U.S. Government data received from satellites have increased 100,000-fold in the last decade due primarily to the addition of nearly 50 new instruments to the nation’s exploratory toolbox. Of great current interest is the unique information satellites are gathering on how our solar system affects the weather. In addition to heating the land, the sun’s energy can create weather disturbances and drive ocean currents. Researchers monitoring the amounts of solar energy reaching the earth theorize that it is small increases in the sun's total energy output over the last century that’s responsible for climate change. With increasingly sophisticated satellites at their disposal in the new decade, scientists will be able to make deeper observations and improve predictions about changing climactic conditions.

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