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Indian-American NASA Scientist reveals new global climate data

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Washington:  An Indian-American scientist working with NASA has revealed how temperature and rainfall patterns may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

New high-resolution global climate data prepared by Ramakrishna Nemani, project scientist at the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), a big-data research platform in California, can be viewed on a daily timescale at the scale of individual cities and towns.

It will help the scientists and planners in conducting climate risk assessments to understand local and global effects of hazards, such as severe drought, floods, heat waves, and losses in agriculture productivity better.

“This is a fundamental dataset for climate research and assessment with a wide range of applications,” Nemani said in a statement.

“NASA continues to produce valuable community-based data products on the NEX platform to promote scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing, and research and development,” Nemani added.

The data shows projected changes worldwide at a regional level, in response to different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models.

“With this new global data-set, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet,” noted Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist.

This NASA data-set integrates actual measurements from around the world with data from climate simulations.

These climate simulations used the best physical models of the climate system available, to provide forecasts of what the global climate might look like under different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

The NASA climate projections provide a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a 25-km resolution, covering the time period from 1950 to 2100.

The 11-terabyte data-set provides daily estimates of maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation over the entire globe. (IANS)

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SpaceX to Launch Twin NASA Water Cycle Tracker Satellites

The satellites are scheduled to launch at 3.47 p.m. EDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California

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SpaceX to Launch Twin NASA Water Cycle Tracker Satellites
SpaceX to Launch Twin NASA Water Cycle Tracker Satellites. Pixabay

On its way to deploy five Iridium Next communications satellites on Tuesday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will also launch twin NASA satellites that will monitor Earth’s water cycle, marking a unique rideshare arrangement.

The satellites are scheduled to launch at 3.47 p.m. EDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California. (This corresponds to 1.17 a.m. Wednesday India time), NASA said.

The two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On mission (GRACE-FO) spacecraft will follow each other in orbit around Earth, separated by about 220 km.

On liftoff, the Falcon 9 first-stage engines will burn for approximately two minutes and 45 seconds before shutting down at main engine cutoff (MECO).

The Falcon 9’s first and second stages will separate seconds later. Then, the second-stage engine will ignite for the first time (SES1) and burn until the vehicle reaches the altitude of the injection orbit, 490 km.

NASA
Representational Image, VOA

While this burn is going on, the payload fairing — the launch vehicle’s nose cone — will separate into two halves like a clamshell and fall away.

When the rocket’s second stage has completed its ascent to the injection orbit altitude, it will pitch down (its nose points down) 30 degrees and roll so that one of the twin GRACE-FO satellites is facing down, toward Earth, and the other is facing up, toward space.

Then the second stage engine will cut off (SECO).

About 10 minutes after liftoff, a separation system on the second stage will deploy the GRACE-FO satellites.

Separation will occur over the Pacific Ocean at about 17.5 degrees North latitude, 122.6 degrees West longitude.

The first opportunity to receive data from the spacecraft will occur at NASA’s tracking station at McMurdo, Antarctica, about 23 minutes after separation, NASA said.

Also Read: A Study by NASA Shows Freshwater Decline in India

After the GRACE-FO satellites are deployed, the Falcon 9 second stage will coast for half an orbit before reigniting its engine (SES2) to take the Iridium Next satellites to a higher orbit for deployment.

GRACE-FO, a collaborative mission of NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), continues the work of the original GRACE mission in observing the movement of water and other mass around our planet by tracking the changing pull of gravity very precisely. (IANS)

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