The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (more commonly known as NASA) has issued a Climate Risk Management Plan, warning that climate change may compromise their ability to launch satellites and gather evidence on climate change. But climate change blog site Watts Up With That points out that the biggest disaster NASA has suffered to date – the Challenger space shuttle explosion – was caused by freezing weather.
The report identifies a number of perceived potential threats to NASA assets and capabilities including beach erosion, coastal flooding and increased storm frequency; electrical blackouts and brownouts which may affect communication capabilities; health and safety impacts caused by “worsening air quality”; and, bizarrely, threats to endangered species – although what impact that may have on NASA is not fully explained.
It is one of over two dozen released by federal government departments on Friday, detailing the steps they are taking to address climate change.
“NASA recognized as early as 2005 that ‘regional climate variability’ could pose a risk to its operations and missions and identified it as a risk within NASA’s risk management framework. Many Agency assets – 66 percent of its assets when measured by replacement value – are within 16 feet of mean sea level and located along America’s coasts,” the report reads.
“Risk management is central to continuity of NASA operations, and the agency is including potential climate extremes in its risk management framework,” said Calvin Williams, assistant administrator for NASA’s Office of Strategic Infrastructure. His colleague Jack Kaye, associate director of NASA’s Earth Science Division added “NASA science provides an important knowledge base that the centres and their surrounding communities can use in preparing for changing climate conditions.”
Yet Anthony Watts, writing on his blog site Watts Up With That, points out that “one of the biggest space disasters ever, the Challenger disaster, was caused by FREEZING COLD WEATHER and idiotic management that ignored risks related to cold weather as warned by engineers.”
“I have a pretty hard time believing that about a degree of warming is going to cause all these woes. That and the fact that NASA has had a nearly 9 year hurricane free window in Florida to not worry about launches.”
Despite repeated assertions that man-made climate change is negatively impacting human populations (“Global warming is happening now … our planet is warming and natural systems are struggling to keep up,” intones the National Wildlife Federation), satellite evidence actually shows that there has been no increase in global temperature for 18 years.
As for the sea level rises which NASA considers such a pressing threat to its assets, the verdict of Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, a former chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change who has studied global sea levels for 35 years is: “the sea is not rising”. Furthermore, “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.”
Mörner calls the predictions of catastrophic sea level rise “the greatest lie ever told”. Whereas those predictions are all based on computer models, which can be easily manipulated to give any answer desired, Mörner’s findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.
Coincidentally, his words echo those of Dr Richard Feynman who, following the Challenger disaster, wrote a personal observation on the reliability of the shuttle, which was included in the appendices of the Presidential Commission on the shuttle accident.
“Let us make recommendations to ensure that NASA officials deal in a world of reality,” he wrote. “NASA owes it to the citizens from whom it asks support to be frank, honest, and informative, so that these citizens can make the wisest decisions for the use of their limited resources.
“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”