Climate change: NASA’s next Earth missions will monitor extreme weather

Already this year, NOAA and NASA’s newest weather satellite, GOES-18, launched from Cape Canaveral on March 1 and later reached its home 22,236 miles above Earth. The satellite will track hurricanes, wildfires and provide advanced warnings for tornadoes and give advanced warnings of incoming space weather caused by solar flares. 

This summer, Astra will launch a constellation of small NASA satellites known as CubeSats under the TROPICS mission.

This fall, NOAA and NASA are preparing to launch the third satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series, JPSS-2.

NOAA’s JPSS-2 mission will help predict extreme weather conditions providing a holistic view of how all of Earth’s systems are working together. The satellite will provide data to help forecasters track climate change.

JPSS-2 is scheduled to launch in September from California. 

At the end of the year, NASA’s SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) mission is scheduled to launch to low-Earth orbit, providing the most precise measurement of Earth’s water from its oceans, lakes, wetlands and all bodies of water. 

According to NASA, SWOT will help scientists understand the impacts of climate change, including the ocean’s ability to absorb heat and carbon dioxide.

SWOT will help western states dealing with drought, lack of snowpack and low reservoirs to know how much water they have. St. German said coastal communities facing flooding due to sea-level rise would also have SWOT information to help them prepare.

SWOT data will also help farmers manage crops and irrigation needs. 

SpaceX will launch the spacecraft from California in November.

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