Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meanwhile, Problems With the Increasingly Important Field of Space Weather


Variations in space weather have the potential to disrupt the electric power grid, telecommunications and Global Positioning Systems — virtually all public infrastructure. To predict such disruptions, a comprehensive space weather forecasting system could cost between $1 billion and $2 billion during the next decade, space scientists told members of the House Space, Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday.
Costs would include replacing the Advanced Composition Explorer satellite, which provides data for geomagnetic storm warnings issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center, which has operated 13 years beyond its two-year design life, Laura Furgione, acting director of the National Weather Service, told the committee’s panel on space and aeronautics.

Details here.

The U.S. has been overspending on global warming research and not spending nearly enough the weather forecasting and warning infrastructure, seasonal to 1-2 year climate forecasting (where we have  surprisingly little skill), and space weather.

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