ER-2 pilot in cockpit at 70K ft

Latest ATTREX video features views from ER-2

The latest video on the ATTREX mission features footage taken at 70,000 ft from the ER-2 cockpit.  This and other videos on the mission can be found ...

NASA Supercomputer Generate Closer Look at Future Climate...

NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) team and the Climate Analytics Group release monthly climate projections of US.  Read more.

Future climate predictions of US
Screenshot from ATTREX video

First ATTREX video released

  First in a series of videos on ATTREX released “What is ATTREX?” the first in a series of videos describing the ATTREX mission and its s...

What is ATTREX?
NASA, CMU and USGS logos

ARC, CMU, USGS scientists and managers meet in Menlo Park

The USGS office in Menlo Park hosted a one-day meeting with staff from NASA Ames and Carnegie Mellon University (NASA Research Park) February 26. The...

ARC research shows declining growth rates in eastern US forrests

Warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation led to declining growth rates in eastern US forests between 2000 and 2010. Dr. Christopher Potter of ...

NASA Global Climate Change

NASA SIERRA UAV completes unique deployment in South Florida

The SIERRA UAV managed by Ames Research Center acquired hyperspectral data to map see grass beds and coral reefs in the Florida Keys. The SIERRA fligh...

Earth Science at Ames

Who We Are & What We Do

Highlights for March 17 - April 18, 2014




ATTREX completes major deployment to Guam

  The Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) mission is an Earth Venture Suborbital mission probing the transfer of water vapor across the tropopause and the impact of stratospheric water vapor on climate change.  It completed a successful deployment to Guam with  A total of 7 flights were completed for a total of 120.8 science hours.   The flights included extensive surveys of upper troposphere/lower stratosphere composition in the western Pacific, including sampling of numerous high-altitude cloud systems as well as unique measurements in the vicinity of two tropical cyclones. The final flight occurred on March 14 as the Global Hawk AV6 returned from Guam to Armstrong Flight Research Center.    The transit flight from Guam to AFRC provided a survey of upper troposphere/lower stratosphere composition across the Pacific.  The mission is led by Dr. Eric Jensen of the Atmospheric Science Branch (SGG) at Ames. Mission management is led by Dave Jordan (NASA/ARC/Earth Science Projects Office).  (3/17/14)



Alpha Jet data collection featured in briefing to NASA HQ on COMEX

  Dr. Ira Leifer (UC Santa Barabra) briefed Dr. Jack Kay, Associate Director for NASA's Earth Science Division, and others at NASA HQ on March 19 on the COWGAS project data collection recently completed with the aid of methane observations obtained from AJAX.  COWGAS acquired CH4 observations over central coast of California in conjunction with ground observations obtained by Leifer.   COWGAS is a precursor to the CO2 and Methane Experiment (COMEX) project sponsored by NASA HQ to calibrate and validate plume inversion model derivation of greenhouse gas source emissions for future remote sensing satellite missions (e.g. HyspIRI) that use short wave infrared absorption features for trace gas retrievals.  The presentation at HQ was very well received.  The staff was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the COWGAS project was implemented.  The results are in time to inform the experimental design for COMEX.  


AJAX collected observations for column methane.  Mission planning and data analysis for AJAX are led by Laura Iraci (ARC/SGG).   The COWGAS project is a collaboration between Ames and Dr. Leifer.  (3/17/14)


Showtime – Years of Living Dangerously

  Showtime has produced an eight part series on climate change (  The series is produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Each episode features a Hollywood celebrity or internationally recognized journalist as the episode correspondent. The first episode aired April 13 with correspondent Harrison Ford. It focussed on global deforestation as detected by using the NASA/USGS Landsat dataset.  The episode showcased the work of Matt Hansen at University of Maryland in collaboration with Rebecca Moore of Google and many other researchers.  Their work was published in the journal Science (referenced below) in November 2013.  


