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CYGNSS

Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS)

A new constellation in space is telling us how hurricanes and floods are threatening us on Earth

https://www.nasa.gov/cygnss

  On December 15, 2016, an aircraft called “Stargazer” took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and flew a hundred miles or so off the coast. During flight, a rocket was launched from the aircraft carrying eight NASA micro-satellites into space called Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). The CYGNSS microsatellites are currently orbiting the tropics about 315 miles up. CYGNSS is used to measure winds in tropical storms and hurricanes. Since it can “see” the winds inside the storms and at the surface of the ocean, CYGNSS is able to improve predictions of how strong hurricanes will get and where they will make landfall. Not only is CYGNSS looking at the ocean, it is also studying moisture levels in the land. These soil moisture measurements can improve predictions of soil saturation, rain runoff and flooding. This data helps keep people who live in coastal areas safe from hurricane disasters and helps them plan better communities to combat future storms.

“It is very gratifying to see the potential CYGNSS has to make useful, practical contributions to people’s everyday lives by improving forecasts of storms and floods.” – Chris Ruf, PI, CYGNSS

The technology on each of the CYGNSS microsatellites is something familiar – a GPS! When CYGNSS sends GPS radio signals to the earth and they are bounced off of ocean waves, the signal that is reflected back to the satellite tells us what the winds are like right at the ocean surface. Since it was launched in 2016, scientists have been learning how to use CYGNSS data in many other ways too. It is able to show us flooded areas on land – during Hurricane Harvey, CYGNSS was used to identify the spread of the flooding over the Houston area. This helps “first responders” know which areas need urgent help during flooding disasters. Recently, CYGNSS has been used to help locate areas of a major locust outbreak in East Africa. CYGNSS satellites may be micro-sized, but they have a huge role in helping us better understand hurricanes, flooding, and locusts.

The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) will probe the inner core of hurricanes to learn about their rapid intensification.

Delta-X

Delta-X

Delta-X – Forecasting the fate of the Mississippi River Delta

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0oAkijxj-E#action=share
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7601
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beeD3GRTkpQ

Mississippi Delta is in peril with the livelihood of millions in jeopardy
“Good Lord’s willing, and the creek don’t rise.” Johnny Cash

Simulate climate and predict change as it happens!

Deltas everywhere provide many benefits to life on earth – like serving as a natural protection for our cities and towns against storm surges and tsunamis, or being wetland habitats for crustaceans, mammals, and birds. Many deltas are home to large cities, and people depend on the wetlands for their livelihoods. Deltas around the world, however, are in peril! They’re drowning due to sea level rise and lack of sediment deposited by rivers; it is expected that nearly all of the world’s major river deltas are at risk of drowning this century. The natural influx of sediments from upstream would naturally build up the deltas and provide resilience to sea level rise, however, river channels delivering the sediments have been disrupted by human activities.

“We hope Delta-X calibrated hydrodynamic models will support other agencies and stakeholders in planning coastal
restoration projects and managing resources in the Mississippi River Delta.” – Marc Simard, Delta-X Principal Investigator

NASA’s Delta-X project seeks to understand how parts of the Mississippi River Delta (MRD) are growing and others are sinking. Due to a combination of factors (sea level rise; the disruption of sedimentation; a general sinking of the land due to natural compaction, underground extraction of oil, gas, and water), the Louisiana coastline has been losing land at the rate of almost one football field every hour during the last few decades! Delta-X scientists will collect data over the Atchafalaya and Terrebonne basins during two deployments in 2021 using state of the art remote sensing instruments onboard three aircraft and using in-situ (direct) instruments deployed across the basins. The Delta-X scientists will use this data to learn how and where the MRD is gaining and losing land. The data will be used to improve and calibrate models that predict how the MRD will respond to continuing sea level rise over the next century and to identify which areas are the most vulnerable to sea level rise and storms.

Deltas everywhere provide many benefits to life on earth – like serving as a natural protection for our cities and towns against storm surges and tsunamis, or being wetland habitats for crustaceans, mammals, and birds.

