New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen

from Wired

People should go easier on meteorologists when they get the weather forecast wrong. Those guys are doing their best, OK? Plus, they’re dealing with some significant scientific handicaps. Even some of the most advanced like weather satellites in the world can’t reliably tell the difference between clouds and ice.

But that won’t be problem much longer. Last November, NASA launched GOES-16—NOAA’s next generation weather satellite—into geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles from Earth. On January 15th, it started to send back pictures. The new satellite images aren’t just pretty: Compared to the previous generation, GOES-16 has three times the spectral channels capturing images at four times the resolution, with five times the efficiency. Meaning scientists will have a whole lot more data to validate their weather and climate models, and a better chance to warn you when Mother Nature starts going rogue.

Being able to distinguish clouds, ice, fog, smoke, and ash seems pretty basic, but it isn’t. With GOES-13’s just five spectral channels, it all just looked, well, white. “When I saw those clouds, I just turned to someone and said, ‘Holy cow.’ It was jaw dropping for me,” says Steve Goodman, senior scientist for the GOES-R program (GOES-16’s name before the satellite reached orbit). “Now we’ll be able to figure out these cloud evolution processes better, and validate whether we’ve got these weather and climate models exactly right—which I’m willing to bet we don’t.”

More here.

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30 Responses to New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen

  1. Michelle Pyatnychuk January 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

    This advancement in weather satellite technology is interesting coming off the turbulent hurricanes we have experienced within the last five years. To be able to warn people ahead of time of the storms that are headed their way will prevent the countless lives and homes lost to these natural disasters, indefinitely. Although we are forewarned constantly about extreme weather conditions, people often do not listen to their local government warnings, state government warnings and even federal because, especially after the low blow that was Hurricane Irene to the islands of New York where people were told to evacuate, few found it necessary to have done so especially when they returned home to their peaceful suburban streets. It’s common for people to lose faith in their newscasters after such scenarios because when they were told to evacuate yet again for Hurricane Sandy, which actually turned out to be a notable disaster for many, they did not want to leave their homes for an overblown storm. Given that this satellite can be a sure sign of storms and their validity, news and governments will begin to restore that trust with people that are in hurricane prone areas in order to protect them and their homes.

    The end of the article made mention of how Trump’s administration is against spending money for climate research as many in the administration do not believe in climate change but I do not agree with the article’s claim that this satellite will be seen as a type of climate research. I can see why they would call it so especially since the satellite can restore images from great distances to a sharper and colorful quality and see things such as “ice melting and dust storms” accumulating but, I feel that NASA can twist the use of the satellite in a way that is more likely to be appreciated by our President.

    The satellite can be used for monitoring of rising water levels and such but it should not stand a difficult chance of being funded because it does provide a more instantaneous effect in that lives and disasters can be, respectfully, saved and averted. The Trump administration should see the great benefits of having a satellite of this magnitude in space, watching over both us and the always-changing weather that we experience on a day-to-day basis. The creation of this technology has shown us that we really need, now more than ever, to keep up with the planet in ways that we have not yet before. Technology is one of the few ways that we can protect our planet from the destruction that it is facing, whether some politicians believe it or not. It already has done so much from creating machines that recycle metals and plastic to even laptops that replace paper waste with digitized messages and information.

    This satellite comes at a perfect time when the future of our planet has come to a point where we can no longer ignore the problems that it faces and through being able to monitor the changing weather patterns that have reached extremes since this century has begun, we can be sure to find a solution that even our current administration can accept.

  2. William Stuck January 31, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    Technology is constantly evolving and becoming more advanced. In almost every facet of technology, the next generation is better in a multitude of ways. One example is the new “GOES-16” satellite that the article talks about. Until very recently, the technology used by meteorologists and scientists was relatively primitive. A lack of spectral channels made it very difficult for forecasters to distinguish things like ice, clouds, fog, and ash. As a result, it was very difficult for us to predict and understand weather patterns. However, this has changed. A new satellite launched by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has begun to send back pictures that are four times as detailed as anything previous satellites had sent back. This means that very soon, we may have a much better understanding of how climate systems on our planet work. In the long term this means we will have more accurate weather forecasts, and more importantly, more timely natural disaster warnings. Eric Webster describes how significant this could be in terms of natural disaster warnings and evacuation. He stresses the difference that something as small as an extra five minutes could make for people in the affected areas. Another very long term benefit is the fact that this will offer us the opportunity to study and monitor climate change with much greater accurate than before. Hopefully this means that we will be able to have a greater understanding of what’s happening to our planet over time and exactly what can be done to reverse, stop, or at least slow down this process. Things like melting ice caps and changes in global vegetation will be easier to study and understand. The satellite itself orbits over twenty thousand miles from earth and is equipped with sixteen cameras; two that detect visible light, four that are “near infrared”, and ten that are capable of detecting infrared light. All of this is very impressive, and more satellites like this one could have the potential to make the world (especially areas that are prone to natural disaster) a safer place to live. Being able to warn the populace of an impending disaster sooner than before could mean a much lesser loss of life and could present people with the chance to fortify and protect their property. The former is good for obvious reasons, but the latter could mean that the aftermath of big storms will be less disastrous in the future. The article also addresses a problem, the fact that the current administration will most likely be reluctant to spend money on furthering climate research and development. However, I hope and believe that we will soon understand just how beneficial it can be to have a better understanding of our planet. Hopefully in the future, research in this field is able to go on unencumbered by funding issues.

  3. John Zarro January 31, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    Everybody everywhere at any time has experienced unpredictable weather changes or has dealt with wrongful weather forecasts. From personal experiences, I know these common mistakes could be detrimental to parties and other similar outdoor events. Emma Grey Ellis writes this article titled “New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen” describing the new technology NASA released recently named the GOES-16.

    According to Emma Grey Ellis and NASA, this satellite is like no other. Orbiting at 22,000 miles away from Earth, the GOES-16 can capture images at four times the resolution compared to the previous GOES-13. With this type of technology in our nation’s hands, I believe the world’s perspective on Mother Nature will be altered. The article states that the GOES-16 can, “monitor everything from poisonous sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanic eruptions to melting snowpacks.” To divulge into the technology even more, the GOES-16 can view the entire country in five minutes. This means storms are under a microscope and can be detected in 30 seconds or so. Giving people extra time can be the difference of being in the middle of the street dead or being in the basement according to Elllis and I agree. The slightest few minutes before a tornado hits will allow people to prepare more and know the tornado is close rather than seeing the tornado and running for safety which usually does not end well for the stragglers. Boats and planes can be able to avoid storms that are coming towards them or storms in the near future.

    The GOES-16 can prevent deaths caused by Mother Nature. Goodman says in the article that, “people will come up with hundreds of new things to do with this data.” I also agree with this statement because it will allow scientists to view patterns, changes, etc. In the recent past scientists would be forced to study data that seemed unclear and they have created an immense amount of helpful theories/proposals from that same unclear data. Therefore, one can only imagine the capabilities clear data will create future. I see this technology as being revolutionary to society. Being able to track weather from a more precise perspective could lead to less lives lost from natural disasters most prominently, but also could aid citizen’s everyday necessities. For example, whenever it is supposed to snow my mom will always have to take my dad’s car to work because she drives a long distance and needs his all-wheel drive. The problem with weather forecasts being wrong sometime is that the days that it is not supposed to snow and it does, my mom struggles to get home. I hope that this new technology will better clarify what the weather will be like along with aid society’s everyday needs concerning the weather for the day/week/month. No one wants to go to the beach in the summer and have it rain just like no one wants to be stuck in the snow because their car cannot handle it. Life is hard enough as it is, and at times, the unknown weather makes everything more difficult.

    All in all, I see this technology produced by NASA named GOES-16 helping the nation a lot. The opportunities with the data from this satellite is endless and so are its benefits. Anything and everything that can improve life is considered important in my eyes along with most of the population. Portraying the perspective that the GOES-16 can save lives makes this investment even more worth its cost. Although the Trump Administration is against the climate change funding, I think President Trump will come around to the idea due to its limitless data and possible benefits.

  4. Jacob Hoelting February 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    Weathermen get a bad rep. Every day the weather is a prediction of what will happen, but as everyone knows, it is not exact. Much as a stockbroker predicts the stocks, the weathermen do the same. Why do weathermen seem to get their predictions wrong so often though? The quick and easy answer is technology. For accurate and precise predictions there requires satellites that are far superior to the ones now. As of now the main satellites that are used cannot detect between dust, ice, clouds, snow, etc. so predicting what weather is to come is far more difficult than looking on the satellite. Now a new satellite technology has saved the day. The new GEOS-16 is a high-tech satellite that allows weathermen to more accurately predict the weather with infrared cameras and high-resolution photos. With this new technology, the satellite can scan the entire Earth and its weather in 15 minutes, the United States in 5 minutes, and a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado in 30 seconds. This may not seem like a lot of time to warn people of a danger, but five minutes is a little under time some people can run a mile. Five minutes of warning is better than nothing. Five minutes of warning gives a family the time needed to get everyone in a basement or another family to get to a safe place. The effects of this new kind of satellite gives the people not only accurate weather, but also can save lives.

