News Articles for Earth

Street-level photos in the Bhaktapur area of Nepal

January 29, 2016

NASA Damage Maps May Help in Future Quakes

Researchers have developed a way to make maps of natural disaster damage using remote sensing technology.

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The hummingbird glyph and its surroundings in the Nasca world heritage site

January 27, 2016

NASA Radar Brings a New View of World Heritage Site

In just two 10-minute overflights, an airborne NASA synthetic aperture radar proved it could pinpoint areas of disturbance in Peru's Nasca lines World Heritage Site.

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The ORCAS campaign is studying carbon dioxide in the sea around Antarctica.

January 26, 2016

NASA Takes Part in Airborne Study of Southern Ocean

NASA's PRISM instrument is part of a flying lab that is studying the Southern Ocean's appetite for carbon dioxide.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the U.S.-European Jason-3 satellite launches

January 17, 2016

Jason-3 Launches to Monitor Global Sea Level Rise

Jason-3, a U.S.-European oceanography satellite mission with NASA participation, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sunday at 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 EST) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the U.S.-European Jason-3 satellite

January 15, 2016

Jason-3 in Orbit

The Jason-3 international oceanography satellite mission is scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Sunday, Jan. 17.

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Artist's rendering of Jason-3. Credit: NASA

January 14, 2016

NOAA's Jason-3 Spacecraft Ready for Launch

Jason-3, an international mission led by NOAA to continue U.S.-European satellite measurements of ocean-surface topography, is scheduled for launch on Jan. 17.

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Coral reef in the Mariana Islands.

January 6, 2016

NASA CORAL Mission to Raise Reef Studies to New Level

A NASA field campaign will measure the condition of the world's threatened coral reef ecosystems over a larger area, and in greater detail, than ever before.

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Global view of El Niño 2005 compared to El Niño 1997

December 29, 2015

A Still-Growing El Niño Set to Bear Down on U.S.

The current strong El Niño brewing in the Pacific Ocean shows no signs of waning, as seen in the latest satellite image from the U.S./European Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 mission.

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Methane emissions in Alaska

December 21, 2015

Methane Emissions in Arctic Cold Season Higher Than Expected

The amount of methane escaping from the ground during the Arctic's long cold period each year and entering Earth's atmosphere is likely much higher than current estimates.

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Lake Tahoe on the California/Nevada border

December 16, 2015

Study: Climate Change Rapidly Warming World's Lakes

Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a new NASA and National Science Foundation-funded study.

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Before-and-after photographs of Nepal's Langtang Valley

December 16, 2015

Studies of Recent and Ancient Nepal Quakes Yield Surprises

The Gorkha, Nepal earthquake in 2015 triggered far fewer landslides and much less damage to glacial lakes than expected; while medieval times earthquakes caused massive landscape changes.

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An atmospheric river travels across the Pacific to California Oct. 25 to Nov. 2, 2014.

December 15, 2015

NASA Examines Global Impacts of the 2015 El Niño

People the world over are feeling, or will soon feel, the effects of the strongest El Niño event since 1997-98, currently unfolding in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

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Rainfall animation

December 14, 2015

How NASA Sees El Niño Effects From Space

NASA data are helping scientists learn more about some of El Niño's key impacts around the globe.

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El Niño (left) are compared with 2015 Pacific conditions (right).

November 19, 2015

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.

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Landsat-8 image of Greenland's Zachariae Isstrom

November 12, 2015

In Greenland, Another Major Glacier Comes Undone

A new study by NASA and university researchers spells more trouble for Greenland's Ice Sheet and global sea levels.

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Runoff in Alaska. Credit: NOAA

November 12, 2015

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.

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A Breathing Planet, Off Balance

November 12, 2015

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.

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Carbon dioxide from wildfires and urban sources blankets the Northern Hemisphere.

November 12, 2015

As Earth Warms, NASA Targets 'Other Half' of Carbon, Climate Equation

During a 9 am PST (noon EST) media teleconference today, NASA and university scientists will discuss new insights, tools and agency research into key carbon and climate change questions.

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advancing new tools like the supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide

November 9, 2015

NASA Holds Media Briefing on Carbon's Role in Earth's Future Climate

A Nov. 12 NASA media telecon will cover latest insights into Earth's response to rising levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, and what it means for future climate.

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RapidScat and Hurricane Patricia

November 6, 2015

NASA's RapidScat Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

The ISS-RapidScat instrument has spent just over a year in space, and has already helped with weather and other forecasts.

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GRACE satellites measured Atlantic Ocean bottom pressure as an indicator of deep ocean current speed.

November 2, 2015

NASA Finds New Way to Track Ocean Currents from Space

NASA and university scientists have developed a new way to use satellite measurements to track changes in Atlantic Ocean currents, which are a driving force in global climate.

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Global average carbon dioxide concentrations as seen by OCO-2 mission

October 29, 2015

Excitement Grows as NASA Carbon Sleuth Begins Year Two

Scientists poring over data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission are seeing patterns emerge as they seek answers to questions about atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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Borneo on Fire cap

October 21, 2015

Borneo on Fire

Thick smoke from the worst forest fires in nearly two decades blankets the island of Borneo in an Oct. 14 satellite image from NASA's MISR instrument.

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Setting of the La Habra quake.

October 20, 2015

NASA Study Improves Understanding of LA Quake Risks

A new NASA-led analysis of a moderate earthquake that shook Greater Los Angeles in 2014 offers new insights into the potential for future earthquakes in the region.

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El Niño (left) are compared with 2015 Pacific conditions (right).

October 19, 2015

NASA Studying 2015 El Niño Event As Never Before

NASA satellite observations are giving scientists a comprehensive suite of tools to analyze the evolving El Niño and its global impacts as never before.

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Relative soil moisture over the Carolinas on Oct. 5, 2015, shown in percent.

October 8, 2015

NASA Eyes on Earth Aid Response to Carolina Flooding

NASA is using data from Earth-observing satellites in space to aid in the response to the devastating flooding affecting the Carolinas.

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In parts of Northern California, background ozone levels already account for more than three-quarters of total ozone

September 29, 2015

NASA: Background Ozone a Major Issue in U.S. West

New technique more accurately determines the sources of ozone in a given area.

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An October 2007 image, left, of Southern California wildfires shows how offshore Santa Ana winds control these events.

September 11, 2015

Study Contrasts Effects of Two Types of SoCal Fires

Wildfires driven by autumn Santa Ana winds are 10 times more expensive than summer fires, a new study shows. But both kinds are costly, and both are on the increase.

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A new study clarifies what happens to precipitation that falls on land.

September 3, 2015

NASA's TES Satellite Instrument Gives New Insight into Water Cycle

NASA satellite measurements have given scientists a better understanding of what happens to rain and snow that fall on land, with a few surprising findings.

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NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) (Artist Concept)

September 2, 2015

NASA Soil Moisture Radar Ends Operations, Mission Science Continues

NASA SMAP observatory managers have determined its radar can no longer return data, but the mission continues to produce high-quality science with its radiometer instrument.

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ABoVE campaign will combine field work, airborne surveys data and computer modeling

August 31, 2015

NASA to Study Arctic Climate Change Ecosystem Impacts

NASA has begun a multi-year field campaign to investigate ecological impacts of the rapidly changing climate in Alaska and northwestern Canada.

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A grayish turquoise melt pond on the Greenland ice sheet, as seen from the air. Credit: NASA

August 28, 2015

Greenland Campaign Takes Flight to Measure Ice Sheet

An airborne campaign over Greenland this summer helps scientists prepare for a satellite mission that will monitor global ice sheets.

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Laurence Smith (University of California, Los Angeles) deploys an autonomous drift boat.

August 28, 2015

NASA's Summer Research on Sea Level Rise in Greenland

Researchers camped on Greenland's ice sheet this summer studied streams that form atop the ice and carry meltwater to the ocean, where it adds to sea level rise.

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globally averaged sea level

August 26, 2015

NASA Zeroes in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon?

Intensive research, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable future sea level rise of several feet. The question is, how quickly will it happen?

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An iceberg floats in Disko Bay, near Ilulissat, Greenland, on July 24, 2015.

August 26, 2015

Warming Seas and Melting Ice Sheets

NASA is applying its unique capabilities to the challenge of understanding global sea level rise.

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Greenland's rising bedrock interacts with its ice loss from global climate change.

August 26, 2015

The Fingerprints of Sea Level Rise

When you fill a sink, the water rises at the same rate to the same height in every corner. That's not the way it works with our rising seas.

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NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland field campaign

August 26, 2015

NASA's OMG Mission Maps Greenland's Coastline

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland program will study how the oceans are eating away at Greenland's ice sheet and help scientists predict sea level rise.

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Rising Sea Levels

August 20, 2015

NASA Holds Media Opportunities to Discuss Rising Sea Levels

In a series of media opportunities Wednesday, Aug. 26, through Friday, Aug. 28, NASA experts will present an up-to-date global outlook on current conditions and future projections of sea level rise.

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Total subsidence in California's San Joaquin Valley for the period May 3, 2014 to Jan. 22, 2015

August 19, 2015

NASA: California Drought Causing Valley Land to Sink

A new NASA report shows land in California's San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever as Californians continue pumping groundwater in response to the historic drought.

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Cuts in ground-level, ozone-forming pollutants are cleansing the West Coast's cloud-and-smog mix

August 10, 2015

Nature, Chinese Pollution Offset U.S. West Ozone Gains

An expected reduction in atmospheric ozone levels over the western U.S. was offset by natural atmospheric processes and pollutants crossing the Pacific Ocean from China.

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The MODIS instrument captured this image of numerous fires burning in the transition zone between the Sahara Desert to the north.

August 6, 2015

In Africa, More Smoke Leads to Less Rain, NASA Shows

Agricultural fires in North Africa reduce the region's rainfall during the dry season, according to a NASA study.

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California's accumulated precipitation

July 30, 2015

California 'Rain Debt' Equal to Average Full Year of Precipitation

A new NASA study has concluded California accumulated a debt of about 20 inches of precipitation between 2012 and 2015.

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Lake Tahoe is renowned for its intense blue hue.

July 23, 2015

Less Algae, Not Clearer Water, Keeps Tahoe Blue

Lake Tahoe's iconic blueness is more strongly related to the lake's algal concentration than to its clarity.

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Glaciologists from the University of California, Irvine, and JPL mapped remote Greenland fjords by ship in 2014.

July 21, 2015

Greenland's Undercut Glaciers Melting Faster than Thought

Greenland's glaciers are badly undercut and melting faster than thought, raising sea levels faster than currently estimated.

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NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission

July 10, 2015

SMAP Team Investigating Radar Instrument Anomaly

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, are assessing an anomaly with the radar instrument on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite observatory.

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An Argo float, foreground.

July 9, 2015

NASA Finds Oceans Slowed Global Temperature Rise

A NASA study shows heat has been trapped in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The finding explains the recent slowdown in global temperature rise.

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NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory

July 1, 2015

NASA Takes to Kansas Skies to Study Nighttime Thunderstorms

In most of the U.S., summer thunderstorms form on hot days. In the Great Plains, they often form at night. NASA is joining a multi-agency field campaign to learn why.

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AVIRIS-NG red green blue imagery of the Refugio Incident oil spill

July 1, 2015

NASA Maps Beach Tar from California Oil Pipeline Spill

When an oil spill sullied beaches near Santa Barbara, California, in May, a JPL airborne instrument tested new techniques that may help responders after future oil spills.

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A flower clock is seen in the Jardin Anglais, Geneva, Switzerland.

June 30, 2015

NASA Explains Why June 30 Will Get Extra Second

The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or "leap" second, will be added.

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NASA and Microsoft engineers test Project Sidekick on NASA's Weightless Wonder C9 jet.

June 25, 2015

NASA, Microsoft Collaborate to Bring Science Fiction to Science Fact

NASA and Microsoft are teaming up to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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Beijing city center.

June 25, 2015

Beijing Quadrupled in Size in a Decade, NASA Finds

Using a NASA satellite-based technique to measure urban growth, researchers found that Beijing, China, quadrupled in physical size between 2000 and 2009.

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The body of the Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration, developed at NASA's JPL

June 25, 2015

Under-Ice Rover Chills With Fish at Aquatic Exhibit

An under-ice rover prototype was tested at the California Science Center this week.

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The Jason-3 spacecraft is unloaded from a 747 transport aircraft at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015

Jason-3 Satellite Arrives at California Launch Site

The newest addition to a venerable line of ocean-monitoring satellites has arrived at its launch site in California to prepare for its launch in August.

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Norway's annual Oil on Water exercises allow personnel and equipment to hone their response to oil spills.

June 18, 2015

NASA Joins North Sea Oil Cleanup Training Exercise

A NASA aircraft joined a Norwegian oil spill cleanup exercise, testing a scientific instrument's ability to recognize more and less damaging types of oil slicks.

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Artist's concept of the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft

June 17, 2015

International Spacecraft Carrying NASA's Aquarius Instrument Ends Operations

Aquarius/SAC-D, an international Earth-observing mission that carries NASA's Aquarius instrument, ended June 8 when an essential component of the spacecraft power and attitude control system stopped operating.

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UC Irvine groundwater storage trends from NASA's GRACE (2003-2013) for Earth's 37 largest aquifers.

June 16, 2015

Study: Third of Big Groundwater Basins in Distress

UC Irvine studies using NASA GRACE data find a third of Earth's largest groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted by human use, despite little data about how much water remains.

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The Mississippi River Delta south of New Orleans

June 16, 2015

NASA 'Eyes' Study Louisiana's Changing Wetlands

NASA has completed an intensive study of Louisiana Gulf Coast levees and wetlands, using three research aircraft carrying advanced instruments.

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The European Space Agency's Rosetta's lander

June 15, 2015

Rosetta's Lander Philae Wakes From Comet Nap

Rosetta's Philae lander wakes up from hibernation on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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The Orbit Pavilion lets the observer listen to something with no natural sound

May 26, 2015

NASA/JPL Bring Sights and Sounds to World Science Festival

Exhibits, displays and presenters from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, are participating in this year's World Science Festival in New York, to be held from May 27 through 31.

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High-resolution global soil moisture map from SMAP's combined radar and radiometer instruments

May 19, 2015

NASA Soil Moisture Mission Begins Science Operations

NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed has begun science operations.

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Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf is likely to shatter into hundreds of icebergs

May 14, 2015

It's the Final Act for Larsen B Ice Shelf, NASA Finds

NASA has found that the last section of Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf, which partially collapsed in 2002, is likely to disintegrate before the end of the decade.

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Rubble from the earthquake in Nepal

May 8, 2015

DHS Successfully Transitions Search and Rescue Tool That Pinpoints Buried Victims

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, in partnership with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, announced the transition of the final prototype of the Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) technology to the commercial market.

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Rubble from the earthquake in Nepal

May 7, 2015

FINDER Search and Rescue Technology Helped Save Lives in Nepal

In the wreckage of a collapsed textile factory and another building in the Nepalese village of Chautara, four men were rescued, thanks to a NASA technology that was able to find their heartbeats.

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Todd Caldwell checking one of the sensors in the Texas Soil Observation Network.

May 6, 2015

How Dry is Texas? SMAP, TxSON Network Aim to Find Out

NASA's SMAP and University of Texas scientists are rounding up critical soil information for managing the Lone Star State's limited water.

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The decrease in emitted light over Nepal following the April 25, 2015 quake

May 1, 2015

NASA Aids Response to Nepal Quake

NASA and its partners are gathering the best available science and information on the April 25 magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal to assist in relief and humanitarian operations.

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ISS-RapidScat map

April 21, 2015

NASA RapidScat Proving Valuable for Tropical Cyclones

Forecasters are already finding NASA's new ISS-RapidScat mission helpful as they keep watch on major storms around the globe.

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SMAP radiometer image from March 31 - April 3, 2015

April 21, 2015

NASA Soil Moisture Mission Produces First Global Maps

NASA's new satellite mission to map the water in the soil under our feet has passed another key milestone by generating its first full global maps.

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Artist's rendering of Jason-3

April 21, 2015

Jason-3 Will Add to Record of the Sea's Rise and Fall

Jason-3 will add to a 23-year data set used to study climate change and ocean cycles like El Niño, as well as for hurricane forecasts, navigation and other ocean needs.

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Several NASA websites are nominated for the 2015 Webby People's Voice Awards.

April 16, 2015

NASA Nominated for 2015 Best-of-the-Web Honors

Fans of NASA can vote for the agency's nominees in the 2015 Webby awards competition.

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks to students

April 14, 2015

NASA Celebrates Earth Day with Public Events, Online Activities

NASA will celebrate the 45th annual Earth Day April 17-22 with a variety of live and online activities to engage the public in the agency's mission to better understand and protect our home planet.

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Cell phones can detect ground motion and warn others before strong shaking arrives.

April 10, 2015

Researchers Test Smartphones for Earthquake Warning

Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in some regions of the world, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes, according to a new study.

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The 2013 Rim fire in and near Yosemite National Park, California, was the third largest in the state's history

April 9, 2015

NASA/Forest Service Maps Aid Fire Recovery

New maps of two recent California megafires that combine unique data sets from the U.S. Forest Service and JPL are answering some of the urgent questions that follow a huge wildfire.

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Shiprock, New Mexico

April 7, 2015

Scientists Take Aim at Four Corners Methane Mystery

Researchers from NASA and other institutions are in the U.S. Southwest, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane "hot spot" detected from space.

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There are (so far) 1,800 known planets beyond our solar system, but among all of them, there's no place like Earth.

April 6, 2015

NASA Celebrates Earth Day with #NoPlaceLikeHome Event

This Earth Day, April 22, NASA is asking people around the world to share pictures and videos on social media that show there is no place like home -- planet Earth.

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Deficit in the total volume of water contained within the Tuolumne River Basin snowpack from this time in 2014 to now.

April 1, 2015

NASA: California Tuolumne Snowpack 40 Percent of Worst Year

New NASA data find the snowpack in the Tuolumne River Basin currently contains just 40 percent as much water as it did near this time at its highest level of 2014.

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SMAP will produce global maps of soil moisture

March 27, 2015

It's 'Full Spin Ahead' for NASA Soil Moisture Mapper

The rotating "golden lasso" reflector antenna on NASA's new soil moisture mapping mission is now fully spun up to its design rate in preparation for science operations.

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NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission

March 24, 2015

NASA's New Soil Moisture Mapper Goes for a Spin

NASA's new soil moisture mapping mission has moved a step closer to starting science operations following the partial spin-up of its "golden lasso" reflector antenna.

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In this region, urbanization has increased the potential for groundwater contamination.

March 19, 2015

Space Radar Helps Track Underground Water Pollution Risk

Satellite observations provide a new and more accurate way to assess where underground water in northern Italy is most at risk from pollutants.

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East Antarctic Coastline

March 16, 2015

UTexas-NASA Study Sees New Threat to East Antarctic Ice

Researchers have discovered two seafloor troughs that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica's largest and most rapidly thinning glacier.

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SMAP will monitor the frozen or thawed state of the global landscape north of 45 degrees north latitude.

March 13, 2015

Let It Go! SMAP Almost Ready to Map Frozen Soil

Those who feel as though they've been living in the never-ending winter of the movie "Frozen" this year, this could be welcome news.

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First image from smap satellite from a test of its science instruments

March 9, 2015

NASA's Soil Moisture Mapper Takes First 'SMAPshots'

NASA's new satellite mission to map the water in the soil under our feet has successfully tested its science instruments for the first time.

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Over the past 12 months NASA has added five missions to its orbiting Earth-observing fleet

February 26, 2015

New NASA Earth Missions Expand View of Home Planet

Four new NASA Earth-observing missions are collecting data from space - with a fifth newly in orbit - after the busiest year of NASA Earth science launches in more than a decade.

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global maps of soil moisture to track water availability around our planet

February 26, 2015

New NASA Space Cowboy Successfully Deploys Its 'Lasso'

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna).

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Aurora Borealis

February 26, 2015

Study of Atmospheric 'Froth' May Help GPS Communications

A new study of Earth's ionosphere, a part of the upper atmosphere, could have applications for better GPS communications.

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NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) (Artist Concept)

February 24, 2015

New NASA Soil Moisture Mapper Completes Key Milestone

Mission controllers at JPL today sent commands to unfurl the reflector antenna on NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, launched Jan. 31.

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Five new Earth science missions have joined NASA's orbiting fleet

February 23, 2015

NASA to Highlight Results from New Earth Missions

Over the past 12 months NASA has added five missions to its orbiting Earth-observing fleet. NASA scientists will share early observations during a media telecon Feb. 26.

