10/4

You have found comfort
in the sky blues
and midnight blacks
that trounce your spirit
the sun shined its moon upon.

I may not be entirely transparent
in that my nature is clouded
but I can safely admit
that my grays cease to exist,
for I am whatever color you desire.

If I don’t deliver soft light
to your distinct outlines,
this love must die.
But if care contorts and converts us,
this love must dye.

3

No, Winter Storm Stella doesn’t disprove climate change

  • Climate change deniers are at it again. The logic goes, “How could global warming be real when your driveway is piling up with cold, cold snow?”
  • Well, there’s bad news for deniers — research has shown that extreme weather, for example, massive snowstorms, are actually linked to climate change.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has studied climate change extensively winter storms have increased in both “frequency and intensity,” and climate change is “increasing the odds of more extreme weather events taking place.”
  • As meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote in Slate in 2016, just after a record-breaking winter storm dropped 26.6 inches of snow on New York City in just one day, “there is clear evidence global warming is boosting the odds of recent big Northeast snowstorms.” Read more (3/13/17 6:21 PM)

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Obama transferred $500 million to a climate fund three days before Trump takes office

  • With just three days left in his term Obama is taking steps to safeguard the historic Paris climate agreement — to the tune of $500 million.
  • On Tuesday, Obama transferred the sum to the Green Climate Fund, a trust created in 2010 to allow wealthy countries to financially assist developing nations in reducing emissions.
  • The United States has pledged a total of $3 billion to the fund. Combined with an earlier $500 million payment made in March 2016, the U.S. still owes $2B — a debt of which President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to pay none. Read more
Images of Change

Our planet is constantly changing, and we use the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of Earth, improve lives and safeguard our future. 

These images show change over time, with periods ranging from centuries to years. Some of these effects are related to climate change, some are not. Some document the effects of urbanization or the ravage of natural hazards such as fires and floods. All show our planet in a state of flux. Take a look…

Urban Expansion in New Delhi, India

Between the times these two images were taken, the population of India’s capital and its suburbs (known collectively as “Delhi”) ballooned from 9.4 million to 25 million. It is now second in population only to Tokyo, which has 38 million people.

Great Salt Lake Shrinkage, Utah

Dramatic change in the area of the Great Salt Lake over the past 25 years. The lake was filled to near capacity in 1985 because feeder streams were charged with snowmelt and heavy rainfall. In contrast, the 2010 image shows the lake shriveled by drought. The Promontory Peninsula (protruding into the lake from the top) is surrounded by water on three sides in the first image, but is landlocked on its eastern side in the second.

Exceptional Early Ice Melt, Greenland

Meltwater streams, rivers and lakes form in the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet every spring or early summer, but melting began exceptionally early in 2016. Melting encourages further melting when pods of meltwater develop, since they darken the surface and absorb more sunlight than ice does. Surface melt contributes to sea-level rise when the water runs off into the ocean.

Iran’s Lake Urmia Changes Color

Some combination of algae and bacteria is periodically turning Iran’s Lake Urmia from green to red. The change typically occurs when summer heat and dryness evaporate water, increasing the lake’s saltiness. Data from satellites indicate that the lake has lost about 70% of its surface area over the last 14 years.

Owens Lake Degradation, California

Owens Lake lies in the Owens Valley between the Sierra Nevada and the Inyo Mountains, about 130 miles north of Los Angeles, California. For thousands of years, it was one of the most important stopover sites in the western U.S. for migrating waterfowl and shore birds. However, in the early 20th century, the lower Owens River, which fed the lake, was largely diverted to the Los Angeles aqueduct. Water from springs and artesian wells kept some of the lake alive, but toxic chemicals and dust impinged on the regional environment and disturbed the bird habitat.

Baban Rafi Deforestation, Niger

Baban Rafi Forest is the most significant area of woodland in the Maradi Department of Niger, a west African country on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. These pictures show the loss of a significant fraction of the natural landscape (darker green areas) of the forest to agriculture. Population in this region quadrupled during the 40 years leading up to the 2007 image.

Colorado River Evolution, Mexico 

These two pictures illustrate the extremes of water flow in the Colorado River since measurements began in the late 1800s. The 1985 image was taken in the midst of record high flow, while the 2007 image shows the driest period. Excessive rains or severe droughts directly change the amount of water available in the Colorado River Basin, and so does the increasing pressure of human needs throughout the western states.

Helheim Glacier Melt, Greenland

Along the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, outlet glaciers flow as icy rivers through fjords and out to sea. These pictures show a fjord in which Helheim Glacier (on the left) is crumbling into large and small icebergs (light blue, on the right). The glacier outlet held steady from the 1970s until about 2001, then began to retreat toward its source about 4/7 miles between 2001 and 2005. The glacier’s flow to the sea has also sped up.

