NASA, TIROS, the Weather Satellite Revolution, and Why GOP doesn’t Get It.

March 11, 2017

Vid above from NASA celebrates the advances in earth observation that Republicans want to do away with – due to discoveries that inconvenience their client fossil fuel corporations.

Below, RCA film from the 60s celebrates satellite advances.

NASA Earth Observatory:

It is almost inconceivable to imagine a weather forecast without a satellite view of clouds sweeping across the globe, but in the spring of 1960, the view from space was a ground-breaking novelty. The first satellite designed to observe clouds was TIROS-1, or the Television InfraRed Observation Satellite, and it launched on April 1, 1960. The satellite carried two tiny television cameras, each weighing about two pounds. One camera captured a wide view of the Earth about 450 miles below, while the other recorded a narrower, more detailed view.

TIROS-1 orbited from pole to pole, snapping photos every 30 seconds, as illustrated in this series of images. The images were stored on tape recorders on the satellite until TIROS-1 came into range of data stations in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, or Kaena Point, Hawaii. The first of the images, labeled “frame 2,” shows the Red Sea. The water is black, and vegetated land on either side is also dark-colored. The deserts of the Arabian Peninsula on the east and the Sahara Desert of Africa on the west are light gray. The brightest features in the image are clouds.


When TIROS-1 acquired frame 3 thirty seconds later, the satellite had moved northwest. By frame 6, the Nile River has become the focus of the image, though its distinctive triangular delta is partially covered with cloud. In the last frame, the shore of Egypt and Libya runs along the lower portion of the image, while the focus is on clouds over the Mediterranean Sea.

Below, former NOAA administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenko explains the difficulty of explaining the importance of satellite weather observations to science-challenged congress-critters.




3 Responses to “NASA, TIROS, the Weather Satellite Revolution, and Why GOP doesn’t Get It.”

  1. Ron Voisin Says:

    It’s quite disingenuous to claim that the statement of one stupid Republican is representative of Republicans.

    You might similarly, and wrongly, claim that Democrats believe that Guam might capsize if we aren’t careful; or that Democrats believe you have to pass legislation in order to find out what’s in it.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      well, there is this

      Not aware of Democratic confusion about Guam’s status as an island. Link?
      To their credit, Dems do understand that Guam will sink beneath the waves as human caused climate change progresses.

      and there’s this.

      “According to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, seventy-two percent of registered Republicans “still doubt” the President’s place of birth. Forty-one percent outright disagreed with the statement, “Barack Obama was born in the United States,” while only twenty-seven percent of Republicans agree.

      As NBC News blatantly states in the poll’s findings, “Only slightly more than one in four Republican voters (!) agreed that the president was born in the United States.”

      Here, at 1:12, a (then) GOP Presidential candidate calls upon his fellows to “stop being the stupid party”.

      here, a number of GOP leaders cite the Bible as a counter to atmospheric physics

      Dangerously, almost 40 percent of Republicans admire Vladimir Putin as a strong leader.

      The force of authoritarianism, plus ignorance, is what is most concerning – here the GOP chairman of the “Science” committee, cites Donald Trump as “the only source of unvarnished truth” –

      Just this week, in an astounding lecture, House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed to misunderstand that the entire concept of “insurance” was that fortunate people spread risk so as to protect the less fortunate – see :40 here

      I don’t take pleasure in this. My Father was chairman of the local Republican Party – which, at one time, was admirable, sober, and honorable.
      He would not recognize today’s collection of carnival barkers, swindlers and crackpots.
      I’ve described, in many posts, the corrosive effect of 40 years of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy’ in molding a GOP base that is racist, ignorant, and resentful. Listen to Reagan era GOP strategist Lee Atwater explaining how to manipulate racism

      OF course, there’s this

      • dumboldguy Says:

        WOW!! A very impressive collection of truths about how so many Republicans are just plain F-ing stupid—–WAY more than the “one” that Voisin sees when he looks in the mirror.

        (And the “weather channel” comment is still IMO one of the all-rime greats)

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