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quarta-feira, 23 de maio de 2018

Meet NASA’s New Dynamic Duo: A Pair of Climate Change-Tracking Satellites - "Mudanças Climáticas, o assunto mais importante e urgente do mundo" 12

- A importante matéria abaixo, publicada em inglês, neste site, fala sobre dois satélites lançados ontem (22/05/2018) pela NASA cuja missão é registrar as mínimas alterações no campo gravitacional terrestre, causadas pelas mudanças climáticas, que muitos ainda contestam.

- Bem, a partir de agora, os cientistas do mundo inteiro terão à sua disposição parâmetros bastante confiáveis e talvez

- Boa notícia, não?

- Problema é que, sem mesmo consultar os dados que serão fornecidos por esses dois novos satélites, nós todos já sabemos que o futuro da vida sobre a Terra está definitivamente comprometido.

Fernando Costa

Meet NASA’s New Dynamic Duo: A Pair of Climate Change-Tracking Satellites

 Today, NASA successfully launched a pair of satellites collectively known as GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On mission) as a replacement for the two GRACE satellites currently in orbit.

Launched in 2002, GRACE helped provide a better understanding of many of Earth’s most pressing conditions, including rising sea levels, melting ice sheets and droughts. But last year, after 15 years of service, the original GRACE duo completed its mission.

The new satellites will continue GRACE’s work, but feature updated tech, including improved batteries and an extra camera. The pair will map out changes in Earth’s gravitational field, which scientists use to monitor distribution of water on the planet’s surface. And as NPR’s Christopher Joyce notes, they might even help in earthquake prediction.

As Joyce explains, the Earth’s gravitational field changes with our planet’s mass. It’s stronger over areas with lots of mass, like mountains or bodies of water, and weaker where there’s less mass.

As Alessandra Potenza writes for The Verge, to observe these tiny variations, the pair of car-sized spacecraft will zip around Earth—one trailing roughly 137 miles after the other. According to NASA, the pair will use super-sensitive “microwave ranging instruments” to continually monitor the distance between them. By measuring minute changes in this gap, they can track differences in the tug of Earth’s gravity over the planet’s many features.

By measuring these changes month after month, the satellites can monitor long term shifts of water resources on the ground—glaciers growing or shrinking, shifts in underground water storage, snow melt in the spring. ”[T]hat shift of water leaves an imprint on the gravity field, and that’s what we detect and what we’re after,” NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory geophysicist Felix Landerer tells Joyce.

These measurements will enable researchers to improve weather models and more accurately forecast catastrophic events like floods, water shortages and droughts. “The GRACE-FO mission gives us a rich understanding of a fundamental resource on our Earth, which is water,” says Sascha Burton, systems engineer for the mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a NASA video. “How it moves and how it’s changing and that helps us better understand our climate.”

Another thing GRACE-FO will be able to... LINK 

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