Earth Right Now 2014

Your planet is changing. We're on it.

Our planet is changing. Through the gradual build-up of more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, Earth is warming. As Earth warms, ocean waters expand and ice melts to make sea levels rise. The cycle of rainfall and evaporation accelerates, leading to more severe droughts and more severe bouts of rainfall. Heat waves become more frequent and more intense. It is this changing world that NASA continues to explore and strives to understand, so that societies can meet the challenges of the future.

Click here to see how your planet is changing.


EARTH IMAGES from the JPL Photojournal

NASA's GRACE Sees a Drying California

NASA's GRACE Sees a Drying California

This trio of images depicts satellite observations of declining water storage in California as seen by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites in June 2002 (left), June 2008 (center) and June 2014 (right). California's Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins, including the Central Valley, have suffered the greatest losses.

Full caption and image | | More Earth images



NASA's Eyes on the Earth graphic

Explore Earth satellites in 3D

"Eyes on the Earth" is a 3-D visualization experience that lets users "fly along" with NASA's fleet of Earth science missions and observe climate data from a global perspective in an immersive, real-time environment.

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Earth Observing Missions

Active Cavity Irradiance Monitor Satellite
Monitors total sun energy that reaches Earth.
Instrument home page

Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on Terra satellite
Takes high-resolution images, global and local.
Instrument home page

Earth Science Airborne Program
Utilizing remote sensing instruments for suborbital studies.
Mission home page

Measures sea surface salinity and will provide the global view of salinity variability needed for climate studies.
Mission home page

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on Aqua satellite
Measures air and surface temperature, clouds, humidity.
Instrument home page

Revealing the inner secrets of clouds.
Mission home page

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
Measures Earth's gravitational field.
Mission home page

Microwave Limb Sounder on Aura satellite
Improves understanding of ozone and precursors.
Mission home page

Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer on Terra satellite
Images Earth and aerosols from nine angles.
Instrument home page

Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2
A follow-on to Jason 1, this mission charts sea level, and its data will help improve climate and weather forecasts.
Mission home page

Quick Scatterometer
Measures ocean surface winds.
Mission home page

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
Acquired the most complete near global mapping of Earth's topography.
Mission home page

Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer on Aura satellite
Observes ozone and gases in the troposphere, the part of atmosphere where we live.
Instrument home page

Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar
First Data Collection Flight: September 18, 2007
An imaging radar instrument flown on airplanes and, eventually, uninhabited aerial vehicles to study Earth.
Mission home page

El Niño (left) are compared with 2015 Pacific conditions (right). 2015 and 1997 El Niños: Déjà vu, or Something New?

Forecasters say this year's El Niño looks just like the giant event of 1997-98. But when it comes to El Niños, there are no identical twins.

Read more (Nov. 19)

Runoff in Alaska. Credit: NOAA Seven Case Studies in Carbon and Climate

Every part of Earth's surface mosaic absorbs and releases carbon in a different way, with wild-card events complicating the picture.

Read more (Nov. 12)

A Breathing Planet, Off Balance A Breathing Planet, Off Balance

As people burn fossil fuels and clear forests, only half of the carbon dioxide released stays in the atmosphere. Earth's vegetation ecosystems and oceans remove the other half.

Read more (Nov. 12)

More news

A Breathing Planet, Off Balance A Breathing Planet, Off Balance

Earth's land and ocean currently absorb about half of all carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, but it's uncertain whether the planet can keep this up in the future.

Watching Rising Seas From Space Video: Watching Rising Seas From Space

Oceanographer Josh Willis from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory narrates this video about the causes of sea level rise.

The Final Act Play video: The Final Act

NASA has found that the last section of Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf is likely to disintegrate before the end of the decade.

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