    To get a warning in the face of a natural disaster is a game changer. Knowing where a tornado is going to hit, where it will flood or when a blizzard will bog people down could save countless lives and could help get people the proper care they need afterwards. Coming from Austin, Texas, a pace that is never short of a natural disaster, this could be a lifesaver. Austin always floods even when there is just a bottle of water dumped in the lake, so if these spastic floods could be predicted there could be less people on the roads and more people getting to higher ground. Also, spending a lot of time in the tornado alley portion of Texas in the panhandle I am no stranger to tornadoes. While visiting my grandparents in the panhandle, there are tornadoes and there are many people that do not have time to get to shelter because of the distance between their house and their farm. A satellite that gives citizens a five-minute warning gives that farmer time to at least get a mile from their house.

    Although some may say that putting up a new, big satellite in space is unnecessary and expensive, the benefit from the satellite is too great to not do. Satellites are always very expensive and constantly need to be updated so putting up this satellite is just a blip on the radar. The benefit of better weather predictions and the opportunity to save lives by predicting the weather is priceless. Not only can it predict the weather patterns it can be used to research things like ice melting and dust storms and vegetation changes throughout the day and over the years. This satellite can do it all. Scientists will be able to use this satellite to research things that can later in the future help people and bring up new issues that need to be addressed. GEN-16 is a game changer that will help the Earth and its people.

  5. Robert Seijas February 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

    Accuracy is one of the most important aspects possible, in regards to pretty much everything. Nobody wants inaccuracy in something that they do, see, pay for, or especially trust. Watches are precise, and so are the smartphones that we carry everywhere to connect ourselves. Sadly, one of the things that could be most important to our safety, the weather, has not always been so accurate. Weather reports, since they began, have always been taken with a grain of salt due to their inaccuracies, possibilities of being inaccurate, and their past track record regarding inconsistencies. It is important to note that this may be changing very soon with the integration of the GOES – 16 satellite. The power of multiplied resolution and multiple channels with heat detecting technology creates an accuracy five times better than previously. This is not only immensely helpful to everybody, but shows promise to better fit and integrate accurate weather information and technology into our daily lives, and ultimately shift our habits forever.
    When people walk around with their smartphones, they expect everything to be at their fingertips, and expect it to be fast. They also expect truth from their information, despite getting it from the internet. Weather information is finally catching up to the accuracy that is expected by the fast moving general public. Although weather apps are all around us, and available in a great variety on our devices, they all generally have the same information with the same inaccuracies too. For this reason, some people don’t bother, while others get their information from the television or even go out into the elements blind. The real reason for this is the distrust that we have for the weather information, which thankfully, may be changed very soon with the new accurate technologies available now.
    If these technologies do change our levels of trust with weather apps and websites, it will very positively influence us to use them more. This will ultimately lead to a change in our notification habits with the weather. Specifically, the way we find out our news will be shifted more towards the phones we carry everywhere, and less to the television and radio stations that we watch and listen to. This shift is already underway, but may receive a very strong push from the newfound accuracy, thanks to the GOES-16 satellite. Much like the way the time of day is displayed on our phones in large letters, our current location’s weather is soon to follow this same basic format. Our weather will in turn become a much more important part of our consciousness, much like day and night, or the current month and day of the week.
    The level of accuracy available in our information will determine how well we trust it, and to what extend we let it into our lives as our own basic knowledge. This will ultimately shift our attitudes and knowledge, so that we are as prepared for a rainy day as we are the darkness of the night.

  6. Daniel Anglim February 1, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    Technology is increasing at a rapid rate, and its applications are endless. The article, “New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods before They Happen” by Emma Ellis explains how in the near future forecasting weather will be revolutionized. Currently, technology is not quite ready to predict exact weather forecasts; in fact, they are often wrong. The invention of the machine GOES-16 created by NASA will change predictions of weather forever. Ellis gives an explanation of the new technology saying, “Compared to the previous generation, GOES-16 has three times the spectral channels capturing images at four times the resolution, with five times the efficiency. Meaning scientists will have a whole lot more data to validate their weather and climate models, and a better chance to warn you when Mother Nature starts going rogue.” The GOES-16 sounds incredible, and will be a revolutionary piece of equipment. Forecasters should be able to accurately predict the weather, and warn the public of any catastrophic events. People lives will be saved; Mother Nature should no longer be able to catch people off guard. This reminds me of Hurricane Katrina that ruined thousands of people lives, and destroyed so many homes. If these people had more time to evacuate, and if the consequences of the storm were evident, more people would have left the area and tried to salvage whatever they could. Ellis has a similar point of view to myself stating, “If you have five more minutes of warning, that’s the difference between your kids playing down the street and being in your basement.” I cannot wait to see the power of the GOES-16, and its ability to give detailed images that tell the difference between fog, ice, snow, and rain. Weather has always been very unpredictable, and volatile to change. Now we are going to be able to harness the power of weather perhaps for our benefit even. Lets say a huge hurricane is coming the way, maybe we could use the energy that comes from the hurricane and store it for future use. There might come the day were humans are able to control the weather, it is farfetched to think but technology is always going to increase. Imagining the possible abilities of technology is almost impossible, this is a step in the right direction towards research on global warming. The GOES-16 will provide researchers with ample information on global warming and perhaps ways we can limited the severity of the important issue. Donald Trump does not want to spend the money on researching global warming but this is an issue that needs to be taken care of now. In the future, I would like the government to spend more time, and money working on things like increasing weather technology, and developing ways to get more research about global warming. GOES-16 is an exciting product, as a result of innovation. Not only could this product cut down on natural disasters, seen from the weather but it will also provide important information about global warming.

  7. Andrew Imbesi February 1, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    The weather always plays a huge role in our daily lives and yet for the past few centuries humans have forgotten how the weather is always affecting us. The weather influences the way we dress, the time of day we run an errand, and can even make or break a day of work. Humans have adapted to their cozy homes, so most of them do not know what it feels like to live in the wilderness. What about the cave dwellers? The average cave dweller really had no clue of telling the weather. At any given moment, a hurricane could hit the cave dweller’s location and the cave dweller would have not been able to do anything to protect his or herself.
    Now of days we have satellites, an invention humans will be forever grateful for. With the introduction of NASA’s new weather satellite, humans can predict weather even further into the future. This is without a doubt a huge scientific advancement for environmentalists and scientists. Weathermen and women will benefit from this satellite as well, having less chance of incorrectly predicting the weather. It is possible that someday this satellite will have an even bigger purpose. I propose that in the future, this satellite will contribute towards preventing natural disasters worldwide. Since scientists can look into the future of weather, if a storm is powerful enough to cause billions of dollars in damage, it is possible that actions will be implemented in order to prevent such an event from happening.
    It is no surprise to me that this scientific advancement is eye opening to President Trump. There are few scientific groups that Trump has respect for; the NOAA is one of them. This advancement in weather technology is useful to everyone and keeps people safe. I believe President Trump is willing to respect this satellite and the NOAA because this invention increases a person’s awareness. Like a terrorist attack, there is no way of knowing when one will strike (although the odds are not likely). Climate change will not kill us tomorrow but a terrorist can. President Trump is preparing for an emergency, not a long-term plan. I think he agrees that it would be good to know what the weather will be like a couple of days more in advance.
    This satellite is great for humans for the here and now but will not do anything major for us long-term. Climate change is a tough subject, and liberals will acknowledge climate change more often than conservatives will. To a conservative, climate change is simply natural. There is no doubt humans are headed for another ice age so conservatives choose not to care. They know that no matter what they do, there is nothing they can do now to stop it, so why bother? Conservatives are too money-oriented, so they do not see an investment in climate change going well since in the end we will all be dead.
    Well, the end is near and I do not blame liberals for constantly reminding conservatives to stop ignoring the planet. The sea level is rising and hundreds of cities around the globe will soon turn into Atlantis. What we do today on Earth impacts everyone living on it now and in the future. In the end, the drive for a cleaner Earth is respectable. We need to maintain a clean Earth in order for humans to buy as much time as they can on Earth. We are in no position to move to Mars or Venus, but the day humans abandon Earth is bound to happen.

