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Topic: Alan Buis

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses new Radar Instrument to montior Levees in California

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – One morning in 2008, research scientist Cathleen Jones of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, was flying over the San Andreas fault near San Francisco, testing a new radar instrument built at JPL.

As the plane banked to make a turn, she looked down to see the Sacramento River delta, a patchwork of low-lying lands crisscrossed by levees.

Jones was using an instrument that can measure tiny movements of the ground on the scale of less than half an inch (less than a centimeter). It’s called the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR).

This 2004 levee break, caused by a burrowing beaver, did $90 million worth of damage. NASA's UAVSAR is monitoring levees for early signs of stress that could lead to failure. (Calif. DWR)

This 2004 levee break, caused by a burrowing beaver, did $90 million worth of damage. NASA’s UAVSAR is monitoring levees for early signs of stress that could lead to failure. (Calif. DWR)

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NASA creates 3D Image of Los Angeles Earthquake Zone

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On March 28th, residents of Greater Los Angeles experienced the largest earthquake to strike the region since 2008. The magnitude 5.1 quake was centered near La Habra in northwestern Orange County about 21 miles (33 kilometers) east-southeast of Los Angeles, and was widely felt throughout Southern California.

There have been hundreds of aftershocks, including one of magnitude 4.1.

JPL scientists modeled the March 28, 2014 magnitude 5.1 quake near Los Angeles based on USGS seismic data. This model image shows how the quake may appear to airborne radar, such as NASA's UAVSAR, which will survey the area soon. Blue shades indicate the greatest surface displacement. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Google Earth)

JPL scientists modeled the March 28, 2014 magnitude 5.1 quake near Los Angeles based on USGS seismic data. This model image shows how the quake may appear to airborne radar, such as NASA’s UAVSAR, which will survey the area soon. Blue shades indicate the greatest surface displacement. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Google Earth)

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NASA study shows Amazon Forest consumes more Carbon Dioxide than it creates

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new NASA-led study seven years in the making has confirmed that natural forests in the Amazon remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit, therefore reducing global warming. This finding resolves a long-standing debate about a key component of the overall carbon balance of the Amazon basin.

The Amazon’s carbon balance is a matter of life and death: living trees take carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow, and dead trees put the greenhouse gas back into the air as they decompose.

Old-growth Amazon tree canopy in Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. A new NASA study shows that the living trees in the undisturbed Amazon forest draw more carbon dioxide from the air than the forest's dead trees emit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Old-growth Amazon tree canopy in Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. A new NASA study shows that the living trees in the undisturbed Amazon forest draw more carbon dioxide from the air than the forest’s dead trees emit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Terra spacecraft captures overhead view of 2014 Winter Olympic Games sites

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – It’s not often that the Winter Olympic Games come with an ocean view, but that’s what we are getting this year at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. Sochi is the warmest city ever to host the winter games, which officially run from February 7th through February 23rd.

Two images of the Sochi Olympic venues were acquired on January 4th, 2014, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft.

ASTER satellite image of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games Coastal Cluster, the site for arena sports and the opening and closing ceremonies. (NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

ASTER satellite image of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games Coastal Cluster, the site for arena sports and the opening and closing ceremonies. (NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

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NASA to launch five Earth Science Missions in 2014

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet.

The five launches, including two to the International Space Station (ISS), are part of an active year for NASA Earth science researchers, who also will conduct airborne campaigns to the poles and hurricanes, develop advanced sensor technologies, and use satellite data and analytical tools to improve natural hazard and climate change preparedness.

Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, one of five new NASA Earth science missions set to launch in 2014, and one of three managed by JPL. (NASA-JPL/Caltech)

Artist’s rendering of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, one of five new NASA Earth science missions set to launch in 2014, and one of three managed by JPL. (NASA-JPL/Caltech)

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NASA says ‘La Nada’ Climate Pattern Lingers in the Pacific

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New remote sensing data from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite show near-normal sea-surface height conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

This neutral, or “La Nada” event, has stubbornly persisted for 16 months, since spring 2012. Models suggest this pattern will continue through the spring of 2014, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA's Jason-2 satellite shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is now in its 16th month of being locked in what some call a neutral, or "La Nada" state. (Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech/Ocean Surface Topography Team)

The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is now in its 16th month of being locked in what some call a neutral, or “La Nada” state. (Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech/Ocean Surface Topography Team)

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NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) takes unique X-Ray Images of the Cosmos

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is giving the wider astronomical community a first look at its unique X-ray images of the cosmos.

The first batch of data from the black-hole hunting telescope is publicly available today, August 29th, via NASA’s High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center, or HEASARC.

Artist's concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30') mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s concept of NuSTAR on orbit. NuSTAR has a 10-m (30′) mast that deploys after launch to separate the optics modules (right) from the detectors in the focal plane (left). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Aqua and Terra Spacecraft take images of California Rim Fire endangering Yosemite National Park

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The Rim Fire burning in and near Yosemite National Park in California continues to grow and move its way up in the record books. As of August 27th, CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) reports that the fire, which started August 17th, had consumed nearly 180,000 acres, making it the seventh largest wildfire in California’s recorded history.

The fire is one of 10 active major wildfires burning across California as of August 27th.

Visible image of California's Rim Fire acquired Aug. 23rd, 2013 by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft, showing extensive, brownish smoke. The imaged area measures 236 by 215 miles (380 by 346 kilometers). (Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team)

Visible image of California’s Rim Fire acquired Aug. 23rd, 2013 by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft, showing extensive, brownish smoke. The imaged area measures 236 by 215 miles (380 by 346 kilometers). (Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team)

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NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment spacecraft data reveals Australia had Biggest Role in Sea Level Drop

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A unique and complex set of circumstances came together over Australia from 2010 to 2011 to cause Earth’s smallest continent to be the biggest contributor to the observed drop in global sea level rise during that time, finds a new study co-authored and co-funded by NASA.

In 2011, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, and the University of Colorado at Boulder reported that between early 2010 and summer 2011, global sea level fell sharply, by about a quarter of an inch, or half a centimeter.

Changes in Australia's mass as reported by data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites from June 2010 to February 2011. Areas in greens and blues depict the greatest increases in mass, caused by excessive precipitation. The contour lines represent various land surface elevations. (Credit: NCAR/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Changes in Australia’s mass as reported by data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites from June 2010 to February 2011. Areas in greens and blues depict the greatest increases in mass, caused by excessive precipitation. The contour lines represent various land surface elevations. (Credit: NCAR/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Scientists say Hidden Wildfires Taking Big Toll on Amazon Rainforest

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Using an innovative satellite technique, NASA scientists have determined that a previously unmapped type of wildfire in the Amazon rainforest is responsible for destroying several times more forest than has been lost through deforestation in recent years.

In the southern Amazon rainforest, fires below the forest treetops, or “understory fires,” have been hidden from view from NASA satellites that detect actively burning fires. The new method has now led to the first regional estimate of understory fire damages across the southern Amazon.

Understory fires doing long term damage to the Amazon Forest. (Credit: Doug Morton)

Understory fires doing long term damage to the Amazon Forest. (Credit: Doug Morton)

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