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Topic: NASA’s Earth Science Division

My NASA Data Contributes to Virtual Science Learning

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHampton, VA – With schools nationwide returning to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the need to find quick and educational content is paramount. One NASA initiative looks to close the science-information gap.

“Teachers now more than ever need high-quality digital resources that are aligned to standards and engage students in critical skills like data analysis and interpretation,” said Jessica Taylor, a physical scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The My NASA Data visualization tool, Earth System Data Explorer (ESDE), helps learners visualize complex Earth System data sets over space and time. (CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain)

The My NASA Data visualization tool, Earth System Data Explorer (ESDE), helps learners visualize complex Earth System data sets over space and time. (CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain)

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NASA says Sea Level Mission to collect data on Earth’s Oceans, Atmosphere

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When a satellite by the name of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich launches this November, its primary focus will be to monitor sea level rise with extreme precision. But an instrument aboard the spacecraft will also provide atmospheric data that will improve weather forecasts, track hurricanes, and bolster climate models.

“Our fundamental goal with Sentinel-6 is to measure the oceans, but the more value we can add, the better,” said Josh Willis, the mission’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “It’s not every day that we get to launch a satellite, so collecting more useful data about our oceans and atmosphere is a bonus.”

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft undergoes tests at its manufacturer Airbus in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in 2019. The white GNSS-RO instrument can be seen attached to the upper left portion of the front of the spacecraft. (Airbus)

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft undergoes tests at its manufacturer Airbus in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in 2019. The white GNSS-RO instrument can be seen attached to the upper left portion of the front of the spacecraft. (Airbus)

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NASA Study shows Record Loss of Greenland Ice in 2019

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says Greenland has set a new record for ice loss in 2019, shedding the most mass from its giant ice sheet in any year since at least 1948.

The large loss – 532 billion tons -is a stark reversal of the more moderate rate of melt seen in the previous two years. And it exceeds Greenland’s previous record of 464 billion tons, set in 2012. The record melt will likely raise average global sea level by 1.5 millimeters.

Using a hypothetical comparison, all the water combined would cover the entire state of California in more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) of water.

An iceberg in Disko Bay, near Ilulissat, Greenland. The massive Greenland ice sheet shed a record amount of ice in 2019, ending a brief period of more moderate ice loss. (NASA/Saskia Madlener)

An iceberg in Disko Bay, near Ilulissat, Greenland. The massive Greenland ice sheet shed a record amount of ice in 2019, ending a brief period of more moderate ice loss. (NASA/Saskia Madlener)

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NASA Research Projects examine impacts of COVID-19

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has touched most aspects of human life. In recent months, NASA has initiated research projects focused on how the human response to the pandemic has affected our environment, like how air quality has improved in the wake of reduced vehicular traffic in many places. But the tentacles of the pandemic extend well beyond that.

How have production disruptions affected agriculture and food supply? What about our ability to forecast water availability in coming months? How do changes in activity levels affect environmental conditions?

Mount Rainier in Washington is home to one of hundreds of snow-monitoring stations positioned throughout the western U.S. (Vladi Braun/Unsplash)

Mount Rainier in Washington is home to one of hundreds of snow-monitoring stations positioned throughout the western U.S. (Vladi Braun/Unsplash)

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NASA reports Arctic Regions Ice Melts speed up Freshwater Depletion

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Seven of the regions that dominate global ice mass losses are melting at an accelerated rate, a new study shows, and the quickened melt rate is depleting freshwater resources that millions of people depend on.

The impact of melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica on the world’s oceans is well documented. But the largest contributors to sea level rise in the 20th century were melting ice caps and glaciers located in seven other regions: Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Southern Andes, High Mountain Asia, the Russian Arctic, Iceland and the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard. The five Arctic regions accounted for the greatest share of ice loss.

A small glacier in the Arctic region of Norwegian archipelago Svalbard, as photographed by NASA's Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX). This is one of the seven regions where ice loss is accelerating, causing the depletion of freshwater resources. (NASA/John Sonntag)

A small glacier in the Arctic region of Norwegian archipelago Svalbard, as photographed by NASA’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX). This is one of the seven regions where ice loss is accelerating, causing the depletion of freshwater resources. (NASA/John Sonntag)

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NASA Scientists use GRACE, GRACE-FO Satellite Data to examine Ice Loss in Greenland, Antarctica

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – According to NASA, during the exceptionally warm Arctic summer of 2019, Greenland lost 600 billion tons of ice – enough to raise global sea levels by nearly a tenth of an inch (2.2 millimeters) in just two months, a new study shows.