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NASA's ER-2 research aircraft

February 4, 2015

NASA Aircraft, Spacecraft Aid Atmospheric River Study

NASA is part of a major field campaign studying intense atmospheric river storms from the ocean, land, air and space.

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NASA's SMAP launch

January 31, 2015

NASA Launches Groundbreaking Soil Moisture Mapper

NASA successfully launched its first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil moisture hidden just beneath our feet.

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United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory onboard

January 29, 2015

SMAP Earth Mission Launch No Earlier Than Saturday

The launch of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has been delayed to a targeted launch date of Jan. 31.

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NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Ready for Jan. 29 Launch

January 29, 2015

NASA TV Coverage Reset for Launch of Newest Earth-Observing Mission

NASA's SMAP mission is now scheduled for launch at 6:20 a.m. PST Friday, Jan. 30.

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Artist's rendering of the SMAP instrument

January 28, 2015

NASA's SMAP Earth Mission Launches

NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission has launched from California into the early morning skies above the Pacific Ocean.

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Sunset at Vandenberg

January 27, 2015

SMAP Readiness Review Gives 'Go' for Launch

Managers from NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) met Tues., Jan. 27, at Vandenberg Air Force Base to assess the status of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft and the ULA Delta II rocket that will boost SMAP into space.

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SMAP's soil moisture measurements will help with forecasts of precipitation and temperature.

January 27, 2015

Building a Better Weather Forecast? SMAP May Help

Soil moisture data from NASA's SMAP mission will open a path to improved weather forecasts.

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Water evaporating from forest soil in the morning sun.

January 26, 2015

SMAP Will Track a Tiny Cog That Keeps Cycles Spinning

Soil moisture, which keeps Earth's interlocking cycles of water, carbon and energy turning in harmony, is the focus of NASA's SMAP mission, launching Jan. 29.

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Satellite in a Can

January 22, 2015

Five Things About NASA's SMAP

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, scheduled for launch on Jan. 29, will measure the moisture in Earth's soil with greater accuracy and higher resolution than any preceding mission, producing a global map of soil moisture every three days.

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Artist's rendering of the SMAP instrument

January 16, 2015

NASA SMAP Observatory Ready for Launch

The launch of NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 29.

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The Los Angeles basin from Mt. Wilson

January 13, 2015

NASA Mountaintop Sensor Finds High Methane over LA

NASA instruments on a mountaintop show that Los Angeles' annual methane emissions are 18 to 61 percent higher than the best previous estimates.

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A river of meltwater flowing across Greenland's ice sheet.

January 12, 2015

Rivers Are Draining Greenland Quickly: NASA-UCLA

Meltwater rivers flowing on Greenland's frozen surface may contribute as much to global sea level rise as all other processes that drain water from the ice sheet combined.

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Artist's rendering of the SMAP instrument. Image credit: NASA

January 8, 2015

NASA Satellite Set to Get the Dirt on Soil Moisture

A new NASA satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth's soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our climate is in final preparations for a Jan. 29 launch.

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Working with VolcanoBot 2

January 7, 2015

NASA Robot Plunges Into Volcano to Explore Fissure

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are developing robots to explore volcanoes.

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Artist's rendering of the SMAP instrument

December 30, 2014

Technology Innovations Spin NASA's SMAP into Space

It's active. It's passive. And it's got a big, spinning lasso.

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Image of a tropical forest

December 29, 2014

NASA Finds Good News on Forests and Carbon Dioxide

A NASA-led study suggests that tropical forests absorb more carbon dioxide than scientists thought. That means, if left undisturbed, the tropical trees should be able to continue reducing the rate of global warming.

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Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations

December 18, 2014

NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details

The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission demonstrate its performance and promise.

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Trends in total water storage in California, Nevada and bordering states from NASA's Gravity Recovery

December 16, 2014

NASA Data Underscore Severity of California Drought

It will take about 1.5 times the maximum volume of the largest U.S. reservoir to recover from California's continuing drought, according to a new analysis of NASA satellite data.

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Nearly 24,000 scientists descend on San Francisco beginning Dec. 15 to discuss the latest research in Earth and space sciences

December 12, 2014

NASA Highlights Drought, Mars, Arctic Warming at Science Conference

NASA researchers, including some from JPL, will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics next week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

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Glaciers seen during NASA's Operation IceBridge research flight to West Antarctica on Oct. 29, 2014.

December 2, 2014

West Antarctic Melt Rate Has Tripled: NASA-UC Irvine

A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade.

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The tide coming in over ice in Greenland.

November 25, 2014

NASA Airborne Campaigns Tackle Climate Questions

Five new NASA airborne field campaigns, including one from JPL, will take to the skies in 2015 to investigate how air pollution, warming ocean waters and fires affect climate.

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Northern India is one of the soil moisture hot spots found in Koster's study.

November 19, 2014

NASA's SMAP May Clarify Link from Wet Soil to Weather

Weather -- rain, heat and wind -- affects the moisture in soil that allows plants to grow. How does soil moisture influence weather in return?

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This photo taken during the CARVE experiment shows polygonal lakes created by melting permafrost on Alaska's North Slope.

November 12, 2014

NASA: Alaska Shows No Signs of Rising Arctic Methane

Despite recent Arctic warming, a NASA analysis finds that Alaskan soils are not releasing methane at high rates. Changes in this region have not yet affected global methane.

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ISS-RapidScat data on a North Atlantic extratropical cyclone

November 10, 2014

NASA's New Wind Watcher Ready for Weather Forecasters

In an early holiday gift to the world's weather and marine forecasting agencies, ocean-winds data from NASA's newest Earth-observing mission are being released two months ahead of schedule.

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NASA's Global Climate Change website tracks key indicators of climate change

November 6, 2014

NASA Rolls Out Enhanced, Mobile-Friendly Climate Site

NASA has relaunched its Webby Award-winning website, Global Climate Change, with enhanced interactive features that play on any mobile device, state-of-the-art visuals, and new sections on climate change solutions and the people behind the science.

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JPL's tiny Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment will launch on this Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket this afternoon.

October 27, 2014

NASA Instrument Preparing for Launch to Space Station

A tiny instrument designed at JPL will launch this afternoon (Oct. 27) to the International Space Station.

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NASA's ECOSTRESS will monitor how plants react to heat and water stress.

October 27, 2014

NASA's ECOSTRESS Will Monitor Plant Health

NASA is developing a new instrument that can detect heat and water stress in plants.

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The transportation canister containing NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)

October 15, 2014

NASA Soil Moisture Mapper Arrives at Launch Site

A NASA spacecraft designed to track Earth's water in one of its most important, but least recognized, forms -- soil moisture -- has arrived at its California launch site.

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NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this view of Typhoon Vongfong from space while he orbited the Earth

October 15, 2014

NASA's RapidScat Keeps a Watchful Eye on Ocean Storms

NASA's RapidScat gives forecasters a new eye on winds far out to sea and will help researchers understand why a breeze over the ocean sometimes builds into a hurricane.

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This map shows anomalous U.S. methane emissions

October 9, 2014

Tiny U.S. Region Is Methane 'Hot Spot,' NASA Finds

One small "hot spot" in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States.

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Launched Sept. 21, 2014, to the International Space Station

October 6, 2014

NASA's New Winds Mission Installed, Gathers First Data

NASA's newest Earth observing mission, ISS-RapidScat, is collecting its first science data on ocean wind speeds and direction following its successful installation on the International Space Station.

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October 6, 2014

NASA Study Finds Earth's Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

Earth's deep ocean has not warmed measurably since 2005, finds a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.

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NASA is inviting people everywhere to become cloud-studying citizen scientists

October 1, 2014

NASA Invites Public to Join #SkyScience Cloud Study

NASA is inviting people around the globe to step outside during Earth Science Week, Oct. 12-18, observe the sky and share their observations as citizen scientists.

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Alaskan tundra is showing the effects of melting permafrost.

September 24, 2014

With Few Data, Arctic Carbon Models Lack Consensus

A new NASA study shows how much work is still needed to reach consensus on the most basic questions about carbon in the Arctic, where global warming is hitting hard.

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Elevation data at the highest possible resolution from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission

September 23, 2014

U.S. Releases Enhanced Shuttle Land Elevation Data

High-resolution topographic data from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, previously only available for the United States, will be released globally over the next year.

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Artist's concept of the LA Megacities Carbon Project observing system.

September 23, 2014

NASA, Partners Target Megacities Carbon Emissions

As world leaders meet to discuss Earth's climate, NASA is participating in an international initiative to monitor the greenhouse gas emissions of Earth's most populous cities.

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The image shows Kelvin waves of high sea level (red/yellow) crossing the Pacific Ocean at the equator.

September 22, 2014

The Fickle El Nino of 2014

Prospects have been fading for an El Niño event in 2014, but now there's a glimmer of hope for a very modest comeback.

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At Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40

September 20, 2014

NASA Launches RapidScat Wind Watcher to Space Station

A NASA mission to boost global monitoring of ocean winds for improved weather forecasting and climate studies is now breezing its way to the International Space Station.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad at Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

September 20, 2014

NASA's ISS-RapidScat is Headed Into Space!

The SpaceX Dragon capsule carrying the ISS-RapidScat mission has separated from the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, and the Dragon capsule is in its final preliminary orbit. Berthing with the space station is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 23.

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ISS-RapidScat will have a close-up view of ocean winds from its perch

September 18, 2014

Five Things About NASA's ISS-RapidScat

Five rapid facts about NASA's RapidScat mission to monitor ocean winds, scheduled for launch to the International Space Station on Saturday, Sept. 20.

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Flights are underway from Fairbanks, Alaska, with NASA's C-130 Hercules aircraft

September 16, 2014

NASA Air Campaigns Focus on Arctic Climate Impacts

As the region's summer comes to a close, NASA is hard at work studying how rising temperatures are affecting the Arctic.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument (inset)

September 12, 2014

NASA's Wind-Watching ISS-RapidScat Ready for Launch

The fourth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station, carrying the JPL-built ISS-RapidScat instrument, is scheduled to launch Sept. 20.

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NASA's UAVSAR Studies Ground Deformation from Napa California Quake

September 10, 2014

NASA Research Aids Response to California Napa Quake

NASA data and expertise are proving invaluable in California's ongoing response to the Aug. 24 magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa Valley, northeast of San Francisco.

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ISS International Space Station

September 8, 2014

NASA Launches New Era of Earth Science from Space Station

The launch of a NASA ocean winds sensor to the International Space Station (ISS) this month inaugurates a new era of Earth observation from the space station's vantage point.

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Artist's concept of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring. On Oct. 19

September 4, 2014

JPL to Host 'NASA Social' Highlighting Comets

NASA will hold a one-day NASA Social for up to 50 of its social media followers on Oct. 13, 2014, at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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RapidScat's two-part payload is shown in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon

September 4, 2014

NASA's RapidScat: Some Assembly Required -- in Space

ISS-RapidScat will be the first science payload to be robotically assembled in space since the International Space Station itself.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument

September 4, 2014

NASA Briefing: Space Station Earth Observations

NASA opens a new era this month in exploration of our home planet with the launch of the first in a series of Earth science instruments to the International Space Station.

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NASA's C-20A Earth science research aircraft with the UAVSAR

August 29, 2014

NASA Radar System Surveys Napa Valley Quake Area

A JPL-developed airborne radar system is conducting an airborne survey of earthquake fault displacements caused by the Aug. 24 magnitude 6.0 quake in Napa Valley, California.

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For several months, California has been in a state of

August 18, 2014

New Satellite Data Will Help Farmers Facing Drought

NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive mission, launching this winter, will provide global measurements of water in soil.

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Matthew Sturm of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a co-author of this study

August 15, 2014

Snow Cover on Arctic Sea Ice Has Thinned 30 to 50 Percent

New research led by NASA and the University of Washington, Seattle, confirms that springtime snow on Arctic sea ice has thinned significantly in the last 50 years.

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SeaWinds scatterometer chart

August 13, 2014

Watching the Winds Where Sea Meets Sky

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will continue a long legacy of monitoring ocean winds from space.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2

August 11, 2014

NASA Carbon Counter Reaches Final Orbit, Returns Data

NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide has reached its final orbit and returned its first science data.

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Artist's rendering of the AcrimSat spacecraft. Image credit: NASA

August 8, 2014

Sun sets for a NASA solar monitoring spacecraft

After 14 years of monitoring radiation from the sun, NASA's AcrimSat has lost contact with ground operations and its mission has been declared completed.

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Low-level clouds along the California coast are visible in this July 26, 2014 image

August 5, 2014

Study of Aerosols Stands to Improve Climate Models

A new JPL/California Institute of Technology study examines how changes in the level of tiny particles in our atmosphere affect a key type of clouds that help cool our planet.

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Alice Zhai and Jonathan Jiang. Image credit: NASA

August 1, 2014

Science Fair Project Spins Up NASA Hurricane Study

With the help of a JPL researcher, high school intern Alice Zhai has turned her science fair project into the first look at the economic impacts of hurricane size.

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Two new spaceborne Earth-observing instruments will help scientists better understand how global forests

July 30, 2014

New NASA Studies to Examine Climate/Vegetation Links

NASA has selected a proposal from JPL for a new International Space Station instrument that will observe effects on global vegetation caused by changes in climate or land use.

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Surface-water depletion in the Colorado River Basin has left this

July 24, 2014

Parched West Is Using Up Underground Water: NASA/UCI

A new study finds more than 75 percent of recent water loss from the Colorado River Basin came from underground sources, with grave implications for the West's water supply.

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Carbon in Smoke Plumes

July 18, 2014

OCO-2 Data to Lead Scientists Forward into the Past

Scientists will use a virtual time machine to trace carbon dioxide observations from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 back to their sources.

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NASA's 10-year-old Aura satellite, which studies Earth's atmosphere

July 17, 2014

A 10-Year Endeavor: NASA's Aura and Climate Change

NASA's Aura satellite, celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, continues to help scientists understand how Earth's climate varies and how it will continue to change.

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The maps show the Antarctic ozone hole on September 16 in 2006 and 2011

July 16, 2014

Ten-Year Endeavor: NASA's Aura Tracks Pollutants

NASA's 10-year-old Aura satellite provides vital data about major air pollutants and a comprehensive view of one of the most important parts of Earth -- the atmosphere.

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The flooded confluence of the Nishnabotna and Missouri Rivers in Iowa, June 2011.

July 10, 2014

NASA Satellite Data Give Early Clues to Flood Danger

NASA satellite data can help predict the potential for a river basin to flood months before flood season, and may result in longer lead times for flood warnings.

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Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico

July 7, 2014

NASA's RapidScat to Unveil Hidden Cycles of Sea Winds

NASA is sending a new instrument to the International Space Station that will be the first to observe how winds over the ocean grow and change each day.

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OCO-2 will become the leader of the Afternoon Constellation

July 3, 2014

OCO-2 Takes the A-Train to Study Earth's Atmosphere

New NASA satellite will be the latest addition to an international line of Earth observers.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Launch

July 2, 2014

NASA Launches Carbon Mission to Watch Earth Breathe

NASA successfully launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide at 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT) Wednesday.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Launch

July 2, 2014

Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Lifts Off!

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 has launched into the night skies above the Pacific Ocean.

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The tower rolls back revealing OCO2 perched atop a United Launch alliance Delta II rocket

June 30, 2014

Launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Scrubbed

The Tuesday morning launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California has been scrubbed.

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OCO-2 launch pad

June 27, 2014

Five Things about OCO-2

What makes NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 unique? Here are five things, for starters.

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Fossil fuel burning and other human activities are the primary source for the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

June 25, 2014

NASA's OCO-2 Will Track Our Impact on Airborne Carbon

Human activities are the primary source for the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. NASA's OCO-2 mission will help sort out the gas's human and natural sources and reservoirs.

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Readying NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 for launch, a technician attaches the observatory to the payload attach system in a clean room at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California

June 19, 2014

NASA's OCO-2 Observatory Ready for Launch

The launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission (OCO-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1.

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Using data from NASA's QuikScat, weather forecasters were able to predict hazardous weather events over oceans 6 to 12 hours earlier than before these data were available

June 19, 2014

QuikScat's Eye on Ocean Winds Lives On with RapidScat

As NASA's QuikScat ocean-watching satellite winds down a 15-year mission, its successor, RapidScat, prepares to build on its legacy.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2

June 12, 2014

New NASA Space Observatory to Study Carbon Conundrums

NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere is in final preparations for a July 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2

June 9, 2014

NASA Announces Briefing on New Carbon Dioxide Mission

NASA will hold a media briefing at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday, June 12, at NASA Headquarters in Washington about the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission.

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Hurricane Amanda

May 29, 2014

NASA Widens Its 2014 Hurricane Research Mission

During this year's Atlantic hurricane season, NASA is redoubling efforts to probe hurricanes and tropical storms with two unmanned aircraft and two new space-based missions.

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Peru's Ubinas volcano

May 27, 2014

NASA Airborne Research Focuses on Andean Volcanoes

A NASA-developed airborne imager called a synthetic aperture radar took a detailed look at volcanoes in Central and South America in late April and early May 2014.

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A low-resolution preview of the 3.2-billion-pixel sized NASA Earth Day Global Selfie 2014 photo mosaic.

May 22, 2014

NASA Releases Earth Day 'Global Selfie' Mosaic

For Earth Day this year, NASA invited people around the world to step outside to take a "selfie" and share it with the world on social media.

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Atmospheric general circulation is expected to change as a result of increasing greenhouse gases.

May 21, 2014

Unclouding Our View of Future Climate

A NASA-led study may help narrow the range of climate models' global temperatures forecasts.

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Greenland-canyon cap

May 19, 2014

Hidden Greenland Canyons Mean More Sea Level Rise

Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have found that canyons under Greenland's ocean-feeding glaciers are deeper and longer than previously thought, increasing the amount of Greenland's estimated contribution to future sea level rise.

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Components of NASA's International Space Station-RapidScat instrument

May 15, 2014

NASA's Newest Wind Watcher Arrives at Launch Site

A new Earth-observing mission that will measure ocean winds from the International Space Station has arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to begin preparations for launch.

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Thwaites Glacier. Image credit: NASA

May 12, 2014

West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable

A new NASA study finds that a section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in a state of irreversible decline, with nothing to stop it from melting into the sea.

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Although the Amundsen Bay region is only a fraction of the whole West Antarctic Ice Sheet

May 12, 2014

The 'Unstable' West Antarctic Ice Sheet: A Primer

The new finding that the eventual loss of a major section of West Antarctica's ice sheet "appears unstoppable" was not completely unexpected by scientists who study this area.

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Antarctica. Image credit: NASA

May 9, 2014

NASA Hosts Media Telecon on West Antarctic Ice Sheet Findings

NASA will host a media teleconference Monday, May 12, to discuss the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to future sea level rise.

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May 8, 2014

NASA Uses GPS to Find Sierra Water Weight

For the first time, NASA scientists have used GPS to find the total weight of winter snowpack and soil moisture in California's Sierra Nevada.

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Researchers who study the interaction of plants

May 5, 2014

How Does Your Garden Glow? NASA's OCO-2 Seeks Answer

Satellite instruments provide an unexpected global view from space of a nearly invisible fluorescent glow that sheds new light on vegetation productivity on land.

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Charles Bolden, left, and Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall

May 2, 2014

NASA-CNES Proceed on Surface Water and Ocean Mission

NASA and the French space agency CNES have agreed to jointly build, launch and operate a mission to survey Earth's surface water and map ocean surface height.

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Superstition Hills fault movement

April 30, 2014

California Faults Moved Quietly After Baja Quake

A new NASA study finds that a major 2010 earthquake in northern Mexico triggered quiet, non-shaking motions on several Southern California faults.

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A truck convoy carrying NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 spacecraft arrives at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base April 30.

April 30, 2014

NASA Carbon-Counting Satellite Arrives at Launch Site

A NASA spacecraft designed to make precise measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere is at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin final preparations for launch.

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NASA Satellite Spots Severe Weather Outbreak in South

April 29, 2014

NASA Satellite Spots Severe Weather in U.S. South

The tornado and severe thunderstorm outbreak now pummeling the U.S. South is captured in a new infrared image from NASA's Aqua satellite.

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this photograph of Earth's atmospheric layers

April 25, 2014

NASA Puzzles Out Ozone's Ups and Downs

NASA research suggests ozone levels in Earth's troposphere probably won't be affected much by projected stronger circulating winds that transport ozone in our atmosphere.

