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5G Could Mean Less Time To Flee a Deadly Hurricane, Heads of NASA and NOAA Warn

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 24 May 2019


An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: As reported by The Washington Post and CNET, the heads of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warn [5G wireless networks] could set back the world's weather forecasting abilities by 40 years -- reducing our ability to predict the path of deadly hurricanes and the amount of time available to evacuate. It's because one of the key wireless frequencies earmarked for speedy 5G millimeter wave networks -- the 24 GHz band -- happens to be very close to the frequencies used by microwave satellites to observe water vapor and detect those changes in the weather. They have the potential to interfere. And according to NASA and NOAA testimony, they could interfere to the point that it delays preparation for extreme weather events. Last week, acting NOAA head Dr. Neil Jacobs told the House Subcommittee on the Environment that based on the current 5G rollout plan, our satellites would lose approximately 77 percent of the data they're currently collecting, reducing our forecast ability by as much as 30 percent. "If you looked back in time to see when our forecast skill was 30 percent less than today, it's somewhere around 1980. This would result in the reduction of hurricane track forecast lead time by roughly 2 to 3 days," he said. If we hadn't had that data, Jacobs added, we wouldn't have been able to predict that the deadly Hurricane Sandy would hit. A European study showed that with 77 percent less data, the model would have predicted the storm staying out at sea instead of making landfall. Jacobs said later that we currently have no other technologies to passively observe water vapor and make these more accurate predictions. On April 19th, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine made similar comments to the House Science Committee. "That part of the electromagnetic spectrum is necessary to make predictions as to where a hurricane is going to make landfall," he told the committee. "If you can't make that prediction accurately, then you end up not evacuating the right people and/or you evacuate people that don't need to evacuate, which is a problem."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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