation around them, explains Ceppi. A better understanding of aerosols can help predict extreme weather events, such as hurricanes currently sweeping across southern Asia. It can also help predict how hot the Earth will be, as different types of clouds reflect different amounts of sunlight. In recent years, storms have become The intensity of which is increasing rapidly more frequently, says Saint-Germain. NASA’s new ESO will investigate how and why so that authorities can better predict when storms become dangerous. WMO chief Petteri Taalas has drawn attention. Recently, it pointed to the gaps in global observations and early weather prediction systems. He said only half of WMO’s 193 members had the most recent and highest quality early warning services. He also mentioned that the “ severe gaps ” in weather observations, especially in Africa and the island states, have a “ significant negative impact ” on the accuracy of warnings in a timely manner, locally and globally, followed by melting of the ice caps. Saint-Germain explains that this is important for understanding the rate of global warming and sea level rise, but also for predicting sea levels in specific places, which are much higher. This is because Greenland is like a big bowl of ice. There’s a lot of mass and extra gravity, so it’s literally pulling water toward itself and thus raising the sea level, “says Saint-Germain. She explained that if half of Greenland melts, gravity will drop and sea levels will drop, and she explains that parts of the American coast are slowly rising because, because, In fact, it has bounced back since the last Ice Age.So, when assessing the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities, the rate of land rise must be carefully considered in the calculations.

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