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A view of the entire African rainforest area (green)

April 23, 2014

NASA Finds Drought May Take Toll on Congo Rainforest

A new NASA study shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade.

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This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite.

April 18, 2014

NASA Celebrates Earth Day with Public Events and Online Activities

NASA will celebrate the 44th anniversary of Earth Day with a variety of live and online activities April 21-27 to engage the public in the agency's mission to better understand and protect our home planet.

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A soybean field in Ohio. Image credit: WikiMedia Commons

April 15, 2014

Building Better Soybeans for a Hot, Dry, Hungry World

A new study shows that soybean plants can be redesigned to increase crop yields while requiring less water and helping to offset greenhouse gas warming.

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This artist's concept shows how the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS)

April 11, 2014

International Space Station to Beam Video via Laser Back to Earth

What's better than videos of cats chasing laser beams over a kitchen floor? Try videos sent OVER laser beams from space back to Earth. NASA's OPALS project readies for launch.

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Two people taking a 'selfie'

April 2, 2014

NASA Celebrates Earth Day with 'Global Selfie' Event

For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth-observing missions will be launched into space in a single year.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2

April 2, 2014

NASA's OCO-2 Brings Sharp Focus on Global Carbon

In July 2014, NASA will launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) to study the fate of carbon dioxide worldwide.

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This 2004 levee break, caused by a burrowing beaver

April 1, 2014

NASA Radar Watches Over California's Aging Levees

NASA works with California's water managers to spot tiny signs of trouble in the Sacramento River delta levees, using a research radar.

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March 31, 2014

NASA Model Provides a 3-D Look at L.A.-area Quake

JPL scientists are studying the March 28 La Habra earthquake, a 5.1, to learn more about what may lie ahead.

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The magnitude of fluorescence portrayed in this visualization

March 31, 2014

Satellite Shows High Productivity from U.S. Corn Belt

A new NASA/university study shows that during growing season, the U.S. Midwest boasts the most photosynthetic activity on Earth.

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This Seasat synthetic aperture radar image from Aug. 27, 1978

March 18, 2014

NASA Historic Earth Images Still Hold Research Value

NASA's 35-year-old Seasat satellite images of Earth, which were recently released, still have potential value for researchers, as outlined in a paper just published in Eos.

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Old-growth Amazon tree canopy in Tapajós National Forest, Brazil.

March 18, 2014

Amazon Inhales More Carbon than It Emits, NASA Finds

A new NASA-led study has confirmed that natural forests in the Amazon remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit.

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Louisiana sinkhole

March 6, 2014

That Sinking Feeling

New analyses of NASA radar data from 2012 reveal the radar detected indications of a huge sinkhole before it collapsed and forced evacuations near Bayou Corne, La. that year.

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These images show sea surface temperatures of the Beaufort Sea where Canada's Mackenzie River discharges into the Arctic Ocean

March 5, 2014

NASA: Warm Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt

The heat from warm river waters draining into the Arctic Ocean is contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice each summer, a new NASA study finds.

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Global Precipitation Measurement

February 27, 2014

NASA-JAXA Launch Mission to Measure Global Rain, Snow

The core satellite for a new NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission that will provide unprecedented observations of Earth's rain and snow has launched from Japan.

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The severity of California's current drought is illustrated in these images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Sacramento.

February 25, 2014

NASA Responds to California's Evolving Drought

NASA is partnering with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to develop and apply new technology and products to better manage and monitor the state's water resources and respond to its ongoing drought.

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California is currently experiencing one of its driest years on record

February 24, 2014

NASA Discusses Earth Science Help for California Drought

NASA officials will participate in a media briefing on Tuesday, Feb. 25 about the agency's use of Earth observation assets to help the state of California during the drought.

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Unlined irrigation ditches in the Aral Sea watershed are inefficient

February 14, 2014

NASA Data Find Some Hope for Water in Aral Sea Basin

A new study using NASA satellite data finds that water prospects for the Aral Sea watershed are better than previously thought.

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Sochi Olympics Coastal Sites

February 6, 2014

NASA Satellite Eyes Sochi Olympic Sites

From seaside arenas to snowy ski runs, NASA satellite images capture the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games sites.

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A small part of the Hofsjökull ice cap in Iceland

January 28, 2014

NASA Radar Maps the Winter Pace of Iceland's Glaciers

A high-precision radar instrument from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., left Southern California for Iceland today to create detailed maps of how glaciers move in the dead of winter.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, one of five new NASA Earth science missions set to launch in 2014, and one of three managed by JPL

January 22, 2014

NASA Set for a Big Year in Earth Science

For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year.

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Greater Los Angeles. It was the costliest earthquake in U.S. history

January 16, 2014

Eight Seconds of Terror

Twenty years ago, Southern California was rocked by a devastating 6.7 earthquake. A JPL scientist reflects on the lessons of Northridge and what lies ahead, and beneath.

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Cloud plumes from cracks of open water in the Arctic sea ice cover.

January 15, 2014

NASA: Cracked Sea Ice Stirs Up Arctic Mercury Concern

Vigorous mixing in the air above large cracks in Arctic sea ice that expose seawater to cold polar air pumps atmospheric mercury down to the surface, finds a NASA field campaign.

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NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 spacecraft is moved into a thermal vacuum chamber

December 23, 2013

NASA Carbon Sleuth Gets Simulated Taste of Space

NASA's carbon-hunting observatory has emerged from its space simulation chamber following a series of environmental tests to prepare it for launch next summer.

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Flooding across Highway 78, San Diego County, Calif.

December 10, 2013

NASA Developing Natural Hazard Warning Systems

Scientists have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.

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Spatial distribution of snow water equivalent across the Tuolumne River Basin

December 9, 2013

NASA Snow Mapper Reaps Big Benefits for California

NASA's prototype Airborne Snow Observatory mission helped water managers for 2.6 million residents of the San Francisco Bay Area achieve near-perfect water operations this summer.

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This image shows the Totten Glacier ice shelf in East Antarctica

December 5, 2013

NASA Finds Reducing Salt Is Bad for Glacial Health

A NASA-led study has discovered a link between sea ice conditions and the melting rate of Totten Glacier in East Antarctica that has implications for sea-level rise.

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The retreat of Pedersen Glacier, Alaska. Left: summer 1917. Right: summer 2005.

December 3, 2013

NASA iPad App Shows Earth Changing Before Your Eyes

Human activities, a changing climate and natural disasters are rapidly altering the face of our planet.

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NASA-Generated Damage Map To Assist With Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Response

November 13, 2013

NASA Damage Map Helps in Typhoon Disaster Response

A new, space-based map generated by a NASA/JPL-Italian Space Agency collaboration is helping in Typhoon Haiyan disaster response efforts in the Philippines.

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colorful radar photo of Lake Superior

November 13, 2013

NASA Helps Melt Secrets of Great Lakes Ice

NASA and NOAA scientists have developed a new technique for monitoring ice cover on the Great Lakes that's so accurate it can spot the track of an icebreaker -- even at night.

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Infrared images of Super Typhoon Haiyan

November 8, 2013

NASA Peers Into One of Earth's Strongest Storms Ever

New images from NASA and Indian satellites dissect Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded on Earth.

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Animation of the atmospheric-river event.

November 8, 2013

Study Finds Climate Link to Atmospheric-River Storms

A NASA-led study of "atmospheric river" storms and global climate patterns may help predict winter snowfall and spring flooding in California's Sierra Nevadas.

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Artist's concept Earth Science Social Media Event

October 29, 2013

NASA Hosts Earth Science Social Media Event

One-hundred people from 22 U.S. states and some foreign countries will attend a two-day NASA Social on Nov. 4 and 5 at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument (inset), which will launch to the International Space Station in 2014

October 29, 2013

Watching Earth's Winds, On a Shoestring

Built with spare parts and without a moment to spare, the International Space Station (ISS)-RapidScat isn't your average NASA Earth science mission.

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Diagram showing orbit of asteroid 2013 TV135

October 17, 2013

Asteroid 2013 TV135 - A Reality Check

The probability asteroid 2013 TV135 could impact Earth is only one in 63,000. Additional observations are likely to result in a dramatic reduction, or complete elimination, of any risk of Earth impact.

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Testing FINDER in the Rubble

September 17, 2013

New Technology Can Detect Heartbeats in Rubble

New technology may allow victims trapped in piles of rubble to be rescued more quickly.

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This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite.

September 16, 2013

NASA Invites Social Media Fans to Earth Science Event

NASA is inviting its social media followers to apply for participation in a two-day NASA Social on Nov. 4 and 5 at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA's Jason-2 satellite

September 9, 2013

'La Nada' Climate Pattern Lingers in the Pacific

New data from NASA's Jason-2 satellite show near-normal sea surface heights in the equatorial Pacific Ocean persisting for a 16th straight month.

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researchers and collaborators have combined historical records, ancient ice from cores in glaciers

September 3, 2013

NASA Study Eyes Soot's Role in 1800s Glacier Retreat

A NASA-led team of scientist-sleuths has uncovered strong evidence for the culprit in a 150-year-old "cold" case involving the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps.

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Visible image of California's Rim Fire acquired Aug. 23, 2013 by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

August 27, 2013

NASA 'Eyes' Dissect California's Massive Rim Fire

New images from NASA's Aqua and Terra spacecraft offer unique perspectives on the large and destructive Rim Fire burning in and near California's Yosemite National Park.

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Australia, combined with the continent's soils and unique topography

August 19, 2013

Littlest Continent Had Biggest Role in Sea Level Drop

A new NASA co-funded study finds the 'Land Down Under' played a unique and complex role in the temporary drop in global sea level observed from 2010 to 2011.

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Administrator Charles Bolden learns about SMAP in the clean room at NASA/JPL

August 13, 2013

NASA Administrator Previews the 'Year of Earth' at JPL

After launching a string of recent missions to study primarily our solar system and beyond, JPL is preparing three missions for launch in 2014 to study our home planet.

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Artist's concept of the joint NASA/CNES Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite

July 3, 2013

Long-Running Jason-1 Ocean Satellite Takes Final Bow

The curtain has come down on a superstar of the satellite oceanography world that played the "Great Blue Way" of the world's ocean for 11-1/2 years.

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Artist's concept of Seasat

June 27, 2013

Trailblazer Sea Satellite Marks its Coral Anniversary

A short-lived JPL Earth satellite launched 35 years ago this week continues to live on through the many missions it has spawned.

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This photo shows the ice front of Venable Ice Shelf, West Antarctica, in October 2008

June 13, 2013

Warm Ocean Causing Most Antarctic Ice Shelf Mass Loss

Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves are responsible for most of the continent's ice shelf mass loss, a new study by NASA and university researchers has found.

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Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere.

June 10, 2013

Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?

Frozen Arctic soils hold vast stores of carbon that may exacerbate global warming. A NASA Arctic campaign is looking for signals that may hold a key to Earth's climate future.

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Map showing fires in the Amazon forest between 1999 and 2010

June 7, 2013

Hidden Wildfires Taking Big Toll on Amazon Rainforest

A pair of new studies using NASA satellite data shed light on a previously hidden type of Amazon forest wildfire and links between climate conditions and Amazon fire risk.

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NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory will carry a team of scientists and their sensors for the Studies of Emissions

June 6, 2013

NASA to Study How Pollution, Storms and Climate Mix

NASA will take to the southern U.S. skies this summer to study how pollution and natural emissions pushed high into the atmosphere by storms affect the atmosphere and climate.

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The Newcastle-Moore EF-5 tornado ripped through central Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, killing 24 people

June 5, 2013

NASA Spacecraft Sees Tornado's Destructive Swath

The massive tornado that devastated portions of Moore, Okla. and surrounding areas on May 20 scarred the landscape for miles, as seen in a new NASA spacecraft image.

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The fifth science flight of NASA's Global Hawk (green line) concluded when the aircraft landed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

May 29, 2013

NASA Research Aircraft to Double-Team 2013 Hurricanes

A pair of unmanned NASA aircraft will take to the skies later this summer during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season to study what makes hurricanes form and strengthen.

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Drawing of the HMS Challenger survey vessel preparing to measure ocean temperatures

May 24, 2013

Century-Old Science Helps Confirm Global Warming

Data from a British high-seas scientific expedition in the 1870s have provided further confirmation of human-produced global warming over the past century.

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The three NASA-built instruments and associated ground support equipment for the U.S./European Jason-3 ocean altimetry satellite

May 22, 2013

NASA Ships Sensors for Seafaring Satellite to France

NASA's instruments for the next in a series of missions to chart sea level and improve weather, climate and ocean forecasts have shipped overseas for spacecraft integration.

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May 16, 2013

NASA Helps Pinpoint Glaciers' Role in Sea Level Rise

A new study of glaciers worldwide from two NASA satellites has helped resolve differences in estimates of how fast glaciers are disappearing and contributing to sea level rise.

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The quick dry-out of vegetation in Southern California this year is depicted in this pair of images

May 13, 2013

Satellites See Double Jeopardy for SoCal Fire Season

New insights into two factors that are creating a potentially volatile Southern California wildfire season come from an ongoing project using NASA and Indian satellite data.

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Mt. Dana and Dana Plateau in the Tuolumne River Basin within Yosemite National Park, Calif

May 2, 2013

NASA Opens New Era in Measuring Western U.S. Snowpack

A new NASA airborne mission is producing the most accurate measurements to date of how much water is in the snowpack of two mountain watersheds in California and Colorado.

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The HyspIRI airborne campaign overflew California's San Andreas Fault on March 29, 2013.

April 22, 2013

NASA's HyspIRI Sees the Forest for the Trees and More

As the world celebrates Earth Day 2013, a NASA airborne campaign is busy studying California's ecosystems in a whole new light in preparation for a future satellite mission.

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On March 17, 2013, NASA's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR)

April 3, 2013

NASA Flies Radar South on Wide-Ranging Expedition

A versatile NASA airborne imaging radar system is showcasing its broad scientific prowess for studying our home planet during a month-long expedition over the Americas.

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NASA researchers modified three repurposed Aerovironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye

April 1, 2013

NASA Sends Unmanned Aircraft to Study Volcanic Plume

Like bees buzzing around a hive, three unmanned aircraft were sent by NASA into a Costa Rican volcano's plume last month to study its chemical environment.

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World Water Day

March 22, 2013

JPL Scientists Reflect on World Water Day

On World Water Day (March 22), JPL scientists involved in water-related research reflect on the importance of freshwater.

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A video camera on a NASA-designed-and-funded mini-submarine captured this view as it descended a 2,600-foot-deep

February 28, 2013

What Lies Beneath: NASA Antarctic Sub Goes Subglacial

A mini-submarine designed and funded by NASA played a key role in a recent international expedition to explore a remote subglacial lake beneath the frozen Antarctic ice sheet.

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NASA has released the first full year of validated ocean surface salinity data from the agency's Aquarius

February 27, 2013

NASA's Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts

The seasonal stirrings of our salty world are revealed by the first full year of ocean surface salinity data captured by NASA's Aquarius instrument.

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Sun glint off a sea ice lead in an otherwise heavily ridged ice pack, Canada Basin (Arctic Ocean).

February 13, 2013

Study Sheds New Light on Arctic Sea Ice Volume Losses

New research by scientists from NASA and other agencies shows Arctic sea ice volume declined 36 percent in the autumn and nine percent in the winter over the last decade.

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Variations in total water storage from normal, in millimeters, in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins

February 12, 2013

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

A new study from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade.

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The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA's Jason-1 satellite

February 6, 2013

Pacific Locked in 'La Nada' Limbo

Sea-surface height data from NASA's Jason-2 satellite show that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is still locked in what some call a neutral, or 'La Nada' state.

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Artist's rendering of NASA's ISS-RapidScat instrument (inset)

January 29, 2013

NASA to Launch Ocean Wind Monitor to Space Station

An ocean wind monitoring instrument created from hardware used to tests parts of NASA's QuikScat satellite will launch to the International Space Station in 2014.

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At left, the extent of the 2005 megadrought in the western Amazon rainforests during the summer months of June

January 17, 2013

Study Finds Severe Climate Jeopardizing Amazon Forest

An area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of a megadrought that began in 2005, finds a new NASA-led study.

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Contributions of nitrogen dioxide emissions - the primary source of ozone- to the global average thermal absorption of ozone

January 16, 2013

NASA Ozone Study May Benefit Air Standards, Climate

A new NASA-led study finds that when it comes to combating global warming caused by emissions of ozone-forming chemicals, location matters.

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Lake Vida, one of the most remote lakes in Antarctica.

December 3, 2012

Scientists Find Ancient Microbes in Antarctic Lake

Scientists from NASA and other institutions have found bacteria beneath the icy surface of a remote Antarctic lake, expanding our knowledge of life in extreme environments.

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The midnight sun casts a golden glow on an iceberg and its reflection in Disko Bay

November 29, 2012

Ice Sheet Loss at Both Poles Increasing, Study Finds

An international team of experts has combined satellite and aircraft data to produce the most comprehensive assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica.

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Hurricane Sandy as seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)

November 28, 2012

NASA Study Could Improve Hurricane Strength Forecasts

Forecasters could be able to predict how intense tropical cyclones like Hurricane Sandy will be by analyzing relative-humidity levels within their large-scale environments.

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A new NASA study finds that global sea level, which dipped sharply in 2010-11 due to a strong La Nina event

November 19, 2012

What Goes Down Must Come Back Up

In 2010-11, global sea level fell nearly a quarter inch. But, when it comes to long-term sea level, what comes down must eventually come back up.

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View of Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background

November 12, 2012

NASA Study Examines Antarctic Sea Ice Increases

While Arctic sea ice cover is declining dramatically under the effects of climate change, Antarctic sea ice cover has increased in recent years. A new study examines why.

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Extreme dry conditions in North Africa as illustrated in an AIRS data map

November 8, 2012

Climate Likely to Be on Hotter Side of Projections

A new NASA-funded study finds future warming of Earth's climate is likely to be on the high side of current projections.

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Global map depicting the percentage that vegetation growth is limited by available soil nutrients

November 1, 2012

NASA Maps How Nutrients Affect Plant Productivity

A new analysis led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has estimated how much the growth of plants worldwide is limited by the amount of nutrients available in their soil.

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OSCAT Eyes Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012

NASA Satellites Watch Hurricane Sandy

NASA satellites are observing extremely dangerous and historic Hurricane Sandy as it moves into the northeastern U.S.

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NASA UAVSAR image of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, collected June 23, 2010.

October 25, 2012

NASA Radar Penetrates Thick, Thin of Gulf Oil Spill

Researchers at JPL and Caltech have developed a method to use a specialized NASA 3-D imaging radar to characterize the oil in oil spills like the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill.

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Tilt maps, epicenter and HAZUS critical infrastructure information from E-DECIDER

October 18, 2012

JPL Scientists Participate in ShakeOut Exercises

Two JPL-developed projects designed to assist in response to earthquake disasters participated in exercises tied to today's Great California ShakeOut quake drill.

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In September 1997, powerful Hurricane Linda, shown in this NASA rendering created with data from the NOAA GOES-9 satellite

October 17, 2012

Could a Hurricane Ever Strike Southern California?

California has its share of disasters, like earthquakes, fires and floods. But what are the odds a hurricane could ever strike here? Turns out the concept isn't exactly all wet.

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This UAVSAR interferogram shows active volcano Mount St. Helens (left) and dormant volcano Mount Adams, both in Washington state.

October 2, 2012

NASA Radar to Study Volcanoes in Alaska, Japan

A NASA's venerable Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar is off to Alaska and Japan to assess volcanic activity in several active volcanoes.

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A Sierra Nevada forest in Sequoia National Park, Calif.  Forest patterns are correlated to snow depth.

September 26, 2012

Study Examines Forest Vulnerability to Climate Change

Mid-elevation forests between 6,500 to 8,000 feet elevation are most sensitive to climate change, finds a new University of Colorado Boulder-led study co-funded by NASA.

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The total ground deformation caused by a simulated magnitude 8.0 earthquake on the San Andreas fault.

September 20, 2012

QuakeSim and NASA Mobile App Win NASA Software Award

NASA software that models the behavior of earthquake faults and NASA's first mobile application are co-winners of NASA's 2012 Software of the Year Award.

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NASA's free

September 10, 2012

NASA's 'Earth Now'App Now Available for Android

One of the top iPhone education apps in the iTunes store is now available for Android.