The first episode also featured the work of Ames scientist Dr. Laura Iraci (SGG), using the Alpha Jet aircraft (a partnership with H211 LLC) to make observations of atmospheric greenhouse gases.  It included an interview with Matt Hansen, Rebecca Moore, and Ames scientist Dr. Rama Nemani, filmed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing visualization lab, using the NEX (NASA Earth Exchange) platform to display Landsat and other images on the Ames' hyperwall.  ( (4/17/14)


The first episode has also been released on YouTube:




NASA Ames airborne mission supporting HyspIRI 

  A new airborne science mission funded under a NASA ROSES solicitation to support the forthcoming Earth observing Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) mission began in late March.  The project, “Phytoplankton Functional Types and Water Quality at the Land-Sea Interface” is led by R. Kudela (UCSC) with Liane Guild (SGE) as the co-PI.  HyspIRI is a three year campaign with three overflights annually, spring, summer and autumn using the NASA ER-2 and the JPL AVIRIS and MASTER imaging spectrometers.The HyspIRI mission will study the world’s ecosystems and provide critical information on natural disasters. The data from HyspIRI will be used for a wide variety of studies primarily in the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem and Earth Surface and Interior focus areas. It is one of fourteen projects selected through the solicitation and the only project looking at coastal processes.  The study site includes Monterey Bay, and the Santa Barbara Channel.  The mission was recommended in the National Research Council Decadal Survey of 2007.  The first phase of data collection will run from March 31 to April 28, 2014.  (3/17/14)


Guild, Sherry Palacios (NPP), Juan Torres-Perez (BAER Institute), Matt Johnson (SGE), and Kirk Knobelspiesse (SGG) are on call for field work in support of the upcoming airborne mission over the San Francisco Bay Area Box (including Monterey Bay).   The group from ARC will be collecting ground-truth data at two sites, Pinto Lake in Watsonville, and at a reference target nicknamed “White Plains” near Moss Landing. A companion team from UC-Santa Cruz will be collecting sea-truth data from Monterey Bay aboard the R/V John H. Martin. The team continues to participate on daily conference calls and are on-call to conduct field activities in Monterey Bay during the ER-2 overflights  (4/2/14)


Lynn Rothschild nominated to Phycological Society of America board

  Lynn Rothschild (SGE) has been nominated to run for Vice President/President Elect of the Phycological Society of America, the leading society for the study of algae. The PSA is responsible for the publication of Journal of Phycology  and organizes annual conferences among other events that aid in the advancement of related algal sciences. Membership in the Phycological Society of America is open to anyone from any nation who is concerned with the physiology, taxonomy, molecular biology, experimental biology, cell biology, and developmental biology of related algal sciences. As of 2012, membership was approximately 2,000 from 63 countries.  (4/2/14)





Sustained Land Imaging-Architecture Study Team.  Steve Hipskind, the Earth Science Division Chief at NASA Ames and the Ames representative on the Architecture Study Team, attended the AST for Sustained Land Imagining Industry Day at NASA Headquarters on April 1.  The study team seeks to define the scope, measurement approaches, cost and risk of a viable long-term land imaging system that will achieve national objectives. NASA hosted the event to present to the research and industrial community the interim results and assessments from the SLI Architecture Study.  The event was held in the main auditorium at NASA HQ.  The study was undertaken with guidance that lowering the system's cost to the nation is an important goal and that implementing a system that stays within the allocated budget is an essential programmatic requirement for the U.S. government.  Ames hosted a follow-up industry engagement event on April 15-16, giving industry representatives the opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with the AST.  ( (4/18/14)


  Suha Ulgen, former lead of the United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure (UN SDI) group, visited Patrick Hogan, WorldWind, and Friedemann Freund April 9 in the context of the Global Earthquake Forecasting System.Suha is now with the Interactive Media and Geographic Information Systems, Inc. (IMAGINS) in Pt. Hueneme, CA, and in Istanbul, Turkey


