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."
Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact
20.11.2017 | Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar
20.11.2017 | University of Edinburgh
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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