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An unmanned NASA Global Hawk aircraft comes in for a landing at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

September 7, 2012

NASA's Global Hawk Hurricane Mission Kicks Off

NASA has begun its latest hurricane science field campaign by flying an unmanned Global Hawk aircraft over Hurricane Leslie in the Atlantic Ocean during a day-long flight that began in California and ended in Virginia.

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Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study

September 5, 2012

NASA to Explore Link Between Sea Saltiness, Climate

A NASA-sponsored expedition is set to sail to the North Atlantic's saltiest spot to get a detailed, 3-D picture of how salt content fluctuates in the ocean's upper layers and how these variations are related to shifts in rainfall patterns around the planet.

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AIRS image of Hurricane Isaac

August 29, 2012

A Slow-moving Isaac Brings Flooding to Gulf States

Although now downgraded to a tropical storm, Isaac is still delivering near-hurricane force winds and heavy rains to parts of the Gulf Coast.

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Color-enhanced image of sea surface heights in the Gulf of Mexico, showing Hurricane Isaac's path through the Gulf and around its warmest waters.

August 28, 2012

Cooler Waters Help Diminish Isaac's Punch

As Hurricane Isaac prepares to come ashore in southeast Louisiana, its skirt around the Gulf of Mexico's warmest waters has helped slow its intensification.

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This data set represents the longest continuous record of global atmospheric ethane levels

August 28, 2012

NASA-Funded Study Helps Untangle Methane Mystery

A new NASA-funded study has largely accounted for the dramatic leveling-off in atmospheric methane levels seen at the end of the 20th century.

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Satellite image and illustration composite showing pollution in Beijing between 2007 and 2008

July 24, 2012

China Olympics Traffic Measures Cut Carbon Emissions

As the world readies for the 2012 London Olympics, a NASA-funded study finds traffic restrictions for the 2008 Beijing Olympics sharply reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

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Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than had ever been seen before by satellites

July 24, 2012

Satellites see Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Melt

For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations.

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Artist's concept of the Jason 3 spacecraft

July 16, 2012

NASA Selects Launch Contractor for Jason-3 Mission

NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., to launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Jason-3 spacecraft in December 2014.

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Artist's concept of the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft (left) and Orbiting Carbon Observatory (right)

July 16, 2012

NASA Selects Launch Contractor for Three Missions

NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Englewood, Colo., to launch the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) spacecraft.

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NASA's MISR Views Raging Wildfires in Southeastern Montana

July 3, 2012

NASA Scientist: Climate Just One Factor in Wildfires

As America celebrates its independence, 45 active large wildfires are creating unwanted fireworks, especially in the West. JPL Climatologist Bill Patzert answers some of our questions.

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Distribution of annual carbon emissions

June 21, 2012

Study Slashes Deforestation Carbon Emission Estimate

A new study with NASA participation cuts, by two-thirds, previous estimates of how much carbon is being emitted into our atmosphere from tropical deforestation.

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This artist's rendition created from a photograph of Antarctica shows what Antarctica possibly looked like during the middle Miocene epoch

June 17, 2012

Study Finds Ancient Warming Greened Antarctica

A new study with NASA participation finds ancient Antarctica's climate was much warmer and wetter than previously suspected, supporting substantial vegetation along its edges.

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New Interactive Takes You 'Under the Hood' of NASA's Salt-seeking Aquarius Mission

June 13, 2012

Got Salt? NASA's Salt Mapper Toasts First Birthday

To mark its first birthday, a new interactive feature lets you get up close and personal with NASA's Aquarius mission to study ocean salinity and some of its 'salt sleuths.'

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NASA's Global Hawk

June 1, 2012

Unmanned NASA Storm Sentinels set for Hurricane Study

NASA is preparing to fly two unmanned aircraft high over hurricanes this summer and fall to study how they form and intensify.

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Technicians prep the OCO-2 instrument for shipping at JPL.

May 10, 2012

NASA's New Carbon-Counting Instrument Leaves the Nest

NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide moves a step closer to reality with the shipment of its JPL-built science instrument.

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Global Carbon Dioxide Transport from AIRS Data, July 2009

May 3, 2012

A NASA Weather 'Eye in the Sky' Marks 10 Years

With 2,378 spectral eyes measuring our atmosphere, NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder might well be called a "monster" of weather and climate research. On May 4, it turns 10.

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Location of the more than 500 real-time GPS monitoring stations in the western United States

April 24, 2012

NASA Tests GPS Monitoring System for Big U.S. Quakes

A research network of Western U.S. GPS stations will be tested to see if it can quickly pinpoint a strong quake's location/size and aid in disaster response/tsunami warning.

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A new airborne study with NASA contributions measured surprising levels of the potent greenhouse gas methane

April 22, 2012

Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source

The Arctic region is home to large reservoirs of the potent greenhouse gas methane. A new study with NASA contributions finds the Arctic Ocean may be an important source.

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The retreat of Pedersen Glacier in Alaska. Left: summer 1917. Right: summer 2005.

April 19, 2012

NASA Image Gallery Highlights Earth's Changing Face

Just in time for Earth Day, NASA's Global Climate Change website unveils a new version of its "State of Flux" image gallery, which highlights how our home planet is changing.

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Iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland, 1984

April 13, 2012

Breaking the Ice on Icebergs

It's been 100 years since the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. JPL scientists demystify these frozen mountains of floating ice.

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This is an animation of ocean surface currents from June 2005 to December 2007 from NASA satellites.

April 9, 2012

NASA Views Our Perpetually Moving Ocean

The swirling flows of tens of thousands of ocean currents are captured in a new NASA scientific visualization created with the help of JPL satellite and model data.

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A new visualization of global groundwater depletion

March 22, 2012

NASA GRACE Data Hit Big Apple on World Water Day

Premiering on New York's Times Square today to mark World Water Day: a new visualization of global groundwater depletion created using data from NASA's GRACE mission.

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An improved version of NASA's popular

March 22, 2012

NASA's 'Eyes on the Earth' Gets Sharper Vision

NASA's Webby Award-winning Global Climate Change website has introduced a new version of its "Eyes on the Earth" interactive virtual reality visualization.

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Student-controlled robots compete at the FIRST Robotics Competition by shooting foam basketballs into hoops.

March 19, 2012

Students and Robots Take to the Courts in Competition

Student teams from California, Nevada, Brazil and Chile competed in the 21st annual Los Angeles regional FIRST competition this past weekend.

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NASA's new, free 'Earth-Now' iPhone app

March 19, 2012

NASA's New 'Earth-Now' App: Your World, Unplugged

A free, new iPhone app from NASA literally puts the whole world in the palm of your hands.

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GRACE - A Decade of Amazing Science

March 16, 2012

At 10, GRACE Continues Defying, and Defining, Gravity

A decade after launch, NASA's GRACE space twins continue their orbital waltz, producing amazing science.

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The winning high school team, Santa Monica High School with their coach, Ingo Gaida (far right).

March 6, 2012

Santa Monica High Tops Regional Ocean Sciences Bowl

For the second straight year, Santa Monica High School beat longtime rival Arcadia High School to retain its title of Regional Ocean Sciences Bowl champions.

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Bromine explosion on March 13, 2008 across the western Northwest Territories in Canada

March 1, 2012

NASA Finds Sea Ice Driving Arctic Air Pollutants

A NASA-led study finds Arctic sea ice loss may be intensifying release of bromine into the atmosphere, depleting ground-level ozone and depositing toxic mercury in the Arctic.

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This image of clouds over the southern Indian Ocean was acquired on July 23, 2007

February 21, 2012

NASA Satellite Finds Earth's Clouds are Getting Lower

A new university study using data from NASA's Terra spacecraft finds Earth's clouds got about one percent lower on average during the first decade of the 2000s.

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Global map of forest height produced from NASA's ICESAT/GLAS, MODIS and TRMM sensors.

February 17, 2012

NASA Map Sees Earth's Trees in a New Light

A NASA-led science team has created an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of Earth's forests.

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A large, miles-long crack was plainly  visible across the ice shelf on the Pine Island Glacier

February 14, 2012

NASA Aircraft to Trek Globe in 2012 for Earth Studies

With missions scheduled throughout the year, 2012 is shaping up to be an extraordinary time for NASA's Airborne Science Program and JPL Earth system science research.

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This five-foot-high (1.5-meter-high) surface rupture, called a scarp, formed in just seconds along the Borrego fault during the magnitude 7.2

February 9, 2012

3-D Map Study Shows Before-After of 2010 Mexico Quake

A new partially NASA-supported study of the April 2010 major quake near the California-Mexico border gives the most comprehensive before-and-after picture yet of a quake zone.

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NASA's GRACE Takes Stock of Earth's Melting Land Ice

February 8, 2012

NASA Mission Takes Stock of Earth's Melting Land Ice

A new comprehensive University of Colorado-led study used gravity data from NASA's Grace mission to calculate how much Earth's melting land ice is adding to global sea level.

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Scientist Graeme Stephens at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is also an artist. This work is entitled 'Cumuls Congestus'

January 27, 2012

NASA Study Solves Case of Earth's 'Missing Energy'

Inconsistencies between satellite observations of Earth's heat and measurements of ocean heating led NASA scientists to reexamine the data to solve the puzzle.

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The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from  NASA's Jason-2 satellite

January 18, 2012

NASA Sees Repeating La Niña Hitting its Peak

La Niña is peaking, increasing the odds of more stormy winter and spring weather in the Pacific Northwest, with dry conditions in the southwestern and southern United States.

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NASA's DC-8 airborne science laboratory soars over the Pinnacles near Mount Whitney, Calif., during a checkout flight in the  winter of 1998.

January 12, 2012

JPL Radar Treks to Great White North to Study Snow

Measuring snow from space - it's a challenge NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission will tackle.

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Color-enhanced UAVSAR interferogram images of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano

January 9, 2012

NASA Radar to Study Hawaii's Most Active Volcano

A JPL-developed airborne radar has returned to the home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, to continue a study of one of Earth's most active volcanoes.

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Increasing freshwater on the U.S. and Canadian side of the Arctic from 2005 to 2008 is balanced by decreasing freshwater on the Russian side, so that on average the Arctic did not have more freshwater

January 4, 2012

NASA Finds Russian Runoff Freshening Canadian Arctic

A NASA study allays concerns melting Arctic sea ice could be increasing Arctic freshwater enough to impact the global 'ocean conveyor belt' that redistributes Earth's heat.

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21st Century Ecological Sensitivity - Changes in Plant Species

December 14, 2011

NASA: Climate Change May Bring Big Ecosystem Changes

By 2100, climate change will bring big changes to Earth's ecosystems, with many plants and animals facing increasing competition for survival, finds a new NASA/Caltech study.

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NASA Finds Japan Tsunami Waves Merged, Doubling Power

December 5, 2011

NASA Finds Japan Tsunami Waves Merged, Doubling Power

NASA and university researchers have discovered the tsunami generated by the magnitude 9.0 quake off northeastern Japan in March 2011 was a long-hypothesized "merging tsunami"

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New groundwater and soil moisture drought indicator maps produced by NASA

November 30, 2011

NASA's Grace Helps Monitor U.S. Drought

Data on groundwater storage from NASA's twin Grace satellites are now helping monitor droughts in Texas and elsewhere in the United States.

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This image was taken by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

November 2, 2011

Where on Earth? Take the Quiz

Test your skills as a geographical detective in the latest "Where on Earth?" quiz from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Delta II lifts off carrying NPP

October 31, 2011

NASA Launches JPL-Built Earth Science Experiment

The launch of NASA's newest Earth spacecraft also deployed a small research satellite with a JPL-built experiment that will prove technology for future Earth missions.

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3-D perspective view of California's Mt. Whitney

October 17, 2011

NASA, Japan Release Improved Topographic Map of Earth

NASA and Japan released a significantly improved version of the most complete digital topographic map of Earth on Monday, produced with detailed measurements from NASA's Terra spacecraft.

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North polar region views showing levels of ozone and chlorine monoxide

October 2, 2011

NASA Leads Study of Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss

A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere.

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A -seismic hotspot- map produced using the NASA-funded.

September 29, 2011

NASA-Funded Quake Forecast Gets High Score in Study

A NASA-funded method for forecasting earthquakes in California has received high marks in a comparative study of seven earthquake forecasts.

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The first global map of the salinity, or saltiness, of Earth's ocean surface.

September 22, 2011

Aquarius Yields NASA's First Global Map of Ocean Salinity

NASA's new Aquarius instrument has produced its first global map of the salinity of the ocean surface, providing an early glimpse of the mission's anticipated discoveries.

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This photo illustration of a different fireball was taken in 1966 by astronomer Jim Young.

September 15, 2011

Meteor Likely Cause of Southwest U.S. Light Show

A meteor is the most probable cause of a bright, colorful fireball witnessed by people in a wide swath of the southwestern United States.

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A desert on Earth

September 14, 2011

NASA Mars Research Helps Find Buried Water on Earth

A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore Mars' subsurface to map, for the first time, freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert.

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NASA's MISR instrument on its Terra spacecraft captured this image of wildfires burning throughout eastern Texas on Sept. 5, 2011.

September 7, 2011

NASA Spacecraft Sees Wind-Whipped Fires in East Texas

Some of the more than 170 major wildfires that have erupted throughout drought-stricken Texas in the past week are visible in this NASA satellite image of east Texas.

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Aquarius - SAC-D Artist's Concept

September 1, 2011

Aquarius Makes First Ocean Salt Measurements

NASA's Aquarius instrument has successfully completed its commissioning phase and is now "tasting" the saltiness of Earth's ocean surface.

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The storm's coldest cloud top temperatures and intense rains are shown in purples and blues.

August 28, 2011

NASA Satellite Shows a Mean Irene's Fury

A new NASA satellite image highlights Irene's intense precipitation as it moved into New England on Aug. 28.

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Hurricane Irene

August 27, 2011

NASA/ISRO Image Shows Irene's Winds Before Landfall

Hurricane Irene's wind speeds and wind directions are shown in a new satellite image taken shortly before landfall in North Carolina on Aug. 27.

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Infrared image of Hurricane Irene taken at 1:59 p.m. EDT (17:59 UTC) on Aug. 26, 2011

August 26, 2011

Track Irene's Progress on NASA Hurricane Websites

Large and powerful Hurricane Irene is poised to become the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Ike in 2008.

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The red line in this image shows the long-term increase in global sea level

August 23, 2011

NASA Satellites Detect Pothole on Road to Higher Seas

While global sea level rise has been steady for most of the past two decades, every once in a while, such as this past year, it hits a speed bump. NASA scientists explain why.

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First complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica, derived from radar interferometric data

August 18, 2011

NASA Research Yields Full Map of Antarctic Ice Flow

NASA-funded researchers have created the first complete map of the speed and direction of ice flow in Antarctica.

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This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite.

August 16, 2011

NASA Research Confirms it's a Small World, After All

Our planet Earth is not expanding, as some scientists had previously speculated.

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3-D view of the surface rupture of the 2010 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake

August 11, 2011

Unusual Fault Pattern Surfaces in Earthquake Study

Researchers have discovered a warped and complicated pattern in the depths of the faults that triggered an April 2010 earthquake in Mexico.

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NASA Satellite Tracks Severity of African Drought

July 28, 2011

NASA Satellite Tracks Severity of African Drought

New data from NASA's Aqua spacecraft highlight the extreme dryness that is currently gripping northeast Africa, contributing to spreading famine.

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The latest satellite data of Pacific Ocean sea surface heights

June 29, 2011

La Niña's Exit Leaves Climate Forecasts in Limbo

The Pacific Ocean is currently in between its periodic El Niño and La Niña climate patterns. And that generally means headaches for weather and climate forecasters.

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The path of a near-Earth object expected to make a pass by Earth June 25 and 26, 2011.

June 24, 2011

Small Asteroid to Whip Past Earth on June 27, 2011

An asteroid designated 2011 MD will safely pass Earth in the early morning hours.

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A Delta II rocket launches with the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft payload from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Friday, June 10, 2011.

June 10, 2011

NASA's 'Age of Aquarius' Dawns With California Launch

NASA's 'Age of Aquarius' dawned Friday with the launch of an international satellite carrying the agency's Aquarius instrument set to measure the saltiness of Earth's oceans.

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Delta II rocket

June 9, 2011

Aquarius/SAC-D Launch Mission Status Update

The Aquarius/SAC-D observatory has successfully separated from its rocket, ground controllers have acquired its signal, and its solar arrays have been deployed.

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What's Your Salt IQ?

June 9, 2011

What's Your Salt IQ?

Find out how much you know about salt in the ocean, a topic that will be studied by NASA's Aquarius instrument, launching on an international spacecraft.

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NASA's Aquarius spacecraft inside the mobile service tower at Vandenberg

June 8, 2011

NASA's Aquarius/SAC-D Launch Rescheduled

The launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D mission is postponed 24 hours until Friday, June 10, from NASA's Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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Scientists will set their sights on taking an unprecedented variety of measurements around one of the saltiest spots in the Atlantic Ocean

June 7, 2011

NASA Goes Below the Surface to Understand Salinity

NASA's Aquarius, launching this week, will take a "skin" reading of ocean salt content. To better understand what's driving salinity changes, scientists will go deeper.

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Global differences, on average, between evaporation and precipitation, the main elements of the global water cycle.

June 2, 2011

New NASA Salt Mapper to Spice Up Climate Forecasts

Just as ancient Greeks believed they could tell the future by reading patterns in sprinkled salt, NASA's Aquarius mission will use salt to foresee Earth's future climate.

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Benchmark map of carbon stored in Earth's tropical forests

May 31, 2011

New NASA Map Reveals Tropical Forest Carbon Storage

A NASA-led team has used NASA satellite data to create the most precise map ever produced depicting the amount and location of carbon stored in Earth's tropical forests.

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Airborne prototype of NASA's Aquarius instrument, used to test the measurement capabilities of its design.

May 25, 2011

For Aquarius, Sampling Seas No 'Grain of Salt' Task

Twenty years after scientists first recognized that precise measurements of ocean salinity from space were possible, NASA's Aquarius mission is poised to realize their dream.

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May 19, 2011

NASA/University Japan Quake Study Yields Surprises

A new NASA and university study of Japan’s massive March quake yields surprises on how the quake’s energy and stress were distributed in the region.

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Aquarius - SAC-D Artist's Concept

May 17, 2011

NASA Mission Will Observe Earth's Salty Seas

Final preparations are under way for the June 9 launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D observatory.

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Aquarius - SAC-D Artist's Concept

May 12, 2011

NASA Announces News Briefing on Aquarius/Sac-D Mission

NASA will hold a news briefing on Tuesday, May 17, at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT), on the agency's next Earth-observing satellite mission, Aquarius/SAC-D, scheduled to launch on June 9.

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Simulated ocean salinity data for NASA's Aquarius instrument.

May 11, 2011

Aquarius to Illuminate Links Between Salt, Climate

A new age of satellite studies of Earth dawns this June with the launch of NASA's salt-seeking Aquarius instrument.

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This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite.

April 20, 2011

NASA Marks Earth Day With Online Activities, Programs

NASA uses the vantage point of space to explore and protect our home planet. Join scientists from JPL and throughout NASA in online activities in celebration of Earth Day.

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Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft

April 6, 2011

For NASA's Aquarius, Quest for Salt a Global Endeavor

With more than a few stamps on its passport, NASA's Aquarius instrument will soon embark on its space mission to "taste" Earth's salty ocean.

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Satellite Radar Captures Eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano

April 1, 2011

NASA Airborne Radar Set to Image Hawaiian Volcano

The Kilauea volcano that recently erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii will be the target for a NASA study to help scientists better understand processes under Earth's surface.

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Aquarius/SAC-D Artist's Concept

March 31, 2011

Salt-Seeking Spacecraft Arrives at Launch Site

An international spacecraft that will take NASA's first space-based measurements of ocean surface salinity has arrived at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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Trio or clover of AIRS images

March 16, 2011

NASA Picks a Festive Clover of Ireland Images

Just in time for St. Patty's Day, NASA's Aqua satellite finds a "pot of gold" in colorful images of Ireland.

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A new before-and-after image pair from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft

March 15, 2011

NASA Satellite Sees Area Affected by Japan Tsunami

A new before-and-after image pair from NASA's Terra spacecraft shows a region northeast of Sendai, Japan, affected by the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

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This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite.

March 14, 2011

Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis

The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis.

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Japan's Eastern Coast

March 12, 2011

NASA Images Tsunami's Effects on Northeastern Japan

Flooding from the destructive tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011 quake off Japan's northeastern coast is visible in before/after images from NASA's Terra spacecraft.