  Friedemann Freund briefed NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden April 11 on the Global Earthquake Forecasting System, together with Patrick Hogan, WorldWind Program Manager, and Kevin Montgomery, CEO of Intelesense, Inc.  The Global Earthquake Forecasting System will consist of two major components: a ground station component and a satellite component.  For the ground station component, we already have teams set up for forming in over ten seismically active regions (Alaska, Quebec, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Italy, Spain, Greece, Romania, Turkey and India).  For the space component NASA Ames is already talking to and collaborating with LuxSpace in Luxembourg. (4/18/14)


  On Mar. 31, 2014 Phil Russell (SGG) briefed George Komar, NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) Program Director, on the Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR) upgrade project. This project was selected by the Airborne Instrument Technology Transition (AITT) call of ESTO. Phil gave a description of 4STAR and provided performance results from recent field campaigns including the Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP), Student Airborne Research Program (SARP), and Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS). And finally the project Statement of Work, milestone schedule with priorities, and costs were explained. George was impressed by the scientific importance of 4STAR and glad he had the opportunity to receive this information. (4/18/14)


  The Atmospheric Science Branch (SGG) participated at the science team meeting for the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS), held Apr. 15-18, in Boulder, CO. The 2013 SEAC4RS was an extremely successful field campaign and this meeting served as a forum for presenting results and fostering collaboration. SGG participants included Paul Bui (Meteorological Measurement System PI), Robert Chatfield (DISCOVER-AQ Co-I), Eric Jensen (ER-2 Flight Scientist), Leonhard Pfister (Project Meteorologist/Forecaster), Jim Podolske (Diode Laser Hygrometer Co-I), Jens Redemann (ER-2 Flight Scientist), Hanwant Singh (DC-8 Flight Scientist), Meloe Kacenelenbogen (4STAR collaborator), Michal Segal-Rosenheimer (4STAR collaborator), and Yohei Shinozuka (4STAR collaborator). (4/18/14)


  Jens Redemann will present a talk entitled, “Direct aerosol radiative forcing based on combined A-Train observations – towards all-sky estimates and attribution to aerosol type,” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2014. This conference is in Vienna from Apr. 27 to May 2, 2014.(4/18/14)





  Christopher Potter has published a new paper in a peer reviewed journal:


Potter, C. S., 2014, Global assessment of damage to coastal ecosystem vegetation from tropical storms, Remote Sensing Letters, Vol. 5, No. 4, 315–322


Summary of the Study:  This study reports on the first comprehensive global assessment of tropical storm (TS) impacts on coastal ecosystem vegetation along the landfall pathways of major hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons using satellite data of land cover vegetation.  Based on quarterly detection of changes in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite vegetation greenness, all major TS pathways during the time period were verified and ranked in terms of area of vegetation damage observed.  (4/17/14)


  Juan Torres-Pérez authored the chapter,  “Impacts of UV radiation on Caribbean coastal marine ecosystems,” was accepted for publication. It will be published as part of the book, “UV Radiation: Properties, Effects, and Applications”. The chapter summarizes ten years of research conducted by personnel of the Bio-optical Oceanography Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Department of Marine Sciences on the effects of UV radiation on Caribbean coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. The book should be published within the next 4-6 weeks. Co-authors of this chapter are Drs. Roy A. Armstrong and Yasmín Detrés of the UPR. (4/17/14)


  Weber, E., L. Bettiga, L. Johnson, and M. Battany, 2013.  Remote sensing for vineyard pest management.  Chapter 6 in Grape Pest Management, Third Edition (L. Bettiga, Ed.), UC Agriculture & Natural Resource Publication #3343, Regents of the University of California, Richmond, CA (ISBN: 978-1-60107-800-1).


  Wu, Z., P. Thenkabail, R. Mueller, A. Zakzeski, F. Melton, L. Johnson, C. Rosevelt, J. Dwyer, J. Jones, and J. Verdin, 2014.  Seasonal cropland mapping using the Automated Cropland Classification Algorithm (ACCA).  J. Applied Rem. Sens. 8(1):083685.  doi:10.1117/1.JRS.8.083685.





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