Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Forget the Satellites

At a time when more Earth and weather observations are needed, not less, the U.S. government has been cutting back. Jeff Masters wrote about the demise of the QuikSCAT satellite. The NYTimes more recently raised the issue with the demise of the ICESat satellite. With the government in cut-back mode, we may soon lose more important weather satellites and lessen our ability to accurately predict weather phenomena, such as hurricanes. This is one area where the money is clearly worth it---weather satellites save lives by providing alerts of dangerous weather events. This is especially important since we are in a phase of heightened hurricane activity and global warming may be increasing the frequency and/or intensity of hurricane storms.

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