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Tsunami-stricken city of Sendai, Japan

March 11, 2011

NASA Shows Topography of Tsunami-Damaged Japan City

A new image based on NASA radar data from 2000 shows the mostly low-lying topography of Sendai, Japan, devastated by the March 11, 2011, 8.9-magnitue earthquake and tsunami.

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A NASA/university study of data on Earth's rotation, movements in Earth's molten core and global surface air temperatures has uncovered interesting correlations.

March 9, 2011

NASA Study Goes to Earth's Core for Climate Insights

The latest evidence of the role humans play in changing Earth's climate comes not from observations of the ocean, atmosphere or land surface, but from Earth's molten core.

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Store Glacier, West Greenland.  A new NASA funded study finds that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace

March 8, 2011

NASA Finds Polar Ice Adding More to Rising Seas

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at an accelerating pace, according to a new NASA-funded satellite study.

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NASA's Glory spacecraft (left) and Aquarius spacecraft (right)

March 3, 2011

Double Vision: NASA Earth Satellites Prep for Launch

Rockets for two NASA missions stand at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for launch of NASA's newest Earth satellites: Glory on March 4, and Aquarius in June.

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Perspective view of Christchurch, New Zealand, acquired Feb. 23, 2011 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft.

February 24, 2011

NASA Spacecraft Images New Zealand Quake Region

Two new images from NASA's Terra spacecraft show the region devastated this week by New Zealand's most destructive earthquake in 80 years.

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NASA's Global Hawk soars aloft from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on a functional check flight of the WISPAR aircraft payload system and science instruments.

February 10, 2011

JPL Airborne Sensor to Study 'Rivers in the Sky'

An advanced JPL sensor is embarking on a NOAA-led airborne field campaign to study atmospheric rivers - narrow regions in the sky that transport huge amounts of water vapor.

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satellite images showing winter storms sweeping across the U.S.

February 1, 2011

NASA Satellite Captures U.S. 'Big Chill'

On the eve of Groundhog Day 2011, a massive winter storm spreading across America will make it hard for Punxsutawney Phil, and 100 million Americans.

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AIRS infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Yasi

February 1, 2011

Monster Cyclone Yasi Eyes Australia in NASA Image

Australians are bracing for Tropical Cyclone Yasi, forecast to be the strongest cyclone in the continent's recorded history.

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AIRS infrared image of Tropical Cyclone Yasi

January 31, 2011

NASA Satellite Tracks Menacing Australian Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Yasi continues to advance toward Australia's flood-weary state of Queensland, still reeling from devastating floods that began last December.

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NASA's Salt-Seeking Instrument Gets Blanketed in Silver

January 24, 2011

NASA's Salt-Seeking Instrument Gets a Silvery Blanket

NASA technicians are busy prepping for the dawning of the age of Aquarius/SAC-D, the mission.

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Keith Burns' photo of the December 2010 Lunar Eclipse

January 19, 2011

Lunar Eclipse Wallpaper Contest Yields Hundreds of Photos

A winning photo has been chosen for NASAJPL's "I'm There: Lunar Eclipse" wallpaper contest from an entry pool of close to 2,000 images.

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The ASTER instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this image of extensive flooding in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, on Jan. 7, 2010

January 7, 2011

NASA Image Shows La Niña-Caused Woes Down Under

While La Niña hasn't lived up to her usual dry billing this season in Southern California, elsewhere she's behaving as expected, which, in the case of Australia, means badly.

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The change of seasons is vividly displayed in four satellite images of Lake George, New York

December 21, 2010

Season's Greetings: NASA Views the Change of Seasons

Welcome the winter solstice today, Dec. 21 (summer solstice for our friends south of the equator) with a slideshow of NASA satellite images marking the change of seasons.

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UAVSAR image shows ground deformation

December 16, 2010

Mexico Quake Studies Uncover Surprises for California

New technologies developed by NASA and other agencies are revealing surprising insights into a major quake that rocked parts of the American Southwest and Mexico in April.

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Bill Patzert at AGU

December 15, 2010

American Geophysical Union Honors NASA's Bill Patzert

Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at JPL, has been honored by the American Geophysical Union for his contributions to improving public understanding of Earth science.

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The joint U.S. and Argentine Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft is prepped for thermal vacuum chamber tests at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research.

November 23, 2010

NASA's Savory Sea Salt Sensor to Get Cooked, Chilled

A NASA instrument that will soon serve up a tasty cornucopia of new Earth climate data is set to get baked and chilled in a giant oven.'

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Tahoe, seen here from Emerald Bay, was one of the primary validation sites for the global lake study. The lake, which straddles the borders of California and Nevada, is the largest alpine lake in North America.

November 23, 2010

NASA Study Finds Earth's Lakes are Warming

In the first comprehensive global survey of temperature trends in major lakes, NASA researchers determined Earth's largest lakes have warmed during the past 25 years in response to climate change.

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Satellite images showing the movement of fragmented ice away from ice edges

November 9, 2010

NASA Study Shows Role of Melt in Arctic Sea Ice Loss

A NASA analysis of satellite data has quantified, for the first time, the amount of older and thicker "multiyear" sea ice lost from the Arctic Ocean due to melting.

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The scientists studied the chemical reaction between two compounds that play important roles in the formation of ozone, a harmful air pollutant at ground level.

October 28, 2010

NASA Work Helps Better Predict World's Smoggiest Days

A research team led by JPL and Caltech has fully characterized a key chemical reaction that affects the formation of a harmful air pollutant in the world's urban areas.

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Surface temperature map of the moon

October 21, 2010

Lunar Impact May Impact Lunar Science For Years To Come

The JPL-built Diviner instrument had a front-row seat to the lunar impact of NASA's LCROSS spacecraft

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A laboratory test version of the airborne prototype for the Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager camera.

October 19, 2010

Prototype NASA Earth Camera Goes for Test Flight

JPL has conducted the first test flight of a prototype instrument being developed for a future space mission to survey how clouds and aerosols affect Earth's changing climate.

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Radar interferogram showing ground deformation from Haiti quake

October 14, 2010

NASA Study of Haiti Quake Yields Surprising Results

A new NASA, U.S. Geological Survey and university study finds this year's Haiti quake was caused by multiple faults and may not have released all the strain in the region.

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Hurricane Karl gave the GRIP team one of the best opportunities to study a tropical storm.

October 6, 2010

NASA Loosens GRIP on Atlantic Hurricane Season

NASA wrapped up one of its largest-ever hurricane research efforts last week after nearly two months of flights that broke new ground in the study of tropical cyclones.

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Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa

October 6, 2010

NASA Partnership Sends Earth Science Data to Africa

A unique partnership between NASA and agencies in Africa and Europe has sent a massive amount of free NASA Earth science satellite data to South African researchers.

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ASTER image of flooding in Pakistan

October 4, 2010

NASA Study Sees Earth's Water Cycle Pulse Quickening

The circulation of water drives our planet's pulse. A new NASA/university study of river water flowing into oceans offers an early warning that the pulse may be speeding up.

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Global Ice Viewer

September 28, 2010

Sentinels of Climate Change

NASA's new Global Ice Viewer provides an interactive window into how climate change is affecting glaciers, sea ice and continental ice sheets.

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Dust-covered snow in the San Juan Mountains.

September 20, 2010

NASA Study Shows Desert Dust Cuts Colorado River Flow

Snowmelt in the Colorado River basin is occurring earlier, reducing runoff and the amount of crucial water available downstream.

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Hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl as imaged by AIRS

September 17, 2010

Hurricane Igor, Unchained, in NASA Satellite Images

Powerful Hurricane Igor bears down on Bermuda, flanked by its baying hounds, hurricanes Julia (top right) and Karl (bottom right) in this monstrous mashup of NASA satellite images.

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La Nina continues to strengthen in the Pacific Ocean

September 15, 2010

A Growing La Nina Chills Out the Pacific

The latest satellite data from NASA's Jason-2 oceanography satellite show La Nina continuing to strengthen in the Pacific.

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MISR data were used to measure the concentration of aerosol pollutants over the Indian subcontinent and how it varies by season.

September 15, 2010

NASA Data Track Seasonal Pollution Changes Over India

Scientists using data from an instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft have analyzed aerosol pollution over India and found some surprising trends.

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Global present-day trends in the transport of water mass around Earth

September 14, 2010

NASA Uses New Method to Estimate Earth Mass Movements

New NASA research mixes satellite and surface measurements with an ocean model to estimate how water is moving around Earth and measure changes caused by the last major Ice Age.

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Intraseasonal to interannual climate predictions

September 9, 2010

New Report Seeks to Improve Climate Forecasts

A new National Academy of Sciences report co-authored by a JPL scientist recommends ways to improve the accuracy of climate forecasts that span from weeks to a few years.

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Two small asteroids in unrelated orbits will pass within the moon's distance of Earth on Wed. Both should be observable with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.

September 7, 2010

Two Asteroids to Pass by Earth Wednesday

Two asteroids, several meters in diameter and in unrelated orbits, will pass within the moon's distance of Earth on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

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Hurricane Earl's eye, as measured by NASA's HAMSR intrument

September 2, 2010

NASA Hurricane Researchers Eye Earl's Eye

Two advanced weather instruments from JPL are busy flying above Hurricane Earl, as NASA's field campaign to study how hurricanes form and intensify continues.

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AIRS image of Hurricane Earl

September 1, 2010

NASA Images Dissect Hurricane Earl

As the U.S. East Coast prepares to duke it out with large and powerful Hurricane Earl, NASA satellites and instruments are busy gathering valuable information on the storm.

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Deviations from normal sea surface temperatures (left) and sea surface heights (right)

August 25, 2010

NASA/NOAA Study Finds El Niños are Growing Stronger

A new type of El Niño is becoming more common and progressively stronger, according to a new NASA/NOAA study that has potential implications for long-term weather forecasting.

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ASTER image from Aug. 18, 2010, shows the extent of flooding in and around the city of Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh Province

August 20, 2010

NASA Images Show Anatomy of Pakistan Flood Disaster

A series of new NASA satellite images provides useful perspectives on the origins, extent and effects of the massive flooding devastating large parts of Pakistan.

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Peterman Glacier in Greenland

August 12, 2010

NASA Releases New Image of Massive Greenland Iceberg

A new NASA satellite image shows the continued movement of a massive iceberg that broke off Greenland's Petermann Glacier on Aug. 5.

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The animation focuses on the Russian fires, while the bottom animation highlights the global transport of the pollution across the northern hemisphere.

August 11, 2010

NASA Video Shows Global Reach of Pollution from Fires

Wildfires in Russia, eastern Siberia and Canada are spreading hazardous air pollution far beyond their borders, as seen in a pair of new NASA satellite animations.

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Clouds play an important role in Earth's climate.

August 9, 2010

Send in the Clouds

Clouds, our fluffy friends in the sky, are essential to life on Earth. They're also not unique to our planet. Scientists ponder the role of clouds in our universe.

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Side-by-side comparison of carbon monoxide pollution

August 7, 2010

NASA Instrument Tracks Pollution from Russian Fires

Drought and the worst heat wave Russia has seen in 130 years have sparked a devastating outbreak of wildfires across the nation this summer, primarily in the country's western and central regions.

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UAVSAR interferogram of Southern California near the Mexican border, created by combining data from flights on April 13, 2010, and July 1, 2010.

August 5, 2010

NASA Images Show Continuing Mexico Quake Deformation

The latest NASA radar images of the Southern California region rattled by a 7.2 quake in Mexico's Baja California on April 4 show continued deformation in Earth's surface.

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Engineers have conducted a fuel tank check of one of NASA's GRAIL mission spacecraft.

July 28, 2010

GRAIL Spacecraft Takes Shape

Engineers have conducted a fuel tank check of one of NASA's GRAIL mission spacecraft, scheduled for launch in 2011.

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Thermal infrared image of Tropical Storm Bonnie

July 23, 2010

Bonnie Takes Aim at an Oily Gulf

Tropical Storm Bonnie, now a depression, rakes South Florida in this July 23 NASA infrared image, en route to a weekend run-in with the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf oil spill.

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A team recovers the hybrid robotic vehicle Nereus aboard the research vessel Cape Hatteras

July 20, 2010

NASA Goes Deep in Search of Extreme Environments

NASA-funded researchers searching for extreme environments for life have discovered the world's deepest hydrothermal vent, 5,000 meters below the surface of the Caribbean.

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Trunks of living trees can be seen two years after a powerful 2005 storm toppled many neighboring trees

July 13, 2010

Study Finds Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion Trees

In 2005, scientists saw a spike in tree deaths in the Amazon, which was attributed to drought. Now a NASA-funded study finds a single, massive thunderstorm was also to blame.

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NASA To Fly Into Hurricane Research This Summer

July 7, 2010

NASA to Fly Into Hurricane Research this Summer

Three NASA aircraft will begin flights to study tropical cyclones on Aug. 15 during the agency's first major U.S.-based hurricane field campaign since 2001.

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Infrared image of Tropical Storm Alex

June 29, 2010

Alex Stirs Up the Gulf

Tropical Storm Alex, soon to be a hurricane, churns its way through the western half of the Gulf of Mexico in this NASA infrared image taken Tuesday afternoon, June 29.

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Weather and climate are easily confused but they're not the same ... they operate on different timescales.

June 28, 2010

Clearing the Air on Weather Versus Climate

Weather and climate are easily confused, but they’re not the same. JPL atmospheric scientist Eric Fetzer explains the difference and gives his thoughts on climate change.

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NASA Satellite Adds Carbon Dioxide to its Repertoire

June 28, 2010

NASA Satellite Adds Carbon Dioxide to its Repertoire

A NASA-led team has expanded the growing global armada of remote sensing satellites capable of studying carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas driving changes in our climate.

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June 23, 2010

NASA Radar Images Show How Mexico Quake Deformed Earth

NASA has released the first-ever airborne radar images of the deformation in Earth's surface caused by a major earthquake.

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This is an artist’s concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory.

June 22, 2010

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for OCO-2 Mission

NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., to launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission.

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latest data from the NASA/European Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite

June 22, 2010

Adios El Niño, Hello La Niña?

The moderate El Niño of the past year has officially bowed out, leaving his cool sister, La Niña, poised to potentially take the equatorial stage.

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Graphs showing Tsunami prediction system

June 14, 2010

NASA Demonstrates Tsunami Prediction System

A NASA-led research team has successfully demonstrated for the first time elements of a prototype tsunami prediction system that quickly and accurately assesses large earthquakes and estimates the size of resulting tsunamis.

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Artist's concept of Grace

June 10, 2010

NASA and DLR Sign Agreement to Continue Grace Mission Through 2015

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and German Aerospace Center Executive Board Chairman Johann-Dietrich Wörner signed an agreement to extend the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission.

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Oil moving into Louisiana's coastal wetlands

June 2, 2010

NASA Images Show Oil's Invasion Along Louisiana Coast

By combining data from multiple cameras of JPL's MISR instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, scientists gain new perspectives on the spread of oil into Louisiana's fragile wetlands.

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AVIRIS airborne measurement

May 27, 2010

NASA Sensor Completes Initial Gulf Oil Spill Flights

JPL's Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer instrument has completed its initial assessment of the Gulf oil spill.

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JPL's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment

May 27, 2010

NASA Takes to the Air With New 'Earth Venture' Research Projects

Hurricanes, air quality and Arctic ecosystems are among the research areas to be investigated during the next five years by new NASA airborne science missions announced today.

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A new image from NASA's Terra spacecraft

May 26, 2010

NASA Satellite Spots Oil at Mississippi Delta Mouth

A new image from NASA's Terra spacecraft shows oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill lapping at the mouth of the Mississippi River delta.

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Graph showing the speed and direction of surface currents in the Gulf

May 25, 2010

NASA Satellites Keep Watch on Gulf Current Near Spill

Scientists are using NASA satellite data to keep a close eye on a powerful current in the Gulf of Mexico that could carry the Gulf oil spill into the Atlantic.

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False-color image of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

May 20, 2010

NASA's MISR Provides Unique Views of Gulf Oil Slick

New Gulf oil spill images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft paint dramatic portraits of different aspects of the growing spill.

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Map of Argo free-floating profiling floats

May 19, 2010

New Study Finds Ocean Warmed Significantly Since 1993

A new study co-authored by JPL’s Josh Willis finds the upper layer of Earth’s ocean has warmed significantly over the past 16 years, indicating a strong climate change signal.

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NASA's ER-2 research aircraft, with JPL's advanced AVIRIS instrument aboard, flew from California to Texas on May 6, 2010, for a series of flights to map the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and coastal areas.

May 11, 2010

NASA, JPL Assets Aiding in Oil Spill Response

JPL instruments and personnel are among the NASA assets being used by U.S. disaster response agencies to assess the spread and impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this nighttime image of the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on May 7, 2010.

May 7, 2010

NASA Captures Night Infrared View of Gulf Oil Spill

A May 7 nighttime infrared image of the Gulf oil spill from an instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft provides a different perspective on the oil slick nearing the Gulf coast.

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Satellite image of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

May 3, 2010

NASA Satellite Views Massive Gulf Oil Spill

New NASA satellite images show the extent of the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Map of chlorine monoxide in the Antarctic

April 28, 2010

NASA Study Sheds Light on Ozone Hole Chemistry

A new NASA study of Earth's polar ozone layer reinforces scientists' understanding of how human-produced chlorine chemicals involved in the destruction of ozone interact with each other.

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Earth Day chat for kids

April 22, 2010

Web Chat: How Does NASA Study Earth's Climate?

Earth Day Web Chat, Apr. 22, 10 a.m. Pacific -- Students ask a scientist how NASA studies Earth's climate.

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Satellite image of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

April 20, 2010

NASA Satellite Helps Measure Iceland Volcanic Plume

An instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft is helping officials accurately estimate the heights of the massive ash plumes emitted by Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

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Satellite image of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

April 19, 2010

NASA Continues to Track Persistent Iceland Volcano

A new NASA infrared image of Iceland's erupting volcano shows its billowing ash plume, lava erupting from its current vent, and still-hot lava flows from earlier eruption phases.

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Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

April 18, 2010

NASA Satellite Eyes Iceland Volcano Cauldron

New NASA satellite images of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano provide a peek into its explosive cauldron.

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Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull Volcano

April 16, 2010

NASA Satellite Images Dissect Iceland Volcanic Plume

A thermal infrared analysis of NASA satellite imagery of the ash plume from Iceland's erupting volcano provides insights into its composition.

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Earth - South America

April 16, 2010

NASA Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

JPL and other NASA centers across the nation invite the public to see and hear about the agency's contributions to understanding and protecting Earth.

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Infrared AIRS image of Iceland volanic ash plume

April 15, 2010

NASA Instrument Sees Disruptive Iceland Volcanic Cloud

A JPL-built instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft imaged the ash cloud from an erupting Iceland volcano that's wreaking havoc for air travelers in Northern Europe and around the world.

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The Global Hawk can fly autonomously to altitudes above 60,000 feet -- roughly twice as high as a commercial airliner -- and as far as 11,000 nautical miles.

April 8, 2010

NASA's Global Hawk Completes First Science Flight

NASA has successfully completed the first science flight of the Global Hawk unpiloted aircraft system over the Pacific Ocean.

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Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano

April 7, 2010

NASA Sensors Providing Rapid Estimates of Iceland Volcano Emissions

A NASA research team is using the latest advances in satellite artificial intelligence to speed up estimates of the heat and volume of lava escaping from an erupting volcano in Iceland.

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Topography surrounding the Laguna Salada Fault

April 5, 2010

Topography Reflects Baja Quake Site's Complex Geology

New NASA topographic images of northern Baja, California, site of a 7.2 quake on April 4, reflect the complex geology caused by colliding tectonic plates.

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The SOLO-TREC autonomous underwater vehicle is deployed off the coast of Hawaii on an extended ocean endurance test, Nov. 30, 2009.

April 5, 2010

NASA Demonstrates Novel Ocean-Powered Underwater Vehicle

NASA, U.S. Navy and university researchers have successfully demonstrated the first robotic underwater vehicle to be powered entirely by natural, renewable, ocean thermal energy.

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Glaciers and Ice Caps: How Much Do You Know?

April 1, 2010

Glaciers and Ice Caps: How Much Do You Know?

Test your knowledge of the cold, hard facts about Earth’s ice and its link to climate change with our brain freezer teaser.

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overturning circulation of the global ocean

March 25, 2010

NASA Study Finds Atlantic 'Conveyor Belt' Not Slowing

New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years.