Led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine, the study also concludes that Antarctica continues to lose mass, particularly in the Amundsen Sea Embayment and the Antarctic Peninsula on the western part of the continent; however, those losses have been partially offset by gains from increased snowfall in the northeast.

Greenland's Steenstrup Glacier, with the midmorning sun glinting off the Denmark Strait in the background. The image was taken during a NASA IceBridge airborne survey of the region in 2016. (NASA/Operation IceBridge)

Greenland’s Steenstrup Glacier, with the midmorning sun glinting off the Denmark Strait in the background. The image was taken during a NASA IceBridge airborne survey of the region in 2016. (NASA/Operation IceBridge)

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NASA study shows Greenland Ice Sheet Melting means rise in Sea Levels, more Flooding

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The Greenland Ice Sheet is rapidly melting, having lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice between 1992 and 2018, a new study from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) finds. The study combined 26 independent satellite datasets to track global warming’s effect on Greenland, one of the largest ice sheets on Earth, and the ice sheet melt’s impact on rising sea levels.

The findings, which forecast an approximate 3 to 5 inches (70 to 130 millimeters) of global sea level rise by 2100, are in alignment with previous worst-case projections if the average rate of Greenland’s ice loss continues.

The Greenland Ice Sheet, seen here in Oct. 2018, is melting at a rapidly accelerating rate because of Earth's warming climate. As the ice melts into the ocean, it raises the sea level around the world, causing flooding and other damage to coastal communities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Greenland Ice Sheet, seen here in Oct. 2018, is melting at a rapidly accelerating rate because of Earth’s warming climate. As the ice melts into the ocean, it raises the sea level around the world, causing flooding and other damage to coastal communities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA instrument to help improve Earth Observations of the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A high-altitude NASA plane is taking off with a new instrument to measure the Moon’s brightness and eventually help Earth observing sensors make more accurate measurements.

The airborne Lunar Spectral Irradiance Instrument (air-LUSI) is flying aboard NASA’s ER-2 airplane. The ER-2 is able to soar above clouds, about 70,000 feet above ground.

The crew of the International Space Station snapped this image of the full Moon on April 30, 2018, as the station orbited off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. (NASA)

The crew of the International Space Station snapped this image of the full Moon on April 30, 2018, as the station orbited off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. (NASA)

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NASA Maps Hurricane Dorian’s Damage to the Bahamas

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has created and provided to emergency response organizations a detailed damage assessment map of the Bahamas based on satellite data after Hurricane Dorian hit the islands earlier this week.

For over a week, a response team from NASA’s Earth Science Disasters Program has worked to create maps of impacts and potential impacts from the storm and make them available to decision makers.

A damage assessment map derived from satellite data shows conditions on one island in the Bahamas on Sept. 2. Red and yellow areas are likely the most damaged. (NASA-JPL, Caltech, Earth Observatory of Singapore)

A damage assessment map derived from satellite data shows conditions on one island in the Bahamas on Sept. 2. Red and yellow areas are likely the most damaged. (NASA-JPL, Caltech, Earth Observatory of Singapore)

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NASA study reveals Boreal Forest Fires Could Release Deep Soil Carbon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – According to results from the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) funded by NASA’s Earth Science Division, increasingly frequent and severe forest fires could burn generations-old carbon stored in the soils of boreal forests.

Releasing this previously buried carbon into the atmosphere could change these forests’ balance of carbon gain and loss, potentially accelerating warming.

Canada’s Northwest Territories were scorched by record-breaking wildfires in 2014.

The 2014 fires in Canada’s Northwest Territories burned more than 7 million acres of boreal forest, mainly comprised of cone-bearing trees like these jack pines. The fires released nearly 104 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere. (NASA / Xanthe Walker, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University)

The 2014 fires in Canada’s Northwest Territories burned more than 7 million acres of boreal forest, mainly comprised of cone-bearing trees like these jack pines. The fires released nearly 104 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere. (NASA / Xanthe Walker, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University)

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