Drying Lake Poopó, Bolivia

Lake Poopó, Bolivia’s second-largest lake and an important fishing resource for local communities, has dried up once again because of a drought and diversion of water sources for mining and agriculture. The last time it dried was in 1994, after which it took several years for water to return and even longer for ecosystems to recover.

Flooding on the Ganges River, India

Heavy monsoon rains have caused catastrophic flooding along the Ganges and other rivers in eastern and central India. At least 300 people died and more than six million were affected by the flooding, according to news reports. These images show a stretch of the Ganges near Patna.

All of this knowledge about our home planet enables policy makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make informed decisions on critical issues that occur all around the world. From rising sea levels to the changing availability of freshwater, we enable studies that unravel the complexities of our planet from the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere to its core.

To see the full ‘Images of Change’ gallery, visit: http://climate.nasa.gov/images-of-change

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

2

Badlands National Park defied Trump by tweeting climate facts — and was quickly silenced

  • On Tuesday, the official Twitter account of the Badlands National Park went rogue amid the efforts of Trump’s administration to impose a communications blackout at several major government agencies.
  • The account posted several facts about the role of mass human industrial activity on the global climate, a link that is near-universally agreed upon by scientists.
  • The Trump administration’s blackout has so far only been reported to apply at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services Department and National Institutes of Health,
  • But the tweets from the Badlands account disappeared several hours after they were posted.
  • The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill that when she called the Badlands National Park the “main phone line repeatedly failed,” while emails bounced back.
  • Other agencies, such as NASA’s climate division, have continued tweeting about the climate unabated. Read more

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9

The First Climate Model Turns 50, And Predicted Global Warming Almost Perfectly

“The big advance of Manabe and Wetherald’s work was to model not just the feedbacks but the interrelationships between the different components that contribute to the Earth’s temperature. As the atmospheric contents change, so do both the absolute and relative humidity, which impacts cloud cover, water vapor content and cycling/convection of the atmosphere. What they found is that if you start with a stable initial state – roughly what Earth experienced for thousands of years prior to the start of the industrial revolution – you can tinker with one component (like CO2) and model how everything else evolves.”

In 1967, a groundbreaking paper in climate science was published, detailing the inputs and feedbacks for the first accurate climate model. You don’t have to look far to find contentions that climate models are wrong, inaccurate and unreliable: 8 of the first 10 results on google state it. Yet if you look at the science, the original model, even at age 50, does a remarkable job of getting things right. The biggest success? Understanding how large-scale processes work, including the thermodynamic effects of adding additional greenhouse gases to Earth’s atmosphere. The increase of temperature – approximately 2 degrees C for a doubling of CO2 – was well known then, and continues to be well known today. There are uncertainties and difficulties in modern models, but that doesn’t mean there’s uncertainty surrounding global warming. Quite to the contrary, the evidence has never been better.

The time for debate has long since passed, and claiming we live in a post-fact era doesn’t change the scientific truth or the urgency and necessity of global action. Come get the science today.

NOAA’S ARK IS BECOMING A REALITY

Fearing Trump will delete climate data, scientists are banding together to archive whatever they can:

“…news broke that the incoming Trump administration’s EPA transition team does indeed intend to remove some climate data from the agency’s website.”

When politics, religion and profits gain power over science and reason, it puts the entire world in danger.

EDIT: secondary link on request

Why Do We Study Ice?

Discover why we study ice and how this research benefits Earth. 

We fly our DC-8 aircraft very low over Antarctica as part of Operation IceBridge – a mission that’s conducting the largest-ever airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice.

Records show that 2015 was the warmest year on record, and this heat affects the Arctic and Antarctica – areas that serve as a kind of air conditioner for Earth and hold an enormous of water.

IceBridge flies over both Greenland and Antarctica to measure how the ice in these areas is changing, in part because of rising average global temperatures.

IceBridge’s data has shown that most of Antarctica’s ice loss is occurring in the western region. All that melting ice flows into the ocean, contributing to sea level rise.

IceBridge has been flying the same routes since the mission began in 2009. Data from the flights help scientists better measure year-to-year changes.

IceBridge carries the most sophisticated snow and ice instruments ever flown.  Its main instrument is called the Airborne Topographic Mapper, or ATM.The ATM laser measure changes in the height of the ice surface by measuring the time it takes for laser light to bounce off the ice and return to the plane – ultimately mapping ice in great detail, like in this image of Antarctica’s Crane Glacier.