  8. Olivia Tarnawska February 2, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    With the development of a new satellite, GOES-16, NASA is able to provide three times the spectral channels that capture images at four times the resolution, with five times the efficiency. Efficiency is important as it aids in consistent and accurate results. Many times the weather is detected falsely, which can present problems. The weather affects how an individual will get dressed, or what plans and individual might make. It also influences, in my opinion, how one may feel too. Nowadays, with the amount of natural disasters the world is experiencing, I believe that the development of this satellite will ultimately help predict these catastrophes much more accurately. This in return helps people be prepared rather than blindsided by either a tornado, flood, hurricane, etc. The more prepared an individual is, the better they can protect themselves, their homes, families, valuables, as well as their lives. Thus, having the advantage of knowing what is to come, will in addition, save a lot of money. So much money goes into re-pairing all the damages that these various natural disasters cause, and preparing for them will only help lower the cost. The article mentions that in the long run, with the advancement of this new satellite, climate change can be detected as well as studied. Though President Trump is not a firm believer in global warming, he supports the NOAA and their inventions. This is refreshing to hear because climate change is an issue that has to be faced and addressed. This article also mentions, “We’ll be able to watch ice melting and dust storms and vegetation changes throughout the day and over the years. It will certainly make a contribution.” ‘ It is amazing what technology is capable of, in that, it is able to distinguish ice melting from vegetation changes. It is crucial for us to be able to see what changes are happening with the environment in order to change the negative path that climate is presenting today. I support the development of this new satellite and its ability to not only inform, but protect society from future occurrences and future climate changes. We only have one planet Earth, and one chance to make it better, and with this satellite, I believe that it will present only positive outcomes.

  9. Ryan Appello February 2, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    I don’t know about you, but I usually dismiss just about everything I hear from a weatherperson. Their predictions are seldom even remotely close to what happens, so I, along with other, feel its better to disregard them entirely. The article talks about how old satellites struggle to differentiate between two things like clouds or ice. This prospect is horrifying. How can they be trusted to warn us of potentially dangerous weather systems if they can’t safely determine what a cloud is? However, with the GOES-16, launched late last year, this may very well all change for the better. The satellite boasts significantly better tech to better arm meteorologists with the tools they need to provide accurate predictions and reports. The applications for this new satellite can significantly change the way we prepare for storms and other natural events, leading to a safer world. Potential disasters like hurricanes can be tracked earlier and more accurately, allowing for better warnings and ultimately, saved lives. Because these satellites can better distinguish clouds and other formations, the path of a storm like a hurricane can be predicted more efficiently, enabling officials to better prepare for it. Residents in the dangerous areas will get earlier notice and have more time to either get to a safer place or prepare for the storm when it hits.
    On top of the earlier warnings we would get from this satellite, it also has another, equally important purpose. Because the satellite can better see the earth and its weather from above, it can better track occurrences like climate change. Scientists will be able to see things like the ice melting more accurately and will be able to contribute even more to the cause. Sea levels can also be potentially better measured with the satellite, leading to even more important data needed to fight climate change.
    As the article briefly mentions, people like Donald Trump may try to divert funds from climate change research, however, it is clear that this satellite will provide even more irrefutable evidence that climate change is real and is having an effect on our planet. This new data may even create a stronger movement to help prevent further damage to impacted areas. If people can see how our earth is being damaged by climate change in a clearer way, they may be more likely to back initiatives to try to protect it. I think it will be interesting to see how scientists will apply this satellites incredible technology to our world today. This piece of tech has so many potential applications that could change our world. The article also says a similar satellite, GOES-S, will be launched for the west coast of the U.S., along with a newer weather satellite system for Europe and Asia. This means that an even greater amount of the planet will have better systems in place to track the weather and other natural occurrences, leading to an overall safer world. Data will be able to be gathered worldwide, leading to an even better understanding of our planet and how it is changing.

  10. Cameron Collier February 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

    This advancement in weather satellite technology is interesting coming off the turbulent hurricanes we have experienced within the last five years. To be able to warn people ahead of time of the storms that are headed their way will prevent the countless lives and homes lost to these natural disasters, indefinitely. Eric Webster describes how significant this could be in terms of natural disaster warnings and evacuation. He stresses the difference that something as small as an extra five minutes could make for people in the affected areas. Another very long term benefit is the fact that this will offer us the opportunity to study and monitor climate change with much greater accurate than before. The GOES-16 can prevent deaths caused by Mother Nature. Goodman says in the article that, “people will come up with hundreds of new things to do with this data.” I also agree with this statement because it will allow scientists to view patterns, changes, etc. In the recent past scientists would be forced to study data that seemed unclear and they have created an immense amount of helpful theories/proposals from that same unclear data. The new GEOS-16 is a high-tech satellite that allows weathermen to more accurately predict the weather with infrared cameras and high-resolution photos. With this new technology, the satellite can scan the entire Earth and its weather in 15 minutes, the United States in 5 minutes, and a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado in 30 seconds.
    Accuracy is one of the most important aspects possible, in regards to pretty much everything. Nobody wants inaccuracy in something that they do, see, pay for, or especially trust. Watches are precise, and so are the smartphones that we carry everywhere to connect ourselves. Sadly, one of the things that could be most important to our safety, the weather, has not always been so accurate. Now we are going to be able to harness the power of weather perhaps for our benefit even. Lets say a huge hurricane is coming the way, maybe we could use the energy that comes from the hurricane and store it for future use. There might come the day were humans are able to control the weather, it is farfetched to think but technology is always going to increase. I propose that in the future, this satellite will contribute towards preventing natural disasters worldwide. Since scientists can look into the future of weather, if a storm is powerful enough to cause billions of dollars in damage, it is possible that actions will be implemented in order to prevent such an event from happening. This piece of tech has so many potential applications that could change our world. The article also says a similar satellite, GOES-S, will be launched for the west coast of the U.S., along with a newer weather satellite system for Europe and Asia. This means that an even greater amount of the planet will have better systems in place to track the weather and other natural occurrences, leading to an overall safer world.

  11. George Tannous February 3, 2017 at 3:48 am #

    The new satellite technology NASA launched into space is pivotal for the increasingly detrimental effects of rising ocean levels. As these water levels rise, flooding and storm surges are all too common in areas where they are near ocean level. This advancement with the GOES-16 will allow meteorologists to be more effective in giving weather reports, and more precise as well. This satellite is long past due, as the most advanced satellites used today, “can’t reliably tell the difference between clouds and ice,” (Ellis). If there is room for improvement for our benefit, we should take that opportunity and use it for our advantage.
    We are in an age where technology has a major influence in the way we live and spend money. If technology is not constantly improving, we feel as though we are falling behind and are not in line with the new age. The GOES-16 is an accurate representation of how the behavior of humans over the last 2 decades has changed instrumentally. We have become people so immersed in knowing, sharing and gaining information as quick as possible. Ellis claims that this new satellite, “Compared to the previous generation, GOES-16 has three times the spectral channels capturing images at four times the resolution, with five times the efficiency,” (Ellis). This weather satellite is going to be the best one around the planet and just shows how quick we have become in advancing with new technology.
    As hurricanes and natural disaster increase as time goes forward, implementing new technology to help warn those before it affects them is beneficial to everybody. This will benefit those living in coastal cities greatly and can save thousands of lives and expensive items and property. The GOES-16 allows for, “scientists can monitor everything from poisonous sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanic eruptions to melting snowpacks,” (Ellis). There is so many possible ways that The GOES-16 can foresee disasters like never before. This will ultimately change the way we receive natural disaster news. Instead of receiving information of potentially hazardous conditions in a less effective fashion, “GOES-16 can scan the entire globe in 15 minutes, the US in five, and a major weather event (like a tornado or hurricane system) in 30 seconds,” (Ellis). Knowing about a weather disaster to come even minutes earlier will inevitably save lives.
    In the case of tornados and quick forming storms, “If you have five more minutes of warning, that’s the difference between your kid playing down the street and being in your basement,” (Webster). Any amount of time of extra notification is helpful. Our goal moving forward should be focused on public safety and infrastructure. There is no stop in sight to sea levels rising as ice caps continue to melt all throughout the world. I believe this innovation will give us further insight into just how much the earth is constantly changing. We need to figure out a way to preserve the glaciers and ice caps. The only way to do such a thing is to first implement and gain further proof of the changes occurring and locating where the most drastic changes are happening.

