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139 From Earth to Space and Back Again

05 . 10 . 2021


Watch this on video | Buy us a coffee: Chris / Henry / Mario

POLAR NEWSREEL As nations seek increased catches in the Southern Ocean, scientists are trying to track the impacts of fishing and climate change on this vital part of the Antarctic food chain. // New Research and Monitoring Plan for the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area // Chinese scientists have published a fascinating review on the use of unmanned underwater vehicles in polar research, an area in which China now excels. Their Haiyi gliders "can perform surveys in 99.8% of the global oceans. // While Scientists race to preserve crucial climate records in glacier ice before they melt away, researchers from the University of Minnesota lead in search for mind-boggling 1.5 million-year-old Antarctic ice to transform our understanding of Earth's climate.

FROM EARTH TO SPACE AND BACK AGAIN The US space agency NASA is well-known for their illustrious human spaceflight programs. But not many people would know, that NASA is also one of the largest polar research institution and one of the key players in uncovering the last blank spots at the poles. To understand how life can exist in the most extreme environments known to mankind helps NASA scientists to get a better idea of how life on other planets or moons could develop. A place so hostile to life but so similar to Jupiter moon Europa, Antarctic subglacial Lake Vostok provides an incredible insight in lifeforms that master practically inhospitable conditions buried under 3.7 kilometres of ice. It's projects like this that connects the mission of the US Space Agency to Earth in its undertaking of broadening our understanding of Space. With that research NASA is highly contributing not only on the research end but is also leading in communicating its work and the results of its research. It created ground-breaking science communication platforms that not only translate scientific research to non-academics. It also fosters through these platforms a stewardship for our planet.

With platforms like the Scientific Visualization Studio of the Goddard Space Flight Center it helps us visualise the complex connections of life on earth and space. The NASA Visualization Explorer app brings the experience right at your palm. The Earth Oberserving System EOS gives us access to processed images from the numerous NASA missions with focus on many different aspects of the Earth systems. Here you can also access The Earth Observer, that reports for over thirty years on the research done through NASA’s Earth Science Program, a very interesting, free read. Visible Earth provides a comprehensive catalog of NASA images and animations of our home planet. The Earth Observatory with its breathtaking images and mind-boggling articles picks up the most recent topics and tries to deliver footage to highlight certain aspects or explain connections that make the difference. And of course, we highlighted it a lot throughout past episodes, particularly in our video version on youtube, we shall not forget to mention the NASA Worldview website with its almost real-time access to satellite imagery of the entire planet.

Much of the work is done in the polar regions and particularly for us polar-nerds this really is a gift to have all these sources and all the research to actually make us understand how precious these places are but also what impact they have to our daily lives thousands of miles away.

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

with Chris Marquardt Henry Páll Wulff: Mario Acquarone

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