Tag Archives: Extreme Events

US LAUNCHES WEATHER SATELLITE (In the Nick of Time)

NASA and NOAA got GOES-R up in Space Before Inauguration

President Obama may or may not have a chance to Appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court during a Senate Recess, or because many Constitutional Scholars are saying that the Senate had its “Advice and Consent” chance and ignored it, but NASA succeeded in launching a multi-billion multi-year advanced technology weather Satellite, GOES-R up on Saturday, November 19th at Cape Canaveral.

The old weather satellites are nearing the end of their lives, and as climate extremes become more common, our need for accurate, detailed and timely weather info like hurricanes, wildfires, even tornadoes becomes more important.

GOES -R uses sophisticated mapping technology that can span the Western Hemisphere in 5 minutes with 4 times the resolution and transmit the info to the entire network of the world’s weather networks.

The Washington Post did an excellent piece on the technology but what I found most fascinating is that almost all nations with satellite technology have been cooperating for years by sharing weather data freely amongst each other, mainly through the World Meteorological Society, WMO. They realized they needed to cooperate for the sake of the planet and have even covered each other’s asses when one country goes dark for some reason, another will move a satellite over to cover them.

According to Richard Rood, a Professor at the University of Michigan now, but also a longtime NOAA researcher, at times a nation would threaten to pull out. But they just did an analysis of what that meant for accurate predictions and everyone just stuck together.

It’s the closest model of cooperation to the Paris Agreement that I have seen. Even Russia is part of the effort. They know their joint cooperation saves lives. Weather extremes don’t have flags or national anthems, they just strike.

It will be active in 2017, just as our new President is deciding whether the US should cooperate on saving the planet from even more of the ravages that GOES-R is set to better prepare us for.