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Tuesday, September 21st, 2021

World’s Largest Open Dataset for the Development of Self-Driving Vehicles Launched

Self-driving vehicles such as cars, ships and drones offer the potential for reduced costs, lower environmental impacts and fewer accidents. Now, a new open dataset from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, sets a new standard for evaluating the algorithms of such vehicles, and the development of autonomous transport systems on roads, water and

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Climate Change Pushes Fires to Higher Ground

Scientists have known for decades that climate change makes wildfires more common, larger and more intense. Now an international team of scientists has demonstrated a new connection between fires and global warming. Using data from Landsat satellites, they discovered that wildfires in the western United States have been spreading to higher elevations due to warmer

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

Evapotranspiration: Watching Over Water Use

As soil and other surfaces dry, water is transferred into the air as water vapor (i.e., evaporation). Plants actively release water, moving it out of their leaves and stems and into the drier air (i.e., transpiration). The two combine for evapotranspiration: the process through which water leaves plants, soils and other surfaces. It’s a measurement

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

IPCC: Climate Change Widespread, Rapid and Intensifying 

Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report released Aug. 9, 2021. Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the

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.

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