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NASA's Grace See Rapid Spread in Greenland Ice Loss

March 25, 2010

NASA's Grace Sees Rapid Spread in Greenland Ice Loss

A new international study finds losses in Greenland's ice sheet are now spreading rapidly up its northwest coast.

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View of Earth

March 23, 2010

JPL Scientists to Share Research at Free Climate Day Event

JPL Climate Day 2010 will bring students, educators and the general public together with scientists and other climate experts for a free, educational and fun event about Earth's changing climate.

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A new model uses measurements from mid-ocean ridges (yellow and green) to precisely describe the movements of  interlocking tectonic plates that make up about 97 percent of Earth's surface.

March 22, 2010

Earth's Real Movers and Shakers Star in New Tectonic Model

NASA and university researchers have released the result of a 20-year effort to precisely describe the relative movements of Earth's interlocking tectonic plates.

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JPL's Flight Projects Center

March 19, 2010

JPL Wins 'Green Building Award'

JPL's environmentally friendly Flight Projects Center received a "Green Building Award" at the fourth annual Green California Leadership Awards, held during this week's Green California Summit.

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Recent sea-level height data from the NASA/European Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 oceanography satellite shows El Niño 2009-2010 hanging in there

March 18, 2010

El Niño's Last Hurrah?

Satellite data show yet another strong wave of warm water moving eastward across the central equatorial Pacific. Could this be El Niño's last stand?

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A JPL-designed camera submerged 600 feet beneath the Antarctic ice sheet to image its underbelly has yielded an unexpected find -- a shrimp.

March 17, 2010

Little Shrimp Makes Big Splash Beneath Antarctica

A JPL-designed camera submerged 600 feet beneath the Antarctic ice sheet to image its underbelly has yielded an unexpected find -- a shrimp.

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70-meter antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex

March 8, 2010

Historic Deep Space Network Antenna Starts Major Surgery

Like a hard-driving athlete whose joints need help, the giant "Mars antenna" at NASA's Deep Space Network site in Goldstone, Calif. has begun major, delicate surgery.

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View of Earth

March 1, 2010

Chilean Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days

The Feb. 27 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile may have shortened the length of each Earth day.

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NASA's Aquarius instrument at INVAP's satellite integration facility in Bariloche, Argentina.

March 1, 2010

Salt-Seeking Satellite Shaken By Quake, But Not Stirred

NASA's Aquarius instrument, and the Argentinian spacecraft that will carry it into space, rode out the Feb. 27 Chilean earthquake without a scratch.

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This color-coded map, produced by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, shows the 5-year average (2005-2009) global temperature change relative to the 1951-1980 mean temperature.

February 23, 2010

New NASA Web Page Sheds Light on Science of Warming World

NASA has launched a new Web page to help people better understand the causes and effects of Earth's changing climate.

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Satellite image of El Niño

February 23, 2010

Temperature Trackers Watch Our Watery World Wax and Wane

The ocean plays a key role in determining Earth’s temperatures, and, say NASA scientists, could well contribute to making 2010 the warmest year on record.

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The retreat of Pedersen Glacier, Alaska

February 22, 2010

Pictures That Paint a Thousand Words

A new image gallery on NASA's Global Climate Change Web site highlights some dramatic examples of how our planet is changing over time.

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This image shows the Brown Mountain area in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 28, 2009, shortly after the most intense part of the Station fire had died down.

February 19, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Online

A new webcam at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is keeping an eye on debris and water flows that could course down nearby wildfire-stripped hillsides during a rainstorm.

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Large, thick floes of ice can be seen breaking off.

February 18, 2010

Missing 'Ice Arches' Contributed to 2007 Arctic Ice Loss

In 2007, the Arctic lost a massive amount of thick, multiyear sea ice, contributing to that year's record-low extent of Arctic sea ice.

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Calving front of Equp Sermia glacier, West Greenland

February 16, 2010

NASA Finds Warmer Ocean Speeding Greenland Glacier Melt

A new NASA study finds undersea melting of glaciers in west Greenland due to ocean warming is playing a major, previously overlooked, role in their evolution.

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Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula

February 11, 2010

Shuttle Mission That Mapped Earth Marks 10th Anniversary

Ten years ago, two JPL radar antennas launched on a mission to map the topography of a mysterious, cloud-covered world, called Earth.

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UAVSAR pod is carried on the underbelly of NASA's Gulfstream-III research aircraft

February 4, 2010

NASA Radar Studies Continue in Central America, Hispaniola

NASA radar imaging flights over Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are in the second week of a three-week campaign.

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False-color composite image of the Port-au-Prince, Haiti region

February 1, 2010

JPL Airborne Radar Captures Its First Image of Post-Quake Haiti

JPL's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) captured this false-color composite image of the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the surrounding region.

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (center in blue) was briefed Jan. 20.

February 1, 2010

NASA's Aquarius Gets a Presidential Visit

Argentina's president got an up-close look at NASA's Aquarius instrument at the Argentine facility where it's being integrated with the SAC-D spacecraft.

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artist design for Climate Kids website

January 28, 2010

New NASA Web Site Launches Kids on Mission to Save Our Planet

Climate change can be a daunting topic for most adults to grasp, let alone kids.

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UAVSAR airborne radar will create 3-D maps of earthquake faults over wide swaths of Haiti

January 26, 2010

NASA Airborne Radar Studies Haiti Earthquake Faults

NASA has added a series of overflights of quake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to a previously scheduled three-week airborne radar campaign to Central America.

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WP-3D Orion aircraft

January 20, 2010

Study Links Spring Ozone Over North America With Emissions Abroad

A new study links ozone levels above western North America in springtime to pollution from abroad. JPL lidar and balloon data contributed to the findings.

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JPL senior research scientist Tim Liu

January 20, 2010

JPL Scientist Receives American Meteorological Society Honor

JPL research scientist Tim Liu has been honored by the American Meteorological Society for his space-based research on Earth's climate.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, area, Jan. 14, 2010

January 18, 2010

NASA's ASTER Instrument Observes Haiti Quake Aftermath

Landslides from the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake are clearly visible in a new simulated natural-color image from an instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft.

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JPL Oceanographer Josh Willis (center) receives the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren (left) and NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver (right

January 15, 2010

JPL Scientist Honored by President Obama With Early Career Award

JPL Oceanographer Josh Willis was among 100 outstanding early career scientists honored by President Obama Jan. 13 at the White House.

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti

January 14, 2010

Fault Responsible for Haiti Quake Slices Island's Topography

The fault responsible for the Jan. 12 magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti is visible in images created using NASA radar topography data acquired in 2000.

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Illustration of Earth core data

December 22, 2009

As the World Churns

NASA Research Confirms Complex Motions of Earth's Churning, Burning Liquid Core

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Artist's concept of AcrimSat

December 21, 2009

AcrimSat Celebrates 10 Years of Measuring the Sun's Energy

A JPL satellite launched 10 years ago this week continues to improve climate change predictions by tracking how much of the sun's energy reaches Earth.

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Guatemala's Lake Atitlan

December 17, 2009

New Results from a Terra-ific Decade in Orbit

At the age of 10, NASA's flagship Terra spacecraft continues to enrich our understanding of Earth's ocean, land and atmosphere.

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California's Mono Lake

December 17, 2009

California, Nevada Lakes Warming Rapidly

A new JPL study examines the impact recent variability in climate is having on the surface temperatures of large lakes in California and Nevada.

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Distribution of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide

December 15, 2009

NASA Outlines Recent Breakthroughs in Greenhouse Gas Research

Researchers studying carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas and a key driver of global climate change, now have a new tool at their disposal.

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The twin Grace satellites monitor tiny month-to-month changes in Earth's gravity.

December 14, 2009

NASA Data Reveal Major Groundwater Loss in California

NASA data show California's primary agricultural area and major mountain water source lost nearly enough groundwater since fall 2003 to fill America's largest reservoir.

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December 10, 2009

Climate Change Rains Down on JPL Undergrads

Two JPL college interns delving into California's rainfall records have uncovered some interesting findings that may be linked to climate change.

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View of the Earth as seen by Apollo 17

November 25, 2009

New Report Provides Update on Recent Climate Changes

JPL researcher Eric Rignot contributed to "The Copenhagen Diagnosis," a new report that synthesizes pertinent climate research over the past four years.

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The Big Thaw? NASA Satellites Detect Unexpected Ice Loss in East Antarctica

November 24, 2009

The Big Thaw? NASA Satellites Detect Unexpected Ice Loss in East Antarctica

A new study using NASA satellite data finds East Antarctica's ice sheet may not be as stable as previously thought.

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Artist's concept of QuikScat

November 23, 2009

NASA Assessing New Roles for Ailing QuikScat Satellite

NASA mission managers are assessing options for future operations of the venerable QuikScat satellite following the age-related failure of a mechanism that spins the scatterometer antenna.

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Satellite image of El Niño picking up steam

November 12, 2009

El Nino Picking Up Steam

The latest image from the U.S./European Jason-2 satellite finds a strong wave of warm water heading toward the Americas, fueling El Niño.

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November 10, 2009

2012 - A Scientific Reality Check

The manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Office shares with you the scientific realities surrounding the celestial happenings in the year 2012

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These side-by-side images show the wind speed, direction, and strength of tropical storm Ida.

November 9, 2009

A Late-Season Ida Eyes the Northern U.S. Gulf Coast

Ida, the third hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season and now a tropical storm, churns through the Gulf of Mexico in this pair of NASA satellite images taken Monday, Nov. 9.

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NASA Celebrates Earth Science Week

October 14, 2009

NASA Celebrates Earth Science Week

Just in time for Earth Science Week, NASA debuts new materials on global climate change to help you talk the talk about the climate of our Third Rock.

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Data from NASA's Aqua satellite

October 2, 2009

JPL Satellite Data on How Pollution Travels Highlighted in New Study

JPL satellite data on the global transport of carbon monoxide are highlighted in a new National Academy of Sciences report on long-range transport of air pollutants.

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artist concept of the Aquarius spacecraft over Earth

October 1, 2009

International Science Teams Selected for Aquarius/SAC-D Mission

NASA and Argentina's Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE), with support from the Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovative Production (MinCyT), have selected additional members of the international scientific investigating team for the Aquarius/Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas (SAC)-D mission, scheduled to launch in 2010.

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Shuttle Radar Topography Mission image of the Independent State of Samoa (left) and American Samoa (right)

October 1, 2009

Space Radar Reveals Topography of Tsunami Site

The topography of the Samoan Islands, hit by a devastating tsunami on Sept. 29, is highlighted in this pair of images from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.

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artist concept of global temperature change

September 29, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Global Warming

Skeptics cite short-term cooling trends as evidence Earth isn't warming. JPL scientist Josh Willis explains why understanding climate change requires a longer view.

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A satellite image of pools of warm water known as Kelvin waves

September 28, 2009

Floundering El Ninos Make for Fickle Forecasts

Scientists agree El Nino is back. But not all El Ninos are created equal, and there's less consensus about the future strength of this year's event.

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The Station fire, which started on Aug. 26, devoured brush in the foothills above JPL on Fri., Aug. 28

September 9, 2009

Spacecraft Talk Continued During JPL Wildfire Threat

As the flames of the raging brush fire dubbed the Station Fire threatened the northern edge of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Saturday, Aug. 29, the managers of NASA's Deep Space Network prepared for the worst.

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Image shows the extent of devastation from the Station fire burning near Los Angeles

September 8, 2009

New NASA Image Shows Extent of Station Fire Burn

The extent of devastation from the Station fire burning near Los Angeles is strikingly visible in this Sept. 6 image from NASA's Terra satellite.

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Animation of NASA AIRS data showing the concentration and transport of carbon monoxide in smoke from the California Station wildfire

September 3, 2009

Pollution from California Wildfires Spreads Across the United States

Carbon-monoxide-filled smoke from California's Station Fire spreads across the United States in this animation created from data from NASA's Aqua satellite.

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Three polar bears

September 1, 2009

Satellites and Submarines Give the Skinny on Sea Ice Thickness

A new study led by JPL scientist Ron Kwok combines recent NASA satellite data with submarine data to chronicle a nearly half- century history of Arctic ice thickness.

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Hurricane Jimena approaches the southern tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula

September 1, 2009

Powerful Hurricane Jimena Steams Toward Baja

The JPL-built Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of a then Category 4 Hurricane Jimena early on Tuesday, Sept. 1, as the storm approached the southern tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula.

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The station fire in La Canada/Flintridge

August 31, 2009

Smoke From Station Fire Blankets Southern California

A JPL instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this Aug. 30 image of smoke plumes from the Station and other wildfires burning throughout Southern California.

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This map shows changes in ocean bottom pressure measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace)

August 27, 2009

From the Moon to Marine Measurements

JPL scientists have applied a gravity calculation method first used on Apollo moon missions to measure pressure at the ocean bottom, shedding new light on our ocean and climate.

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August 20, 2009

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Mangroves are a vital but endangered natural resource in many coastal regions. A JPL researcher has completed the first full assessment of Africa's mangrove forests.

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Infrared image of Hurricane Bill, acquired from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

August 20, 2009

NASA's "A-Train" on Track With Hurricane Research

Whenever tropical cyclones are brewing, researchers around the world catch NASA's A-Train of Earth-monitoring satellites to learn more about them.

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Eyes on the Earth 3-D

August 19, 2009

Your World, In Sharper Focus

New features in NASA's "Eyes on the Earth 3-D" online experience allow users to view the latest data -- some less than a few hours old-- from NASA Earth satellites.

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depletion of groundwater in northwestern India between 2002 and 2008

August 12, 2009

Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India's Vanishing Water

Using NASA satellite data, scientists have found that groundwater levels in northern India have been declining by as much as 33 centimeters (1 foot) per year over the past decade.

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sensor like this is being placed inside and around the mouth of Mount St. Helens

August 7, 2009

NASA Goes Inside a Volcano, Monitors Activity

Scientists have placed high-tech "spiders" inside and around the mouth of Mount St. Helens, the site of the most active volcano in the United States.

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August 6, 2009

Data From Newest Ocean Satellite Ready for Their 'Close-up'

Fully calibrated, validated data from the NASA-French Space Agency Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite are now available, following a year of evaluation.

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Artist concept of Aura spacecraft

August 4, 2009

Aura Marks Five Years of Sky-High Atmosphere Research

Five years ago, NASA launched the Aura satellite to study changes in our life-sustaining atmosphere. Look at some of its greatest findings to date.

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false-color image of Earth, seen from moon

August 3, 2009

NASA's Moon Mapper Beholds Home

This false-color image of Earth was taken by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, one of two NASA instruments onboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

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Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, JPL Director Charles Elachi and Los Angeles DWP General Manager David Nahai

July 20, 2009

JPL, Caltech, City of Los Angeles to Team on Energy/Water Initiatives

The city of Los Angeles, the city's Dept. of Water and Power, and JPL and Caltech announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to establish Los Angeles as a powerhouse for demonstrated energy and water innovation.

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This is an artist’s concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory.

July 17, 2009

NASA Releases Orbiting Carbon Observatory Accident Summary

A NASA panel that investigated the unsuccessful Feb. 24 launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory has completed its report.

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artist concept of Aura

July 15, 2009

After Five Years, NASA's Aura Shines Brightly

Two JPL instruments that are helping improve our understanding of Earth's atmosphere and global change mark five years in orbit this week.

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Josh Willis

July 13, 2009

NASA JPL Scientist Receives Presidential Early Career Award

Josh Willis, an oceanographer at JPL, has been honored by President Barack Obama with the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

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measurements of winter sea ice thickness over Arctic Ocean, 2004 and 2008

July 7, 2009

New NASA Satellite Survey Reveals Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Thinning

Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record.

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This is a simulated view of ground movement following an earthquake

July 1, 2009

Earthquakes, From Above and Below: Live Chat

Earthquakes: they're among the most frightening and deadly of all natural disasters.

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Hurricane Gustav

July 1, 2009

JPL Blog: Five Things About Hurricanes

JPL scientist Bjorn Lambrigtsen, who goes on hurricane watch every June, lists five thoughts about hurricane research.

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World map

June 29, 2009

NASA, Japan Release Most Complete Topographic Map of Earth

NASA and Japan released a new digital topographic map of Earth Monday that covers more of our planet than ever before. The map was produced with detailed measurements from NASA's Terra spacecraft.

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June 29, 2009

NASA Wraps Up Icelandic Part of Arctic Ice Radar Mission

NASA's new airborne radars have capped off their Arctic expedition by measuring Iceland's topography and studying the flow of its glaciers and ice streams.

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QuikScat vinyl record illustrating its greatest hits

June 26, 2009

QuikScat's 'Greatest' Hits

NASA's wind-watching QuikScat satellite is 10 years old this month. Take a spin down memory lane and see some of the mission's greatest achievements to date.

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QuikScat image of a mature North Atlantic extratropical cyclone

June 25, 2009

QuikScat Finds Tempests Brewing In 'Ordinary' Storms

Among QuikScat's greatest achievements in its first decade of operations is its ability to spot hurricane-force winds within commonly occurring extratropical storms.

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Drought resistant plants on the top floors of JPL's new Flight Projects Center

June 24, 2009

New JPL Building Goes Green for the Gold

When residents of the top floors of JPL's new Flight Projects Center look out their windows down to the roof of the building's auditorium, they won't see black tar.

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Artist concept of QuikScat.

June 18, 2009

JPL Wind Watcher Blows Into its Second Decade

NASA's QuikScat satellite has reached a milestone--10 years of tracking wind speed and direction, and revolutionizing marine weather forecasts.

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UAVSAR image of the San Andreas fault in the San Francisco Bay area just west of  San Mateo and Foster City

June 17, 2009

Scientists Search for a Pulse in Skies Above Earthquake Country

A new NASA 3-D airborne radar, capable of seeing below the surface, will study earthquake faults in California.

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latest image of sea surface temperatures from NASA's Jason-1 satellite

June 1, 2009

Ocean Signals Provide Hurricane Season Hints

Hurricane season has now officially kicked off in the Atlantic and Pacific. NASA satellites are providing some hints of the coming season's activity.

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JPL's Aquarius instrument

May 29, 2009

Salt-Seeking Ocean Sensor to Ship South

JPL's Aquarius instrument is prepped for shipment to Argentina June 1. The mission will study how salt affects ocean circulation, the water cycle and climate.

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ocean surface current speeds evolving in time

May 20, 2009

Taking Cues from Cubes

JPL scientists are taking their cues from cubes to develop better models of ocean circulation and climate.

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Gulfstream G-III

May 14, 2009

Airborne Radar Continues Its Icy Expedition

NASA scientists continue to crisscross Greenland, mapping glaciers with their new airborne radars as their expedition hits full stride.

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image of Rio Grande headwaters region

May 13, 2009

Move Any Mountain

New research from JPL is making it easier to accurately track snowmelt -- water from snowpacks that melt in spring -- in mountainous regions.

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before and after images of soil moisture

May 11, 2009

NASA's QuikScat Sees Santa Barbara 'Quick Dry'

Hot weather just before the Santa Barbara, Calif., wildfire quickly dried up soil moisture from rain one day prior, contributing to the fire danger.

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Gulfstream G-III

May 6, 2009

Airborne Scientists Arrive in the Arctic

Hop aboard and fasten your seat belts as a NASA engineer takes you inside NASA's just-launched Arctic airborne radar expedition.

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Petermann Floating Tongue in north Greenland

April 30, 2009

Arctic Trek to 'Break the Ice' on New NASA Airborne Radars

NASA will 'break the ice' on a pair of new airborne radars that can help monitor climate change when a team of scientists embarks this week on a two-month expedition to the vast, frigid terrain of Greenland and Iceland.

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artist concept of Aquarius

April 29, 2009

Sea Salt Holds Clues to Climate Change

An upcoming NASA mission will track sea salinity, helping scientists monitor and predict climate change.

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artist concept of Aura spacecraft

April 23, 2009

On the JPL Blog: Good and Bad Ozone

There's good and bad ozone, explains JPL's Chris Boxe, and an instrument aboard NASA's Aura spacecraft is helping improve scientists' understanding of this important component in Earth's atmosphere.

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image of Earth

April 22, 2009

Expand Your 'Green' Horizons

Just in time for Earth Day, a new slide show describes things you may not know about our home planet.

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artistic view of Earth

April 21, 2009

NASA Celebrates Earth Day: April 22, 2009

Join NASA and nearly 7 billion of your closest friends in this annual celebration of our planet that marks the importance of being good environmental stewards.

