As climate change continues to hammer Arctic sea ice, pushing back its summertime boundaries to record-high latitudes, NASA is flying an innovative airborne mission to find out how these developments will affect worldwide weather.
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Arctic and Antarctic sea ice are both affected by climate change, but the two poles of Earth are behaving in intriguingly different ways.
NASA has launched SMAP, a new satellite to study water, not in oceans or lakes but in the soil beneath our feet. This often overlooked repository of water can have big effects on weather, climate, drought and agriculture.
The Amazon rainforest and the Sahara desert seem utterly different. Yet NASA satellites have discovered a surprising connection that intimately links these two disparate parts of our planet.
The common roundworm shares a surprising amount of genetic material with humans - enough, in fact, to make them the good substitutes for astronauts in low-gravity medical studies.
Earth is enveloped by a vast ocean that covers about 71 percent of our planet. Even tiny changes in this body of water can add up to enormous effects on climate and weather.
The Jason-3 satellite, launched on January 17, 2016, will allow scientists to continue a 23-year record aimed at studying Earth's ocean to better understand and forecast our climate, months and years into the future.
As Mark Twain once said, “Distance lends enchantment to the view.”
This definitely holds true for the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, a new space weather mission from NOAA that also carries NASA instruments to keep an eye on Earth.
Launched in February 2015, DSCOVR is now a million miles from Earth where it can look back and see half of our planet all at once. The view prompted President Obama to tweet:
Wildland fires in the U.S. torch an average of 7 million acres of land each year. The western U.S. is one of the worst wildland fire ‘hotspots’ on Earth. In the western states, drought and heat are the perfect ingredients to make wildfires wilder. The hot, dry conditions make bone-dry fuel out of plants and trees, and winds can sweep a fire along as fast as 14 miles an hour.
The Earth's ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles (such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) both drive and respond to environmental changes ranging from local to global scales. These current environmental changes appear to be unprecedented, in both timing and geographical extent. Major uncertainties in Earth science originate from the dynamics and interactions within and between ecosystems and their biogeochemical cycles across land, ocean, atmosphere, and human activities.