The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is trying to help wage war against climate change. While other scientists are looking at the seas and ice caps, the space agency is watching from above: in space.
By 2050, climate experts have predicted that not much of the Juneau ice field will remain, leaving the future generation with nothing to enjoy and a possible big dent on Alaska's economy. About the same time in Asia, densely populated countries like China and India will experience severe water shortages partly contributed by climate change.
These and more are the horror stories the human race has to face if climate change should continue in its current rate or worsens over time, forcing many scientists to scramble to come up with more precise estimates on sea levels and global warming rates and mitigate the effects.
Currently, the data seem segmented and may not paint a "true global picture." To address this problem, NASA is stepping in with a new method through the Sea Level Change site, which "keeps track of sea level change and its causes from space."
Using different climate change models and data fed by satellites like Jason-3 in space, NASA can help estimate sea level rises, determine possible causes, and establish relationships of these changes in sea levels with the other alterations of Earth's topography.
For example, NASA's technology can already measure "sea level fingerprints," which refers to the changes in Earth's rotational and gravitation fields as glaciers melt. This data can be used to provide a more accurate and high-resolution image of possible sea levels in a locality and attribute it to a cause.
"At Miami, in principle, we can isolate what fraction of observed sea level is due to what specific source - Jakobshavn Isbrae in Greenland, Pine Island Glacier in the West Antarctica, tidewater glaciers in Alaska, maybe others," said Surendra Adhikari, a Sea Level Change member.
The website also features an alpha version of a Data Analysis Tool that one can use to understand changes in sea levels, including sea surface temperatures or surface height anomaly in a particular area.
Rising sea levels is a major concern, as they may leave certain areas including NASA facilities and centers near the coasts vulnerable to flooding and disappearance. Using the said program, the world might be better equipped to tackle the enemy.