A NASA-supported research program brings together goat herders, the luxury fashion industry, a gold mining company and Stanford University to use Earth observations to support more sustainable grazing practices.
In 2021, Hurricane Ida left over 1 million people without power, tornadoes tore across the American Midwest, volcanoes forced people to evacuate their homes, wildfires covered the American West and unusual flooding wreaked havoc on Central Europe.
We recently featured several important scientists who use Terra data in their research, including Dr. Rebecca Buchholz (check out the post here) who works with Dr. Helen Worden, the US Principal Investigator for the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) sensor to evaluate spatial patterns of air pollution critical for natural hazard response and public health planning.
MOPITT data are used to derive carbon monoxide concentrations such as those released from burning vegetation, coal, and other combustible plant material. MOPITT carbon monoxide measurements are used to determine where wildfires are burning and to infer the presence of other air pollutants, too. After analyzing over 15 years of data, the MOPITT team found that overall carbon monoxide levels have decreased globally over the past decade, but with varying amounts related to regional land use differences. Additionally, the team also discovered that an increase in new seasonal peaks of air pollution– especially from summer wildfires burning in the American Pacific Northwest – contribute to increased health risks “downwind” of these fires – even impacting places as far away as Colorado! Find out more about this research in this NCAR/UCAR News article and this Earth Observatory Image of the Day!
It’s been a busy summer for the MODIS instrument! Here are a few highlights you may have missed:
‣ On July 1st, our long-serving MODIS instrument lead, Dr. Michael King, officially retired. While we’re sad to see him go and wish him the best in his new adventures, we’re excited to introduce our new MODIS lead, Dr. Miguel Roman! Look for his updated bio on the Terra website soon.
‣ Check out these two recent research features on the Natural Capital Project (links here and here), a collaboration among scientists, farmers, and the luxury clothing industry. Terra MODIS vegetation index data products are being used as part of this effort to model future goat-grazing land use in order to benefit both farmers and the environment. Frequent sampling and wide area coverage of MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) dataset were leveraged and used as input for climate models, resulting in more sustainable land-use practices.
NASA Official: Kurtis ThomeWebmaster: 610WebDevCurator: Nyssa RayneLast Updated: Aug 17, 2022