NASA Observations and their Use in Study of Earth System Science

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NASA’s satellite observations provide information about many aspects of the Earth system that can be used to study its behavior. Space-based observations can help to characterize the variability inherent in the components that make up the Earth system, quantify both the human-induced and naturally-occurring forcings that affect it as well as the response of the Earth system to these forcings. They also can provide accurate measurement of the consequences of Earth system variability to life on Earth, and enable improved predictive capability for describing the Earth’s future evolution. Results from the suite of operating missions will be shown, and plans for future satellites, including those with near-term launches and those anticipated in the future, especially those described by the National Research Council in its first-ever Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications (released in 2007) will presented.