Earth Science Applications from Space—An Update on the Decadal Survey

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 8:30 AM
B313 (GWCC)
Richard A. Anthes, UCAR, Boulder, CO

Natural and human-induced changes in the Earth system—from our planet's interior to the land surface, atmosphere, and oceans—affect all life. If we are to understand and respond effectively to these changes, we need a foundation of observations collected from the land, sea, air, and space, assimilated for maximum usefulness in forecast models and other tools for decision making. In January 2007 the National Research Council released the first ever decadal survey of the Earth Sciences. The report Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, available at http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11820.html, describes 17 space missions for the next decade and represents a balanced approach to observing Earth from space. The report asserts that obtaining practical benefits for humankind should play an equal role with the quest to acquire new knowledge about Earth. Their overarching objective is a program of science and applications that will enhance economic competitiveness, protect life and property, and assist in the stewardship of our home planet for present and future generations.

My talk gives a brief summary of the recommended Earth observing missions and provides an update on the status of their implementation.