Aging birds threaten forecasts

GCN tech brief

PAST THEIR PRIME: The lack of replacements for old satellites could hamper NWS' climate predictions.

U.S. Earth-observing satellites are aging, and agencies have few replacements planned. And with fewer birds aloft, the National Weather Service will have less data to make climate predictions, according to a report recently published by the National Academy of Sciences, 'Earth Science and Applications From Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond' ( The study found that 'between 2006 and the end of the decade, the number of operating missions will decrease dramatically, and the number of operating sensors and instruments on NASA spacecraft, most of which are past their nominal lifetimes, will decrease by some 40 percent.'

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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