 
 

ECOSTRESS

ECOSTRESS

ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS)

 
 

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ecostress
https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov/

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. Launch occurred on April 28, 2006, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle. The satellites launched into a 705-kilometer (438-mile) circular sun-synchronous polar orbit, and fly in orbital formation as part of the “A-Train” constellation of three other Earth Observing satellites including Aqua, Aura and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales’ (CNES) PARASOL. Together, the A-Train satellites are increasing our understanding of the climate system and the potential for climate change. The CloudSat mission funded lifetime is 22 months to enable more than one seasonal cycle to be observed, although the radar lifetime is expected to approach three years. CALIPSO is planned for three years of on-orbit operation.
Scientists are improving their understanding of Earth’s climate system, but many questions remain. Weather and climate models, the prediction tools scientists use to study the Earth system, are complicated, and the information scientists use to build the models is incomplete. CloudSat and CALIPSO ARE COLLECTING information about the vertical structure of clouds and aerosols unavailable from other Earth observing satellites. Their data ARE IMPROVING our models and providING a better understanding of the human impact on the atmosphere. Policy makers and business leaders CAN make more informed long-term environmental decisions about public health, the economy and better day-to-day weather predictions as a result of these missions.

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.

 
 

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EMIT

EMIT logo

EMIT (Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation)

EMIT Project Website

Discovering what mineral dust is made of and if it cools or warms our atmosphere

What is in the mineral dust that that can travel from Africa to Texas and why do people care so much?

In June 2020 mineral dust blew from the surface of Africa and arrived in the southern United States impacting states from Florida to Texas. It created visibility hazards for people and had other impacts to our environment. Clearly, our world is interconnected by air, land, and water, but what is the journey of the dust and how does it impact us? The NASA Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) is studying the composition of the Earth’s mineral dust regions and how it impacts our planet and people (radiative forcing, atmospheric chemistry, cryosphere melt, ocean biogeochemistry, fertilization of terrestrial ecosystems, as well as hazards and toxicity to human populations). By measuring the source regions and using sophisticated models, EMIT will assess current mineral dust heating and cooling impacts to the Earth and predict potential future changes, enabling scientists to better understand the role of mineral dust in the Earth System that we all live within.

“The time for EMIT is now. Minerals dust has impacts throughout the Earth System. Only now is the advanced NASA technology available for the EMIT instrumentation. Only now are the modern Earth System Models ready for EMIT type initialization. With EMIT we can better understand how mineral dust heats and cools our planet and make decisions regarding how to accommodate and/or mitigate these impacts.” – Robert O. Green, Principal Investigator, EMIT

Mineral dust blown into the atmosphere has many effects on the Earth System including heating and cooling. These first-of-their-kind EMIT measurements will help us understand and make decisions regarding these impacts. How? The EMIT imaging spectrometer instrument is the next generation based on NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper that mapped minerals and discovered water on the illuminated surface of the Moon. EMIT’s instrument will be mounted to the exterior of the International Space Station to measure the composition of mineral dust source regions around the world. EMIT’s state-of-the-art imaging spectrometer measures the different wavelengths of light reflected by minerals on the surface of deserts and other dust sources. The EMIT science team uses these mineral spectroscopic “fingerprints” in conjunction with advanced Earth System models to achieve its objectives. By measuring in detail which minerals make up the dust, EMIT is helping answer the essential question – to what extent does this type ofaerosol warm or cool the atmosphere?. This helps us to better understand what’s happening to our atmosphere now and predict how things may change in the future. The output of EMIT has both economic and public benefit for you (e.g. natural resources and hazard mitigation). You will be able to access the EMIT measurements and products at NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center.

The Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) is an Earth Ventures-Instrument (EVI-4) Mission to map the surface mineralogy of arid dust source regions via imaging spectroscopy in the visible and short-wave infrared (VSWIR).

 

GEDI

GEDI

Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI)

Data from NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission are adding to our understanding of carbon cycling and the structure and development of global biomes.

From red angelim trees in the Amazon towering hundreds of feet above the ground to clusters of shrubs hugging the surface, terrestrial biomes develop in height and density as well as in length and width. Data depicting this three-dimensional structure, however, are limited. This gap is being filled with several recently-launched Earth observing missions. The first data from one of these missions—NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI)—are now publicly available through NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).

Launched on December 5, 2018, and installed on the International Space Station’s Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility (JEM-EF), GEDI is led by a science team at the University of Maryland in collaboration with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. As noted on the GEDI mission website, data are initially transferred to the GEDI Mission Operations Center (MOC) and then processed through the Science Operations Center (SOC), both of which are located at Goddard. Its primary two-year mission is to produce high-resolution laser ranging observations of Earth in order to characterize the effects of climate change and land use on ecosystem structure and dynamics.

