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Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

New Maps of Salinity Reveal the Impact of Climate Variability on Oceans

The salinity of the ocean surface can be monitored from space using satellites to give a global view of the variable patterns of sea-surface salinity across the oceans. Unusual salinity levels may indicate the onset of extreme climate events, such as El Niño. Global maps of sea-surface salinity are particularly helpful for studying the water

Monday, November 25th, 2019

U.S. Cities Might Release More Methane Than Previously Thought

Major U.S. cities may be leaking far more methane into the atmosphere than government estimates suggest. New measurements found that up to twice as much gas is being released from six cities on the East Coast—Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Boston; New York; Providence, R.I.; and Baltimore—than estimates recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Their combined

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

Archaeologist Gains Unexpected Insights into Social Integration in 19th Century Mining Town

A historical archaeologist made a surprising discovery about daily life in an 1800s gold mining town by mapping artifacts in the Surfer scientific modeling package from Golden Software. Artifact distribution maps indicate Highland City, Mont., may have been a well-integrated town for its time. “Overseas Chinese immigrants worked in the mines of the American West

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Arctic Shifts to a Carbon Source due to Winter Soil Emissions

A NASA-funded study suggests winter carbon emissions in the Arctic may be adding more carbon into the atmosphere each year than is taken up by Arctic vegetation, marking a stark reversal for a region that has captured and stored carbon for tens of thousands of years. The study, published Oct. 21, 2019, in Nature Climate

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

NASA Team Aids Hurricane Forecasting Using Satellite Data

NASA has for years used its cutting-edge space-based and airborne instruments to better understand hurricanes and give weather forecasters new insights they could use to improve the accuracy of their storm forecasts. A NASA program focused on bringing new weather research to bare on forecasting challenges is now tackling predictions of a hurricane’s strength. The

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Is Earth on Fire?

Data from the Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas shows that there were almost five times as many wildfires in August 2019 compared to August 2018, but a detailed analysis reveals precisely where these fires have been occurring, most of which were in Asia. The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission recorded 79,000 fires in August this year, compared to

Monday, October 21st, 2019

2019 Ozone Hole Is Smallest on Record

Abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica dramatically limited ozone depletion in September and October, resulting in the smallest ozone hole observed since 1982, NASA and NOAA scientists reported. The annual ozone hole reached its peak extent of 6.3 million square miles (16. 4 million square kilometers) on Sept. 8, 2019, and then

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

NASA Smallsats Can Aid Hurricane Forecasts with GPS

Eight briefcase-size satellites flying in a row may be key to improving forecasts of a hurricane’s wind speed—detecting whether it will make landfall as a Category 1 or a Category 5. NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) fleet, launched in 2016, was designed to show whether the same GPS signals your phone uses for

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Can Oceans Turn the Tide on Climate Crisis?

As we pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world is warming at an alarming rate, with devastating consequences. While our vast oceans are helping to take the heat out of climate change, new research shows that they are absorbing a lot more atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought—but these positives may be outweighed

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Mapping the Amazon

The Amazon basin is exceptional. It spans at least 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles), nearly twice the size of India. It is home to Earth’s largest rainforest as well as the largest river for the volume of the flow and the size of the drainage basin. The rainforest, which covers about 80

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