In 2014, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is putting Mars and space exploration on hold. 2014 is the year of studying Earth. NASA is the world’s most reputable aeronautics and aerospace research organization in the world and they are refocusing their efforts towards earth. Why would they do this if climate change wasn’t a real and pressing issue?

nasa earth

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Center

Charles Bolden, a NASA administrator wrote this in his blog, “The five launches are part of an active year for NASA Earth science, which also includes airborne campaigns to the poles and hurricanes, development of advanced sensor technologies, and the use of satellite observations and data analysis tools to improve natural hazard and climate change preparedness. As we prepare for future missions to an asteroid and Mars, our immediate focus for this year is on Earth.”

The first NASA Earth science mission of 2014 is the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. The mission will produce the first global observations of rainfall and snowfall, which will help answer questions about our planet’s life-sustaining water cycle.

Second, in July NASA will launch a mission to study carbon dioxide’s role in climate change. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory will make precise, global measurements of carbon dioxide, which will be used to improve understanding of how these emissions negatively effect the Earth’s oceans, land and atmosphere.

Finally, two missions were assigned to the International Space Station to measure ocean winds, clouds, and aerosols. This marks the first time that the space station will be used for monitoring planet Earth.

nasa earth 2

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Center

There are big things to come from NASA’s new initiatives. It is exciting to think about what they could find out in 2014. It makes sense too. Why spend all our efforts exploring space when we are destroying the planet underneath our feet? It’s time to take care of the planet we live on before it’s too late.

Check out this quick two minute video that NASA put together about its 2014 Earth Initiative:





I also found this cool interactive tool called that NASA released which allows you to manipulate time and view the different levels of water levels, carbon emissions, ice melt, average global temperatures, and sea level. Check it out here:

Climate Time Machine

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