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Aquarius

Acquarius

Aquarius

https://aquarius.nasa.gov/

The joint U.S./Argentinian Aquarius/Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D mission was launched June 10, 2011, and ended on June 8, 2015, when an essential part of the power and attitude control system for the spacecraft stopped operating. The Aquarius instrument successfully achieved its science objectives and completed its primary three-year mission in November 2014.

Aquarius/SAC-D mapped the salinity (the concentration of dissolved salt) at the ocean surface, information critical to improving our understanding of two major components of Earth’s climate system: the water cycle and ocean circulation. By measuring ocean salinity from space, Aquarius provided new insights into how the massive natural exchange of freshwater between the ocean, atmosphere and sea ice influences ocean circulation, weather and climate.

Aquarius/SAC-D mapped the salinity (the concentration of dissolved salt) at the ocean surface, information critical to improving our understanding of two major components of Earth’s climate system

 
 

ACT America

Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America
(ACT-America)

https://act-america.larc.nasa.gov/
https://blogs.nasa.gov/earthexpeditions/tag/act-america/

Flying with the gases that impact the climate around you. Making the invisible journey visible.

Track carbon footprints across the sky and through four seasons!
ACT-America is on the hunt for greenhouse gases from our ground and in our air. The project measured both natural and human-based methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to identify how these gases are created, where they go and what absorbs them. Understanding the carbon cycle is powerful knowledge. It means we can predict future climate impacts, develop smarter mitigation strategies, and create fact-based policy. Imagine the benefit from “seeing” where these invisible gases are coming from and where they go.

“ACT-America measurements fill a critical gap in our understanding of the sources, sinks and transport of climate-altering greenhouse gasses. We now see how weather stirs the atmosphere and mixes these gasses across the continent, like a large spoon mixing the cream in your coffee.” – Ken Davis, Principal Investigator

The ACT-America investigation featured five seasonal aircraft campaigns spread over three years, across the eastern and central regions of the United States. Instruments aboard a NASA C-130 and a NASA B-200 aircraft measured greenhouse gasses and indicators of the origins of these greenhouse gases and tracked how weather systems transport them. The aircraft data are part of a growing network of observations that will track the “footprints” of greenhouse gases to enable: 1) policy makers, citizens and industry to understand how their actions are changing the earth’s climate; 2) knowledge of natural gas leaks and awareness of opportunities to minimize these losses; 3) how the earth’s ecosystems contribute to the carbon cycle; and 4) accurate forecasting of future climate. ACT-America’s data can be found here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c76TfzEJLPo

Related Projects

ACT-America measurements fill a critical gap in our understanding of the sources, sinks and transport of climate-altering greenhouse gasses. We now see how weather stirs the atmosphere and mixes these gasses across the continent, like a large spoon mixing the cream in your coffee.

 
 

ACTIVATE

Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE)

https://activate.larc.nasa.gov/

Riding the marine layer skies looking for aerosol particles – to predict future climate change.

Simulate climate and predict change as it happens!

NASA’s ACTIVATE mission is on the hunt for clouds off the coast over the western Atlantic Ocean! It is looking for answers to help us understand how clouds and aerosols (particles in the air) affect light and heat from the sun. The size and number of cloud droplets within a cloud determines things like how long the cloud lasts, how well it traps heat at the earth’s surface, or how well it reflects sunlight. All of these can have a significant impact on the earth’s climate. One of the largest unknowns in climate change is how the interaction between clouds and aerosols impacts the climate and understanding this is critical towards improving predictions of how future climate will be impacted by human emissions.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues we are facing on this planet; it is important for all regions of the world. I have spent my research career studying aerosol particles and the extension to how these particles interact with clouds has opened up a whole new avenue of greater challenges that entices me. The research involves using airborne platforms, which has always been of interest to me as I have always been drawn to airplanes.” – Armin Sorooshian, Principal Investigator

NASA’s ACTIVATE investigation is a five-year project studying how clouds and aerosols interact. Aerosols are very tiny particles that are suspended in the atmosphere and are often the “seed that cloud droplets form around. ACTIVATE focuses on marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds off of the east coast of North America. This region sees a large source of aerosols transported from the US eastern seaboard, making it an ideal area to study these interactions. ACTIVATE is aiming to collect a dataset on aerosol and cloud interactions of unprecedented size and statistics. What’s unique about this investigation? NASA Langley’s King Air and the HU-25A Falcon aircraft are flying together in coordinated patterns to simultaneously gather data from well above the clouds and from directly within the vicinity of the cloud deck itself. These data for both aerosols and clouds will give scientists better understanding as to how these mediums interact and affect our climate.

Related Projects

CALIPSO

NAAMESlogo

NAAMES

ORACLES

ORACLES

NASA’s ACTIVATE mission is on the hunt for clouds off the coast over the western Atlantic Ocean! It is looking for answers to help us understand how clouds and aerosols (particles in the air) affect light and heat from the sun.

