Minimize Research and Applications News
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Better estimates of clouds’ climate effects are on the horizon

14 April 2017

The water that makes up a cloud can exist as liquid droplets, ice crystals, or a mixture of both phases. Cloud phase affects how much radiation from the Sun reaches the ground, stays in the atmosphere, or makes its way back into space; all three influence Earth's temperature. However, inadequate tools and data have made it challenging for scientists to accurately incorporate cloud phase into predictions of future climate.

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ESA helps faster cleaner shipping

13 April 2017

With around 90% of world trade carried by ships, making sure a vessel follows the fastest route has clear economic benefits. By merging measurements from different satellites, ESA is providing key information on ocean currents, which is not only making shipping more efficient but is also helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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UMD research provides comprehensive monitoring of forest loss in Brazilian Amazon

12 April 2017

New research led by the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Geographical Sciences employs satellite image time series to better understand the dynamics of forest cover loss in the Brazilian Amazon. While rates of deforestation in the country have slowed significantly over the last decade, Brazil remains the single largest contributor to natural forest loss among tropical countries.

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New night lights maps open up possible real-time applications

12 April 2017

NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet.

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Sentinel-1 supports detection of illegal oil spills

07 April 2017

Oil spills, such as those from the Erika (1999) and the Prestige (2002) tankers, result in huge environmental and economic damage to our coastlines.

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Meteorologists track wildfires using satellite smoke images

07 April 2017

Enhancements to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's decision support system give forecasters new capabilities for tracking smoke from fires using satellite data.

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Satellites map carbon sequestered by forests, with accuracy of up to ten metres

07 April 2017

​Led by VTT, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to ten metres.

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Two petabytes of data for climate research

05 April 2017

Climate change, with all its ecological and economic implications, is one of society's greatest challenges. It is imperative that we develop efficient strategies and derive measures to protect our sensitive climate system on a global scale. In order to do this, we must gain a profound understanding of the complex environmental processes that contribute to climate change. Atmospheric researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have recently made an important contribution to this.

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Urban monitoring boosted by new data processor

04 April 2017

A new processing tool has been developed to bundle information contained in large amounts of satellite data, paving the way for the wealth of Copernicus Sentinel satellite data to be more easily incorporated into online environment-monitoring services.

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NASA-university study finds 11 percent of disappearing groundwater used to grow internationally traded food

29 March 2017

Wheat, rice, sugar, cotton and maize are among the essential internationally traded crops in the global economy. To produce these crops many countries rely on irrigated agriculture that accounts for about 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, according to the United Nations Water program. One freshwater source is underground aquifers, some of which replenish so slowly that they are essentially a non-renewable resource.

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Forests fight global warming in ways more important than previously understood

28 March 2017

Forests play a complex role in keeping the planet cool, one that goes far beyond the absorption of carbon dioxide, new research has found.

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Extreme weather events linked to climate change impact on jet stream

27 March 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Unprecedented summer warmth and flooding, forest fires, drought and torrential rain — extreme weather events are occurring more and more often, but now an international team of climate scientists has found a connection between many extreme weather events and the impact climate change is having on the jet stream.

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NASA tests observing capability on Hawaii's coral reefs

24 March 2017

NASA pulled off a scientific double play in Hawaii this winter, using the same instruments and aircraft to study both volcanoes and coral reefs. Besides helping scientists understand these two unique environments better, the data will be used to evaluate the possibility of preparing a potential future NASA satellite that would monitor ecosystem changes and natural hazards.

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Improving land cover mapping with Sentinel-2

24 March 2017

With the pair of Sentinel-2 satellites now in orbit, users are looking ahead to mapping global land cover at 10 m resolution.

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Satellite data reveal effects of aerosols in Earth's atmosphere

24 March 2017

Earth's atmosphere is dusted with tiny particles known as aerosols, which include windblown ash, sea salt, pollution, and other natural and human-produced materials. Aerosols can absorb or scatter sunlight, affecting how much light reflects back into space or stays trapped in the atmosphere.

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Satellite imaging breakthrough by Stanford scientists improves ability to measure plant growth

23 March 2017

Satellite images of Earth's plant life have been valuable for managing crops or detecting deforestation, but current methods are often contaminated by light reflected by other things like clouds, soil and snow. Now, researchers at Stanford and the Carnegie Institution for Science have unlocked the potential of decades-old satellites with a technological tweak to better isolate the signal from plants alone.

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Supersonic plasma jets discovered

23 March 2017

Information from ESA's magnetic field Swarm mission has led to the discovery of supersonic plasma jets high up in our atmosphere that can push temperatures up to almost 10,000°C.

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Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

22 March 2017

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached on 07 March a record low wintertime maximum extent, according to scientists at NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. And on the opposite side of the planet, on 03 March sea ice around Antarctica hit its lowest extent ever recorded by satellites at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, a surprising turn of events after decades of moderate sea ice expansion.

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How A.I. captured a volcano's changing lava lake

22 March 2017

One of our planet's few exposed lava lakes is changing, and artificial intelligence is helping NASA understand how.

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Kaikoura quake may prompt rethink of earthquake hazard models internationally

22 March 2017

Last November's magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake was so complex and unusual that it is likely to lead to changes in the way scientists think about earthquake hazards in plate boundary zones worldwide, a new study says.

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