  12. Juan Landin February 3, 2017 at 8:51 am #

    This is just another example of how much technology and its advancement is changing our lives and will continue to do so. There are so many good things this new satellite can do. It can help the weathermen who get so much backlash if they incorrectly predict the weather. Many people need to understand that 100% accurately predicting the weather is unrealistic and every prediction is a guess. Some are just surer than others are.
    First, it can improve our visibility on weather conditions to try to help warn and protect people from any dangerous conditions that are coming. Unfortunately, many times a year you see many locations around the world that are hit with devastating weather conditions that, many times, claim lives. Right now, we can maybe see those conditions about a week out. Although usually it is just a guess because we cannot, for sure, know if a hurricane or other dangerous weather condition is approaching until about 3-5 days before it hits land. In addition, predicting the path for these hurricanes can be very unreliable too because there is a greater chance of error the farther out you predict the path. The GOES-16 can, hopefully, provide us with more sight as to the location and path of these conditions. If we can predict these storms more accurately than we can now, then we can warn the locations that will be affected in advance. Even just a day or even an hour in advance can be the difference between life and death. Hopefully, in doing so we can reduce the amount of damage that is inflicted by these conditions and prevent anyone from losing their lives over a guess.
    This technology can always be a gateway into further advancements in predicting environmental happenings. For example, earthquakes. As of now, there is no way scientists can predict the specific time and location that an earthquake will strike. They can only predict the general area it will affect and even these predictions are not that reliable. This lack of knowledge, technology, and warnings has cost so many lives over the years. Although, this advancement of satellites to predict weather has brought hope to the fact that soon, technology can be created to help up predict earthquakes. Even if people are given warnings a day ahead, this will help save many lives and decrease damage than if they had no warning at all.
    This satellite can also monitor various changes on the Earth’s surface attributed to climate change. Now, I know that Trump’s administration does not want to fund any climate research. If they fund this project then they will probably stress to the scientists that they do not want this technology to be used to track climate change. Though, if you have the technology to try to help research climate change even further, why wouldn’t you? With this new technology, we can further prove to Trump that climate change exists and how rapidly it is effecting our planet. If he then decides to accept that this is a reality, then we can use this technology to try to find a way to stop this climate change or if we cannot stop it then to predict the outcome of it.
    This new satellite can also help increase the accuracy of predictions on everyday weather as well. Even though everyday weather predictions are somewhat accurate, there is still room for improvement. I do not want to plan a trip somewhere just for that day to arrive and it is raining. If we could receive predictions that are more accurate farther in advance, than we can be more prepared. If snowstorms can be predicted farther in advance then be prepared for when it comes. Have plows ready, have enough salt, have enough men to operate the plows, etc. If can also help warning people of potential bad conditions. Many times when people are told it is going to snow, a lot, it is either very little snow or none at all. They begin to ignore all the warning because of previous incorrect predictions. They then go out during a snowstorm and get caught in it. If we can increase the accuracy of these predictions then we can decrease the number of injuries, accidents, and deaths that occur from these conditions.

  13. Owen Balseiro February 3, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    Weather prediction is an important part of our daily lives. At its smallest, it is the difference between wearing shorts and a t shirt or pants and a sweatshirt and at its most impactful, it is the difference between a north eastern and a category 5 hurricane. And while most of us everyday people think that we have weather prediction down to a science with only the local news weather person getting it wrong every once in a while. In reality it is quite the opposite. Weather scientists are having trouble even telling the difference between clouds and ice because the satellites that we have up in our atmosphere cannot show enough detail that scientists can tell the difference. That is why the new GOES 16 satellite is so interesting. Not only can it scan the entire world in 15 minutes but it can scan the entire United States in 5 minutes and a specific weather event in 30 seconds. And with its heightened detail analysis with its 16 channels, it can show weather scientists a lot more than its previous satellite the GOES 13. This can have a huge impact on areas that are affected by Mother Nature more routinely than others. In the South Pacific, it can give an even larger prior warning to the inhabitants of islands and coastal countries that hurricanes and tsunamis are coming their way. Giving the people even more time to build defenses for their property and save even more lives. Eric Webster puts it ““If you have five more minutes of warning, that’s the difference between your kids playing down the street and being in your basement. “In the end it’s about saving lives and property.” And saving property and lives it can do, besides the South Pacific, the Caribbean is also home to a large amount of hurricanes being created out in the open sea. Saving expensive property from extra damage is going to be important for countries that rely heavily on tourism for their revenue.
    Another important part of the GOES 16 is now scientists can even study the melting of the ice caps in greater detail than before. And although the current Trump administration is against the idea of spending federal money on research of climate change and its plausible solutions, “but President Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross name-checked NOAA as a group whose science he respected.” “People will come up with hundreds of new things to do with this data,” Goodman says. “We’ll be able to watch ice melting and dust storms and vegetation changes throughout the day and over the years. It will certainly make a contribution.”
    The human race tends to be very good at either adapting to its environment or making the environment adapt to it. And given enough information can almost always come up with a solution to a problem that has been plaguing it for a while. It is no different than with climate change too. With the GOES 16 now in orbit scientists have a better view of more of the world and can watch ice melt day in and day out over very long periods of time. It will go a long way in finding a solution to climate change and hopefully will rekindled mankind’s interest in our galaxy.

  14. Zion McMillan February 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    This article about weather immediately caught my attention, mainly because the weather reports are almost always wrong. I’ve heard people make jokes about wanting to be a weatherman because they’ll always have a job no matter how incorrect their reports are.
    On a serious note, I think that this new technology is amazing. Scientists now have the ability to satellite scan the U.S. in five minutes, in pictures so clear it would be like taking a picture of home plate at Wrigley Field from New York City. This has the potential to save so many lives and help so many people. Oftentimes people ignore storm warnings and do not evacuate their homes when their state government informs them to because there is always the idea that weathermen are incorrect.
    With the GOES-16 orbiting 22,000 miles outside of Earth, it has three times the spectral channels capturing images at four times the resolution, and five times the efficiency. In other words, the satellite can distinguish ice, fog, smoke and ash, where the GOES-13 can not. This will lead to more accurate weather reports backed by crystal clear imagery. The technology will also help us better understand our ever-changing world and how to protect it. We can view melting ice caps, vegetation patterns, and so much more- improving the overall quality of human life. Nothing but security will come from this project.
    The end of the article mentions the Trump administration and its reluctance to fund this project and other climate initiatives. In my opinion, to dismiss such a high level of technology is ignorant and irresponsible. In a world where natural disaster devastates human life and whole countries this is absurd. Imagine if Hurricane Katrina could have been predicted in enough time in advance that everyone would have been able to evacuate. Imagine if the massive amounts of lives lost in the earthquakes that devastated Japan could have been avoided because they knew ahead of time the magnitude of such an event, and prepared accordingly. While Trump and his administration did say they are not too eager to support climate projects, Trump’s appointed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did stipulate that the work is meaningful and of value.
    With the birth of GOES-16 and the launching of its West Coast monitoring counterpart GOES-S in 2018, many other countries are beefing up their weather satellite game. So not only will these devices protect the world, but they will also force other countries to discover new breakthroughs and help us understand Earth’s complex geography to the absolute best of our abilities. With all of the dark and violent things that occur in this world on a day to day basis, it is cool to see something positive being created for the greater good of humanity.

  15. Benjamin Jaros February 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    I am really excited for this new technology. Back home, in Colorado, weather predictions are far less accurate than those here in Jersey. I believe my friend, Jonathan Ghaly, back home summarized the situation up best when he said, ‘I’d love to be a part-time Denver weatherman. I could literally say whatever I wanted and get away with it. “Tomorrow will be sunny and warm, with a chance of a blizzard and thunder-hail in the afternoon, and then back up to the 60s in the evening. Bundle up but dress down everyone. Enjoy your evening out there. Back to you guys!”
    And no one would doubt that that was possible.’
    The main reason for the sporadic weather patterns in Denver is the higher altitude. When I climb mountains over 14,000 feet back home, as a rule, you need to summit before 11am, but the ideal would be 10am. The reason for this early summit is that there is a higher chance of getting a lighting/thunder storm in the afternoon. Further, the sky can go from a clear, blue, cloudless sky to a full-throttle thunderstorm in under 30 minutes. Then for the day-to-day activities, in the winter, I would leave for school around 7am and there could be six inches of snow on the roads. By the time I would leave school around 5pm, the roads would be clear and it could be sunny and in the 50s. For brevity, I will just say that the weather back home could be very sporadic and it made spending time listening to the nightly weather a waste of time. I would wake up, if I saw snow, I would grab pants, if not shorts. I always needed to dress in layers, so that I could remove layers if it warmed up.
    The possibility of there being a weather forecasting far more accurate was always something that I strongly desired back home. I think that the GOES-16 weather satellite through its better weather forecasting would help each individual because it makes the unexpected, the expected. By giving an individual more control over the activities they can plan, and when they should plan them, the system would create a population less stressed about the future.
    Further, weather is not an exact science. Exact sciences come from experiments, and from them, researchers can draw a cause and effect. However, weather is purely an observational study and therefore the conclusions we can guess at are limited by what we can actually observe. A weather technology that enhances our observational capabilities can only increase the accuracy of this science and give more credibility to a science that, to some, is seriously lacking.
    The GOES-16 through its ability to create a less-stressed populace and through a better understanding of weather will create economic growth. For example, one of the jobs I worked over the summer was as a subway sandwich maker. We would always do more business on sunny and cloudless days, than on rainy ones. Therefore, if my boss had a better understanding of what the weather was going to be, at least 48 hours in advance, then she could plan accordingly by scheduling more shifts or less depending on the weather. Therefore, this technology has the ability to create intense economic growth and well as increasing the personal convenience of all of those who need to drive through real snow to get to work or school.

