Earth Day 2017: Adopt a Piece of Earth to Raise Climate Change Awareness

We’re rapidly approaching this year’s celebrations for Earth Day, April 22. If you don’t want to attend any green events or you don’t have the possibility to, NASA can help you observe this day in another way. The U.S. space agency has kicked off a fun campaign for Earth Day 2017, allowing anyone to adopt pieces of our planet. The allotted 64,000 plots of land are each around 89 km wide and are for the taking for supporters on the website.

Satellite Data & Climate Change

But the campaign is not just fun to be a part of; it’s also a way for NASA to raise awareness about the effects of climate change. The adopting programs works in the same way as naming a star after a loved one. People who sign up won’t actually have legal rights to the designated land (or sea). Instead, NASA offers something to support their cause.

Adopters will get exclusive access to scientific data for their piece of land. Thanks to NASA’s satellite data, they will be able to look at the site’s vegetation, fauna, and other factors, including sea temperature and humidity. Global warming is already changing our planet; some of the people who will adopt a piece of land may see the visible modifications in ecosystems and global forests.

If you go on the website of Adopt the Planet, you can also check out the world map and explore other locations and their satellite data. Curious users will be excited to know NASA’s interactive map allows them to take a deep dive into the vast oceans or wander in remote mountains and deserts. Even though NASA has many satellites and spacecraft circling the Earth, some areas still lack in data layers. The space agency has yet to collect data on the extreme poles, for example.

Short History of Earth Day

Our Earth, also known as the Blue Planet, is truly a wonderful place. Abundant of water, the globe sustains all kinds of life with its incredibly complex and rich ecosystem. Superb environments have created the ideal conditions for life even in the most inaccessible locations. All of these amazing things our planet does for us deserve an international commemoration.

Humanity first celebrated Earth Day in 1970. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, U.S., was the founder of this observance, who conceived the day as a response to the alarming rate of industrialization. The senator was worried about the people’s careless approach to the environment so he instituted the 22nd of April as the day to celebrate Earth.

Twenty years later, Earth Day became a global thing, animating more than 200 million people in 141 countries. Earth Day offers people the chance to acknowledge the environmental issues we face on this planet. In some countries, Earth Day extends into Earth Week. Green organizations use the seven days to set up events and activities focused on raising green awareness. On April 22, more than 1 billion people are expected to take part in Earth Day 2017. Thanks to the huge number of participants, Earth Day is the largest civic observance worldwide.

Blue Planet

NASA Celebrates Earth Day

We have long before we fully understand the complex system that is Earth. NASA uses many methods to gain more insight into our planet and its atmosphere. NASA currently has a fleet of 18 Earth Science missions surveying the Earth high and low, collecting data and helping researchers with a different perspective from above the planet. The information they deliver is vital for researchers to understand the changes Earth undergoes. This way, they can improve their predictions of natural and climate threats.

Users who sign up to adopt a piece of Earth can also check out the amount of sea ice still existing in the Antarctic or Arctic areas. The website is full with many other interesting and informative data and imageries – official information that scientists actually use to study our changing planet. So why not adopt your own piece of the planet in time for Earth Day 2017?

Adopting Earth

NASA’s goal is for people to pick all the 64,000 pieces by April 22. While anyone from anywhere can do it, we encourage teachers and educators to use this opportunity as an activity for kids in a classroom. Students will gain a unique perspective of the planet from space, as opposed to looking at Earth from ground level.

The entire process is quite fun and it takes just a couple of minutes to complete. To get started, visit the link we’ve provided above or access go.nasa.gov/adopt. Write your name in the blank space and see which little piece of Earth will become virtually yours. The lots are assigned at random and it doesn’t cost you a thing to enter the campaign. NASA does not require other personal information from the participants – except the name they’d like to adopt under.

Once you finish the process, the space agency will award you with a personalized certificate. Dedicated social media buttons will allow you to brag about your new adoption, encouraging you to use the hashtag #AdoptThePlanet. NASA explained there’s enough Earth to go around, because the adoption process will start from scratch once the 64,000 sectioned pieces will be assigned. That way, anyone who would like to participate will be able to put in their own names.

NASA & Climate Change

There’s no doubt the U.S. Space Agency is an important player in our fight against climate change. In one of his weekly addresses, President Trump highlighted NASA’s “mission of exploration and discovery” and the organization’s ability to help us understand the heavens and Earth. In addition to looking at the stars, NASA is also peering back at our home planet, trying to unravel its mysteries.

However, Trump’s statement doesn’t quite fit with the new administration’s budget outline, which was released in late March. Four climate-related missions conducted by NASA were targeted and proposed for termination. These satellite missions are extremely necessary, as they help scientists learn more about key parts of global warming. Administration officials have argued that NASA’s sole focus should be outer space. But the agency’s unmatched experience in developing innovative observational technologies makes it a vital player in the Earth science operation.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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