NASA will compensate by cutting spending on weather satellites The AP 11 (The Associated Press, June 14, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/14/weather-satellite-need-defended-by-climate-experts/ JALO)
Business, academic and environmental leaders are stressing the importance of weather satellites in an era of tight federal budgets. "The stakes are high and the challenge is great," at a time when extreme weather is happening more frequently, Michael Freilich, earth science director for NASA, said at a briefing at the Forum on Earth Observation. Current earth observing satellites have outlasted their planned lifetime, he said, but they won't last forever and budget shortfalls for replacements threaten to create a gap in coverage. Even President Barack Obama weighed in. In an interview that aired Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show, Obama said that among the things that need to be preserved in a time of budget cuts are "governmentfunctions like food safety and weather satellites." National Weather Service director Jack Hayes said the threatened polar-orbiting satellites were vital in forecasting "Snowmageddon," the 2010 blizzard that staggered much of the Northeast. The agency ran a "what if," analysis, Hayes explained, to see how the forecasts would have looked without satellite data and the result was a prediction that would have underestimated the snow by 50 percent, he said. Similar "what if" studies are planned for forecasts of the tornadoes that devastated Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo., he said. Most people are aware of the geostationary satellites that provide pictures of much of the globe from a high level, but the lower polar orbiting satellites not only view more of the planet in a regular progression but also collect detailed information on moisture, temperatures and other data used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.. The polar satellites are especially important three to five days before a weather outbreak, Hayes said. People tend to talk about forecasts in terms of extreme weather, but it's also important to collect and study data over the long term to see how things are changing in certain areas and to anticipate the future, said John Townshend of the University of Maryland. "We've got to recognize that climate change is occurring, whether or not you believe in global warming," Townshend said. "Climate changes from year-to-year."
EOS !—Climate Monitoring
EOS measurements key to solving climate change Hamilton 10 (Jon, science desk correspondent, NPR, 4/5, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125507009, accessed 7-1-11, CH)
NASA, the agency known for exploring space, will be spending a lot more time studying Earth in the next few years. The Obama administration has proposed a budget for NASA that includes billions of dollars for satellites and other tools to help scientists investigate Earth-bound problems, especially climate change. That represents a major turnaround for NASA's Earth Science Division, which had been allowed to languish during much of the 2000s. Back then, the division had so little money it wasn't able to replace aging satellites that monitor things such as polar ice, coastal wetlands, ocean temperatures and chemicals in the atmosphere. New Administration, New Priorities But things have changed dramatically since the arrival of the Obama administration, says Edward Weiler, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "This administration has a clear priority for science in general and Earth science in specific," he says. And now the White House has unveiled plans to give NASA's Earth science programs $2.4 billion in new money over the next five years. That's an increase of more than 60 percent. Much of the new money will be spent trying to reinvigorate efforts to determine how fast the Earth's climate is changing, Weiler says. "We've got to measure how fast the ice is being depleted, how fast carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere as opposed to being taken out of it," he says. Unlocking Atmospheric Mysteries Scientists think carbon dioxide from sources like cars and power plants is the most important contributor to global warming. But they still don't know much about what happens to carbon dioxide once it gets into the atmosphere, says Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division. This illustration shows the Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite, which ended its mission with a splash into the ocean near Antarctica in February 2009. NASA plans to use part of the proposed new funding to replace this satellite. "In order to figure out where it's going, how it's being exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, and the atmosphere and the land, you have to make a whole variety of measurements," Freilich says. The extra funding will help scientists get those measurements. One chunk is paying for a new Orbiting Carbon Observatory to replace the original, which crashed into the ocean last year just after it was launched.
EOS climate data collection is key to solving climate change Climate Change Challenge 11 (6/5, http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/Resource%20Centre/Climate-Change/3-what_causes_climate_change.htm#14., accessed 7-2-11, CH)
NASA's Earth Observation System monitoring the changing climate NASA plays an important part in monitoring the oceans, land, atmosphere, biosphere and cyrosphere. They have at least 14 satellites in orbit around the earth and plan to launch many more in the next few years. The spend by NASA last year on climate science amounted to $1.3 billion and in 2004 the overall climate science budget exceeded all other federal agencies combined. The scientists of NASA have an international presence in the media wordwide as climate experts. They have been helping to identify the causes of climate change and supply information on solar activity, rises in sea levels around the world including the temperature of the oceans. The agency also focuses on air pollution, rises in atmosphere temperatures, they monitor the ozone layer and changes in ice in the sea and land especially at the the poles. In 2007, over 17 space missions also collected data on the climate. NASA also provides funding through sponsorship for field experiments which assist in providing "ground truth" data which is then used to check space instrument performance. Causes in climate change from natural sources such as volcanoes and dust storms and man made sources such as from burning fossil fuels were first globally recorded by NASA's satellites, Terra and Aqua. Using 30 years of satellite solar and atmospheric temperature data greatly assisted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to reach the conclusion in 2007 that "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." NASA have confirmed that " Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. Studying these climate data collected over many years reveal the signals of a changing climate".