  16. Guy Barbano February 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

    I myself cannot stand when the weatherman or meteorologist is wrong. If you say it is going to 70 and clear skies and it rains all day I cannot stand you. For the longest time I have felt like meteorologists just say whatever they want and hope it is right. Now though with NASA’s new satellite in orbit the new GOES-16. Maybe Meteorologists will get the forecast right every time. I feel though with this new satellite it will really be a key factor before natural disasters or any event to do with the weather. With this new technology it is said to predict floods and weather events before they even happen. The huge thing that comes to mind when I think about this is hurricane Sandy. Sandy was the hurricane that hit the whole east coast from Florida to Maine in October of 2012. It caused over 75 billion dollars’ worth of damage. It hit the hardest on New York and New Jersey, destroying most of the jersey shore boardwalk. Only coming in second to hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans in August of 2005. Katrina caused over 108 billion dollars’ worth of damage. Just think now though what this satellite can do for us. It can help us really prepare for the events that can come or will come in the future. With this technology it can help get supplies earlier to places that may need them for people after or before. The supermarkets will not have to run out and we people will not have to be in fear of not being prepared. It can also help people prepare to leave for a safer place in advance of a disaster. I am from Connecticut and when sandy hit it affected us as well. Not as majorly as it did in parts of jersey or New York on the coast. There was flooding in my town by the water and there was a long stretch of power outages across the area some for a couple hours after and others for days and weeks. I remember being out of power for at least a week. The fact is many people struggled after the hurricane took place to get supplies or gasoline to power generates, cars, anything to keep people safe and secure. With this new satellite though I feel it is a major step in the right direction in order to keep the population safe and informed when times like a hurricane, snowstorm, tsunami or any other major disaster that could and can happen in nature. This satellite development could not have come any better of a time. With more and more ideas of global warming the idea the planet one day will not be able to sustain life because of our presence and treatment of the earth. This satellite will really be able to separate fact from fiction and help us once and for all end this argument. This Satellite will be the evolution of weather technology and the weather as we know it.

  17. Nicolas F Carchio February 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

    Climate change and weather patterns are topics that are heavily discussed through politics, news analysts, and people in their everyday lives. Climate change is essentially the term that has coined the expression for concern about the rising temperatures throughout the Earth. The main source of these rising temperatures has to do with the emissions of fossil fuels, natural gasses and other harmful manufactured products that have been released into the air for generations. These greenhouse gasses that have been emitted into the air have damaged the ozone layer and have caused a variety of disparity in weather conditions. Statistically over the past century, there have been more occurrences of heavy rain causing floods or droughts, extreme heat waves and short winters, which lead scientists to believe that these volatile weather patterns are unusual and unnatural. Thus, being able to track these storms and disparities in weather has never been more important and likewise, has never been as difficult as it is now in 2017.

    In Emma Grey Ellis’s article “New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen” she describes a new technology created by NASA and the NOAA that will dramatically change the weather predicting industry. The GOES-16 is a satellite that takes very clear pictures of weather patterns which allows scientists and analysts to interpret what types of clouds or gasses are emerging above the surface of the Earth. This is a monumental discovery, as it is far superior to its predecessor the GOES-13. The GOES-16 can take more high quality photos and scan for activity in the weather at much quicker rates than the now obsolete GOES-13. It has the capacity to allow scientists to predict weather with much higher veracity than in the previous years. This will give more people a chance to escape weather conditions that may be harmful to their family or protect their property by taking the necessary precautions. As technology continues to advance, it gives way to a large new opportunity for society to improve upon itself and through advances such as this. A true difference can be made on the lives and monetary values that are saved by more accurately predicting weather patterns.

    The new presidential administration, run by President Donald J Trump, has an ambiguous stance in regards to climate change. His administration has support from many who deny its existence, yet have not outright stated that they believe that it is a ‘myth’. The traditional and overarching stance of the Republican Party is to provide the rhetoric that climate change is a falsehood spread by the left. This view, however, has dwindled in support as the years have gone on, more and more information is being released about the validity and detrimental effects of climate change in the present and for the long term of the world. Trump’s new Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has demonstrated his respect for the NOAA and believes that they produce positive work. This is a monumental statement as this means that his support, whether through monetary contributions or new team members, may allow the NOAA to improve upon their latest project the GOES-16 so that there can be even more accurate studies on the change in weather patterns. With this new technology and the support of the government, there will be more research and empirical evidence about climate change, persuading those who oppose it to reconsider their stance.

  18. Isaiah Allen February 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

    During national weather disasters, accessibility to information is critical, especially before such events occur. The earlier information is accessible, the more time people have to prepare themselves. Weather predictions and forecasts can play crucial roles in informing the public about incoming storms and systems. Therefore, any advancement in weather technology could prove to extremely helpful in saving lives and property. In her article, Emma Grey Ellis informs us about the recent development of GOES 16, which should lead to improvements in weather prediction, turbulence forecasts, and storm warnings. These advancements can greatly impact the country’s ability to warn those in danger when a disaster hits. Saving lives is the main reason for introducing these improvements and should be the focal point when a disaster or storm hits.
    Whenever weather stations wrongly predict the weather, we usually wonder how that could occur given the resources they have at their disposure. However, I don’t think we truly understand the quality of our satellites and what they can and cannot do. Our satellites are barely able to distinguish ice from clouds, and do not have the heat recognition capabilities that the proposed new technology has. The new generation of satellites can recognize incoming storms as well as everything from poisonous sulfur dioxide emissions, to volcanic eruptions to melting snow packs. In addition to saving lives and property, the expansion of these capabilities could give us a better outlook on climate change and how warm the planet is getting. This could help us know what we behaviors we must adapt in order to help fight climate change. This improvement in weather technology could allow us to place more faith in the weather stations before and during national weather disasters.
    Most people know to evacuate when a storm is coming because the local or national weather stations advise them to. However, some who have doubts about the nation’s ability to predict storms, may decide to remain in their homes with their belongings. With the new technology, people will have less reason to doubt the weather predictions, and government officials can make sure mandatory evacuations are in place for the people that are at risk. Residents in states with low sea level areas, would be able to know when a standard rainstorm is bigger than usual and is expected to cause flooding. What the new technology really does, is buy us time when a disaster is in the works. When significant flooding is in the forecasts, residents in the areas at risk would have more time to evacuate and gather their belongings. This is a better option than making a mad dash for the door and leaving behind everything that you own. For some people, making the decision to stay has led to their fatality. Which only stresses the importance of making sure that people understand how strong a particular storm is, and that their lives are more important than their possessions. The recent advancement in our satellites will not only improve weather predictions, but will also allow them to collect vegetation data to let us know how fresh our crops are and why they are or are not growing. This is in addition to the satellite’s ability to detect poisonous emissions, which could be harmful when inhaled. The favorable safety and health benefits that this new technology could bring, strengthens its case for the government to implement its use in the near future.
    The denial of climate change by some government representatives caused for a lot of concern in the past election. Many believe that this may result in a reluctance by the Trump administration to spend federal money on climate research. However, the commerce secretary stated that he respects the NOAA’s science, so I believe that this technology will eventually be put to use. I hope the government can realize that using this technology would not be a waste of money, and that it could really have an impact when it comes to saving lives during national disasters and storms.

