by Elizah Leigh
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Photo: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

gore_sat

How much do we really know about the earth and the changes that it is going through? Those who try to stay abreast of the state of our planet can choose to access NASA satellite images or glean a basic understanding of the latest developments from ongoing news media coverage, but how does that information translate into a real world comprehension that we can actually process and act on?

Back in 1998, then-Senator Al Gore – who by many accounts has long been an eco-visionary well before we ever knew we needed one – proposed the development of a unique satellite that would stream live video feed of our entire planet via the Internet. His idea, dubbed the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), was devised in an effort to help global citizens obtain a greater understanding of the connection between their actions and the physical impact they have on the earth as well as aiding scientists in devising viable solutions to the challenges that we face.

What has ended up being a $65 million satellite – complete with a radiometer able to determine the volume of actual sunlight emitted and reflected from our planet as well as an imaging camera – has been kept in storage despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences deemed it “strong and scientifically vital”. Able to assess cloud patterns, weather developments and the health of ecosystems, new life was recently injected into Gore’s seemingly practical global warming assessment system with the announcement that President Barack Obama has given the thumbs-up to finally launch it.

While the details are still being ironed out, the only ‘tweak’ that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants to make is via the installation of radiation sensors. The twice-refurbished craft – destined to hover between our planet and the sun an estimated million miles away — could be sent into space in as soon as 3 years time.

Via Science Mag

  • ddpalmer

    I don’t think Mr. Gore is as keen on getting this satellite launched these days. The satellites we do have that measure sunlight entering and radiation leaving the Earth don’t seem to support many of Mr. Gore’s claims about global warming. But these satellites weren’t designed for this purpose. The DSCOVR satellite was designed for this very purpose and it is looking like it will disprove many of the claims that Mr. Gore makes in his speeches, movies and books. Actually launching this satellite could put him out of business.

  • jan

    And what satellites would those be? The ones in your imagination?

  • ddpalmer

    No, actually these NASA satellite missions.

    Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) Composite Database compiled from many satellite TSI data 1978-present

    ACRIM Composite Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) Time Series Database compiled from many satellite TSI data 1978-present

    SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment) was launched on Jan 25, 2003

    “A contiguous TSI database of satellite observations extends from late 1978 to the present, covering more than two sunspot cycles. It’s comprised of the observations of seven independent experiments: Nimbus7/ERB1, SMM/ACRIM12, ERBS/ERBE3, UARS/ACRIM24, SOHO/VIRGO5, ACRIMSAT/ACRIM36 and SORCE/TIM7. A composite database combining these results using overlapping, in-flight comparisons has begun to provide new insights into both solar physics and climate change.”

    http://www.acrim.com/

    • litesong

      Hammering on Mr. Gore, proves that ddpalmer is an AGW denier. Deniers are presently all raging that Earth temperatures aren’t continuing upward as they were in the later 20th century, altho CO2 continue upward from man-made emissions. Deniers love to stop at that point in their ‘scientific research’. However, the Total Solar Irradiance of the sun, that the satellites measure, has been 2 parts per 1000 below normal for 3 years due to solar minimum. In conjunction with cooling La Nina being dominate for 2 of those years & the Pacific Decadel Oscillation being at low cycle, it is amazing that the Earth has been as warm as it is.

      The oceans are warm, the entire Arctic region, Alaska, upper Canada, Siberia, Australia & the Pacific Northwest have been very warm. Presently the global average temperatures are approaching 1998 hot temperatures, despite those satellites showing the sun at a severe solar minimum low, lower than at any time for the past century.

      Yes, increasing man-made CO2 emissions & possible gathering methane emissions from arctic permafrosts will have ever increasing effects on Earth temperatures AND already are showing their effects.

      • ddpalmer

        And you don’t go far enough.

        The record for the past 1000 years show the earth is still recovering from the last major Ice age. And the cyclic rise and fall of temperature overlaying a general increase is much better explained by natural cycles like the sun, PDO and many others, than it is explained by man made CO2.

        And all people who disagree with man made global warming aren’t the same, so stop being stupid and grouping them all together.