Image from TERRA
Fri, 14 Sep 2018 01:33 EDT

NASA's MISR instrument captures Hurricane Florence just off the East Coast. Data from two of its nine cameras is combined to show the storm in 3D

Image from TERRA
Mon, 27 Aug 2018 16:33 EDT

For the first time ever, measurements from NASA Earth-observing research satellites are being used to help combat a potential outbreak of life-threatening cholera. Humanitarian teams in Yemen are targeting areas identified by a NASA-supported project that precisely forecasts high-risk regions based on environmental conditions observed from space.

Image from TERRA
Fri, 24 Aug 2018 20:50 EDT

Instruments on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites were watching as Hurricane Lane -- a category 2 storm as of Friday, Aug. 24 -- made its way toward Hawaii.

Tag: Atmosphere

Atmosphere News and Events

MOPITT Helping Shape the Future of Air Quality Monitoring

Measurements of carbon monoxide in April 2014 from the MOPITT instrument (Measurement of Pollution in the Troposphere) aboard NASA’s globally orbiting Terra spacecraft. The boxes show the observing domains for geostationary satellites and red colors indicate high levels of carbon monoxide. (©UCAR. Image courtesy Helen Worden, NCAR

Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) on NASA’s Terra satellite is being used to prove a concept in which new geostationary satellites could improve how agencies monitor and forecast air quality. Chemistry-climate model output would be combined from satellite data from a fleet of geostationary satellites.

“We think the new perspective made possible by geostationary sensors would provide data that is useful for everyday air quality forecasting, as well as for early warnings about extreme events, like the effects of wildfires,” said Helen Worden, NCAR scientist and member of the research team, according to the UCAR website.

MOPITT provides one to two measurements over a given location per day. The geostationary fleet would allow multiple measurements of certain locations per day, making it possible to track emissions over rush hour versus lower traffic times in some urban areas.

The statistical technique used to test the geostationary fleet as a proof of concept was first developed to analyze data from MOPITT, which pioneered the measurement of carbon monoxide from space.

To find out more read the full article from UCAR https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/just-published/17531/tracking-air-quality-high-sky

Santa Ana Vs. Summer Fires: MODIS Helps Determine Most Destructive

cedarfire_tmo_2003299Wildfires perpetuated by the Santa Ana winds can sweep through southern California in the fall and winter; where as, summer wildfires occur much earlier in the year. Both seasons are marked by approximately the same number of acres burned, but researchers recently quanitified which was more destructive.

To quantify each season’s destructiveness, data from the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on-board Terra and Aqua on burn areas in southern California was combined with fire records and economic data to determine how destructive Santa Ana fires are compared to summer wildfires.

From their research they determined that Santa Ana fires caused about 80 percent more economic losses than the summer fires. MODIS data shows that Santa Ana fires may cover approximately the same area as summer fires, but spread more quickly and in the direction of more populated areas with higher property values than summer inland fires, explaining why the Santa Ana- fueled fires are more destructive.

Read more on NASA’s Earth Observatory

Read the entire paper from Environmental Research Letters

MODIS Captures Image of Swirling Dust Storm

iraq_tmo_2015244On September 1st, 2015 Terra’s Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured this image of swirling skies filled with dust over the Middle East. Unlike Haboobs, which are short-lived, these dust storms can last for days and are typically associated with northwesterly wind patterns, known as the shamal. The cyclonic swirl associated with low pressure systems is clearly visible in the dust.

Read more on NASA’s Earth Observatory

Ship Tracks off the Kamchatka Peninsula

PacificOcean_amo_2015208 A scientist, Yi-Chun (Jean) Chen, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and his colleagues were able to show how open-cell versus closed cell clouds affect the brightness, or albedo, of ship tracks.

Using data from MODIS on-board both Aqua and Terra and from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) on Terra, the team studied the relationship between ship-emitted aerosols and cloud properties. The results suggested that aerosol plumes increased the amount of clouds and albedo in open-cell formation areas; where as, areas with closed-cells were less susceptible to aerosol plumes.

Research available in the April 2015 Journal of Geophysical Research

Read more on NASA’s Earth Observatory

 

A Slice of Cirrus

cirrus_cat_2015092

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using data provided by John Yorks and Matthew McGill of the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) team. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.

Cirrus—the wispy, icy clouds that form high in the atmosphere—are known to have a net warming effect on the climate. But how much? The question is hard to answer because even among cirrus clouds, there is wide variety and complexity in their structure.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a natural-color view of clouds over the South Pacific on April 2, 2015. Cirrus are the thinner clouds appearing to spread out from points across the center of the image.

The red line on the MODIS image shows the area scanned just hours before by the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) onboard the International Space Station. “The space station orbit provides comprehensive coverage of the tropical and mid-latitude regions, where cirrus clouds are most prevalent,” said John Yorks, science lead of the CATS team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Read more