“An organization representing the grandest ambitions of climate scientists wants Western nations to spend at least $2.1 billion a year for the next five years — and as much as $60 billion overall during that period — to glean huge troves of still undiscovered climate information from the world’s land, air and seas. The information system aims to measure literally everything environmental, from the full amount of plant leaf material in the world’s ecosystems to the differences in saltiness throughout the world’s oceans to the discharge from every one of the world’s major rivers, to the monitoring of water vapor and cloud distribution throughout the earth’s atmosphere. This immense store of information is urgently needed to gain a true picture of the vastly complicated climatic and environmental interactions of the planet, according to a draft version of an update report on the huge project, known as the Global Observing System for Climate, which is not expected to be finalized until April 2010. And according to the report’s authors, the information to be gathered is too valuable to be left to any single nation.”
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