50th Anniversary of Earth Day
Happy Earth Day 2020!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of a day where we on taking care of our planet.
One organization that continues to play a major role in Earth Day is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA.
“One of NASA’s major missions is not just exploring other planets like Mars and Jupiter, things like that,” said NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Dr. Michelle Thaller. “But the one that’s most important to all of us, the Earth, and protecting the environment of the Earth.”
Over the last five decades, NASA has been studying Earth in many different ways.
“On the Earth, we actual have a number of aircrafts that are flying missions all the time to monitor air pollution and look for changes in the ice caps, Operation IceBridge is continuously flying over the North and South Poles when it’s the right time for observations,” Thaller said. “We even have scientists on the ground taking measurements all over the world.”
And not just on our planet, but also from above in space.
“We have more than 40 active missions that study the planet Earth, satellites, that look at everything from ocean quality, air pollution, the entire land-sat system which actually maps out every inch of land on the Earth,” Thaller said.
Including building and launching weather satellites that help meteorologists, like us here at WeatherNation.
“We have these wonderful views where you can see basically the whole half of the planet at once and you can actually track all of the storms coming,” Thaller said. “We’ve actually watched what the weather’s been doing now for more than 40 years from space and you can find what changes are happening, what the long term trends are, so that’s just a treasure trove of information.”
“What I would say is support the practice of science and listen to what the data tells you,” Thaller said. “There’s going to be a lot of solutions to this and a lot of ways we can adjust as a species to be gentler on the Earth’s environment. It’s not just one thing, but we’re going to need scientists like you and me, just like you were saying, to lead the forefront.”
Video Courtesy: NOAA Satellites, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center & NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio