Firstly, what are Earth observation instruments? Secondly, why do we need them?
A recent report suggests a decline of U.S. Earth observation instruments within the next eight years, and it’s caused quite a buzz — especially over concerns that the losses could seriously hinder weather forecasting. In particular, the ability to spot tropical disturbances early and track their formation into hurricanes. Read more.
If the success of 2005′s March of the Penguins is any indication, a lot of people love penguins. And now there’s great news for the penguin lovers of the world.
By using satellite imagery, zoological researchers have discovered that the Antarctic Emperor Penguin population is in much better shape than originally thought. What they’ve concluded is that the Emperor Penguin population is actually twice the size of previous estimates. Read more.
When Hurricane Irene began bearing down on the mid-Atlantic United States late last August, thousands of coastal residents heeded warnings and headed west, filling hotels and motels along Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to capacity. Read more.
VANCOUVER, April 5, 2011 — Battling illegal rainforest deforestation demands an unconventional and creative strategy. To monitor the forests of Indonesia, Geodan‘s DeforestACTION project has partnered with UrtheCast, the Canadian company that’s developing, launching, and operating high-definition (HD) Earth video from the International Space Station (ISS). Access to UrtheCast’s HD video data will be vital for the performance of DeforestACTION’s Earthwatchers application — an initiative that aims to revolutionize the fight against deforestation by leveraging a global network of more than one million activists. Read more.
In the earliest days of oil exploration, the science was little more than the search for natural seepages of oil with the naked eye–find where it was already rising to the surface and drill until you struck the source of the leak.
The success rate of the seepage method was about 10%. At that rate, it would be difficult to impossible for oil producers to keep pace with the growing demand for oil. Read more.
Late in the evening on January 28th, 2012 the rocket thrusters on the International Space Station roared to life. It was an emergency action, an evasive maneuver to protect the $100 billion floating laboratory from a collision that could have easily dislodged one of the delicate solar panels or torn apart one of the life-sustaining pressure locks. The cause of this maneuvering was not a competing satellite, shuttle, asteroid or alien craft but space junk left over from the destruction of a satellite 5 years earlier. Anyone familiar with the work of Donald Kessler and the Syndrome that bears his name was not surprised. For more than three decades advocates of the Kessler Syndrome have been preaching about the growing problem of leftover debris from satellites, command modules and discarded space craft: space trash. Read more.
When forest fires scorch the earth, NOAA satellite’s, positioned in orbit around the globe to transmit data and images of weather and environmental conditions, go into action as an early-warning system and firefighting tool that helped fire teams on the ground battle the blaze. The data is distributed to the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and local authorities to coordinate evacuations and firefighting efforts. Read more.