Cutbacks and reallocations within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are "already causing harm" to Earth-observing satellites, and "will become rapidly worse unless the Congress and the Administration take prompt action to reverse the recent trends," the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) cautioned.
"The network of satellites upon which the United States and the world have relied for indispensable observations of Earth from space is in jeopardy," the AAAS Board of Directors concluded in a consensus statement. (See www.aaas.org/EOS.) "Declines will result in major gaps in the continuity and quality of the data gathered about the Earth from space."
This week’s AAAS Board statement reaffirms an earlier, 400-page analysis by the National Research Council, which concluded that U.S. global observations are "at great risk," while the next generation of U.S. Earth-observing satellites are "generally less capable" than their current counterparts.
AAAS joined the NRC in calling for the restoration of key NOAA satellites; acceleration of NASA’s current launch schedule to "shrink data gaps;" and support for the 17 highest-priority new Earth-observation missions for the 2010-2020 time period. Achieving these goals will require returning NASA’s Earth-science budget to its 1998-2000 level and stabilizing the budget of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service at a level only slightly higher than the 2007 amount, adjusted for inflation, AAAS said.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology plans a hearing Wednesday, 2 May on NASA’s Space Science Programs and Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Issues. The hearing will take place from 10:00 am until Noon in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2318.
Another hearing the U.S. global climate-change research program will take place Thursday, 3 May, from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm, in the same location.
In addition, AAAS will release its much-awaited annual analysis of proposed 2008 federal research funding, during the 32nd Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, Thursday and Friday this week. For details, see www.aaas.org/forum.
Kei Koizumi, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, said the President’s proposed 2008 budget calls for large increases to three physical sciences agencies relevant to the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) and additional support for weapons and spacecraft -- but less funding for all other research. "Many agencies such as the National Institutes of Health would see their R&D funding fall," said Koizumi. "In real terms, the federal research investment would fall for the fourth year in a row after peaking in 2004."
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy