Image from TERRA
Thu, 30 Dec 2021 13:00 EST

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.

Image from TERRA
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:00 EDT

Instruments, like this flux tower, are used by scientists to verify the accuracy of the data available in OpenET, a powerful new web-based platform that puts Earth science data about water use by crops and other vegetation into the hands of farmers and water managers.

Image from TERRA
Thu, 07 Oct 2021 13:00 EDT

The U.S. Forest Service now has a powerful way to view near-real time fire detection from NASA satellite data that they can include in their hourly air quality forecasts.

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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