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20 years of 4D-Var: better forecasts through a better use of observations

20 November 2017

Twenty years ago ECMWF added an extra dimension – time – to the assimilation of observational data into weather models. This pioneering '4D-Var' technique has led to substantial improvements in the Centre's forecasts.

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New NASA Insights into the Secret Lives of Plants

17 November 2017

Life. It's the one thing that, so far, makes Earth unique among the thousands of other planets we've discovered. Since the fall of 1997, NASA satellites have continuously and globally observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean. During the week of Nov. 13-17, NASA is sharing stories and videos about how this view of life from space is furthering knowledge of our home planet and the search for life on other worlds.

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With 'Mission 1' complete, Planet turns focus to data analysis

17 November 2017

Having achieved its original goal of taking images of the entire planet every day, Planet is now focusing on developing machine learning capabilities to convert that imagery into actionable, and lucrative, insights.

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Satellites accurately capture ocean salinity in the Arctic

16 November 2017

On-the-ground measurements are notoriously difficult in the harsh environment of the Arctic, but satellites could help close the gap in measuring sea surface salinity.

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Sentinels bring wildfires into focus

16 November 2017

In October 2017, a series of wildfires broke out in northern California, killing many and burning thousands of acres of land. Satellite imagery and particular data processing techniques are being used to help map the extent of the damage.

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Ozone ups and downs

15 November 2017

Climate scientists studying three decades of ozone measurements from seven satellites see a positive trend in global recovery thanks to international efforts to curb ozone-depleting substances.

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Mapping functional diversity of forests with remote sensing

13 November 2017

Productivity and stability of forest ecosystems strongly depend on the functional diversity of plant communities. University of Zurich (UZH) researchers have developed a new method to measure and map functional diversity of forests at different scales – from individual trees to whole communities – using remote sensing by aircraft. Their work paves the way for future airborne and satellite missions to monitor global plant functional diversity.

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Hot news from the Antarctic underground

07 November 2017

Study bolsters theory of heat source under West Antarctica - A new NASA study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet.

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Satellites guide ships in ice waters through the cloud

07 November 2017

In late August, the 60 m-long US Coast Guard Cutter Maple completed its navigation through the Arctic's ice-ridden Northwest Passage. While this was not the first time ships had taken this route, it was the first time that the International Ice Patrol had provided iceberg information based exclusively on satellite imagery.

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NASA satellite tracks ozone pollution by monitoring its ingredients

06 November 2017

Ozone pollution near Earth's surface is one of the main ingredients of summertime smog. It is also not directly measurable from space due to the abundance of ozone higher in the atmosphere, which obscures measurements of surface ozone. New NASA-funded research has devised a way to use satellite measurements of the precursor gases that contribute to ozone formation to differentiate among three different sets of conditions that lead to its production.

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Nearly four decades of soil moisture data now available

03 November 2017

A new, long-term and global dataset of soil moisture measurements from space has been released to help us better understand the water cycle and climate, monitor agriculture and manage our water resources.

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Monitoring coastal zones from space

02 November 2017

The resilience of coastal communities depends on an integrated, worldwide coastal monitoring effort. Satellite observations provide valuable data on global to local scales.

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Warm air helped make 2017 ozone hole smallest since 1988

02 November 2017

Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth's ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced.

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Melting snow aids absorption of carbon dioxide

30 October 2017

It appears that something good can come from something bad. Although rising global temperatures are causing seasonal snow cover to melt earlier in the spring, this allows for the snow-free boreal forests to absorb more carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.

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Google Earth reveals ancient stone gates in Saudi Arabia

23 October 2017

A researcher at The University of Western Australia has used Google Earth imagery to identify almost 400 previously undocumented stone structures known as 'Gates' in Saudi Arabia.

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Forests minimise severe heat waves

23 October 2017

Extensive, mature forest cover can mitigate the impact of severe heat waves, droughts and other weather extremes over large regions, according to new NOAA research published online in the journal Nature Communications.

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Hatfield Consultants provides mapping and monitoring services to African Parks in Garamba National Park, DRC

19 October 2017

Led by Hatfield Consultants, technical experts from Hatfield, Airbus, and Pink Matter Solutions worked with African Parks to provide up-to-date baseline land cover and habitat maps, fire detection and fire scar mapping, and ongoing change detection services. These showed potential to provide valuable information for planning the deployment of ranger patrols and to contribute as a force multiplier. Monitoring of fires and land cover change within the park can reveal areas that should be investigated based on suggestions of human activity and patterns of movement within and around the park.

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Future temperature and soil moisture may alter location of agricultural regions

17 October 2017

Future high temperature extremes and soil moisture conditions may cause some regions to become more suitable for rainfed, or non-irrigated, agriculture, while causing other areas to lose suitable farmland, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

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Ozone layer recovery could be delayed by 30 years

12 October 2017

Rising global emissions of some chlorine-containing chemicals could slow the progress made in healing the ozone layer.

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NASA pinpoints cause of Earth's recent record Carbon Dioxide spike

12 October 2017

A new NASA study provides space-based evidence that Earth's tropical regions were the cause of the largest annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration seen in at least 2,000 years.

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