For the sake of the laser, IceBridge planes have to fly very low over the surface of snow and ice, sometimes as low as 1,000 feet above the ground. For comparison, commercial flights usually stay around 30,000 feet! Two pilots and a flight enginner manage the many details involved in each 10- to 12-hour flight.

One of the scientific radars that fly aboard IceBridge helped the British Antarctic Survey create this view of what Antarctica would look like without any ice.

IceBridge also studies gravity using a very sensitive instrument that can measure minuscule gravitational changes, allowing scientists to map the ocean cavities underneath the ice edges of Antarctica. This data is essential for understanding how the ice and the ocean interact. The instrument’s detectors are very sensitive to cold, so we bundle it up to keep it warm!

Though the ice sheet of Antarctica is two miles thick in places, the ice still “flows” – faster in some places and slower in others. IceBridge data helps us track how much glaciers change from year-to-year.

Why do we call this mission IceBridge? It is bridging the gap between our Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite, or ICESat – which gathered data from 2003 to 2009 – and ICESat-2, which will launch in 2018.

Learn more about our IceBridge mission here: www.nasa.gov/icebridge and about all of our ice missions on Twitter at @NASA_Ice.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

2

The Weather Channel is so done with Breitbart’s climate denial bullshit

  • In a Nov. 30 article, Breitbart used a Weather Channel video to stoke climate change conspiracy theories.
  • In the story, columnist James Delingpole accused climate change “alarmists” of “icy silence” on reports that global temperature saw its “steepest fall on record” this year.
  • To support their claims, Delingpole embedded a video from the Weather Channel about La Niña impact on winter in New England.
  • Not so fast, said the Weather Channel.
  • In a note to Breitbart, Weather Channel staff wrote point-blank: “Earth is not cooling, climate change is real and please stop using our video to mislead Americans.”
  • The Weather Channel called the Breitbart article a “prime example of cherry-picking” information. Read more

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3

Defying Trump, other countries are stepping up to fight climate change without the US

  • As the United States government appears to give up the fight to curb the dangers of climate change, other countries are stepping forward to attempt to fill the gap.
  • On Tuesday, the EU’s European Investment Bank pledged “to maintain its target” of investing around $20 billion a year over the next five years to fight climate change, the Independent reported.
  • China is poised to take a leadership role in the fight against climate change “by the end of this decade,” according to a report in the Guardian, as Chinese leaders see greater environmental and economic value in the cause. Read more

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GOES-R: The Future of Forecasting

What is GOES-R?

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the nation’s next generation of geostationary weather satellites. It is the first of four satellites to be launched for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The GOES-R satellite will provide advanced imaging with increased spatial resolution and faster coverage for more accurate forecasts, real-time mapping of lightning activity and improved monitoring of solar activity. For the first time, GOES-R will be able to monitor the Earth in near real-time.

Once in geostationary orbit (the orbit around the Earth’s equator), it will provide images of weather patterns and severe storms across the continental U.S. as regularly as every five minutes. Images of smaller, more detailed areas, where storm activity is present, will be taken as frequently as every 30 seconds.

These images can be used to aid in formulating regular forecasts, term forecasting, such as seasonal predictions and drought outlooks.

In addition, the satellite will constantly monitor space weather conditions, such as solar flares, to provide advance notice of potential communication and navigation disruptions.

The satellite will also assist researchers in understanding the interactions between land, oceans, the atmosphere and climate.

What will GOES-R Do?

  • Improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts
  • Increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time
  • Give earlier warning of ground lightning strike hazards
  • Improve detection of heavy rainfall and flash flooding risks
  • Improve air quality warnings and alerts
  • Give better fire detection and intensity estimation
  • Improve solar flare warnings for communications and navigation disruptions
  • Give more accurate monitoring of energetic particles responsible for radiation hazards to humans and spacecraft
  • Improve monitoring of space weather to get better geomagnetic storm forecasting.

The better we can predict what’s coming, the better we can prepare.

Launch Activities!

The GOES-R satellite is targeted for a launch on Saturday, Nov. 19, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. 

The one-hour launch window opens at 5:42 p.m. EST. Liftoff will occur from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Join us leading up to launch by tuning in during the following times:

Thursday, Nov. 17
Prelaunch News Conference - 1 p.m. EST
Watch HERE

GOES-R Mission Briefing - 2 p.m. EST
Watch HERE

Friday, Nov. 18
GOES-R Social Presentations – 1:30 p.m. EST
Watch HERE

Saturday, Nov. 19
NASA Edge Prelaunch Program
– 3:45 p.m. EST
Watch HERE

Launch Coverage & Commentary – 4:45 p.m. EST
Watch HERE

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com