Don’t Destroy Critical Climate Mission

Target: Bill Nelson, Administrator of NASA

Goal: Continue operation of climate sensor instrumental in cataloguing health of forests and ecosystems.

The coldest regions on Earth are now experiencing unprecedented heat waves. At the North Pole, where warming outpaces the rest of the world by fourfold, temperatures have soared 50 degrees above the average. Meanwhile, at the polar opposite end of the planet, the portions of Antarctica surrounding the South Pole have risen by 70 degrees. These simultaneous heat-ups have put the icy regions at or past the melting point. This disturbing pattern reinforces the need for continued study and information-gathering about the drivers of global warming. Unfortunately, NASA is set to destroy one of its key tools in this mission.

Climate sensors are an on-the-rise technology used to monitor environmental patterns. Some devices are as small as dandelion seeds. The sensor currently being utilized by NASA, the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission, is about the size of an average refrigerator. This particular sensor leverages laser beams to evaluate the health and scope of the trees and forests populating the planet.

The data collected provides invaluable insight on problems like habitat loss, degradation of biodiversity, and forest fire effects. The sensor also plays a pivotal role in measuring the carbon-storing capacity of trees. Carbon emissions are a leading driver of climate change. As such, the carbon measurements yielded by this project help scientists develop pollution-fighting strategies and indicate how various nations are progressing in their commitments to lower emissions levels.

In under a year, however, this important climate-tracking tool could become vapor dust in the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA plans to de-orbit the sensor and incinerate it. Sign the petition below to urge the agency to heed scientists’ calls for a stay of execution for this potentially planet-saving tool.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Nelson,

At a time when the North and Sout Poles are providing a grim glimpse of the planet’s future, one of the nation’s most respected agencies should be stepping up its efforts to understand and combat the climate crisis. The end and possible literal destruction of the GEDI mission would undermine these objectives. While the mission may be running past its projected lifespan, the world provides evidence every day that this mission is far from complete.

Other organizations are recognizing the pivotal role of climate sensors. NASA should be partnering and collaborating with these efforts, not shuttering its own. The GEDI sensor has been championed by scientists as an important tool for evaluating matters of global consequence such as biodiversity, deforestation, and global warming.

Please grant this vital mission a new lease on life.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


2 Comments

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    We should be UTILIZING all tools in our efforts to stem global warming.

  2. People need to know what is happening here on Earth. Something has to convince the nonbelievers that we are in a climate crises and everyone can do something about it – conserve energy, shop smart, recycle, say “no” to plastic, and be active by signing petitions and letting your government know that we are at a tipping point for climate redemption. All our lives and the beautiful world that we are a part of are at stake.

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