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Author Topic: The 38-year continuous U.S. Arctic satellite monitoring program is about to end  (Read 4766 times)

prokaryotes

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Starting in the mid-1980s, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) constructed eight “F-series” satellites, in bulk, with the plan to launch satellites in succession as each one failed to maintain a continuous record of Arctic sea ice extent.

But in 2016, Congress cut the program, resulting in the dismantling of the last, still not launched, satellite. It is now likely that an impending failure of the last DMSP satellites in orbit will leave the world blind until at least 2022, even as the Arctic shows signs of severe instability and decline.

While international and U.S. monitoring is still being done for ice thickness, the Trump administration has proposed cuts to satellite missions, including NOAA’s next two polar orbiting satellites, NASA’s PACE Satellite (to monitor ocean and atmospheric pollution), and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (for carbon dioxide atmospheric measurements).

All of these cuts in satellite monitoring come at a time when the world is seeing massive changes due to climate change, development and population growth. One satellite program spared Trump’s budgetary axe so far is Landsat 9, which tracks deforestation and glacial recession. How Congress will deal with Trump’s proposed cuts is unknown.

http://news.mongabay.com/2017/05/as-arctic-sea-ice-shows-record-decline-scientists-prepare-to-go-blind
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Archimid

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 They want to fight climate change like all other animals in the planet will. Blind. They are squandering the one advantage we have in climate change, knowledge.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

oren

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No F series sat means no NSIDC, correct?
If so, IJIS/JAXA will still be available. But am I right that PIOMAS might be gone as it's based on NSIDC?

Eli81

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This is horrifying..... :'(

jai mitchell

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Doesn't EUSAT and Japan have polar sats? 
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gerontocrat

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Doesn't EUSAT and Japan have polar sats?

When NSIDC went offair for a few months last (?)  year there was much talk about what to do. My unreliable memory seems  to tell me that the JAXA satellite is already working beyond its design life and EUSAT is years away + that the sensors work in different ways. So goodbye consistency in the data even if they fill the gap.
The only hope is that the US satellite programme belongs to the USAF.Maybe the pentagon will put its foot down. But don't expect reason to prevail. Hope that that one satellite defies reason and keeps on going.
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rboyd

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Writing a novel about climate change and I certainly never thought of this pot line, "crazy politicians sabotage the satellites to stop the flow of inconvenient facts". We can waste countless billions on the flying pig known as the F35 but can't find enough for new scientific satellites.

Now is the time for the Europeans and Chinese to put their money where their mouths are and fund an emergency program to put new satellites up. The payback in international goodwill and reputation should be enough for the Chinese to do it. Now if they could add a few more buoys at the same time ...

Feeltheburn

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Clearly not a good time to eliminate the eyes in the sky! It's important to keep monitoring ice and other aspects of the globe. I'm sure the U.S. isn't cutting back on spy satellites!
Feel The Burn!

FishOutofWater

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NSIDC is screwed. The Japanese aren't planning to launch another AMSR-E satellite until 2022 and the present satellite is at the end of its life expectancy. Obviously, there are other satellites but they have different instruments that measure different spectra at different resolutions. Efforts to patch together different data sets from different types of satellites will induce a variety of errors. It's going to get ugly. This story is outrageous. From the Mongabay article:

With an inevitable U.S. satellite gap looming, it seems reasonable to assume that international programs could take over as the planet’s ongoing eye in the sky. But according to Serreze, it’s not that easy or simple.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has a satellite program known as Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR). From 2002 to 2011, NASA and the Japanese had a joint mission, known as AMSR-E, but when that ended, the Japanese launched AMSR-2 in 2012, with AMSR-3 slated to go up in 2022. But the Japanese satellites use different microwave frequencies and different spatial resolution than the DMSP F-series.

“You can’t suddenly piece on the record from AMSR-2 to the F-series,” explains Serreze. The two systems aren’t interchangeable.

gerontocrat

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The argument between USAF and  a committee of Congress has been going on for years. I believe that NASA that launches them had one satellite of the series left, (no #20) in cold storage costing 50 million bucks per annum. It would have cost something over 100 million to launch it. Congress would not authorise it. I do not know if it has been sent to the junkyard (building it cost circa 500 million?).

This is not the USA that built the world's greatest military machine from nothing in 2 years flat from Dec 1941 to end '43.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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FishOutofWater

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The congressman in charge of the committee is a *!@^### moron.  He had the satellite destroyed and gloated about it after it was demolished. The dumb jerk is from Alabama.

Guess what else these satellite do. They can see into the interior structure of tropical storms and hurricanes. They provide key information for predicting hurricane intensification. This fool represents people in hurricane alley.

gerontocrat

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The congressman in charge of the committee is a *!@^### moron.  He had the satellite destroyed and gloated about it after it was demolished. The dumb jerk is from Alabama.

Guess what else these satellite do. They can see into the interior structure of tropical storms and hurricanes. They provide key information for predicting hurricane intensification. This fool represents people in hurricane alley.
The aforesaid moron from Alabama still has the Farmers Almanac, Nostrodamus and the Book of Revelations with which to predict the weather. So everything is OK, is it not?
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

TerryM

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Darwin may have a special award for Rep. Mike Rogers voter base.  :)



Terry