News

  • Landsat Reveals Continued Tree Dieback in the Sierra Nevada Mountains after Drought

    Scientists in Code SGE are generating new maps of the 2013-2015 drought impacts on all forests of the Sierra Nevaga range based on yearly changes in the summer time Landsat moisture index.  Ames scientists began by examining Landsat satellite imagery at nearly all of the high tree die-back sites in the southern Sierra region flown by the U. S. Forest Service in 2015.  The first outcome confirmed that changes in drought-sensitive satellite indices from the years 2011 to 2015 closely matched patterns of tree die-back across the USFS aerial survey locations in the southern Sierra region.  But there was much more to learn; the satellite data record was analyzed further to put the 2013-2015 drought into historical context, particularly with respect to noticeable increases in forest canopy browning due to summer water limitations, progression warming, and widespread bark beetle attacks.  According to the satellite data from the summers of 2015 and 2016, areas most severely impacted by constant water shortages were located just southwest of Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, and in the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests.  Changes in the Landsat data at dying tree locations nearly resembled those from charred forest stands burned in the 2013 Rim Fire near Yosemite and the 2015 Rough Fire near Kings Canyon National Park.  The higher numbers of dead trees detected by Landsat on north-facing slopes can be explained by increased competition among dense stands of white fir and incense cedar for scarce soil moisture.   Continued analysis of this unique NASA satellite data over the next several years at these same locations will help inform forest and park managers about the potential for further, delayed tree die-back.

  • Page from Scientific American

    NEX credited in September issue of Scientific American

    A 4-page article in Scientific American (Sept, 2016) used the NEX-GDDP dataset as a basis for a global map highlighting current and future impacts of climate change on human society.

  • Team of small satellites

    Sreeja Nag Highlighted in MIT News

    Sreeja Nag was highlighted on the cover of MIT news: “A team of small, shoebox-sized satellites, flying in formation around the Earth, could estimate the planet’s reflected energy with twice the accuracy of traditional monolith satellites, according to an MIT-led study published online in Acta Astronautica. If done right, such satellite swarms could also be cheaper to build, launch, and maintain.” 
  • ORACLES flowchart of mission activities

    ORACLES press release on nasa.gov

    A new NASA airborne field experiment planned for this summer will make key airborne measurements of clouds and smoke particles over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean to help scientists understand a major challenge to our understanding of climate science.

  • NASA Ames' Science Director delivers 2015 State of the Directorate all hands

    Dr. Michael D. Bicay, Director of the Science Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center held an all-hands meeting for Code S employees at the Syverston Auditorium, September 17, 2015.

  • New NASA global data set to forecast future global temperature chages

    NASA Releases Detailed Global Climate Change Projections

    NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan made an announcement Tuesday, about the work that the NEX team has done in partnership w/ the NAS (NASA Advanced Supercomputing), and with openNEX on the Amazon cloud, to create a global, downscaled climate dataset using input from the IPCC CMIP 5. 

  • Areas of disturbed forest and woodland cover in Santa Clara County.

    Major changes in Forest and woodland vegetation cover in Santa Clara County

    A new study published in the journal "Current Urban Studies" by NASA Ames scientist Christopher Potter has documented major changes in forest and woodland vegetation cover in Santa Clara County (SCC) over the past decade of urban development. Since the 1980s, the Santa Clara Valley has been rapidly transformed into “Silicon Valley”, a major global center of high-tech development and the Internet boom of the 1990s. Until now, have been no region-wide studies to document the impact of this development on natural habitats.

    The continued development of upland forests and woodlands in SCC can have important impacts on wildlife habitats throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  Wildlife species at risk from woodland loss in SCC include bobcats, mountain lions, kit fox, badgers, golden eagles, wintering bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, California tiger salamanders, red-legged frogs, and steelhead trout.

    Landsat analysis results revealed that 22,730 acres of forests and woodlands were highly disturbed in SCC between 1999 and 2009.  This represented about 6 percent of the total area of all remaining forest and woodlands in SCC prior to 1999.  Nearly 40 percent of forest and woodland areas detected as highly disturbed in SCC were lost to recent residential or commercial development activities.

    Using this type of Landsat analysis methodology, Ames scientists are capable of fulfilling a pressing need for consistent, continual, low-cost monitoring of changes in forest habitats and associated wildlife corridors throughout California.

  • Collage of Global Hawk photos taken during the 2014 mission. Image Credit:  NASA/ Brian Kelly and Erin Czech

    HS3 Hurricane Mission Investigated Four Tropical Cyclones in 2014

    NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission investigated four tropical cyclones in the 2014 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season: Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard and Gonzalo. The storms affected land areas in the Atlantic Ocean Basin and were at different stages during the investigations.

  • The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change.

    NASA Airborne Campaigns Tackle Climate Questions from Africa to Arctic

    Five new NASA airborne field campaigns will take to the skies starting in 2015 to investigate how long-range air pollution, warming ocean waters, and fires in Africa affect our climate.

  • 3-D printed wing part for the FrankenEye aircraft.

    It's Alive! Ames Engineers Harvest and Print Parts for New Breed of Aircraft

    It's more an engineer's dream than nightmare - to rapidly prototype and redesign aircraft using 3-D printed parts. That's just what a team of student interns and engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, got to do: custom-build aircraft by repurposing surplus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Grafting fuselages side-by-side adds more motors, propellers and batteries to improve power and performance capacity. By lengthening the wings, the team was able to improve aerodynamic efficiency and help extend the flight time of small, lightweight electric aircraft.

  • The ARISE research team lines up in front of the NASA C-130 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for a group photo

    ARISE Researchers Close out Alaska Field Campaign

    Data from ARISE will help scientists understand the relationship between ocean and ice surfaces and clouds and the role that relationship plays in the overall climate system. In addition, ARISE data will help researchers further improve methods of interpreting satellite data in the Arctic.

