HomeWorld NewsNASA is losing sight of Earth and scientists are worried - vopbuzz

NASA is losing sight of Earth and scientists are worried – vopbuzz


NASA is losing sight of Earth and scientists are worried.cms

Within the next few years, no one knows exactly when, three NASA satellites, each weighing as much as an elephant, will sink into darkness. They are already drifting, slowly losing their height. They’ve been looking after the planet for more than two decades, much longer than anyone expected, helping us predict weather, manage wildfires, track oil spills and more. But age is catching up with them, and soon they will send their final message and begin their slow, final descent to Earth. scientists they are afraid.
When the three orbiters (Terra, Aqua, and Aura) are shut down, much of the data they collected will end with them, and new satellites won’t be able to fill all of that gap. Researchers will either have to rely on alternative sources that may not fully meet their needs or seek workarounds that will allow their recordings to continue. The situation is even worse when considering some of the data these satellites collect: No other instruments will continue to collect this data.
In a few short years, the subtle features they reveal about our world will become much blurrier. “Losing this irreplaceable data is simply tragic,” said Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We seem to be horribly asleep at the wheel, just at the moment when the planet most needs us to focus on understanding how we are affected by this and how we are impacting it.”
The real area where we lose sight is the stratosphere, the most important home of the ozone layer. Throughout the cold, thin air of the stratosphere, ozone molecules are constantly being created, destroyed, blown around, and drifted as they interact with other gases. Some of these gases are of natural origin; Others are there because of us. An instrument on Aura — a microwave limb probe — gives us our best view of this seething chemical drama, said Ross J. Salawitch, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland. When the aura is gone our vision will darken significantly.
Recently, data from microwave limb sounding has proven its value in unexpected ways, Salawitch said. This showed just how much damage the devastating bushfires in Australia in late 2019 and early 2020 and the undersea volcanic eruption near Tonga in 2022 damaged the ozone. It helped show how far ozone-depleting pollution has risen into the stratosphere in the East. Asia by the region’s summer monsoon.
Salawitch said the siren could also help solve a big mystery if it hadn’t gone offline so quickly. “The thickness of the ozone layer in populated areas in the Northern Hemisphere has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade,” he said. “He should be getting better. But he’s not.”
Jack Kaye, NASA’s deputy director for Earth research Science The department acknowledged researchers’ concerns about the siren’s ending. But he argued that other resources, including instruments on the International Space Station and new satellites here on Earth, would still provide “a pretty good window into what the world is.” atmosphere “Financial realities are challenging NASA Kaye said it was necessary to make “difficult decisions”.
For scientists studying our changing planet, the difference between identical and nearly identical data can be stark. They may think they understand how something develops. But only by watching it constantly, unchangingly and over a long period of time can they be sure of what is going on. Even a short break in the records can cause problems.
Last year, NASA asked scientists for their thoughts on how the end of Terra, Aqua, and Aura would affect their work. More than 180 people responded to the call. Even if there are alternative sources for this information, they may be less frequent, lower resolution, or limited to certain times of day, all factors that shape how useful the data is, the scientists wrote.
The end of Terra and Aqua will affect the way we monitor another important driver of our climate: how much solar radiation the planet receives, absorbs, and reflects back into space. The balance between these quantities determines how much the Earth will warm or cool. To figure this out, scientists rely on NASA’s Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments. Four satellites are currently flying with CERES instruments: Terra, Aqua, as well as two new satellites that are nearing completion. new
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