Friday, June 5, 2015

Equator, Climate, Weather – Plans & Action

Solar filament. (Photo from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Solar Dynamics Observatory)

Two separate studies by the journal Science report that global climate change and specifically warmer water in the world's ocean ecology is pushing ocean life and habitats away from the equator and toward the poles; fish are migrating and coral is being displaced by a warmer climate.

Coral near Australia (Queensland Museum)
A study from the University of Washington, Seattle studied affects in the Atlantic Ocean on the metabolism of several species of fish and crab. Researchers in Queensland, Australia are showing that corals may be forced to shift toward the poles as a result of global warming, but their ability to do so may be limited by a variety of factors.

Like a changing climate, changing weather can alter reality and plans. The sun-powered, no-fuel Solar Impulse 2 airplane, making a journey around the world had to make an unanticipated stop in Nagoya, Japan on its way from Nanjing, China across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii.

Solar Impulse 2 flies, powered by the sun and PV panels across its wingspan. (SI2)
Wind caused some damage to the plane's wing in Japan, causing a delay in plans to fly to Hawaii, according to Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg.

The flight originated in Abu Dhabi, and the plane has made stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China and now Japan. The longest-leg flight across the Pacific to Hawaii – "following the equator" – is considered the most hazardous.

Meanwhile, in Kauai, Hawaii, changes in weather are hampering another mission in the sky. Weather has caused delays this week in NASA's "Flying Saucer" test – the launch of the "Mars Lander" Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) aboard a high-altitude balloon. The overall window is through June 12, with another attempt Monday, June 8. The Navy is supporting the mission from Pacific Missile Range Facility and Navy Region Hawaii (see photo below).

According to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology site, "This week offers up another opportunity to witness an important milestone in experimental flight tests. NASA's LDSD project will beam back to Earth live imagery from a supersonic, edge-of-atmosphere test of braking technology for Mars."

Learn more here...

And here: Check out this great NASA blog by Laura Faye Tenenbaum, "Earth Right Now – Your planet is changing. We're on it."

Back across the Pacific, straddling the equator, lies the island nation of Kiribati. The Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) is visiting the Independent Republic of Kiribati as the first mission visit of Pacific Partnership 2015. At the same time, south of the equator, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) is in another island country, the Republic of Fiji, where healthcare providers are helping people and Seabees are building schools. Pacific Partnership is the world's largest multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission, providing training, outreach and civil infrastructure assistance in Indo-Asia-Pacific. It is a summer-long mission led by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

150527-N-DT805-011 KAUAI, Hawaii (May. 27, 2015) Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 Explosive Ordnance Detachment conduct a safety walk-through in preparation for recovering the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. NASA's LDSD project is designed to investigate and test breakthrough technologies for landing future robotic and human Mars missions, and safely returning large payloads to Earth. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John M. Hageman/Released)

150604-N-HY254-204 TARAWA, Kiribati (June 4, 2015) Musician 3rd Class Brian Mathis, assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, plays tambourine with children at a concert in Bairiki Square during a Pacific Partnership 2015 visit to the Independent Republic of Kiribati. Now in its 10th iteration, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jonathan R. Kulp/Released)

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