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Watching Earth’s Interconnected Systems at Work
31 October 2019
Space-based Earth observations are critical in advancing both our fundamental understanding of how the planet operates and our ability to monitor, predict, and respond to changes on short and long timescales. To prioritize Earth observation needs for the next decade, the National Academy of Sciences developed a short list of high-priority observing systems called "designated observables" according to the 2017 decadal survey for Earth observation from space, the most recent survey.
One of the designated observables is Surface Biology and Geology (SBG), which addresses critical scientific questions and topics with respect to ecology and biodiversity (terrestrial and aquatic), hydrology, physical geography, solid Earth science, and societally beneficial applications relevant to each of these areas.
NASA initiated a new study to assess plans and potential architectures for an observing system that will help achieve the goals of the SBG designated observables.
Image credit: Fabian D. Schneider; data: NASA JPL, AVIRIS-NG - False-color composite image of the landscape near Noatak, Alaska.