Hello. I'm Jim Tedder in Washington. On our program today, fuel prices are about to take a big increase in Indonesia. We'll hear about a mixture of politics and economics. Then diplomacy of a musical kind in Moscow. But first, new scientific details about how the Earth is changing.
Under normal conditions, NASA, the United States Space Agency, looks out there for new information about our universe. But lately researchers have been aiming complex devices at Earth. They hope to find out how healthy, or unhealthy, our planet is.
These scientific tools were designed to learn about water on the moon, and rocks on Mars. Now they can help us understand how volcanoes, wildfires, and even the severe lack of rain affect our home. The instruments gather information called a "spectral fingerprint" about how light interacts with the land. Robert Green is the NASA scientist in charge of the project.
"We can see the interaction of the molecules that are present in the earth's atmosphere, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, and on the earth's surface in plants such as cellulous and leaf water and the other constituents of plants."
The scientific instruments were tested in high flying airplanes over the state of California. NASA plans to put them in a permanent Earth orbit, about 700 kilometers high, after the testing is complete. Mr. Green says the devices help scientists discover a great amount of information that the human eye cannot see.
Mr. Green's program is called the "Hyperspectral Infrared Imager Airborne Campaign." The testing will continue through next year. After the instruments are put into orbit around Earth, scientists will compare information from the last year to learn how the Earth is changing. This could allow policy makers to make better decisions, so we humans can learn how to adjust to new environmental conditions.
Indonesian officials are expected to cut fuel subsidies soon by 44 percent. If that happens, fuel prices will increase. Economists say the payments are a costly expense that adds to Indonesia's dependence on foreign oil imports. But these assistance payments by the government remain politically popular, and politicians are worried about the public's reaction. June Simms tells us more.
The news spread like wildfire.
2.spectral adj. [光] 光谱的；幽灵的；鬼怪的
We are looking at other planets and their spectral signatures.
3.vapor n. 蒸汽；烟雾
The air was charged with vapor.
4.cellulous adj. 多细胞的；由细胞构成的
And cellulous fiber, a kind of natural high molecule weight fiber, can completely satisfies the consumer's commanding of healthy, environment and suitable.
5.hyperspectral adj. 高光谱的
Using this hyperspectral data, scientists have mapped the location of sulfur deposits on the ice surface (green outline).
6.infrared n. 红外线
Infrared is widely used in industry and medical science.