Take a Walk with NASA "Week 5" Happy Earth Day

in #steemstem4 years ago

Happy Earth Day!

This week's post is being dedicated to how the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are trying to study Earth in order to understand our interactions with our "Blue Marble" Earth. But first, let's take a special bird's eye view from above.

[Video credit]Eurovision Social Newswire

NASA Research

Living in Virgina this year and dealing with the weather has been a challenge. Snow flurries in April and still freezing temperatures at night have placed a hold on spring gardening. With the strong El Nino from last year, I believe this was a big factor in this change. Trying to track weather is a challenge, especially when it comes to seasonal storms and the effect it has, especial recently with Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. NASA is helping with this challenge with the launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite and tracking clouds.

Clouds are a unique factor when dealing with weather. They reflect incoming light, trap heat within Earth, and provide the precipitation needed for the cycle of life. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists are trying to increase cloud sampling using satellites to improve weather modeling in predicting the weather. Ground-based observations via aircraft and balloons can't provide the vast coverage satellites can. The Satellite Cloud and Radiative Property Retrieval System (SatCORPS) provides proper diagnosis of the physical cloud properties which can then be pieced together in algorithms. Such data includes cloud altitude, density, and thickness along with clouds composition such as ice or water (NASA, 2018).

European Space Agency Research (ESA)

biomass.jpg
Image credit Biomass change between 2010 and 2015 in South Africa

Deforestation is a problem that affects the entire globe. Like the oceans, plants take in the carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen which provides the life cycle needed for life. ESA is developing a new BIOMASS satellite with capabilities to measure forest biomass and carbon stored in forests, and track changes to this biomass using radar imagery. The projected launch date for this satellite is 2020. (ESA, n.d.).

Using data from these radar images allow governments to determine how land use change affects the carbon footprint from their region. Conservationists can also use this info in their efforts to save animal life that could be affected by these changes. Data also allows them to focus their efforts more efficiently by selecting concentrated areas based on data analysis. Data gathered from space-based radar provides a more cost efficient method of obtaining critical information which can be shared with multiple nations.

NASA and ESA are not the only space agencies involved with monitoring Earth. Countries throughout the world are working on programs both together and alone to make our understanding of Earth fruitful as we continue our efforts to protect Earth's environment. Let me close with a video showing more technology being used to help us understand Earth better.

[Video credit] NASA Celebrates Earth Day and the Amazing Tech that Makes Earth Exploration Possible



I hope you've enjoyed this week's post and will take efforts to ensure our Big Blue planet remains as beautiful as it has in the past. Get involved and make a difference. Again, Happy Earth Day!

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Your post was nominated by a member of @minnowsupport, I hope you will join our community and make new friends! I think you find a few members in there that are interested in science like you are. :)

Thank You. As the school year comes to an end, I hope to be a lot more active here as I have more time in the summer.

Hi, I found some acronyms/abbreviations in this post. This is how they expand:

AcronymExplanation
ESAEuropean Space Agency
Please leave an up-vote if you find this comment useful.

Hi @spederson happy earth day to you! Sounds like BIOMASS is something we needed yesterday :(

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