Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some things to think about

An article in Scientific American discusses the problems that might accrue if the U.S. experiences significant gaps in satellite earth observation, and if doesn't make plans to deal with the REAL threat of climate change.

Climate, Satellite Gaps Could Cost U.S. Government Big Time

The obvious question asks itself:  "But why?"

"The GAO report highlights the threat climate change poses to federal property, and insurance and disaster relief programs. In fact, the National Flood Insurance Program is so at risk of going underwater—last year, the program was $23 billion in the red—that it warranted its own chapter in this year’s report. The GAO also said the government is still lagging in its efforts to be the provider of information to decision makers, and coordinating actions to reduce climate risks nationally."


"In comparison, the satellite gap is a more clear-cut, though still pressing, issue. While there has been some improvement, including upgrades to weather models for integrating satellite data, GAO still identified a gap of at least a year where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) could be without polar-orbiting satellite capabilities. That’s shorter than the 17- to 53-month gap first identified by GAO in 2013 but longer than the three months NOAA has said it could last."

Well, maybe we need to start thinking harder about these things, and make better plans than we're currently making.

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