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Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

NASA Study Finds Tropical Forests’ Ability to Absorb Carbon Dioxide Is Waning

Earth’s trees and plants pull vast amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during photosynthesis, incorporating some of that carbon into structures such as wood. Areas that absorb more carbon than they emit are called carbon sinks. But plants can also emit the greenhouse gas during processes like respiration, when dead plants decay or

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Study Projects a Surge in Coastal Flooding, Starting in 2030s

In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change.   High-tide floods—also called nuisance floods or sunny-day floods—are already a familiar problem in many cities on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

Exceptional Heat Hits Pacific Northwest

Extraordinary heat events occur around the planet during most summers, but the current heatwave in the Pacific Northwest is truly exceptional. In June 2021, all-time temperature records fell in multiple cities in the U.S. and Canada during a heatwave that the National Weather Service called “historic and dangerous.” The heat is apparent in this map

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Arctic Coastal Sea Ice Thinning Twice as Fast Than Thought

Frequently in the news, Earth’s declining ice is without doubt one of the biggest casualties of climate change. However, calculating the amount of ice we are losing can be a challenge. While monitoring the area of land and ocean covered by ice is relatively straightforward using images from satellites carrying camera-like instruments, scientists need to

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Satellites Show How Earth’s Water Cycle Is Ramping Up as Climate Warms

The rate at which plants and the land surface release moisture into the air has increased on a global scale between 2003 and 2019. These processes are collectively known as evapotranspiration, and a new NASA study has calculated its increase by using observations from gravity satellites. By gauging the mass change of water between the

Friday, May 14th, 2021

Soil Data Aids Prediction of Locust Swarms

In 2019-2020, eastern Africa experienced its worst desert locust invasion in more than 40 years. The United Nations and its partners treated more than 17,000 square kilometers (6,600 square miles) of locust infestations across 10 countries with various eradication methods. Countless crops were still devoured by the insects, causing serious food insecurity in the region.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

NASA Data Helps Build Resilience as Disasters Grow More Intense

In a decade filled by record-breaking events, including raging wildfires, numerous hurricanes, unseasonal flooding and historically cold temperatures, NASA has continued to learn more about how the planet is changing and the effect it has on Earth’s systems. In the satellite era, a fleet of Earth-observing satellites have gathered data on worldwide rain and snowfall,

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

EPA’s Floating Laboratory Lake Guardian Sails Again

After a year in lockdown due to COVID-19, the Environmental Protection Agency’s largest research vessel Lake Guardian has set sail. Eleven scientists supported by a 15-member crew will live and work aboard the ship in April 2021. The work on the Lake Guardian is EPA science at its best. Among other activities, these scientific sailors

Monday, April 5th, 2021

Multiple UAV Approach Reduces Time to Survey Penguin Nests and Chicks

One of the largest Adélie penguin colonies in the world was surveyed with multiple-UAVs. Survey time was reduced from three days (with a single drone manually piloted) to less than three hours. The work was led by a team of experts from Stanford University, Point Blue Conservation Science and Conservation Metrics. UgCS software by SPH

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Satellites Help South Africa Share Water Fairly

Some 20 year ago, in response to severe water shortages, the South African government passed the National Water Act, which is intended to restrict the amount of water farmers use for irrigation. However, ensuring farmers only take the water to which they’re entitled is tricky. Maurits Voogt, who works for HydroLogic, a relatively small company

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