EOS key to extreme weather monitoring Schmid 6/14 (Randolph, AP Science Writer, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/14/weather-satellite-nasa-climate-change_n_876919.html, accessed 7-1-11, CH)
WASHINGTON -- 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 "government functions 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." Paul Walsh of Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc. explained that insurance companies depend on forecasts to be ready to help their policy holders.
EOS key to weather detection Spinner 11 (Katie, staff, Herald Tribune, 6/9, http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110609/ARTICLE/110609535/2055/NEWS?p=2&tc=pg, accessed 7-1-11, CH)
The cost is high, but polar orbiting satellites provide 85 percent of the data that goes into the nation's computer weather models, said NOAA spokesman John Leslie. All meteorologists, from local weather anchors to top scientists at the National Hurricane Center, use those models. "If we don't fund this we're going to be pennywise and pound foolish," said Christine McEntee, executive director of the American Geophysical Union. "It's a public safety issue and it's also an economic issue." Any industry that depends on accurate weather information — farmers and fishermen for instance — stands to lose if the satellite data disappears, McEntee said. Weather forecasters rely on polar orbiting satellites operated by Europe, the U.S. Department of Defense and NOAA to gather detailed information on the atmosphere. The European and defense satellites take morning weather data and the NOAA satellite covers the afternoon. The satellites travel at a low altitude, allowing them to capture much sharper data and images than other satellites. They also contain equipment that penetrates through clouds to take measurements throughout the atmosphere. The information is primarily used to predict large-scale weather patterns, including those that steer severe tropical weather, supercell thunderstorms and other systems.
EOS solves economy—controls disease, reduces energy costs, predicts disasters and forest fires UNFCCC 7 (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 11/28, http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/seminar/application/pdf/sem_sup5_usa.pdf, accessed 7-2-11, CH)
Over the next decade, a global Earth Observation System will revolutionize our understanding of the Earth and how it works. With benefits as broad as the planet itself, this U.S.-led initiative promises to make people and economies around the globe healthier, safer and better equipped to manage basic daily needs. The aim is to make 21 st century technology as interrelated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects, providing the science on which sound policy and decision-making must be built. Building an integrated, comprehensive and sustained global Earth Observation System opens a world of possibilities.Imagine a world in which we could: • Forecast next winter’s weather months in advance • Predict where and when malaria, West Nile virus, SARS and other diseases are likely to strike • Reduce U.S. energy costs by a potential $1 billion yearly • More effectively monitor forest fires and predict the effect of air quality on sensitive populations in near real-time • Provide farmers with immediate forecasts essential to maximizing crops yields • Predict the pattern of the North American monsoon -- Arizona derives two-thirds of its water from the monsoon weather pattern
EOS !—Food Shortage
EOS key to solving ag Fuller 3 (Jim, staff, Washington File, 11/18, http://www.gcrio.org/OnLnDoc/pdf/earth_obs_system031118.pdf, accessed 7-2-11, CH)
Lautenbacher said the Earth observation system would be designed to support policy decisions across a wide spectrum of international issues, including social, medical, health and environmental issues."There will be a great deal of information to be gained from a consolidation of Earth observing satellites," he said. "The age of satellite observations is upon us, and we will be able to, within the next several generations, obtain much more than just weather pictures of the Earth." Determining how to coordinate and integrate the data and information from space platforms with that collected from land-based and ocean platforms will be a major challenge for the international community, Lautenbacher said, and is one of the problems the intergovernmental group meeting in Baveno will be working on. Lautenbacher said that existing observing systems already demonstrate their value in estimating crop yields, monitoring water and air quality, improving airline safety and forecasting weather events such as El Nino. Despite those successes, gaps in understanding Earth and its complex systems severely limit knowledge of how to address concerns, such as drought, disease outbreaks, agricultural production, and transportation challenges. Lautenbacher said new observation capabilities are also required to address scientific uncertainties such as precipitation, soil moisture and ocean salinity. "For example, if you look at the systems that we have in place today, from a global perspective, you will find significant holes in ocean observing," he said.