  19. Nick Shervanian February 3, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    Weather is one of the trickiest things we have to deal with as a planet. Even if we predict it to the most accurate of our knowledge, we could be completely wrong. This new GOES-16 can capture images at four times the resolution our current system can. It can monitor anything form a poisonous gas to melting snowpack. It can view the wide range a country in five minutes. This gives us as a whole country more of a heads up and enough time to get more prepared in any type of emergency. It can be the difference between life and death. It can be the difference between being in safety or being in the heart of the storm where you should not be. Mother Nature takes a numerous amount of lives each year, which is a terrible thing. This new device allows scientists to view pattern and changes, as well as many other things to make a more accurate prediction. Being able to predict this weather more efficiently can help save so many lives. Whether it be snow, hurricanes, or tornados, this device can help track the magnitude of these disasters. It could also help make peoples days easier as a heads up for what they should wear or any precautions they may need to take. The problem with weather forecasts is that they can change in a second. Whether it is for the upcoming day, week, or month, this technology will better benefit the lives of everyone, not just people who report on the news. There is nothing I find more boring than watching the weather on the news, but when I saw this article, I thought it would be a very interesting read.
    To get a much better and more accurate warning is a complete game changer. At home in Massachusetts, snow is the one thing we are known for. I cannot count the amount of times we have been wrong with our assumption about the amount of snow we are going to get. Although this is very expensive and could be very difficult to actually put into place, it is entirely worth it. The benefit of better weather predictions and the opportunity to save lives is something that cannot ever be matched. This satellite can do it all. There will only be great things to come once this is created.

  20. Evan Costello February 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm #

    Meteorology is a field based off of research and prediction, and although this new advance in the technology of satellites seem minuscule, this is undoubtedly a huge improvement and positive addition to the field of meteorology. Coming from an area that is known for vastly unpredictable weather, this could only bring positive results. Prior to this adaptation to the satellite, weather satellites had severe trouble deciphering the difference between clouds, ice, fog, and smoke from tens of thousands of miles away from earth. There is also heightened resolution that can identify sulfur dioxide emissions in the earth’s atmosphere. According to this article, GOES-16 can scan the entire globe in 15 minutes, the US in five, and a major weather event (like a tornado or hurricane system) in 30 seconds, you’d better believe that weather prediction, turbulence forecasts, and storm warnings will improve too. This is a tremendously crucial addition. With this new form of technology, Mother Nature and the elements that cost lives every year will now have a much more accurate warning of when they will come. I wonder what the outcome might have been if this invention had been in existence during such catastrophes like hurricane Katrina or the numerous tsunami’s that have occurred in Japan over the past ten years. Now instead of looking at the past in hindsight to what this invention could have aided, this invention can be put to use immensely in the future. For example, tornado’s plague the Midwest each and every year, causing thousands upon thousands of families to lose their homes, farms, and much more. Now, rather than being flanked with unfortunate weather, they are much more informed and much more prepared. This technology will be used not just in our country, but all over the world where meteorologists can predict the weather in their own respective countries. Ergo, the entire world can benefit from this new technology, not just the United States. In my opinion, I believe the government should seize this opportunity to use this technology across the board so that all weather forecasts are accurate, and with this innovation being applied in the form of a satellite, who knows what else this type of technology would be applied to. Perhaps this technology could be applied in some way where the camera can detect the ozone layer and the damage that has been done to it, which could provide meteorologists and other scientific fields with the proper information and knowledge as to how to improve climate change. I am afraid that these issues and this technology will not be as widely used as it should be because he does not see climate change as an issue, but perhaps if he sees what this brand new satellite technology offers, then the evidence will speak for themselves and he will have no choice but to invest more time and money into this technology. Scientific evidence is a source of evidence that is irrefutable, and when the president identifies this as a national benefit that could prove to be useful for the population.

  21. Matthew Radman February 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

    In a world where consumers have access to extensive information, most of which is accurate, if not extremely up-to-date. Weather is an area that seems to be lagging behind this trend significantly. In an era when a consumer can check the score of any major league sports game with in-depth information such as detailed stats, reports, analysis, and weather, it seems disjointed that a consumer can’t even be confident in asking Google if it is going to rain tomorrow. This frustration is not only felt by consumers, but by those in the weather industry also, due to substantial handicaps on meteorology technology. It is a shame that innovation such as GPS has shrunken the world for travelers and the Hubble Telescope has allowed us to find out the age of the universe when the most advanced weather satellite cannot distinguish between clouds and ice. Thankfully, the extraordinary people at NASA who brought us the Hubble Telescope launched the GOES-16, its newest weather satellite.

    The main innovation for the GOES-16 is its ability to distinguish clouds, ice, fog, smoke, and ash using sixteen spectral channels. The new technology put into this satellite opens up a world of possibilities for researchers. These innovations will also boost the speed at which consumers get new weather information. The increased ability to better study climate change will also be at odds with the conservative administration in Washington. However, the GOP, in general, has softened its stance on the issue with Trump’s pick for energy secretary Rick Perry admitting to the realities of human-made climate change.

    Besides climate change, the satellite has serious potential to vastly increasing our ability to detect storms. It seems that every year, a new storm threatens to ravage the country and take hundreds of lives as well as cause billions of dollars in damage. In a society as advanced as ours, it is unfortunate that despite the inevitability of storms, we do not have the resources to well prepare ourselves for them. From Hurricane Andrew to Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy, it seems as though the country is forced to sit, idle by and leave many things up to chance. Our previous technology did not allow meteorologists to accurately predict when a storm would hit, where, or the severity. Every major storm that hits, it seems as though most people are unprepared; under informed. GOES-16 has the potential to change this norm so that communities can prepare smarter and earlier for the arrival of a storm.

    Data provided by NASA satellites has historically increased our availability of information significantly, and NASA has just strengthened its availability to researchers, meteorologists, and soon to all citizens. Over ten years after GOES-13 launched, the new satellite has vast potential. It will be seen in the years to come what they do with that information and how Washington will respond to the new climate change studies. It will also be important to see how quickly NASA can implement their series of new satellites to track storms. Perhaps, with this innovation in place, communities can eliminate unnecessary property damage and save countless lives because of the research done with the new fleet of satellites.

  22. Peter DeSantis February 3, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    One area of technology that people rely on heavily but generally do not give much thought to is that pertaining to weather. People like to know what the weather is going to be so that they can dress appropriately, but if meteorologists do not get the weather perfectly correct, people get very upset. The current technology, which actually gets the weather right a good portion of the time, goes underappreciated, yet when weather reporters interpret the tools they have inaccurately, the general public does not miss the chance to voice their discontent. That being said, the amount of meteorologist mistakes and disgruntled people may be coming down by significant amounts.
    “New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen” by Emma Grey Ellis tells about a new type of revolutionary weather technology. NASA launched a groundbreaking weather satellite into space for the United States Department of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in November of 2016. This satellite is called GOES-16 and is much more powerful and efficient than the previous generation of weather satellites. The resolution is four times greater than that of the earlier models, which makes it possible for meteorologists to easily tell the difference between clouds, ice, fog, and smoke, which is an astounding advancement for the industry. This will make it much less complicated for weather forecasters to more accurately predict major storms such as hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and resulting floods. This new technology should create more accurate weather forecasts which will control and limit the amount of angry people who were not instructed to bring an umbrella to protect them from the rain.
    More importantly, the GOES-16 has superior benefits more important than keeping weather report watchers satisfied, such as saving lives, retrieving data about climate change, and observing variations in vegetation. The increased resolution will help forecasters to see natural disasters before they occur more clearly and more quickly. The sooner meteorologists can identify these storms is sometimes a matter of life or death, which according to Eric Webster, the vice president of the company that engineered the GOES-16, is the main goal of the satellite.
    Being someone who does not know much about weather or camera capabilities, I was surprised to learn that this was revolutionary technology. I thought that we had satellites with super powerful cameras already in place. Apparently, this is not the case and the previous technology made it very difficult for forecasters to determine exactly what the big white swirls were. This article helped me to acquire a new appreciation for the work that meteorologists do, considering that they usually get the weather right despite the difficulties that they face. Webster put this new improvement in perspective for me saying, “[I]f you were in New York City and you were taking a picture of Wrigley Field in Chicago, you’d be able to see home plate.” That fact is simply astonishing to me, and I would love to get the opportunity to actually look through a lens of that power.
    Another great outcome of the GOES-16 is that it will assist in studying climate change. Even though I personally do not put environmental concerns at the top of my current issues list, I do recognize that it is an issue that should be addressed. It appears that President Donald Trump does not make climate change a priority either and does not want too much federal funding going to research on it. Despite this, his Commerce Secretary has publically acknowledged the scientific work by the NOAA, which implies that they may get funding either way. I would like to see some of my tax dollars going to an agency such as the NOAA because their work endeavors benefit me personally. I’m very happy that I will be getting more accurate weather forecasting thanks to the NOAA. I also want to see some developments regarding global warming and other environment issues that way we can try to resolve it and discontinue it as an issue. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for news on the NOAA and the GOES-16.

