NASA Ventilator, Earth Day Live, COVID-19 & Climate

Learn what went on in the world of Earth Science during the month of April 2020! Subscribe for weekly videos:

Mr. Weather’s World is a weekly video series bringing you interesting and reliable information about the Earth Sciences, Space Weather, and Climate Change. Tune in each week for exciting new content with host and meteorologist Curt Silverwood (Millersville University Alum).

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Welcome back for another Monthly What’s What! I’m Mr. Weather, joined by Mr. Relevant. Let’s venture into Earth Science related news that occurred this past April.

In the midst of COVID-19, there has been a great need for ventilators. These life-sustaining devices mean the most when it comes to the possible recovery from the virus.

At NASA, their team in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory turned their focus away from instruments for telescopes and robots to traverse the solar system, to ventilators.

In 37 days, the team created the prototype for VITAL. A ventilator geared specifically for COVID-19. It is designed to last 3-4 months in hospitals and provide temporary breathing relief for patients affected by the virus.

After their final round of testing to ensure its safety, the FDA approved the device for emergency measures so it could be sent off to companies to mass-produce.

April 22, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The annual celebration of the environmental movement that started in 1970.

Given the circumstances preventing large gatherings, people went online to virtually celebrate the day. Earth Day Live 2020 featured celebrities, entertainers, and speakers such as Bill Nye, Dave Matthews, Aloe Blacc, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Elizabeth Warren.

Also in attendance was Pope Francis, who called for action and unity. He said humans are failing as the guardians of the Earth because of our exploitation of resources and damage to ecosystems. Overall, the event shared hope and encouraged action and change for a better tomorrow.

As many people worldwide have been confined to their homes, there was evidence that the Earth has benefited from the lack of travel and man-made pollution. NASA images showed a dramatic decrease in NO2 over China from before the virus and after, during isolation.

These changes seen have led to questions on how humans can minimize their carbon footprint after things return to “normal” to benefit the planet’s survival.

At UC Berkeley, experts discussed the importance of reinstating the push to use reusable bags as single-use plastic bags increased in demand during the outbreak of COVID-19 due to the scare of contracting the virus. They mentioned we can shift the paradigm by strictly encouraging green practices and coming together worldwide as we did for the virus to combat the threat of Climate Change. It’s our job on this planet to keep our environment safe and clean for future generations.

Watch the Monthly What’s What every first Wednesday of each month. To catch all other episodes, please subscribe to Mr. Weather’s World on YouTube for new videos every #WeatherWednesday.

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