Hurricane Delta, now a major Category 4 storm, has strengthened at an incredible rate: more than 85 mph over 24 hours. It’s the fastest rate of intensification in the Caribbean since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when that storm went from 75 mph to 185 mph in just 24 hours time.
Delta’s rapid intensification is no coincidence. Memorable storms like this season’s Hurricane Laura, and past season storms like Michael and Harvey, have done the same. Over the past few decades, rapid intensification has been increasing by about 3 to 4 mph per decade due to hotter waters from human-caused climate change. That means a system in 1980 that may have intensified by 40 mph in 24 hours might now intensify at 55 mph in 24 hours.
But Delta is looking especially similar to Wilma, the most intense storm on record in the Atlantic. And it could similarly have a
NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) plan to issue a Request for Information by the end of the year on instrumentation and platforms for Landsat Next, the Earth observation system to follow Landsat 9.
“Rather than one single large satellite bus, which is what Landsat has been historically, we’ve looked at other options,” USGS Director Jim Reilly said in an interview.
NASA and USGS recently completed an 18-month Sustainable Land Imaging Architecture Study to evaluate the capabilities of existing and planned government and commercial satellites.
“The revolution in space is underway and we’ll want to capitalize on that as much as we possibly can,” said Reilly, a former NASA astronaut. “The critical piece for NASA and USGS is looking at how we combine all that information and how we calibrate and validate it.”