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This image from Apollo 17, and others like it, captured whole hemispheres of water, land and weather.

April 14, 2009

Online Poll for NASA's Greatest Hits for Earth Begins Today

NASA is inviting the public to vote online for the most important contribution the space agency has made to exploring Earth and improving the way we live on our home planet.

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cyclone Nargis

April 13, 2009

NASA Test May Help Forecast Deadly Cyclones

A new NASA-developed approach for modeling tropical cyclones that uses JPL satellite data shows promise for better forecasting the world's deadliest storms.

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Snow and Ice Data Center show that the Arctic's sea ice cover is continuing to shrink, and is thinning as well.

April 6, 2009

Satellites Show Arctic Literally on Thin Ice

The latest Arctic sea ice data from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the decade-long trend of shrinking sea ice cover is continuing.

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sea surface temperature

April 2, 2009

On the JPL Blog: Oceans Up Close - From Space

JPL oceanographer Jorge Vazquez explains how satellites help monitor changes in Earth's oceans.

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Fargo, North Dakota

April 1, 2009

Radar Data Show Role of Topography in Fargo Floods

The Red River in Fargo, North Dakota, flows through flat troughs carved by ancient glaciers, contributing to its flooding history, as seen in this February 2000 image.

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Chapman glacier

March 30, 2009

NASA Continues to Advance International Polar Year Science

Although the International Polar Year officially came to a close in February, NASA is continuing to push the frontiers of polar science from space, the air and the surface of ice.

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March 18, 2009

NASA Celebrates Sun-Earth Day With Illuminating Webcast

NASA scientists will reveal new information and images about our sun and its influence on Earth and the solar system for Sun-Earth Day, recognized each year in conjunction with the spring equinox.

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orbit of 2009 FH, Mar. 17, 2009

March 17, 2009

Asteroid to Fly By Earth Wednesday

A small asteroid will fly past Earth early tomorrow morning (Wed., March 18).

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Artwork from

March 12, 2009

NASA Launches 'Eyes on the Earth 3-D'

New interactive features on NASA's Global Climate Change Web site give the public the opportunity to "fly along" with NASA's fleet of Earth science missions and observe Earth from a global perspective in an immersive, 3-D environment.

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March 5, 2009

Turning the Tide to Energy

NASA research into powering robotic underwater vehicles could some day help convert ocean energy into electrical energy on a much larger scale.

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Three-dimensional perspective view of vertical displacement of the land surface south of Bam, Iran during the three and a half years after the December 26, 2003 earthquake

March 4, 2009

Scientists Expose 'Buried' Fault That Caused Deadly 2003 Quake

Scientists have observed, for the first time, the healing of subtle surface scars from an earthquake that occurred on a "buried" fault several miles below the surface.

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artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory

March 3, 2009

NASA Announces Mishap Board Members for OCO Investigation

NASA has selected the members of the board that will investigate the unsuccessful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory on Feb. 24.

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smoke stacks

March 3, 2009

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Carbon Dioxide

Test your 'green' IQ and find out why carbon dioxide is so important to climate stability and our quality of life.

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Cyclone Nargis

February 26, 2009

NASA Study Finds 'Pre-Existing Condition' Fueled Killer Cyclone

A "pre-existing condition" in the North Indian Ocean stoked the sudden intensification of last year's Tropical Cyclone Nargis just before its devastating landfall in Burma, according to a new NASA/university study.

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artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory

February 25, 2009

NASA Names Chairman for Orbiting Carbon Observatory Investigation

NASA's Rick Obenschain, deputy director at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will lead the investigation board for the unsuccessful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory on Feb. 24.

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fire plume statistics

February 25, 2009

The Cutting Edge: Satellite Data Provide New View of Smoke From Wildfires

Scientists have a new tool for understanding how events in one region, such as wildfires, can affect air quality in areas far away.

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artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory

February 24, 2009

NASA's Launch of Carbon-Seeking Satellite Is Unsuccessful

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 1:55 a.m. PST liftoff Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory

February 24, 2009

On the JPL Blog: Thoughts After Launch

JPL's Randy Pollock reflects on the unsuccessful launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory on launch pad

February 23, 2009

On the JPL Blog: Counting Carbon

JPL engineer Randy Pollock explains how NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory will help seek out carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

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fires over Australia

February 20, 2009

JPL Imagery Captures Fires in the Land 'Down Under'

Satellite images of Australia's severe wildfires show the global transport of their pollution, extent of the devastation and the fires still burning as of Feb. 17.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory on launch pad

February 20, 2009

Five Things About the Orbiting Carbon Observatory

Here are some quick facts about the Earth-orbiting satellite, scheduled to launch on Feb. 24, 2009.

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Map of the cumulative tracks of all tropical cyclones during the 1985-2005 time period.

February 19, 2009

For NASA's Hurricane Web Page, It's Always Hurricane Season

Many of JPL's Earth missions contribute data to NASA's Hurricane/Tropical Cyclone Web page, which monitors storms year-round.

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map showing sources and storage of carbon dioxide

February 19, 2009

Orbiting Carbon Observatory Aims To Boost Carbon Management Options

As the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere continues to rise, so also do efforts to find solutions to this global problem.

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artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory

February 10, 2009

NASA Mission Meets the Carbon Dioxide Measurement Challenge

The challenge: very precisely measure carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere all over the world, especially near Earth's surface.

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Moustafa Chahine

February 6, 2009

NASA-JPL Scientist Elected to National Academy of Engineering

In one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to engineers and scientists, the National Academy of Engineering has elected Moustafa T. Chahine, a senior research scientist at JPL as a member of its organization.

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Jason 1 and OSTM/Jason 2

February 6, 2009

Ocean-Observing Satellites Begin Tandem Tango

Two NASA oceanography satellites have begun a long-distance orbital dance that will double the amount of data on ocean features that was previously available.

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JPL's Chip Miller

February 5, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Carbon: A JPL Live Chat

A NASA satellite set to launch this month will soon be hot on the trail of the elusive greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced cause of global warming. JPL's Chip Miller will take your questions.

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chart showing trends of carbon dioxide

February 5, 2009

NASA Carbon Mission to Improve Future Climate Change Predictions

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory, launching this month, will provide the initial steps in the journey of measuring carbon dioxide from space.

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This is an artist’s concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory.

January 29, 2009

NASA Mission to Help Unravel Key Carbon, Climate Mysteries

NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide is in final preparations for a Feb. 23 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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map of Earth

January 23, 2009

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory and the Mystery of the Missing Sinks

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory will help scientists pinpoint what happens to unaccounted carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

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artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory

January 13, 2009

The Human Factor: Understanding the Sources of Rising Carbon Dioxide

Every time we get into our car, turn the key and drive somewhere, we burn gasoline, a fossil fuel derived from crude oil.

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Picture of Sossina Haile and a fuel cell

December 23, 2008

Researcher hopes to put fuel cells on the fast track

The slow evolution of clean-energy solutions is about to kick into high gear, if Sossina M. Haile has anything to say about it.

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Category 5 hurricane Katrina

December 19, 2008

NASA Study Links Severe Storm Increases, Global Warming

The frequency of extremely high clouds in Earth's tropics -- the type associated with severe storms and rainfall -- is increasing as a result of global warming, according to a study by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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artist concept of OSTM/Jason-2 in space

December 16, 2008

New Oceanography Mission Data Now Available

Oceanography data that will help scientists around the world better understand climate change are now available.

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montage showing rose and Earth

December 10, 2008

What's in a Name?

Whether referred to as global warming or climate change, the consequences of the changes currently being observed in Earth's climate system could be considerable.

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Earth data

December 9, 2008

Oscillation Rules as the Pacific Cools

The latest image of sea-surface height measurements from the U.S./French Jason-1 oceanography satellite shows the Pacific Ocean remains locked in a strong, cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a large, long-lived pattern of climate variability in the Pacific associated with a general cooling of Pacific waters.

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Sumatra plate boundary

December 3, 2008

New Study Finds Sumatra Still at High Risk for Big Quake

Two large quakes beneath Sumatra in 2007 did not adequately relieve built-up stress, according to a study that includes a JPL researcher and radar data.

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artist concept of QuikScat

November 18, 2008

NASA's Quikscat Ocean-Observing Satellite Mission Honored

The Earth-observing satellite has been recognized for helping scientists better understand our home planet.

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Byrd Glacier, Antarctica

November 17, 2008

JPL Instrument Observes Changes in Big Antarctic Glacier

JPL satellite data have helped scientists crack the case of a speeding Antarctic glacier. Understanding glacial flow processes can improve sea level forecasts.

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distribution of atmospheric water vapor

November 17, 2008

Water Vapor Doubles Carbon Dioxide's Warming Effect

A JPL instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite has helped researchers estimate more precisely than ever before the heat-trapping effect of water in the air.

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near-Earth asteroid

November 13, 2008

Sizing Up Near-Earth Asteroids

JPL scientist Amy Mainzer talks about our nearest neighbors and how the upcoming Wide-field Infrared Explorer mission will observe them.

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Artist concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory

November 12, 2008

NASA's Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Sleuth Arrives at Launch Site

NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin final launch preparations.

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artist concept of Chandrayaan-1

November 10, 2008

JPL Instrument Circling Moon

JPL's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument is aboard India's moon voyage, Chandrayaan-1. A Sat., Nov. 8 maneuver placed the craft in orbit around the moon.

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Malaspina Glacier

November 6, 2008

JPL Gravity Satellites Gauge Alaskan Glacier Ice Loss

A new study makes the most precise measurements yet of ice loss in Gulf of Alaska mountain glaciers, a region contributing substantially to sea level rise.

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artist concept of Chandrayaan-1

November 4, 2008

JPL Instrument Moon-Bound

JPL's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument is aboard India’s maiden moon voyage, Chandrayaan-1. A maneuver performed today (Tues., Nov. 4) placed the Indian spacecraft on a path toward the moon.

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artist concept of OSTM/Jason-2 in space

October 31, 2008

Sea Level Monitoring Enters New Era

In a major milestone leading to full service, satellite operations for the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 have been handed over to NOAA.

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portion of San Andreas fault

October 22, 2008

Shakeout for Southern California

Geophysicist Maggi Glasscoe previews an upcoming earthquake preparedness drill in southern California.

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Mauna Loa, image credit: USGS/T.J. Casadevall

October 21, 2008

Scientists Seek Climate Clues From Atop Hawaiian Volcano

JPL scientists, satellites and ground-based instruments are contributing to a month-long, university-led experiment on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano to track water vapor in Earth's sub-tropics, which affects global temperatures, and rainfall in North America.

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bleached coral reefs

October 21, 2008

Climate Change Seeps Into the Sea

Scientists hope a new NASA mission will help them better understand how Earth's ocean swallows the bitter pill known as carbon dioxide.

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large scale patterns of carbon dioxide concentrations that are transported around the Earth by the general circulation of the atmosphere

October 9, 2008

NASA Maps Shed Light on Carbon Dioxide's Global Nature

A NASA/university team has published the first global satellite maps of the key greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in Earth's mid-troposphere, an area about 8 kilometers, or 5 miles, above Earth.

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2008 TC3

October 6, 2008

Small Asteroid to Light Up Sky Over Africa

An asteroid measuring several feet in diameter is expected to enter the atmosphere over northern Sudan before dawn Tuesday, setting off a potentially brilliant natural fireworks display.

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artist concept of the sun and California

September 23, 2008

Cool Summer, Warm Future for Southern California

Summer 2008 goes down in the books as cooler than normal but don't expect this summer's respite from the heat to continue.

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September 19, 2008

Summer as a Rocket Scientist

Six college students on a fellowship program spent their summer at JPL working on a mission that will one day image Earth using technology that is like a "camera on steroids."

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earthquake destruction

September 17, 2008

Upcoming Lecture: Earthquakes in Southern California

Local earthquake scientist Lucy Jones will assess earthquake risks and discuss ongoing steps to prepare for major quakes. The lecture date has changed to Sept. 25 and 26.

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Hurricane Ike

September 13, 2008

Ike Roared Ashore in Texas

Hurricane Ike is seen in infrared by NASA's Aqua spacecraft about an hour after making landfall Sept. 13 in Galveston, Texas.

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Hurricane Ike

September 12, 2008

Ike Begins Battering Gulf Coast

A monstrously large, extremely dangerous Hurricane Ike is already affecting the Gulf Coast. NASA's Aqua spacecraft took this infrared image early Sept. 12.

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Arctic sea ice

September 11, 2008

QuikScat Maps Historic Sea Ice Changes

QuikScat has detected a recent major melting of sea ice (depicted in red and magenta) that is clearing Arctic sea routes.

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Hurricane Ike

September 11, 2008

Ike Advances on the Gulf Coast

A very large and growing Hurricane Ike steams toward the Texas coast in this Sept. 11 afternoon infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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Hurricane Gustav

September 5, 2008

September Peak Month for Atlantic Hurricanes

Why is September the peak month for hurricanes? NASA oceanographer Bill Patzert provides some insights.

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Hurricane Hanna

September 5, 2008

East Coast Braces for Hanna's Arrival

Purples denote Tropical Storm Hanna's strongest winds (left image) and highest, coldest cloud tops (right image) in these Sept. 5 views from NASA's QuikScat and Aqua spacecraft, respectively.

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Hurricane Ike

September 4, 2008

Unlikable Ike Looms Large

Hurricane Ike marches west in this Sept. 4 early morning infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft. Ike is a compact but powerful storm with maximum sustained winds of 217 kilometers (135 miles) per hour.

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Tropical Storm Hanna, left, and Josephine

September 3, 2008

Hanna and Her Sister

While Tropical Storm Hanna moves toward the Bahamas, in the eastern Atlantic, her younger sister, Tropical Storm Josephine, begins her westward trek in these Sept. 3 infrared images from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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Tropical Storm Hanna

September 2, 2008

Hanna Goes to Haiti

Tropical Storm Hanna follows in Gustav's footsteps, affecting Haiti and the Dominican Republic in this Sept. 2 afternoon infrared image from NASA's Aqua satellite. Hanna is expected to become a hurricane tomorrow and may affect the entire U.S. eastern seaboard by this weekend.

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Hurricane Gustav

September 1, 2008

Gustav Grinds Ashore

This Sept. 1 early morning infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft shows Hurricane Gustav about six hours before the Category Two storm made landfall in Louisiana.

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Hurricane Gustav

August 31, 2008

Gustav Churns Toward Northern Gulf Coast

Major Hurricane Gustav continues its northward churn through the Gulf of Mexico in this early morning Aug. 31 infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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Infrared view of Hurricane Gustav

August 30, 2008

Gustav Grows, Sets Its Eye on Cuba, Gulf

The clearly defined eye of powerful Hurricane Gustav prepares to strike western Cuba in this Aug. 30 afternoon infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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Hurricane Gustav

August 29, 2008

Gustav Strengthens in the Caribbean

A swirl of purple marks the high, cold clouds atop Hurricane Gustav in this Aug. 29 afternoon image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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Hurricane Gustav

August 28, 2008

Will Gustav Dodge the Gulf's Warmest Waters?

Tropical Storm Gustav's path through the warm ocean circulation features of the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, shown on this Aug. 28 map created with data from NASA's Jason-1 satellite, may play a significant role in its potential intensification.

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August 25, 2008

Fay's Rains Still Drenching the Southeast

While now a tropical depression, Fay continues spreading heavy rain and winds over a wide swath of the U.S. Southeast, as seen in this Aug. 25 afternoon infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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Tropical Storm Fay

August 22, 2008

Fay Refuses To Fade

Tropical Storm Fay, seen in this Aug. 22 afternoon infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft, continues its slow westward trek across northern Florida, heading for the Gulf of Mexico and a probable fourth U.S. landfall.

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Tropical Storm Fay

August 20, 2008

Fay Stalls Over Florida

Tropical Storm Fay, seen in this Aug. 20 afternoon infrared image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft, continues to dump torrential rain over Florida.

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Tropical Storm Fay

August 19, 2008

Fay Feeds on Florida

Tropical Storm Fay engulfs Southern and Central Florida in this QuikScat image taken Tues., Aug. 19, at 7:33 a.m. EDT.

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tropical storm Fay

August 18, 2008

Floridians Prep for Fay's Fury

Tropical Storm Fay advances on Florida in this Aug. 18 NASA Aqua infrared image. Fay is expected to make landfall Tuesday.

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map of ocean showing sea level change

August 13, 2008

Portrait of a Warming Ocean, Rising Sea Levels

Global sea level is on the rise, but the rise isn't uniform across the ocean. In this image, white and red show where sea level has risen the most; purple and blue where it has dropped.

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Tropical Storm Edouard

August 5, 2008

Edouard Starts Its Trek Deep In the Heart of Texas

Edouard, now a tropical depression, has sloshed its way north of Houston on a trek that will take it "deep in the heart of Texas." This infrared NASA Aqua image was taken at 12:17 PDT August 5.

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Tropical Storm Edouard

August 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard Steams Toward Texas/Louisiana

Fed by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, Tropical Storm Edouard gathers strength in the northern Gulf, as seen in this infrared image taken early August 4 from NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

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map of sea-level anomalies from July 4 to July 14, 2008

July 30, 2008

Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 Begins Mapping Oceans

Less than a month after launch, the new NASA-French space agency Jason 2 oceanography satellite has produced its first complete maps.

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map showing real and potential earthquakes

July 30, 2008

Quake Demonstrates Ongoing Forecasting Experiment

This week's magnitude 5.4 earthquake in Southern California marks another demonstration of an ongoing experiment by a NASA/Department of Energy-funded research team to forecast the location of large earthquakes in California.

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Dolly becomes tropical storm

July 24, 2008

Dolly Ready to Say So Long, Dearie to Texas, Hello to Mexico

A pair of infrared images from JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder show the progression of now Tropical Storm Dolly from Wednesday afternoon, local time, to early Thursday morning, July 24. Dolly is likely to cause widespread flooding.

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Hurricane Dolly

July 23, 2008

Dolly Starts Her Whirl Through South Texas

NASA's QuikScat satellite captured Hurricane Dolly in her Tuesday clothes last night at 7:24 p.m. Central Time.

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fires in Yolla Bolly Range Mountains, July 6, 2008

July 22, 2008

New NASA 'Fire and Smoke' Web Page Shows Latest Fire Views, Research

NASA satellites, aircraft and research know-how, including resources and expertise from JPL, comprise a wealth of cutting-edge tools to help firefighters battle wildfires.

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Tropical Storm Dolly

July 22, 2008

Texas Prepares To Say Hello To Dolly

A still growing Tropical Storm Dolly bridges the gap of the Gulf of Mexico in this July 22 infrared image from NASA's Aqua satellite. Dolly is expected to make landfall Wednesday as a hurricane.

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map showing height of a tsunami in the open ocean

July 16, 2008

Ocean Surface a Boon for Extreme Event Forecasts, Warnings

For humans in the path of destructive hurricanes and tsunamis, an accurate warning of the pending event is critical for damage control and survival.

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wind power density over oceans in Northern hemisphere

July 9, 2008

Ocean Wind Power Maps Reveal Possible Wind Energy Sources

Efforts to harness the energy potential of Earth's ocean winds could soon gain an important new tool: global satellite maps from NASA.

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July 8, 2008

NASA Mission to be Crystal Ball into Oceans' Future, Mirror to the Past

Imagine the lives that could be saved from flash floods, and the homes that could be spared from the effects of coastline erosion if only scientists could more accurately predict the dynamics of Earth's often unpredictable oceans.

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Shell Oil platform

July 1, 2008

New Mission Helps Offshore Industries Dodge Swirling Waters

Hurricanes aren't the only hazards spinning up in the Gulf of Mexico -- they have a liquid counterpart in the waters below called ocean eddies.

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fires near Big Sur, Calif.

June 30, 2008

Smoke Shrouds Idyllic California Coast

Fires near the scenic California resort of Big Sur burn unchecked in this thermal infrared NASA/JPL satellite image taken Sunday, June 29.

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space-based mapping of ocean

June 25, 2008

NASA Mission to Answer Lingering Questions From Deep Blue Sea

Ocean tides and currents across the globe still hold within their watery grasp the key to unanswered questions about our planet.

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ozone loss indicated in tropical Atlantic

June 25, 2008

Study Zooms In on Ozone Loss

A JPL scientist co-authored a study in tomorrow's (June 26) Nature, finding that sea spray and emissions from microscopic ocean plants are destroying ozone in the lower atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean at a rate 50 percent higher than predicted by climate models.

