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Toward a US framework for continuity of satellite observations of Earth's climate and for supporting societal resilience

February 12, 2024

There is growing urgency for improved public and commercial services to support a resilient, secure, and thriving United States (US) in the face of mounting decision-support needs for environmental stewardship and hazard response, as well as for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Sustained space-based Earth observations are critical infrastructure to support the delivery of science and decision-support information with local, national, and global utility. This is reflected in part through the United States' sustained support of a suite of weather and land-imaging satellites. However, outside of these two areas, the US lacks an overarching, systematic plan or framework to identify, prioritize, fund, and implement sustained space-based Earth observations to meet the Nation's full range of needs for science, government policy, and societal support. To aid and accelerate the discussion on our nation's needs, challenges and opportunities associated with sustained critical space-based Earth observations, the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) sponsored a multi-week think-tank study to offer ways forward. Based on this study, the KISS study team suggests the establishment of a robust coordination framework to help address US needs for sustained Earth observations. This coordination framework could account for: (a) approaches to identify and prioritize satellite observations needed to meet US needs for science and services, (b) the rapidly evolving landscape of space-based Earth viewing architecture options and technology improvements with increasing opportunities and lower cost access to space, and (c) the technical and programmatic underpinnings required for proper and comprehensive data stewardship to support a wide range of research and public services.

Publication Year 2024
Title Toward a US framework for continuity of satellite observations of Earth's climate and for supporting societal resilience
DOI 10.1029/2023EF003757
Authors Duane E. Waliser, Waleed Abdalati, Nancy Baker, Stacey Boland, Michael Bonadonna, Carol Anne Clayson, Belay Demoz, Kelsey Foster, Christian Frankenburg, Maria Hakuba, Therese Jorgensen, Ryan J. Kramer, Daniel Limonadi, Anna M. Michalak, Asal Naseri, Pat Patterson, Peter Pilewskie, Steven Platnick, Charlie Powell, Jeff Privette, Chris Ruf, Tapio Schneider, Jorg Schulz, Paul Selmants, Rashmi Shah, Qianqian Song, Graeme Stephens, Timothy S. Stryker
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth's Future
Index ID 70251613
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Geographic Science Center