“There is, then, no water that is wholly of the Pacific, or wholly of the Atlantic, or of the Indian or the Antarctic. The surf that we find exhilarating at Virginia Beach or at La Jolla today may have lapped at the base of antarctic icebergs or sparkled in the Mediterranean sun, years ago, before it moved through dark and unseen waterways to the place we find it now. It is by the deep, hidden currents that the oceans are made one.” -Rachel Carson
Later this year, one of the most epic Earth-monitoring missions of all time, the NASA/NOAA collaboration JPSS-1, will launch. With a suite of five unique scientific instruments designed to improve and enhance climate and weather monitoring, it will be a tremendous asset in disaster prevention and mitigation. It will give full global coverage twice per day, on a continuous basis, with the JPSS program designed to run for the next 21 years, at least.
But that will only happen if we continue to fund Earth science and to value Earth monitoring. From coastal areas to wildfires to hurricanes to storms at sea and so much more, humanity relies on an intricate knowledge of what’s occurring on our world for our safety, security, and our economic and commercial endeavors. It’s incredibly exciting that JPSS is slated to launch in just a few months, but if we’re not careful, it might be the pinnacle of human achievement, in this arena, for decades to come.