Landstat 8 is launching this week. The stakes are very high because Landstat 7 is running out of fuel, and could possibly go offline. Landstat 8 will provide higher resolution images of the earth. The satellite project has provided scientists, researchers, private businesses, and governments with incredible wealth of data.
Landsat data has become a fundamental data source for addressing basic science questions. It is a valuable resource for decision makers in the fields of agriculture, forestry, land use, water resources and natural resource exploration.
Landsat has also played an increasing role in diverse applications such as human population census, growth of global urbanization and deletion of coastal wetlands.
As human populations increasingly dominate the Earth’s land areas, understanding changes in land cover and land use from year to year becomes increasingly important for both decision makers and human occupants of the Earth.
I’ll be writing more about Landstat over the coming months. It is one of the most important systems in shaping climate adaptation policy and other environmental decision making.
You can read the history of Landstat at NASA.
More on the new launch, via Wired.
Whoa. Now reading this excellent series by the LATimes. Hope it touches upon distribution networks and infrastructure…
Beyond 7 billion: After remaining stable for most of human history, the world’s population has exploded over the last two centuries. The boom is not over: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. The coming wave will reshape the planet, and the impact will be greatest in the poorest, most unstable countries.
This is one of the biggest projects coming out of The Times this year. Read the stories, watch the videos, look through the photos — the collection is a beast. And let us know what you think.
The fall issue of Endangered Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity’s print newsletter for members, is now available to you online. The cover story is the Center’s groundbreaking 7 Billion and Counting campaign, whose flagship media project, our Endangered Species Condoms, jump-started a national conversation about overpopulation this October just as the world’s human numbers hit the 7 billion mark — including a lengthy, prominent feature in The New York Times.
The Times article said the Center is “virtually alone” in breaking the taboo against talking about the overpopulation crisis “by directly tying population growth to environmental problems through efforts like giving away condoms in colorful packages depicting endangered animals.” This year, our path-breaking campaign distributed 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms through 1,200 eager volunteers, who handed them out in all 50 states.
Also in this issue, read about:
- The fight to save wolves: a Center petition to protect Alaska’s rare, black Alexander Archipelago wolf; our appeal to stop the killing of Oregon’s first wolf family in decades; and our fending off of more assaults on wolves by Congress.
- How our landmark 757-species agreement, reached this summer, is rapidly pushing hundreds of animals and plants toward Endangered Species Act protection, including Florida sandhill cranes, Ozark hellbenders, Miami blue butterflies and Alabama map turtles.
- The “extinction rider” we and our allies defeated in Congress and our ongoing work to defend the Endangered Species Act against ill-informed political attacks.
- The controversy over the damaging, 1,700-mile Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which has sparked large, high-profile peaceful protests outside the White House and a suit by the Center to stop construction on the pipeline.
Click here to download a PDF of the fall 2011 issue.
Digging these new style of maps.
Growth seems to be a theme today. We commonly read and hear that population will top out at 9 billion mid-century. Oddly, we somehow find comfort in this. But, what if this number is wrong? What if the Earth hits 12 billion people?
What if population continues to soar, as it has in recent decades, and the world becomes home to 12 billion or even 16 billion people by 2100, as a high-end U.N. estimate has projected? Such an outcome would clearly have enormous social and environmental implications, including placing enormous stress on the world’s food and water resources, spurring further loss of wildlands and biodiversity, and hastening the degradation of the natural systems that support life on Earth….
But we must face facts. The assumption that all developing countries will see their birth rates decline to the low levels now prevalent in Europe is very far from certain. We can also expect the large majority of population growth to be in countries and areas with the highest poverty and lowest levels of education. Today, the challenge to improve living conditions is often not being met, even as the numbers in need continue to grow.