Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Earth From Space - An Incredible PBS Production About the Importance of Satellites in Understanding Our Planet

John G. forwarded a link to me about a PBS special on NOVA called Earth From Space. I watched it and was very impressed! Even at 1 hour and 53 minutes, the information contained in this video is remarkable. I found it interesting that funding for NOVA is provided by David Koch. Koch would seem to be a man bent on supporting those who routinely deny the importance of science in our political institutions. I'm still scratching my head on that one.

In this video you will understand why funding for NASA and the satellites it operates is crucial to understanding complex and dynamic earth systems. The program makes the point that without the long-term collection of data and the phenomenal way that "invisible" bands of light can be captured by satellites, so many of the predictive benefits that we now take for granted would not be possible. We are seeing our planet deeper and with new eyes.

In this show, you will understand the role of plankton in creating the oxygen we breathe and how lake sediments in the Sahara Desert help to fertilize the Amazon rainforest. Satellites show that three million lightning strikes occur on Earth each day and how ice that is formed in Antarctica helps to drive Earth's ocean currents and climate.

Check it out. The imagery is superb and the story is compelling.

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