Mission Control for the Earth
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Satellites in space capture a lot of the crucial data needed to track climate change and its effects on Earth. But, according to Ellen Stofan, science and research undersecretary at the Smithsonian Institution, all of that data needs to be better examined to effectively deal with the climate catastrophe.
“We need a ‘mission control’ for Earth, where we can fully utilize all of the available space data to better comprehend this planet. As we witness the effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere play out, affecting lives throughout the world, this will help us grasp what’s going on. “This involves endangering industries all over the world,” Stofan warned during the opening session on Nov. 8. ASCEND conference 2021.
The US and other countries may use space data “to help us become more resilient, as well as to assist us to get through this crisis,” according to Stofan. “We know that space data plays major role in climate change,” Stofan explained. In a white paper titled “Space for Net Zero,” the World Economic Forum underlined the importance of satellites in understanding climate change.
How can we improve the Model?
Because “that’s how we can enhance the models,” how that data is examined is crucial. “That’s how we can understand how to assist countries to become more robust to the effects of climate change,” Stofan continued, “from extreme weather to rising sea levels to the effects on agriculture.”
Satellites can monitor carbon dioxide and methane from orbit, she added, and “increasingly isolate the human signal from the natural signal.” “I think this situation can appear daunting to individuals at times, or as if it’s something we can’t address.” And, once again, space data is assisting in the development of solutions, which gives me hope.”
According to the Space for Net Zero report, an “Earth operations center” based after NASA’s Mission Control Center should be established.
Role of the Technologies
According to the paper, space-based technology will be critical in determining how to cut greenhouse gas emissions. A worldwide facility administered by space agencies and the global space industry would serve as an Earth operations center to manage climate data.
This institute would, for example, aid in the advancement of tools for displaying climate data and constructing economic models.
According to the paper, more than half of important climate variables can only be measured from space. “Satellite data alone are insufficient,” says the report, “and the utilization of data to generate insight and action remains insufficient.” Modeling, mitigation, and coordination gaps are nevertheless a source of contention.”
According to the paper, “no one organization in the United States can offer the president with credible insight into the entire system of emissions and mitigation.” Neither can they provide a solid model for how to change the system to achieve better results.”