Image from TERRA
Thu, 06 May 2021 10:00 EDT

Valley fever is a dangerous threat to human health – and cases are on the rise in the arid southwestern United States, as wind from increasing dust storms can transport the fungal spores that cause the disease. Valley fever is caused by the Coccidioides fungus, which grows in dirt and fields and can cause fever, rash and coughing. Using NASA resear

Image from TERRA
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:00 EDT

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.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 20 Apr 2021 10:49 EDT

Fertilizers used in farming contain high amounts of nutrients, such as phosphorous, to help crops grow. But these same nutrients can cause unwanted plant growth and potentially harm ecosystems miles away if agricultural runoff flows into nearby rivers, lakes, or coastal waters.

Comparing Land Surface and Air Temperatures of Urban Heat Islands Over the Contiguous USA

Urban Heat Islands are caused by materials in buildings, parking lots, and other infrastructures in cities that capture and store radiation from the sun.  Often these materials are impervious, meaning that no liquid can penetrate directly into the ground. These materials release energy at night in the form of heat.  A recent publication presented at American Geophysical Union sought to assess the urban surface heat island signature on land surface temperature change over the United States and make comparisons to local air temperatures provided by the Global Historical Climatology Network. The team used the National Land Cover Database Impervious Surface Area and the MODIS Land Surface Database from 2001 and 2006.

The team overlaid the National Land Cover Database Impervious Surface Area map over the local air temperatures from the Global Historical Climatology Network station distribution map, identifying over 300 urban settlements.  They compared the local air temperatures versus the land surface temperatures at night and at midday. They found that the observed temperature change was evident in both sets of data, however the magnitude differed. Local air temperatures from the Global Historical Climatology Network tend to underestimate the surface temperatures during daytime, especially during summer and in non-forested stations.

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