Earth Observation Missions to Study Climate Get Cut

by Matt Ball on February 28, 2011

SpaceNews reports that funding has been eliminated for the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) and the Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) missions. CLARREO would have gathered data on emitted and reflected energy in order to study long-term changes in climate. The Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) would have deployed Earth imaging radar and lidar mission to study formation of ice packs on the Earth’s surface. These cuts save about $2.4 billion through the rest of the decade.

It’s surprising to see such a cut in climate research, particularly in light of the loss of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, and the Government Accountability Office’s analysis that the United States has been underfunding its Earth-observing satellite network for a decade. Research will be hard hit by the lack of consistent data to monitor and measure change.

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