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NASA Earth-Imaging satellites used for Global Agricultural Monitoring

 

Written by Gina Anderson
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, the costs of many basic dietary staples doubled or even tripled around the world, sparking protests and riots. Panicked governments stopped exporting food, aggravating the crisis.

Almost as troubling: the crisis had taken the world by surprise.

To keep it from happening again, international leaders created an agricultural monitoring group, bringing together representatives from governments and aid groups.

The Group on Earth Observation’s Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) was created to make better predictions about weather and future crops. (NASA)

The Group on Earth Observation’s Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) was created to make better predictions about weather and future crops. (NASA)

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NASA reports a strong, growing El Niño head to United States

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The current strong El Niño brewing in the Pacific Ocean shows no signs of waning, as seen in the latest satellite image from the U.S./European Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 mission.

El Niño 2015 has already created weather chaos around the world. Over the next few months, forecasters expect the United States to feel its impacts as well.

The latest Jason-2 image bears a striking resemblance to one from December 1997, by Jason-2’s predecessor, the NASA/Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Topex/Poseidon mission, during the last large El Niño event. Both reflect the classic pattern of a fully developed El Niño. The images can be viewed at:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/elnino2015/index.html

The latest satellite image of Pacific sea surface heights from Jason-2 (left) differs slightly from one 18 years ago from Topex/Poseidon (right). In Dec. 1997, sea surface height was more intense and peaked in November. This year the area of high sea levels is less intense but considerably broader. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The latest satellite image of Pacific sea surface heights from Jason-2 (left) differs slightly from one 18 years ago from Topex/Poseidon (right). In Dec. 1997, sea surface height was more intense and peaked in November. This year the area of high sea levels is less intense but considerably broader. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Nashville Zoo adds Komodo Dragons to Unseen New World exhibit

 

Nashville ZooNashville, TN – Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the addition of Komodo Dragons to its animal collection. Known as the largest lizard in the world, they can be seen on exhibit in the Unseen New World.

“Komodo dragons are highly intelligent, complex animals that evoke a natural curiosity and are beloved by zoogoers,” said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo president. “We are excited to give our guests the opportunity to discover this fascinating species.”

The two lizards, both female, hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in August 2013.

Komodo Dragons now at the Nashville Zoo. (Katie Gregory)

Komodo Dragons now at the Nashville Zoo. (Katie Gregory)

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NASA’s Jason-2 satellite data points to possible El Niño in 2014

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Every ten days, the NASA/French Space Agency Jason-2 satellite maps all the world’s oceans, monitoring changes in sea surface height, a measure of heat in the upper layers of the water. Because our planet is more than 70% ocean, this information is crucial to global forecasts of weather and climate.

Lately, Jason-2 has seen something brewing in the Pacific—and it looks a lot like 1997.

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The United States of Welfare

 

Recently, I saw a graphic on Facebook depicting certain states in the USA where there were more people on welfare than working in that state. A couple of days later, I read a post that a friend shared on Facebook, again, about welfare.

I was not surprised at the post, rather, reminded that sometimes it takes a couple nudges for us to see what we’re really seeing. The post was from Mike Huckabee, a former preacher and presidential candidate. «Read the rest of this article»

Sections: Commentary | No Comments
 

NASA says watch for the Blue Moon August 31st

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – When someone says “Once in a Blue Moon,” you know what they mean:  Rare, seldom, even absurd.

This year it means August 31st.

For the second time this month, the Moon is about to become full.  There was one full Moon on August 1st/2nd, and now a second is coming on August 31st.  According to modern folklore, whenever there are two full Moons in a calendar month, the second one is “blue.”

YouTube Preview Image

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NASA’s AIM researchers discover Meteor Smoke in the makeup of Noctilucent Clouds

 

Written by  Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Anyone who’s ever seen a noctilucent cloud or “NLC” would agree: They look alien. The electric-blue ripples and pale tendrils of NLCs reaching across the night sky resemble something from another world.

Researchers say that’s not far off. A key ingredient for the mysterious clouds comes from outer space.

“We’ve detected bits of ‘meteor smoke’ imbedded in noctilucent clouds,” reports James Russell of Hampton University, principal investigator of NASA’s AIM mission to study the phenomenon. “This discovery supports the theory that meteor dust is the nucleating agent around which NLCs form.”

YouTube Preview Image

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Supervolcanoes: Not a Threat For 2012

 

Written by Adam Voiland
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – The geological record holds clues that throughout Earth’s 4.5-billion-year lifetime massive supervolcanoes, far larger than Mount St. Helens or Mount Pinatubo, have erupted. However, despite the claims of those who fear 2012, there’s no evidence that such a supereruption is imminent.

What exactly is a “supervolcano” or a “supereruption?” Both terms are fairly new and favored by the media more than scientists, but geologists have begun to use them in recent years to refer to explosive volcanic eruptions that eject about ten thousand times the quantity of magma and ash that Mount St. Helens, one of the most explosive eruptions in recent years, expelled.

In Yellowstone, the rim of a supervolcano caldera is visible in the distance. (Credit: National Park Service.)

In Yellowstone, the rim of a supervolcano caldera is visible in the distance. (Credit: National Park Service.)

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More than one-fifth of tested Seafood Mislabeled, Incompletely Labeled, or Misidentified by Store or Restaurant Employee

 

Results Impact Consumer Costs, Food Safety, and Species Protection; Consumers Union Supports Legislation to Prevent Seafood Fraud, Standardize Labeling, Strengthen Seafood Safety

Consumer ReportsYonkers, NY – A Consumer Reports investigation reveals that more than one-fifth of 190 pieces of seafood bought at retail stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were not what they claimed to be – either mislabeled as different species of fish, incompletely labeled, or misidentified by employees.

The report can be found in the December 2011 issue of the magazine and online at www.ConsumerReports.org. «Read the rest of this article»

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APSU Announces Winners of 24th Annual Young Composers Competition

 

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts recently announced the winners of its 24th Annual Young Composer’s Competition.

First prize was awarded to Heather Stebbins, of Richmond, VA, for her “again and again, however we know this landscape” composition for chamber ensemble. Paul Dooley, of Ann Arbor, MI, earned second prize for his “Dani’s Dance” for piano trio, and Michael-Thomas Foumai, also of Ann Arbor, took home third prize honors for his “Hanakotoba” for violin and piano.

The Austin Peay State University Young Composers Competition has been held annually since 1987. It became a national competition in 1993, and the APSU Department of Music and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts have awarded prizes to composers from such prestigious musical institutions such as Peabody Conservatory of Music, Harvard University, Yale University, the Cleveland Institute, New York University, and the Eastman School of Music. «Read the rest of this article»

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