In an extensive report, US National Academies has revealed that space observations are extremely important to solve the challenges presented by Earth’s complex climate.
In the new report, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) proposed their recommendations for federal research agencies for next decade. The recently published report, titled “Thriving on Our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space”, is second decadal survey for Earth science and related fields after the first one was published back in 2007.
During a press conference, the report’s co-chairs, Waleed Abdalati and Bill Gail discussed the recommendations. Abdalati said, “There is a perspective from space that cannot be gained any other way.”
“If you go back 10-12 years, we were in a different place when it came to Earth information from space. We were not using weather apps on our phones and planning our days’ activities around them. We were not using online mapping applications to get to and from where we’re going in the most efficient way. The military [also] relies heavily on information from NASA, NOAA and USGS.”
They revealed that the report focuses on recommendations which are achievable within budget constraints and prioritizes the suggestions which are important for next decade. As for environmental changes, the report invited scientific organizations to focus on achieving ambitious solutions to climate changes as well as giving ways to accelerate technology to meet those goals.
Gail said, “It really is about this tension between our ability to thrive over the next decade and longer, and the fact that as the planet is changing around us, the information we need to acquire about our planet is changing as rapidly as we try to acquire it. So this will be a decade in which we will find growing community and public reckoning between two things: broad reliance on Earth information … and this growing challenge of obtaining that information.”