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Topic: Amazon Rainforest

NASA Researches to use Fluid Lensing to map Ocean Floor

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA says that whenever you look through a substance, whether it’s the water in a pool or a pane of old, rippled glass, the objects you see look distorted.

For centuries, astronomers have been mapping the sky through the distortions caused by our atmosphere, however, in recent years, they’ve developed techniques to counter these effects, clearing our view of the stars.

If we turn to look at the Earth instead of the skies, distorted visuals are a challenge too: Earth scientists who want to map the oceans or study underwater features struggle to see through the distortions caused by waves at the surface.

Researchers flying the FluidCam instrument during a field deployment in Puerto Rico. (NASA)

Researchers flying the FluidCam instrument during a field deployment in Puerto Rico. (NASA)

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NASA Study reveals Amazon Drying Out due to Human Activities

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new NASA study shows that over the last 20 years, the atmosphere above the Amazon rainforest has been drying out, increasing the demand for water and leaving ecosystems vulnerable to fires and drought. It also shows that this increase in dryness is primarily the result of human activities.

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzed decades of ground and satellite data over the Amazon rainforest to track both how much moisture was in the atmosphere and how much moisture was needed to maintain the rainforest system.

The Amazon rainforest. (Marcio Isensee e Sa, Adobe Stock)

The Amazon rainforest. (Marcio Isensee e Sa, Adobe Stock)

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NASA’s OCO-3 instrument brings new techniques, technologies to study Carbon Dioxide on Earth to International Space Station

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is ready to launch a new space instrument that will use the vantage point of the International Space Station to monitor Earth’s carbon cycle.

A follow-on to the still-active OCO-2 mission, OCO-3 will bring not only a new vantage point but new techniques and new technologies to NASA’s carbon dioxide observations.

Why are we launching a new carbon observatory? Read on.

Illustration of NASA's OCO-3 mounted on the underside of the International Space Station. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Illustration of NASA’s OCO-3 mounted on the underside of the International Space Station. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Satellite data reveals Amazon Rainforest Drought has long lasting effect

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A single season of drought in the Amazon rainforest can reduce the forest’s carbon dioxide absorption for years after the rains return, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. This is the first study to quantify the long-term legacy of an Amazon drought.

A research team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and other institutions used satellite lidar data to map tree damage and mortality caused by a severe drought in 2005. In years of normal weather, the undisturbed forest can be a natural carbon “sink,” absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it puts back into it.

This image, taken during a September 2010 drought, shows a line of dead and damaged trees after a surface fire in the Amazon rainforest in western Brazil. When dryer-than-normal conditions exist, fires from the open edges encroach on the forests and burn dry and stressed trees. Under normal conditions, when the rainforests are wetter, this is far less common. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image, taken during a September 2010 drought, shows a line of dead and damaged trees after a surface fire in the Amazon rainforest in western Brazil. When dryer-than-normal conditions exist, fires from the open edges encroach on the forests and burn dry and stressed trees. Under normal conditions, when the rainforests are wetter, this is far less common. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA researchers construct 3D View of Amazon Forests to study El Niño Drought effects

 

Written by Ellen Gray
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Three-dimensional measurements of the central Brazilian Amazon rainforest have given NASA researchers a detailed window into the high number of branch falls and tree mortality that occur in response to drought conditions.

They found that 65 percent more trees and large branches died due to an El Niño-driven drought in 2015-2016 than compared to an average year. Understanding the effects of prolonged drought gives scientists a better sense of what may happen to carbon stored in tropical forests if these events become more common in the future.

The research team lays out a transect tape along which they measured the amount and location of woody debris on the forest floor, Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. (NASA/Veronika Leitold)

The research team lays out a transect tape along which they measured the amount and location of woody debris on the forest floor, Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. (NASA/Veronika Leitold)

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NASA lists Five Things you may not know about GRACE Follow-On Mission launching May 22nd

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Scheduled to launch no earlier than May 22nd, 2018 the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a collaboration between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), will continue the work of monitoring changes in the world’s water cycle and surface mass, which was so well performed by the original GRACE mission.

There are far more than five things to say about this amazing new-old mission; but here are a few favorite facts.

Artist's illustration of the GRACE-FO satellites in orbit. (NASA)

Artist’s illustration of the GRACE-FO satellites in orbit. (NASA)

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NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite data reveals reasons for Earth’s Carbon Dioxide Rise

 

Written by Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A new NASA study provides space-based evidence that Earth’s tropical regions were the cause of the largest annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration seen in at least 2,000 years.

Scientists suspected the 2015-16 El Nino — one of the largest on record — was responsible, but exactly how has been a subject of ongoing research. Analyzing the first 28 months of data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, researchers conclude impacts of El Nino-related heat and drought occurring in tropical regions of South America, Africa and Indonesia were responsible for the record spike in global carbon dioxide.

The last El Nino in 2015-16 impacted the amount of carbon dioxide that Earth's tropical regions released into the atmosphere, leading to Earth's recent record spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The effects of the El Nino were different in each region. (NASA-JPL/Caltech)

The last El Nino in 2015-16 impacted the amount of carbon dioxide that Earth’s tropical regions released into the atmosphere, leading to Earth’s recent record spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The effects of the El Nino were different in each region. (NASA-JPL/Caltech)

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NASA’s Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer shows Amazon triggers it’s own Rainy Season

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new study gives the first observational evidence that the southern Amazon rainforest triggers its own rainy season using water vapor from plant leaves. The finding helps explain why deforestation in this region is linked with reduced rainfall.

The study analyzed water vapor data from NASA’s Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) on the Aura satellite, along with other satellite measurements, to show that at the end of the dry season, clouds that build over the southern Amazon are formed from water rising from the forest itself. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Amazon rainforest. (Center for International Forestry Research)

The Amazon rainforest. (Center for International Forestry Research)

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