Data from NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission are adding to our understanding of carbon cycling and the structure and development of global biomes.

 
 

GRACE

GRACE

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)

 
 

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/gravity-recovery-and-climate-experiment-grace/

An award-winning mission that’s changed the way we study Earth’s gravitational forces and the Earth system, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, mission flew twin spacecraft in tandem around Earth to study key changes in the planet’s waters, ice sheets and the solid Earth.

In 2011, the gravity measurement technique pioneered by GRACE, which works by measuring changes in the push and pull between the twin spacecraft as they orbit Earth, was put to use on NASA’s twin GRAIL spacecraft embarking on an ambitious mission to study the gravitational forces of Earth’s moon.

In more than 15 years of operations, the GRACE satellite mission revolutionized our view of how water moves and is stored on Earth.

An award-winning mission that’s changed the way we study Earth’s gravitational forces and the Earth system, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, mission flew twin spacecraft in tandem around Earth to study key changes in the planet’s waters, ice sheets and the solid Earth.

 
 

NAAMES

NAAMES

North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES)

Tracking plankton ecosystems to rescue the balance between our sky and ocean
https://naames.larc.nasa.gov/
http://www.journalistatsea.com/

Predict change, manage Earth’s resources and mitigate impacts,…no this isn’t the new SimCity, this is the story of Plankton and NASA’s NAAMES project

Plankton are a vital food source for ocean life and also a key indicator of climate change. Plankton are very sensitive to the temperature of the ocean, so while plankton can impact the climate, the climate can also impact plankton. So, what makes plankton bloom every year, what determines the size and duration of blooms, how do they impact the atmosphere? How will the warming surface ocean temperatures predicted to happen over the 21st century threaten plankton life? Can we change our future with the most productive ocean ecosystem on Earth?

“Our environment is changing. Our climate is changing. Ocean ecosystems are directly linked to climate. It’s hard to imagine that organisms you can’t see make a difference, but they really do.” – Mike Behrenfeld, NAAMES principal investigator, Oregon State University

The NAAMES investigation aimed to find out how the atmosphere and the ocean are intertwined through that ultimate connector, plankton. Gases and aerosols from plankton are released into the atmosphere and become the seeds of clouds. Because marine clouds are an important part of the Earth’s climate, understanding why and how plankton blooms happen, and how they influence clouds, can help us understand the Earth’s climate.

NAAMES consisted of four joint ship and aircraft field campaigns from 2015-2018 that were each performed at a specific time of the year to target different parts of the annual plankton cycle. Ship-based measurements were taken to learn about how much and what types of plankton were present at different times of the year, how fast they lived and died, and how plankton changed the ocean source of gases and aerosols. Measurements from the overflying aircraft were taken to see how aerosol concentrations varied in the overlying air and how efficiently the aerosols seeded cloud formation. The collected data was studied to help us better understand this beautiful relationship between Plankton and clouds. You can predict climate future and societal impacts with NAAMES. Come take a journey with us!

https://naames.larc.nasa.gov/video/NAAMESoverview.mp4

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The North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) is a five year investigation to resolve key processes controlling ocean system function, their influences on atmospheric aerosols and clouds and their implications for climate.

 
 

PREFIRE

PREFIRE

Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment (PREFIRE)

 
 
 

PREFIRE will document, for the first time, variability in spectral fluxes from 5-45 μm on hourly to seasonal timescales.

Two 6U CubeSats in distinct 470–650 km altitude, near-polar (82°-98° inclination) orbitseach carrying a miniaturized IR spectrometer, covering 0- 45 μm at 0.84 μm spectral resolution, operating for one seasonal cycle (a year).

  • The Arctic is Earth’s thermostat. It regulates the climate by venting excess energy received in the tropics.

  • Nearly 60% of Arctic emission occurs at wavelengths > 15 μm (FIR) that have never been systematically measured.

  • PREFIRE improves Arctic climate predictions by anchoring spectral FIR emission and atmospheric GHE.

PREFIRE will document, for the first time, variability in spectral fluxes from 5-45 μm on hourly to seasonal timescales. Two 6U CubeSats in distinct 470–650 km altitude, near-polar (82°-98° inclination) orbitseach carrying a miniaturized IR spectrometer, covering 0- 45 μm at 0.84 μm spectral resolution, operating for one seasonal cycle (a year).

 
 

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