Global climate science could get a kick in the pants with NASA's new pact with Cisco Systems to monitor and report carbon buildup across the world in "near real-time." The US space agency says it's teaming with Cisco to create a network of satellite-, airborne-, sea-, and land-based sensors to update Earth's environmental …
"The US space agency says it's teaming with Cisco to create a network of satellite-, airborne-, sea-, and land-based sensors to update Earth's environmental status as the world turns."
Are these sensors going to pick up their own, inevitable carbon emissions and report those?
And how are they going to get sufficient coverage in the rain forest? Cut down a bunch of trees so that they can erect and place the sensor and it's necessarily large transmitter for global communications?
And there's always been something odd about NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - note the lack of the word weather or atmosphere in the name) "collecting and reporting" on the weather. Why isn't NWA (National Weather Agency), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency - who run the National Weather Service) the lead agency for *gasp* the weather (in the US)?
Right, grabbing my poncho with the new weather sensor in it.
Dear, dear, Austin, I think you are forgetting El Reg's editorial line on global warming. Anybody who is involved in climate change research is to be ridiculed as a pea-brained doom-monger seeking to justify their own cushy job. You forgot to mention that NASA is involved in a huge conspiracy to plunge the world economy into 14th Century poverty, and you also missed out the quote from the courageous, noble-browed anti-AGW campaigner pointing out the many flaws in the scheme. Mild sarcasm just isn't enough. FAIL.
Still, won't be long before we get the usual howls of protest from the "skeptics" saying what a waste of money this is. I can hear the drool hitting the keyboards already.
What will happen when ...
What will happen when the data does not agree with what they want? Will Dr. Hansen fudge the numbers yet again?
Methinks yes. Although Dr. Hansen's pro-global warming conference was snowed out, he has someone in the White House that agrees with him on climate change and has already talked about a carbon tax (among many other taxes which will stifle any economic recovery). When the real data isn't scary, funding is lost.
Since NASA is running this, and doubtless Dr. Hansen of NASA has a big piece of the pie, don't expect the results to be accurate and objective but to just look that way.
Monitor, detect, evaluate, observe, filter...
...model, compute, discuss, examine, inspect, study....
...Wot, actually DO something about it? Hah!
Anywone checked the back of the envelope?
Earth observation sensors tend to generate lots of data on a daily basis. With a large enough sensor net (IE across a whole planet) even fairly low rate sensors can generate enough data to swamp a fairly big system.
Also "Carbon footprint" is a bit tricky. Is it CO2 only? Methane as well? Humidity (Water is a pretty potent greenhouse gas).
So if they get the scoping wrong you either get a network that won't collapse under load but does not give accurate coverage, or one which gives an accurate picture but falls over every so often.
I hope this works given how far above sea level London is.
Now will anyone actually act on the results?
Nah, when a coastline sinks into the sea it'll create a new swamp. Any fule kno that mattresses live in swamps, where they spend their time globbering floopily, all the while maturing to a quality pocket sprung quilted product.
So a good place for an entrepreneurial mattress manufacturer with an eye to moving to the cheaper breeding / harvesting process to set up then.
@John Smith - Water is not a greenhouse gas. Water vapour in the atmosphere is a function of temperature, if everyone switched their kettle on at the same time the water vapour in the atmosphere wouldn't increase, it would just rain out somewhere else. Increase of water vapour in the atmosphere is caused by increase of temperature.
@Wayne Burchette - If you are getting data from various different sources you need to normalise it first. There is no point in using data from one satellite that is constantly X out from another, it needs to be adjusted in order that it is usefull. The same goes for unmaned stations/maned stations/marine observations, etc.
Cor, strike a light
Look out, Marlboro cowboy, Really Big Brother is now watching you. Strike up one too many cigs, light one too many campfires, eat one too many baked beans - and NASA will tell the horse marines exactly where to find you and your SUV.
And that goes for you too Amazinonian rainforesters, etc. We nu insect overlards aint discriminating any more. You're all wicked CO2 abusers now and we're watching you (when we're not watching the BBC).
Water vapour is a GHG & arguably the predominant one by effect:
"Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 66% for water vapor alone, and between 66% and 85% when factoring in clouds."
from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Role_of_water_vapor> and from actually knowing something about the subject.
So check your facts.
Yes, you're right, I was talking about this with a climate scientist friend of mine, and regurgitated something he said to me without bothering to understand what I was answering...
No probs, I shouldn't have been quite so righteous for that matter.
I just want to make sure that I'm commenting on the register... Person who is clearly wrong (me) admits idiocy, then person pointed it out says sorry that they were a bit harsh about it. Is that what just happened?
I'm not aware that this has happened here before... Thanks.