Earth Science: June 2013 Archives

Blog Post: Protecting Planet Earth by Charles Bolden, NASA Blog Post

"Having looked back at Earth from outer space, I have seen just how fragile our home planet is - and I'm committed to doing everything I can to help protect it.

Yesterday, President Obama announced an ambitious Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and put us on a more environmentally sustainable course. At NASA, where one of our primary goals is to improve life for everyone on the planet, I'm pleased to say that we have a number of missions already supporting this important work through our robust Earth Science program."

Planet Labs Reveals First Images from Space, SpaceRef Business

"Planet Labs, a space and analytics company, announced plans to launch the world's largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites to image the changing planet and provide open access to that information. Today, they revealed the first images from their first two satellites.

"Planet Labs will create an entirely new data set, with both humanitarian and commercial value," said Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. "We've become used to having imagery of the entire Earth. What we haven't yet understood is how transformative it will be when that imagery is regularly and frequently updated." Everyone from ecologists to citizen journalists will be able to track frequent changes to any place on the planet -- a frequency and coverage greater than ever seen before."

Detailed Satellite Imagery of Severe Storm (Large image and video), NASA

"A powerful storm swept across the Midwestern U.S. late on June 12, 2012 and is continuing to move across the Mid-Atlantic. Around 0700z (3am EDT), the Suomi NPP satellite passed over the storm as the most intense areas were along the Ohio-West Virginia-Pennsylvania border."

NASA Flooding Google Plus Hangout, NASA

"A soggy 2013 spring, with near record rainfall in some areas, has led to flood warnings in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. With the floodwaters come questions as millions brace for the next wave of thunderstorms: Will this be another multi-billion dollar flood like the ones that hammered the Midwest in 1993 and 2008? How much rainwater will fall into rivers, and where will those rivers flood into towns? Just how good are those flood predictions, and could they be better?"

Marc's note: Watch an archived version of the Hangout.

Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?, NASA JPL

The Arctic permafrost contains vast amount off organic carbon stored over millennia. A NASA program, CARVE, is testing a hypotheses that Arctic carbon reservoirs are vulnerable to climate warming. Will these reservoirs be released? And what happens if these vast amount of stored carbon are released?

Early results: "The CARVE science team is busy analyzing data from its first full year of science flights. What they're finding, Miller said, is both amazing and potentially troubling."

NOAA Returns a Healthy GOES-13 to Normal Operations as GOES-East, NOAA

"NOAA today officially returned the GOES-13 spacecraft to normal operations, after tests showed a micrometeoroid, likely hit the arm for the solar array panel on May 22, knocking the spacecraft off its delicate, geostationary balance."

NASA Satellite Sees Strong Thunderstorms in Developing Gulf Low, NASA

"NASA's Aqua satellite passed over low pressure System 91L in the Gulf of Mexico and captured infrared imagery that revealed a lot of uplift and strong thunderstorms in the eastern part of the storm despite a poorly organized circulation. NOAA's GOES-East satellite showed the large extent of the low pressure area stretching from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to Florida.

System 91L is a tropical low pressure area that has been lingering in the northwestern Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico for several days. The low pressure area is located in the central Gulf of Mexico and covers a large area. It has a large area of disorganized thunderstorms and strong gusty winds over the southeastern Gulf."

Update: NASA Sees Heavy Rainfall in Tropical Storm Andrea, NASA Goddard

NASA's IceBridge Mission Contributes to New Map of Antarctica (Video), NASA

"A new dataset called Bedmap2 gives a clearer picture of Antarctica from the ice surface down to the bedrock below. Bedmap2 is a significant improvement on the previous collection of Antarctic data--known as Bedmap--that was produced more than 10 years ago."



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