  • NASA's HS3 Looks Hurricane Edouard in the Eye

    Scientists on NASA's HS3 mission got lucky on September 17 when the remotely piloted Global Hawk dropped a sonde that fell in Hurricane Eduoard's eye and spun all the way down to the surface

  • This image of the King wildfire in the California Sierras was captured by the MASTER spectrometer aboard NASA's high-flying ER-2 on Sept. 19. The towns of Placerville and Pollock Pines along Highway 50 are at lower left; Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City are at upper right.

    NASA ER-2 Captures Image of King Fire in Sierras

    MASTER spectrometer image overlaid on a Google Earth photo graphically depicts the fire's boundaries in the visible through thermal infrared spectrum.

  • Time lapse video created by Dave Fratello, HS3 payload manager of the NASA Global Hawk project at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

    HS3 Mission Time-lapse Video Highlights Storms

    NASA released a time-lapse video that highlights three different cameras aboard NASA's remotely piloted Global Hawk aircraft No. 872 as it investigated two tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean in early September 2014.

  • NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flew over Tropical Storm Dolly on Sept. 2 and gathered data. The plot shows wind speeds and wind barbs at 850 and 150 millibars.

    NASA's HS3 Mission Investigates Tropical Storm Dolly

    One of NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft number 872 surveyed Tropical Storm Dolly as part of NASA's latest hurricane airborne mission known as the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3 mission.

  • The NASA Global Hawk 872 lands at 7:43 a.m. EDT, August 27, at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia following a 22-hour transit flight from its home base at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

    Hurricane Mission Begins with Global Hawk Flight to Cristobal

    The first of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft landed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on Aug. 27 after surveying Hurricane Cristobal for the first science flight of NASA's latest hurricane airborne mission.

  • NASA’s C-130 aircraft will carry scientists over the Arctic starting this month from northern Greenland and Fairbanks, Alaska.

    NASA to Investigate Climate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss

    A new NASA field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt.

  • NASA satellite data from OpenNEX showing global drought conditions.

    OpenNEX press release

    NASA is launching two challenges to give the public an opportunity to create innovative ways to use data from the agency's Earth science satellites.

    The challenges will use the Open NASA Earth Exchange. OpenNEX is a data, supercomputing and knowledge platform where users can share modeling and analysis codes, scientific results, knowledge and expertise to solve big data challenges in the Earth sciences.

    Image credit: NASA Earth Exchange (NEX)

  • With full flaps and speed brakes deployed, one of NASA's high-altitude ER-2 environmental science aircraft descends on final approach to the runway at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif. The research aircraft is based at NASA Armstrong's Bldg. 703 adjacent to the Air Force facility.

    NASA ER-2 Aircraft Continues Earth Ecosystem Research

    The second year of the HyspIRI airborne campaign on the high-altitude ER-2 is gathering data about the health of vegetation in six diverse areas.

  • NASA Widens 2014 Hurricane Research Mission

    During this year's Atlantic hurricane season, NASA is redoubling its efforts to probe the inner workings of hurricanes and tropical storms with two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flying over storms and two new space-based missions.

  • Students and teachers from Guam High School learn about how ATTREX scientists control their instruments on Global Hawk from the Payload Mobile Operations Facility.

    NASA Brings Science to Life in Guam Classrooms

    In addition to doing cutting-edge atmospheric science, ATTREX team shared the excitement of their scientific mission with students, teachers in Guam.

  • NASA Global Hawk at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam

    NASA Completes ATTREX Flights in Search of Climate Change Clues

    Science flights from Guam during the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment tracked upper atmosphere changes to help researchers understand how they affect Earth's climate.

  • NASA's unmanned Global Hawk is pushed out of a hangar on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in preparation for an ATTREX science flight over the Western Pacific.

    NASA Completes First ATTREX Science Flight from Guam

    A lengthy science flight over Western Pacific tracked changes in upper atmosphere to help researchers understand how the changes affect Earth's climate.

  • NASA Global Hawk

    NASA Global Hawk Ready for 2014 ATTREX Mission

    A NASA Global Hawk recently completed a checkout flight of science instruments to be used in the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment.

  • NASA Aircraft Collects Data On Earth's Ecosystems

    NASA Aircraft Collects Data On Earth's Ecosystems

    NASA's ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft wrapped up the fall 2013 series of flights during the first week in December for the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager, or HyspIRI, airborne campaign.

  • NASA Global Hawk

    NASA's HS3 Hurricane Mission Highlights

    NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel airborne mission known as HS3 wrapped up for the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season at the end of September, and had several highlights. HS3 will return to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

  • NASA Supercomputer Generate Closer Look at Future Climate Conditions

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

  • HS3 animation

    NASA HS3 Mission Animations Peer in and Outside of Tropical Cyclones

    NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel or HS3 mission is flying two unmanned aircraft to explore tropical cyclones and their environment.

  • Screenshot from ATTREX video

    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 scientific results, has been released. The video includes interviews with the ATTREX PI and co-I  (Eric Jensen and Lenny Pfister, ARC/SGG) and the program managers at HQ supporting the project – Hal Maring and Ken Jucks. The video can be seen on Facebook and YouTube.

  • NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured a view of Tropical Storm Humberto (far right) and the remnants of tropical storm Gabrielle near the Bahamas on Sept. 9 at 7:45 a.m. EDT.

    NASA Investigates Gabrielle's Remnants and New Tropical Storm Humberto

    The remnants of the once-tropical-storm Gabrielle continued to struggle near the Bahamas as NASA's HS3 mission investigated.

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