 

AirMOSS

Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface (AirMOSS)

https://airmoss.jpl.nasa.gov/

The Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) is a five-year mission specifically targeted to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin. HS3 is motivated by hypotheses related to the relative roles of the large-scale environment and storm-scale internal processes.

ATTREX

Despite its low concentration, stratospheric water vapor has large impacts on the earth’s energy budget and climate. Recent studies suggest that even small changes in stratospheric humidity may have climate impacts that are significant compared to those of decadal increases in greenhouse gases. Future changes in stratospheric humidity and ozone concentration in response to changing climate are significant climate feedbacks.

Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATOM)

Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATOM)

Come journey with us and see your impact on the earths’ atmosphere! Can we slow global warming and improve air?

Atom studies the impact of human-produced air pollution on greenhouse gasses and the atmosphere. Pollution changes the air we are breathing right now. This is powerful information for improving our current and future air quality. It helps policy makers with actionable facts and informs modified behavior. We can actually measure our combined impact.​

NASA’s AToM has a flying laboratory aboard the DC-8 aircraft. 42 scientists and operations crew flew with AToM on a 26-day journey from nearly pole to pole and back again. They measured more than 200 gases and airborne particles from the remotest parts of the atmosphere and learned how various greenhouse gases cycle around the world. Atom shows how it’s all one interconnected atmosphere no matter where in the world you are!​

Atom studies the impact of human-produced air pollution on greenhouse gasses and the atmosphere. Pollution changes the air we are breathing right now. This is powerful information for improving our current and future air quality. It helps policy makers with actionable facts and informs modified behavior. We can actually measure our combined impact

 
 

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CALIPSO

Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO)

 
 

https://www-calipso.larc.nasa.gov/
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/calipso/main/index.html

The CALIPSO satellite provides new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols play in regulating Earth’s weather, climate, and air quality.

CALIPSO combines an active lidar instrument with passive infrared and visible imagers to probe the vertical structure and properties of thin clouds and aerosols over the globe. CALIPSO was launched on April 28, 2006, with the CloudSat satellite.

CALIPSO and CloudSat are highly complementary and together provide new, never-before-seen 3D perspectives of how clouds and aerosols form, evolve, and affect weather and climate. CALIPSO and CloudSat fly in formation with three other satellites in the A-train constellation to enable an even greater understanding of our climate system.

The CALIPSO satellite provides new insight into the role that clouds and atmospheric aerosols play in regulating Earth’s weather, climate, and air quality.

CARVE

The carbon budget of Arctic ecosystems is not known with confidence since fundamental elements of the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system are poorly quantified. CARVE collected detailed measurements of important greenhouse gases on local to regional scales in the Alaskan Arctic and demonstrated new remote sensing and improved modeling capabilities to quantify Arctic carbon fluxes and carbon cycle-climate processes.

CloudSat

CloudSat2 

CloudSat

https://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/home

https://cloudsat.atmos.colostate.edu/data

 

CloudSat is one of NASA’s weather and climate-tracking satellites, and from its name, it’s apparent what it measures – clouds!! Clouds have an enormous influence on Earth’s weather, climate and energy balance, and CloudSat has been helping scientists learn about clouds since it was launched on a Delta II rocket in 2006. From providing a view from space as we watch an approaching hurricane to providing details about how clouds impact radiation from the sun and the climate, CloudSat has been understanding the impact of clouds for nearly 15 years.

The cloud radar on CloudSat is 1000 times more sensitive than most weather radars on the ground. With its long history sending us data about clouds, CloudSat has contributed so much valuable information! CloudSat provides a never-before-seen perspective on clouds; its radar allows us to see inside the large cloud masses that make our weather. This helps us understand processes such as those that convert the tiny cloud particles to precipitation. Key discoveries from CloudSat have included how often the clouds above Earth rain and snow, how much ice and water are in clouds, and how clouds heat or cool the atmosphere. Cloudsat measurements have shown how pollution, volcanic ash, and other aerosols can interact with clouds and affect both precipitation and how efficiently clouds reflect sunlight, which has a huge impact on climate. The cloud and precipitation measurements from CloudSat have been used to track the intensity and patterns of tropical cyclones as they become hurricanes. All of these critical observations will ultimately help us predict the effects of clouds on our climate and improve our predictions of climate change.

NASA launched the CloudSat and the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) spacecraft to study the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth’s weather, climate and air quality.

 

CORAL

CORAL

COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL)

 
 

https://www.nasa.gov/content/earth-expeditions-coral
https://coral.jpl.nasa.gov/

The three-year COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) mission will survey a portion of the world’s coral reefs to assess the condition of these threatened ecosystems and understand their relation to the environment, including physical, chemical and human factors. CORAL will use advanced airborne instruments, including the Portable Remote Imaging Spectrometer (PRISM), and in-water measurements. The investigation will assess the reefs of Palau, the Mariana Islands, portions of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Hawaii beginning in 2016. With new understanding of reef condition, the future of this global ecosystem can be predicted.

The three-year COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) mission will survey a portion of the world’s coral reefs to assess the condition of these threatened ecosystems and understand their relation to the environment, including physical, chemical and human factors.

 
 

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