  23. Hakim felder February 3, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    When I think of floods in a long term, a point of view it displays images in my head of natural disasters like hurricane Katrina and hurricane Dennis. The instances were one of the worst to happen in United States history, causing over 160 billion in damages and many people and a result of many individuals losing their life. However, when I think of them short term, I think of water leaks due to the rainfall. This event is not fatal whatsoever but is very uncomfortable due to sound the rain make when it hits the floor. It can also leave things that are on the floor next to the leak wet as well. I feel like most people get angry at the people who do the weather forecast, I know its there job to make us aware of what the weather is going to be for today, but they are not the ones who are finding out the info. It is the meteorologist, who are human, and sometimes make mistakes, which is understandable. It is hard to gather consistent weather information due to the scientific handicaps, the world changes as we do. There were many things that sparked my curiosity about the NOAA’s next generation weather satellite, “GOES-16,” which was the enhancements that came with the satellite, and how it makes a scientist life so much better.
    Last November this NASA launched GOES-16 NOAA’s next generation weather satellite into geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles from Earth. This is an incredible invention in my opinion. According to Emma Grey Ellis “On January 15th, it started to send back pictures. The new satellite images are not just pretty: Compared to the previous generation, GOES-16 has three times the spectral channels capturing images at four times the resolution, with five times the efficiency.” It is very hard to be a scientist nowadays if your information that was gathered is partially false, then the whole hypothesis is incorrect. How this satellite Goes-16 means the scientist will not have such a hassle depicting the weather. It is also compacted with graphic enhancements. This shows that in our world today technology is increasing by long scale. The pictures they display in the article are very graphic it is so amazing. They are using infrared light to depict the weather activity. They can see “poisonous sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanic eruptions to melting snowpack’s.” According to Ellis “GOES-16 can scan the entire globe in 15 minutes, the US in five, and a major weather event (like a tornado or hurricane system) in 30 seconds, you’d better believe that weather prediction, turbulence forecasts, and storm warnings will improve too.” I like the direction they are going with this, in the end, it not weather reports they would be focusing on but climate change as well. It is understandable that this satellite is a lot of money for the United States to pay off but it is beneficial to the enhancements. It is a big question mark that hundreds of people will do with all of this data, the sky is the limit.

  24. Erin Carunchio February 3, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    It is not a myth that people make mistakes. People including weathermen. Weathermen make mistakes as well. Maybe more times than we wish they would. When I read the title of this article, I got excited. I got excited because the word “floods” relates to me a lot. Hurricane Sandy happened in October of 2012. It had a big impact on New Jersey, affecting the Jersey Shore area greatly. Being from down the shore area, I was affected personally. My town was completely underwater after the nighttime hide tide. The people of New Jersey knew it was going to be bad but I do not think we knew that it was going to be this bad. My small town on the Raritan Bay was declared a natural disaster. If we understood more of the impact Hurricane Sandy would have had, we may have been more prepared. New Jersey may have been more prepared. My house had 5 feet of water in it. Beaches, roads, boardwalks, house and more were destroyed up and down along the shore. If we had these satellites like the GOES-16, we may have been more prepared. Mentally prepared because know one could prepare for something like that.
    I agree with some of the comments above saying how the GOES-16 satellite is long overdue. This should have been made years ago, but with technology being at it’s highest point right now, we may have not had enough information or tools to create the GOES-16. However, it is better late then never. I think the GOES-16 will be the next new thing when it comes to weather. Hopefully, it gives us a more accurate report on mother nature and her effects ahead. It will hopefully improve the knowledge of meteorologist and weathermen. This satellite is representing how technology one day, will be smarter then all human beings. Technology is now going to be able to give us an accurate description of what to expect when it comes to horrific weather like natural disasters. In this article it states, “And because GOES-16 can scan the entire globe in 15 minutes, the US in five, and a major weather event (like a tornado or hurricane system) in 30 seconds” (Ellis). This quote blew my mind because it puts in reality how much technology can do. 5 minutes is a lot of time to get your family in a safe location during a hurricane or tornado. The GOES-16 is going to save lives anywhere in the world. During Hurricane Sandy, over 100 people lost their lives, mainly due to drowning. If we had the GOES-16 four and a half years ago, maybe that number would not have been so high.
    Even though President Trump does not agree with it completely, I hope he takes another look at it. Experiencing a hurricane myself first hand is something that I will never forget. The lost and pain that you feel is terrible. I do believe that the GOES-16 will be the best thing for weather. It will save a lot of lives and homes in not just America, but the world. It amazes me how great technology is, and the GOES-16 just proves again how great technology actually is.

  25. Daniel Alvarez February 3, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    This article really caught my eye because I am one of those people who always get on the weather forecast for being incorrect. The practical mistakes can sometimes lead to families at the beach with a storm or other inconveniences. I was very interested to read about a boost in meteorology.
    Emma Grey Ellis writes this article titled “New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen” that describes a new technology NASA recently released, the GOES-16. Its abilities to do such as explained in the title is enough to “save lives and property.” Its ability to see with four times the resolution can “monitor everything from poisonous sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanic eruptions to melting snowpacks.” To divulge into the complexity of the technology even more, the GOES-16 can view the entire country in five minutes. This means storms are under a microscope and can be detected in 30 seconds or so. Giving people extra time can make a difference in the amount of people who die in these tragedies. Thinking of the possibilities of this technology trickles down to many areas. From helping farmers, to astronauts, to helping air travel, and even water travel and fishermen. I believe this technology that can track weather from a more precise perspective could lead to less lives lost from natural disasters most prominently, but also could aid citizen’s everyday necessities.
    The section about Trump’s administration not wanting to spend federal money on climate research is for two reasons. Trumps administration thinks the money can be spent somewhere else, more effectively. In which case he may recognize the legitimacy of climate change but not highlight it as a priority. The other reason, a theory that is very popular and can be convincing is that climate change does not exist or at least the role humans’ play in climate change is very minimal as the earth has been around for billions of years and is going through cycles. I do not agree with the latter because the data is very convincing. In another article, “2016 Was the Hottest Year on Record, and Humans Are to Blame,” it states that world has not been this warm in more than 100,000 years and has not seen levels of carbon dioxide in more than 4 million years. This data should not be thrown under the rug, neither should the corporations who conduct this research and perform scientific research because of the numerous benefits of such technological outcomes such as the GOES-16. Coastal countries are in great danger in the coming decades if climate change does not improve. Cities in Florida and California are on pace to become under sea level in the far future but they are seeing some developing symptoms as they are experiencing record floods.
    In conclusion we need to continue to fight for science and technology because technology increases productively while using less resources, these are simple economic theories. It will lead to a more improved general welfare and expand our knowledge of the world we live in.

  26. Carl Hakansson February 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

    With the constantly improving technology we have nowadays, many aspects of our society have also improved as a result. One example is how we can predict weather. According to this article by Emma Grey Ellis, NASA is sending brand new satellites into space that can take pictures with the three times the resolution of the old ones, and provided more accuracy and new insight into how weather is affecting our world. Too many people trust and blame TV forecasters. Whether they do it jokingly or not, we need to realize TV forecasters are only as good as the satellites they obtain information from. The new satellite, GOES-13, can detect clouds, ice, fog, smoke, and ash. Although this seems simple, it picks up these weather changes with more clarity and can therefore help us study the things such as the evolution of clouds and see when weather is about to go rogue. What makes GOES-13 so fantastic is its speed. It can analyze the entire globe in fifteen minutes, the United States in five minutes, and a weather system in thirty seconds. This means we will now be able to forecast weather quicker and clearer than ever. Although the current Presidential cabinet is not the biggest supporter of the idea of global warming, the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has listed the NOAA as an organization whose work he respects, so there is an opportunity for these satellites and their images to be put to good use.
    The improvement of weather satellites will only prove to be good for society. Despite the government’s lack of belief in global warming, these satellites can take accurate photos that can perhaps prove to be too realistic for the government to deny. I hope the government changes their views on global warming for our own sake, but even if they do not, I am confident these satellites will be able to save lives. Their ability to analyze weather and predict what they will do will help people prepare accordingly and prevent disaster before it happens. I think the best case scenario would be for the satellites to do an outstanding job and change the government’s views, but even if they don’t, they will be able to make a significant impact.
    The future of our planet is a serious concern, and we need to change our ways in order to preserve it. As we have seen, arctic snow has been melting, and temperatures have risen all throughout the world. This has effected people, animals, and resources, and many people around the world have begun to buy into the idea that global warming is not only real, but also serious. Many people underestimate our power to stop global warming, and clearer satellite images will only be the start. This new satellite has the potential to lead the way for future satellites and weather technology, and if we can continue to improve then we will be one step closer to stopping this problem. All that’s left after that is convincing the government.

