Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
“The impacts of climate change — including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification and sea-level rise — are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies and public health across the Nation,” reads an executive order signed this morning by President Obama.
The order’s purpose is to coordinate federal agencies and help communities increase resilience to these events, as the New York Times first reported last night:
For instance, when federal money is being spent on projects like roads, bridges, flood control and many others, the plan would encourage greater attention to the likely climate conditions of the future, which might require making the structures stronger or larger.
“All of that is now going to be shaped by the awareness of climate change, and the things that can be done to make those investments produce a much more resilient society,” said John P. Holdren, the president’s science adviser.
It also sets up a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise on federal policy. So far, the governor of Guam is the only Republican governor who’s agreed to serve on the task force; he’ll be joining six Democrats, along with local leaders from both parties.
According to the Times, the White House emphasized that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is still a priority. But the focus on adaptation and preparedness acknowledges that even if Obama meets his promised goal of a 17 percent reduction by 2020, the effects of climate change will be difficult to prevent.
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Lindsay Abrams.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.