Of all the worlds studied by JPL, the quest to understand how Earth is changing touches us most directly. Although we have made major advances in understanding our home planet, it often seems as if we are still just scratching the surface. How high will the seas rise? How available will water be in the future? How are carbon storage and biodiversity changing? How can we better prepare for extreme events like earthquakes and volcanoes? Such questions, and others, will continue to drive JPL to innovate novel ways to observe how Earth responds to both natural and human-induced changes, and will provide actionable results for research, education, and decision- making.
The Earth Science and Applications Directorate studies components of the Earth system and their coupling to better understand how the Earth responds to natural and human-induced changes; how these complex dynamic systems interact to influence our environment and Earth’s climate; and how to use this improved knowledge to better predict and respond to natural hazards and other extreme conditions involving weather, water, and climate.