  27. Austin O'Reilly February 3, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    Who cares about weather? If you care about your safety or the safety of many people around the world, then you care about weather. Hurricanes, and other extreme weather, if correctly predicted, can save lives. For example, if a weatherman is predicting a category 5 hurricane to hit Florida, many people will be displaced and scared for their lives. This is a big deal, because it directly affects many people’s lives, mental health and happiness. Weathermen get no glory, but all the blame. This is because of the lack of technology in their field to help them. Maybe not so much the lack of, but more of the fact that the technology is not the best. With outdated technology, that cannot tell the difference between ice and clouds, a weatherman’s forecast is nothing more than a guesstimate. The invention of the machine GOES-16 created by NASA will change predictions of weather forever. Ellis gives an explanation of the new technology saying, “Compared to the previous generation, GOES-16 has three times the spectral channels capturing images at four times the resolution, with five times the efficiency. Meaning scientists will have a whole lot more data to validate their weather and climate models, and a better chance to warn you when Mother Nature starts going rogue.” The GOES-16 sounds incredible, and will be a revolutionary piece of equipment. With this piece of equipment, Weatherman will actually be prepared to inform society on the weather and prevent deaths.
    One example that relates to this article was when hurricane sandy hit NJ. As a state that is not used to preparing for a hurricane, it hit especially hard. If weather men were able to predict exactly where the hurricane was headed, then people would have evacuated and better prepared their homes for the storm. Hurricane Sandy caught many people by surprise, causing chaos and tragedy to occur.
    The possibilities with this machine, or the machine that will be built after this machine are endless. Technological advances will continue to shock me and many other people. There will come a time where the weatherman will never be wrong, or maybe be replaced by a machine. Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, this machine will benefit society and weathermen across the globe.

  28. Bryan Ferro February 3, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

    I grew up in a generation where meteorologists get their data wrong and their predictions are often false. Many people end up blaming the forecaster. However, is it really their fault? As time goes on, we see the changes in technology in the world. Every year new upgrades in technology becomes available which facilitates everyday life, as well as the work place. Advancements such as the one talked about in the article, are even more as exceptionally beneficial as it has the ability to save lives and prevent disasters from occurring. Although the weather will continue to change mother earth will not stop throwing hurdles at humanity. With this gradual upgrade in technology and their new benefits, some of these hurdles can be easier to manage and overcome.
    With the GEOS-16 scientists are able to predict the rise of floods and the possible impact of a storm. This can mean life and death for many around the world as this new technology makes it easier to forecast and predict such disasters. Like the article stated, “If you have five more minutes of warning, that’s the difference between your kid playing down the street and being in your basement.” The timeliness of technology and their efficiency has become a new aspect of upgrades in this technological era. Every generation of new technology after its last has to increase its speed and quality in some aspect, as demand for efficiency grows around the world. Everything is done in a timely fashion or else precious time can be wasted. That is the world we live in today and it the world that technology helps achieve.
    The GEOS-16 not only can eventually save lives but also can have an immediate impact on our daily lives. Weather reports and forecasts will be more accurate. This will make up for those times we expected to not have class in the morning because of snow, but then because the snow is gone the next morning you are stuck taking that exam you planned to not have that morning. This upgrade in weather forecasting technology will determine your everyday clothes as well and affect your confidence on whether to risk looking nice and spiffy or having it ruined by the rain. We sometimes overlook or brush off our dependency on technology everyday but its impact is immense and is what made us so advanced as a race.
    One thing very interesting was the input from the Trump administration on whether or not to allow the usage of this technology. This really affected me as; it gave me the realization that sometimes we limit these advances due to our biased opinions or our own selfish needs. Little do we realize that these actions can suppress the natural evolution of the human race. Luckily, the GEOS-16 was approved, as it would be downright ignorant to ignore such a beneficial advancement, just because some in the administration do not believe in climate change. The overall benefit of the GEOS-16 can save lives and facilitate the everyday actions of everyday people.

  29. Jonathan Cavallone February 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

    I remember my father telling me when I was young that there is only one job in the world where you will not be fired for being wrong, and that job is a meteorologist. While weather reports are often incorrect, it amazes me how truly inaccurate they can be. I thought that the weather reporters had top-notch technology to help them determine the weather of the future, but after reading this article I realized that there is still many improvements to be made when it comes to predicting the weather. I can recall numerous times when I have gone out fishing thinking that the weather was going to be beautiful, but ended up being cloudy and significantly windy. Every time I question how they can be so wrong and never could determine an answer until reading this article. The satellites meteorologists have been using, the GOES-13, are unable to distinguish a difference between clouds, ice, fog, or smoke. The new GOES-16 has incredible high definition that allows meteorologists to tell the difference with ease. This new satellite has 16 channels to view threw, two visible, four near infrared, and 10 infrared channels, which all provide crystal clear imaging. These high definition images allow scientists to find sulfur emissions from volcanic eruptions in the atmosphere, or spot melting snow and ice at the poles as well. However, I am skeptical that this new satellite will help weather reporters predict the weather of local towns more accurately.
    The GOES-16 has the capability to scan the entire globe in 15 minutes, the United States in five, and spot a major weather event in thirty seconds. While all of these features are impressive and can be useful, I do not see how they will help meteorologists predict weather patterns of small towns more accurately. Predicting the weather will always be a challenge no matter what technology scientists develop because the factors that determine weather, can change quickly and without warning. Trying to predict the weather is similar to trying to predict the future of someone’s life. If a person makes some changes to their life, it can alter the path they are going to take. Weather can change just as easily.
    President Trump is not thrilled about spending money on climate research and it makes sense. While spending money on research can help predict the future of weather, it will never be 100% accurate and sometimes, can be extremely incorrect. For example, Florida last month or two, meteorologists predicted a huge hurricane to come and cause significant damage. Boatloads of money were spent preparing for a hurricane that never came. Two of my friends who attend college in Florida had no class for two days because the universities were preparing for the hurricane. In instances like this, it is understandable why Trump does not want to spend money on climate research. On the other hand, if predictions are correct, it can help communities prepare and prevent significant amounts of damage. This article makes the GOES-16 seem much better than it really is, in practicality, this satellite will only help in determining short term weather patterns.

  30. Rebecca Roome February 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    To start the day a person typically checks an app on their phone or their local news for the weather. The weather influences a person’s outfit choice or maybe even how they will commute to work that day, needless to say it is important. Satellites and the weathermen who report the conditions of outside have a pretty key role in many people’s lives. With that being said, sometimes weather can be unpredictable and when a weathermen gets the forecast wrong it may make some people angry. A wrong forecast is not the weathermen’s fault but the readings of a satellite. This new advancement in the technology will make a significant impact on the clarity of the pictures thus allowing meteorologists to form better readings.
    Being from New Jersey I have experienced first-hand how unpredictable the weather can be. I have a shore house in New Jersey that we make frequent visits to over the course of the summer. Making the trip down there means each person in my family has to take off from work; when doing that we all expect to have great weather. There has been plenty of the times throughout the summer where the forecast was said to be sunny and when we arrived it would be stormy, needless to say we would all be disappointed. Even recently within these past few days New Jersey’s weather was at a comfortable sixty degrees in the middle of winter. Less than twenty four hours later the state was covered in anywhere from a few inches to almost a foot of snow. In previous years when hurricane Sandy hit, the media was on top of the story and predictions about a week in advance broadcasting how harsh the conditions would be. That was critical to many people allowing them to go out to the store to purchase food and more importantly generators. While New Jersey may experience some strange weather, southern states experience more severe tragedies like stronger tornadoes or hurricanes because of their location on the water. With the advancement in the satellites being able to scan the United States in five minutes it allows earlier notice to citizens to evacuate or find shelter in the event of dangerous weather. These warning are crucial and prevent a lot of people from losing their lives because they would have more time to prepare.
    I found it interesting when the article mentioned Donald Trump’s view on financing climate research. I strongly disagree with his opinion on financing this, weather has a significant impact on the people of the United States and all around the world. I think Donald Trump is proving his ignorance by showing disinterest in financing this technology and how selfish he has been thus far with his presidency. Not only does this technology help his own citizens from disasters but also helps other foreign countries from devastation. Hurricane Katrina is the perfect example to look at when questioning if this technology is worth the funding. If those citizens were informed even earlier than they were many lives and belongings would have been saved. Natural Disasters occur too often to have this technology ignored.

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