Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009

The Planetary Skin

What happens to Earth when a forest is razed or energy use soars? We don't know because environmental data are collected by isolated sources, making it impossible to see the whole picture. With the theory that you can't manage what you can't measure, NASA and Cisco have teamed up to develop Planetary Skin, a global "nervous system" that will integrate land-, sea-, air- and space-based sensors, helping the public and private sectors make decisions to prevent and adapt to climate change. The pilot project — a prototype is due by 2010 — will track how much carbon is held by rain forests and where.