New Report Indicates Rapid Decline In Weather Satellites

The National Research Council issued a report Wednesday indicating a deterioration in weather satellite capabilities. The report warns that our ability to track tornadoes, forecast hurricanes and study climate change is about to diminish. Tight budgets have significantly delayed or eliminated missions to replace the satellites. The number of in-orbit and planned Earth observation missions by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is projected to drop from 23 this year to only six by 2020. Overall, the number of instruments monitoring Earth's activity is expected to decline from a peak of about 110 in 2011 to fewer than 30 by the end of the decade.

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