White House Points Sensors, Drones To Gauge Arctic Change
White House outlines five-year plan to measure ice melt and study the impact of environmental change on the local population.
NASA's Blue Marble: 50 Years Of Earth Imagery
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The White House's National Science and Technology Council has released a five-year research plan that aims to establish a better scientific understanding of environmental changes taking place in the Arctic.
The plan calls for data collection through a variety of technologies, including satellite imaging, sensors and sensor-equipped drones. The sensors would gather data from the atmosphere, land- and sea-ice and ocean waters.
The plan was created by the U.S. Interagency Research Policy Committee, comprised of representatives from 13 federal agencies. The departments of Energy and Interior, the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are responsible for integrating research that can improve modeling of Arctic systems and environmental processes. The Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, Office of Naval Research and U.S. Coast Guard will take the lead on conducting the research and monitoring changes.
In a blog post on Whitehouse.gov, Brendan Kelly, OSTP assistant director for polar sciences, and Simon Stephenson, the head of NSF's Arctic Sciences Section, wrote that environmental changes in the Arctic are having "profound impacts" on local populations. They contend that diminishing sea ice "accelerates global warming and alters circulation in the atmosphere and oceans in ways that change storm patterns in other parts of the world."
The 104-page report points to "broad scientific consensus" that changes in global climate are altering ice and snow cover and affecting Arctic ecosystems, populations and natural resources.
The plan outlines seven areas of research: sea ice and marine ecosystems; terrestrial ice; atmospheric studies of surface heat; observing systems; regional climate models; adaption tools for local communities; and human health.
The research areas involve various types of data collection and analysis. For example, the atmospheric studies of surface heat would be accomplished in part through remote sensing and satellite observations. Supercomputers will be used to create climate models and simulations and Web portals to provide data access to research partners.
The plan calls for an integrated "Arctic observing system" that would involve, among other things, monitoring the Arctic's glaciers and marine environment and assessing the impact of terrestrial warming and permafrost thawing on the carbon cycle.
Attend Interop Las Vegas, May 6-10, and attend the most thorough training on Apple Deployment at the NEW Mac & iOS IT Conference. Use Priority Code DIPR02 by March 2 to save up to $500 off the price of Conference Passes. Join us in Las Vegas for access to 125+ workshops and conference classes, 350+ exhibiting companies, and the latest technology. Register for Interop today!
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.