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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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EU scientists see the forest for the trees (EU-Forest)

21 March 2017

The JRC has recently released a high-resolution tree occurrence dataset for Europe. The EU-Forest dataset is the most comprehensive database ever of forest resources at the EU level, comprising over half a million tree occurrences and over 200 different tree species. It improves our understanding of the rapidly changing forested areas of Europe and changes over time of the kinds of trees that make them up.

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Sentinels accelerate monitoring of forest change

21 March 2017

Celebrated today, the International Day of Forests raises awareness on the importance of forests globally. Some 30% of Earth's land surface is covered by forests. Every minute, an area of forest equal to ten football fields is lost (FAO FRA 2015).

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ANYWHERE project aims to predict weather impacts

17 March 2017

Some 70 scientists, developers and emergency managers from across Europe came together at ECMWF from 15 to 17 March to drive forward a project that aims to provide forecasts of weather impacts, such as damage from wind storms, floods and heat waves.

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Study finds "hotspots" of airborne ammonia over world's major agricultural areas

16 March 2017

In the U.S., efforts to curb acid rain in the 1990s had the unintended effect of increasing ammonia in the atmosphere.

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Could leftover heat from last El Niño fuel a new one?

14 March 2017

Some climate models are suggesting that El Niño may return later this year, but for now, the Pacific Ocean lingers in a neutral "La Nada" state, according to climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

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First global maps of volcanic emissions use NASA satellite data

09 March 2017

Volcanoes erupt, they spew ash, their scarred flanks sometimes run with both lava and landslides. But only occasionally. A less dramatic but important process is continuous gas emissions from volcanoes; in other words, as they exhale. A number of volcanoes around the world continuously exhale water vapor laced with heavy metals, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, among many other gases. Of these, sulfur dioxide is the easiest to detect from space.

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New satellite images show inside China’s ghost cities

03 March 2017

China still has a startling number of vacant real-estate developments, judging from new satellite analysis by DigitalGlobe and Business Insider.

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NASA study improves forecasts of summer Arctic sea ice

02 March 2017

The Arctic has been losing sea ice over the past several decades as Earth warms. However, each year, as the sea ice starts to melt in the spring following its maximum wintertime extent, scientists still struggle to estimate exactly how much ice they expect will disappear through the melt season. Now, a new NASA forecasting model based on satellite measurements is allowing researchers to make better estimates.

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SnapPlanet app wins top prize at Space App Camp

28 February 2017

Developers of an app that combines the increasing availability of satellite images with social networking took home the top prize at this year's Space App Camp in Barcelona.

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Genghis Khan: Could satellites help find his tomb?

24 February 2017

For Shay Har-Noy it was an 800-year-old puzzle about the burial place of Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan that sparked a very 21st Century business.

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Two radar eyes are better than one

23 February 2017

A novel airborne experiment over the flat agricultural landscape of the Netherlands recently simulated, for the first time, images that could be taken by radar satellites orbiting in tandem.

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In atmospheric river storms, wind is a risk, too

21 February 2017

Atmospheric river storms are hailed as drought-busters when they bring needed rain and snow, but they have a well-known dark side: damaging floods. A new NASA study documents a second destructive force in these storms: high winds.

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