May 12, 2021

California is working with Jet Propulsion Laboratory to gather satellite data from Earth observation in climate change efforts

A new Jet Propulsion Laboratory located in Pasadena (NASA JPL) partnership will enable state agencies to understand the effects of climate change better and find ways to create resilience, protect habitats, and use California’s natural as well as working lands to be able to store and extract carbon from the environment. A memorandum of understanding with the JPL has been signed by the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, allowing the increasing access to data from Earth-based satellites and other ground-based technologies. The compilation of remote sensing data, including information gathered on 21 November by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, will be key in explaining current situations, forecast potential vulnerabilities, and advise climate adaptation initiatives.

Under the latest executive order of Governor Gavin Newsom, the MOU will help the state’s attempts to advance policies to help in Carbon storage in natural and working lands and areas sand eliminate it from the environment. It will also help promote California’s first-in-the-nation goal to restore 30% of the state’s land as well as coastal water to combat species extinction and degradation of the environment by 2030. In order to help predict and tackle impacts which are driven by climate including sea-level rise, intense wildfire risk, drought, severe storms, as well as declining groundwater basins, the agencies as well as JPL will explore ways to use data. They will also examine how space-based discoveries and simulations will guide efforts to resolve agricultural and food security effects and to determine carbon emissions, supplies, and sinks.

Wade Crowfoot, California Secretary for the Natural Resources, said that JPL has been among the leading world specialists in recognizing their atmosphere as well as effects of the climate change. Wade added that they are delighted to see this partnership that will allow JPL’s aerial imagery and ground-based surveillance remote-sensing satellites to strengthen California’s capacity to protect the communities and biodiversity as well as lead global fight in combating climate change and extinction of the biodiversity.

Karen Ross, California Secretary for Agriculture, said that California is the birthplace of creativity if it is our agricultural goods and methods or our research institutions. Using JPL’s technologies to track carbon markets in real-time and consider what’s going on with groundwater and our surface waters is a big move forward, both to help them meet their climate targets and ensure protection for California’s next agricultural generation. 

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