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The new Global Climate Change website

June 23, 2008

New NASA Website Focuses on Global Climate Change

A new website from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is devoted to educating the public about Earth's changing climate.

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launch of OSTM/Jason 2

June 20, 2008

NASA Launches Ocean Satellite to Keep a Weather, Climate Eye Open

A new oceanography satellite launched on a globe-circling voyage to continue charting sea level, a vital indicator of global climate change.

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ocean waves

June 16, 2008

NASA Mission Poised to Help Us Gauge Our Rising Seas

The newest ocean-observing satellite takes flight this week to make precise measurements of rising global sea level.

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Artist's concept of Jason-1 ground track

June 13, 2008

As Jason 2 Awaits Launch, Jason 1 Marks a Milestone

With final preparations underway for next week's launch of NASA's Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2, its predecessor marks its 30,000th trip around the world to monitor Earth's ocean.

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new large landslide dams and lakes caused by earthquake

June 6, 2008

JPL Instrument Surveys Quake Area

This image, acquired on June 1, 2008, shows two of the new large landslide dams and lakes, which resulted from the Sichuan earthquake in China, May 12, 2008.

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artist concept of satellites above Earth

May 27, 2008

NASA Satellites Illuminate Pollution's Influence on Clouds, Climate

Using data from instruments in a constellation of NASA satellites, scientists have discovered that they can see deep inside of clouds.

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May 22, 2008

Conference to Feature JPL Research on Earth's Air and Water

JPL scientists will discuss such topics as air quality and Earth's water cycle at next week's American Geophysical Union meeting in Florida.

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artist concept of OSTM/Jason-2 in space

May 20, 2008

Joint NASA-French Satellite to Track Trends in Sea Level, Climate

A satellite that will help scientists better monitor and understand rises in global sea level is undergoing final preparations for a June 15 launch.

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Tropical Cyclone Nargis

May 5, 2008

Tropical Cyclone Nargis Rakes Burma

The tropical cyclone that devastated Burma over the weekend is seen in this infrared image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder. Areas in purple represent the high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Nargis.

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Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 spacecraft arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

April 30, 2008

Ocean Survey Spacecraft Arrives at Launch Site

A spacecraft designed to continue a long-term survey of Earth's oceans has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., for final launch preparations.

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montage of global views of Earth

April 22, 2008

JPL Earth Scientists Reflect on Earth Day

In commemoration of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, we asked JPL Earth scientists to reflect on the event and what it means to them.

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Jason data showing La Nina

April 21, 2008

Larger Pacific Climate Event Helps Current La Nina Linger

Boosted by the influence of a larger climate event in the Pacific, one of the strongest La Ninas in many years is slowly weakening but continues to blanket the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

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spacecraft being loaded into container

April 18, 2008

Ocean-Monitoring Satellite One Step Closer to Launch

The Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite, which will study Earth's weather and climate, is packed for its journey to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Launch is set for June 15.

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map of high winds in Gulf Stream

April 17, 2008

New Atlases Use NASA Data to Chart Ocean Winds

Researchers have compiled years of data from NASA's QuikScat satellite to create three new atlases of ocean wind patterns around the globe.

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NASA plane

April 1, 2008

NASA Launches Airborne Study of Arctic Atmosphere, Air Pollution

This month, NASA begins the most extensive field campaign ever to investigate the chemistry of the Arctic's lower atmosphere.

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ocean waves

March 7, 2008

Scientists Solve 50-Year-Old Mystery of Oceans' Seismic 'Buzz'

Scientists have solved a 50-year-old mystery by pinpointing a place in the North Atlantic where the energy of crashing ocean waves creates a continuous seismic "buzz."

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Earth and Moon

March 6, 2008

Home Planet Viewed From Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this view of Earth and the moon with its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera. Earth was 142 million kilometers (88 million miles) from Mars at the time.

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Cloudsat data of tornado outbreak

February 8, 2008

CloudSat Profiles Tornado Outbreak

The intense thunderstorms responsible for this week's deadly outbreak of tornadoes in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas were imaged by the Cloud Profiling Radar on NASA's CloudSat satellite on February 5.

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Airs hurricane data

February 8, 2008

Through the Eye of the Storm: A Look Back at 2007's Hurricane Season

NASA satellites were on the watch as the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season unfolded.

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Australian rowers after crossing Tasman Sea

February 8, 2008

Ocean-Observing Satellites Help Break Current Records

Two different teams of ocean adventurers set records this winter crossing the Tasman Sea. Both used maps of ocean currents made possible by ocean-observing satellites.

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Mississippi river delta

January 31, 2008

NASA Finds Glacial Sediments Adding to Louisiana Coast's Sinking

A study by NASA and Louisiana State University scientists finds that sediments deposited into the Mississippi River delta thousands of years ago when North America's glaciers retreated are contributing to the ongoing sinking of Louisiana's coastline.

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Antarctica showing ice loss between 1996 and 2005

January 23, 2008

Antarctic Ice Loss Speeds Up, Nearly Matches Greenland Loss

Ice loss in Antarctica increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years due to a speed-up in the flow of its glaciers and is now nearly as great as that observed in Greenland, according to a new, comprehensive study by NASA and university scientists.

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GPS data showing December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

January 17, 2008

NASA Tsunami Research Makes Waves in Science Community

A wave of new NASA research on tsunamis may improve existing warning systems and proposes a potentially groundbreaking new theory.

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JPL's Rose Parade float

December 27, 2007

Countdown to Launch of Jet Propulsion Lab Rose Parade Float

Volunteers from JPL are helping with the finishing touches on the Lab's Rose Parade float saluting 50 Years of Space Exploration.

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Nobel medal

December 17, 2007

NASA Climate Change 'Peacemakers' Aided Nobel Effort

NASA's Earth scientists watched with pride when the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and a United Nations panel that spent two decades assessing Earth's changing climate.

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CloudSat data showing precipitation

December 12, 2007

NASA Satellites Help Lift Cloud of Uncertainty on Climate Change

New findings from NASA's CloudSat and other Earth observing satellites offer important insights into this year's record reduction of Arctic sea ice, global rainfall patterns and the effects of pollution on clouds.

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model of Earth gravity

December 11, 2007

Amazing Grace Team Receives Prestigious Award

A mission that has changed the way we study Earth's gravitational forces has been recognized with a prestigious award for helping scientists better understand our home planet.

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artist concept of airplane using synthetic aperture radar to detect changes in Earth's surface

November 27, 2007

NASA Evaluates Compact Synthetic Aperture Radar

NASA is evaluating a compact L-Band synthetic aperture radar for potential use on unmanned aircraft.

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Scientists used measurements from Arctic Bottom Pressure Recorders

November 13, 2007

NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

PASADENA, Calif. -- A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales.

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Bubbly Little Star

November 8, 2007

Bubbly Little Star

In this processed Spitzer Space Telescope image, baby star HH 46/47 can be seen blowing two massive "bubbles." The star is 1,140 light-years away from Earth.

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La Niña Persists

November 7, 2007

La Nina Persists

The tropical Pacific Ocean remains in the grips of a cool La Nina, as shown by new data of sea-level heights from mid-October of 2007, collected by the U.S-French Jason altimetric satellite

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two views of Hurricane Ileana

November 1, 2007

NASA Data May Help Improve Estimates of a Hurricane's Punch

As Tropical Storm Noel churns off Florida's east coast, NASA and university scientists have announced they have developed a promising new technique for estimating the intensity of tropical cyclones from space.

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smoke from multiple wildfires burning in Southern California

October 23, 2007

NASA Views Southern California Fires and Winds

With a click of the mouse button, the public can see NASA views from space, including some at Google Earth, of Southern California's raging wildfires and the ferocious Santa Ana winds that are driving them.

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montage showing news coverage of Sputnik and launches of Sputnik and Explorer 1

October 2, 2007

First Contact: Sputnik

To say the least, it was incredible. The news relayed by the voice on the other end of the phone line hit the president of the San Gabriel Valley Radio Club like a blow to the head.

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Sunset over the Arctic

October 1, 2007

NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low in 2007

A new NASA-led study found a 23-percent loss in the extent of the Arctic's thick, year-round sea ice cover during the past two winters.

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Latitudinal distribution of averaged phosgene volume

September 18, 2007

Scientists Conduct First Global Study of a Poisonous Gas in Earth's Atmosphere

A JPL scientist has participated in the first-ever study of the global distribution of phosgene, a poisonous gas present in small quantities in Earth's atmosphere. The information will be useful for assessing progress in controlling chemicals that destroy Earth's protective ozone layer.

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diagram of ozone

September 13, 2007

NASA Watches Ozone Layer Amid Montreal Protocol's Success

NASA scientists will join researchers from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to reduce the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer, Sept. 23 to 26 in Athens, Greece.

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Hurricane Henriette

September 5, 2007

Henriette Set for Second Mexican Landfall

Hurricane Henriette sloshes into the Gulf of California's warm waters in this Sept. 5 image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite. The Category One storm is forecast to make landfall along the coast of mainland Mexico later today, and could bring some rain to the U.S. Southwest.

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September 4, 2007

Felix the Cat. (5) Claws at Central America

Hurricane Felix scratches at Nicaragua's coast in this Sept. 4 image from NASA's QuikScat satellite. The image was acquired just 45 minutes before Felix hissed ashore as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 258 kilometers (160 miles) per hour. White arrows showing wind direction are superimposed on color images of wind speed.

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Tropical storm Dean

August 22, 2007

Dean Moves Over Central Mexico

Tropical storm Dean moves into southern and central Mexico in this August 22 image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite. While the storm is beginning to disintegrate, Dean is still expected to produce heavy rainfall.

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Hurricane Dean

August 21, 2007

A Weakened Dean Heads Into the Gulf of Mexico

After barrelling through Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, a weakened Hurricane Dean emerges into the Gulf of Mexico in this latest image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite. Dean is expected to regain some strength before making landfall again in central Mexico.

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Hurricane Dean

August 20, 2007

A Mean Dean Takes Aim on Mexico's Yucatan

Hurricane Dean, expected to become a Category Five storm with maximum sustained winds of at least 135 knots (155 miles per hour), steams toward a projected landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. In this Aug. 20 NASA QuikScat image, white arrows showing wind direction are superimposed on color images of wind speed.

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infrared view of Tropical Storm Erin

August 15, 2007

Erin Rarin' To Soak Texas

Tropical Storm Erin lurks off the Texas coast in this August 15 image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite. Erin is forecast to drench the Texas coast with three to five inches of rain.

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Zaca fire

August 8, 2007

California Fire Seen by JPL Instrument

The Zaca fire continued to burn in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara, Calif., as seen in this image taken on Aug. 7. The view was captured by a JPL instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.

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Lake Victoria, image credit Curt Stager

August 6, 2007

New Study Links Sunspot Activity, Heavy Rains in East Africa

A new study co-authored by a JPL researcher shows that sunspot cycles can be used to predict heavy rains, flooding and subsequent outbreaks of disease in East Africa.

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ASTER view of city

July 25, 2007

New Tool Uses NASA Data To Show Changes in Earth's Landscape

A new tool from the U.S. Geological Survey uses NASA satellite data to depict changes to Earth's surface over the past 30 years.

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map of carbon monoxide

July 25, 2007

New NASA AIRS Data to Aid Weather, Climate Research

Newly available data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua spacecraft are providing better tools for climate scientists.

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Lexington and Concord, Mass

July 2, 2007

Satellite Spots Location of Revere's Historic Ride

Lexington and Concord, Mass., two cities that played key roles in America's Revolutionary War, are imaged in this image by a JPL instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

June 28, 2007

JPL Instrument Images Lake Tahoe Fire

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer captured the Lake Tahoe, Calif., fire from space June 27. Burned areas are in gray.

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

June 27, 2007

NASA To Study Underexplored Earth Atmospheric Region

JPL will participate in a NASA summer study of a largely unexplored region of Earth's atmosphere that has implications for climate change and atmospheric ozone.

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June 11, 2007

NASA Scientist Finds a New Way to the Center of the Earth

A new NASA study proposes a novel technique to pinpoint more precisely the location of Earth's center of mass and how it moves through space.

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tropical cyclone Gonu

June 7, 2007

Rare Cyclone Sweeps Arabian Sea

NASA's QuikScat captured Tropical Cyclone Gonu, the strongest such storm to hit the Arabian Peninsula since record-keeping began in 1945. White arrows show wind direction; colors denote wind speeds.

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St. Louis, Missouri

May 31, 2007

Satellites Track Human Exposure to Fine Particle Pollution

The unique abilities of NASA instruments to track tiny particles of air pollution may aid public health efforts.

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May 23, 2007

JPL Instrument Maps Carbon Dioxide From Space

JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft is being used by scientists to observe atmospheric carbon dioxide. This global map shows concentrations of carbon dioxide in the troposphere (about eight kilometers, or five miles, above Earth).

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Open House banner

May 18, 2007

JPL Welcomes Public to Open House This Weekend

Robots, spacecraft models, 3D-images and more. Take a journey to the planets and beyond at JPL's Open House, Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scientists and engineers will be here to answer your questions. Admission is free.

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NASA's QuikScat satellite detected extensive areas of snowmelt, shown in yellow and red, in west Antarctica in January 2005.

May 15, 2007

NASA Finds Vast Regions of West Antarctica Melted in Recent Past

A team of NASA and university scientists has found clear evidence that extensive areas of snow melted in west Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures.

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NASA Explorer School students work with NASA scientists, engineers and educators to solve problems.

May 14, 2007

Cudahy, Glendale Schools Join Unique Partnership With NASA

NASA has announced that Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, Glendale, Calif.; and Ellen Ochoa Learning Center, Cudahy, Calif., have been selected to begin a special three-year partnership with the space agency as NASA Explorer Schools.

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May 10, 2007

CloudSat Tracks Atlantic Hurricane Season's First Named 2007 Storm

Two NASA satellites flew over the center of then Subtropical Storm Andrea Wednesday, May 9, off the U.S. southeast coast. In the CloudSat image (bottom), brighter colors indicate more water in the clouds.

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artist concept of Aqua satellite

May 4, 2007

Weather and Climate Watcher Celebrates Five Years in Orbit

JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft has significantly advanced weather forecasting and is measuring many of the key atmospheric gases that affect our climate.

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two volcanos erupting

May 2, 2007

Volcanic Eruptions in Kamchatka

One of the most volcanically active regions of the world is the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia, Russia. JPL's Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radioneter (Aster) recently captured these images of two volcanoes, erupting simultaneously, 80 kilometers (50 miles) apart.

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artist concept of CloudSat view of cloud paritcles

April 30, 2007

CloudSat Campaign Helps Unravel Polar Climate Secrets

Researchers have confirmed what NASA's CloudSat and Calipso satellites are telling us about how changes in clouds can affect climate in Earth's coldest regions.

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artist concept of CloudSat

April 26, 2007

Forecast Sunny as Cloud Mission Celebrates One Year

A year after launch, NASA's CloudSat mission is providing insights into how clouds form, evolve and affect our weather, climate and freshwater supply.

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GPS station

April 5, 2007

Heavy '04-'05 Rains Caused San Gabriel Valley to Expand

Using high-tech earthquake monitoring instruments, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey and other partners found LA's San Gabriel Valley rose and bulged outward following near-record rains in 2004-05.

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NOAA satellite image of Dec. 5, 2006, solar flare

April 4, 2007

Sun Activity Affects Global Positioning System

An intense radio burst from an unprecedented solar eruption last December had widespread effects on the Global Positioning System.

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Arctic sea ice change

April 3, 2007

NASA Finds Arctic Replenished Very Little Thick Sea Ice in 2005

A new NASA study has found that in 2005 the Arctic replaced very little of the thick sea ice it normally loses and replenishes each year.

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map of California showing changes in temperature, 1950-2000

March 28, 2007

Golden State Heating Up, New NASA/University Study Finds

Average temperatures in California rose almost one degree Celsius (nearly two degrees Fahrenheit) during the second half of the 20th century, according to a new study.

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Petermann Floating Tongue, Greenland

March 23, 2007

Gravity Measurements Help Melt Ice Mysteries

Greenland is cold and hot. It's a deep freezer storing 10 percent of Earth's ice and a subject of fevered debate.

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Chapman glacier

March 21, 2007

'Cool' Science: JPL Observes International Polar Year

Within the frozen confines of Earth's polar regions lie secrets -- clues scientists believe can help unravel some of the mysteries that drive Earth's climate.

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Nile River

March 19, 2007

NASA Finds Sun-Climate Connection in Old Nile Records

Since the time of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt, the water levels of the Nile were accurately measured. These are now a unique resource for climatologists.

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artist concept to twin Grace satellites

March 15, 2007

At Five, Grace Continues To Amaze

The twin satellites of NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment celebrate their fifth anniversary this week. They've improved our knowledge of Earth's gravity field by more than 100 times and are helping to revolutionize our understanding of Earth's climate.

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sea level heights in Pacific, Feb. 2007

March 2, 2007

Pacific Shows Signs of Morphing to Cool La Nina

New data of sea-level heights from early February 2007, by the Jason satellite show that the tropical Pacific Ocean has transitioned from a warm (El Niño) to a cool (La Niña) condition during the prior two months.

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JPL's David Jefferson in mission control

February 27, 2007

Celebrating Black History Month: A Navigator

David Jefferson has helped navigate JPL spacecraft to their exotic destinations -- Mars and two comets.

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artist's concept of ExoMars

February 26, 2007

Sensor Being Developed to Check for Life on Mars

NASA-funded researchers are refining a tool that could give clues to the origin of any traces of life's molecular building blocks on Mars.

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JPL's Chris Boxe

February 14, 2007

Celebrating Black History Month: An Earth Scientist

Christopher Boxe isn't yet 30 years old, but he's already become an expert in the field of environmental science.

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sea lion with a tag

February 6, 2007

Satellites and Sea Lions: Working Together to Improve Ocean Models

The best oceanographers in the world never studied at a university. Yet they know how to navigate expertly along oceanic fronts, the invisible boundaries between waters of different temperatures and densities.

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distribution of

January 31, 2007

A NASA Space Sleuth Hunts the Trail of Earth's Water

For the first time, NASA scientists have used a shrewd spaceborne detective to track the origin and movement of water vapor throughout Earth's atmosphere.

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January 31, 2007

Pack Your Backpack

Calling all explorers! Tour JPL with our new Virtual Field Trip site. Stops include Mission Control and the Rover Lab. Cool space images and souvenirs are included in your visit.

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old, Dept. of Water and Power site

January 17, 2007

A Tale of Two Sites: Impacts of Relocating L.A.'s Weather Station

To modern-day climatologists, Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" could serve as a metaphor for weather records in Los Angeles since the the city's official downtown weather station was relocated.

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Airs data showing Hurricane Frances

January 12, 2007

NASA Presentations at the 87th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

NASA researchers, including several from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will present findings on a variety of Earth science topics at the 87th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, which runs Jan. 14 through Jan. 18, in San Antonio, Texas.

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QuikScat image of winds over Java Sea

January 10, 2007

QuikScat Shows Sea/Atmospheric Conditions at Time of Two Java Sea Disasters

Ocean winds data from NASA's QuikScat satellite shed new insights into the atmospheric conditions present during recent air and sea disasters in the Java Sea.

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average amount of ozone produced from biomass, burning in South America, sub-equatorial Africa and Indonesia/Australia

December 14, 2006

NASA Tropical Ozone Studies Yield Surprises

Two new NASA-funded studies of ozone in the tropics using NASA satellite data not previously available are giving scientists a fuller understanding of the processes driving ozone chemistry and its impacts on pollution and climate change.

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Grace measurement of Mississippi River basin

December 12, 2006

NASA Outlines Recent Changes in Earth's Freshwater Distribution

Recent space observations of freshwater storage by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment are providing a new picture of how Earth's most precious natural resource is distributed globally and how it is changing.

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Alberto Behar stands by opening of a moulin

December 11, 2006

Moulin 'Blanc': NASA Expedition Probes Deep Within a Greenland Glacier

JPL Research scientist Dr. Alberto Behar took in the "show" at the moulin this summer. But unlike Paris' famous Moulin Rouge, the star of this moulin was Mother Nature herself, presenting a dazzling display of moving water and ice.

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December 7, 2006

Jason Ocean Mapping Mission Turns Five

Five years after launch, the joint NASA/French space agency Jason mission continues precisely measuring the hills and valleys of the ocean surface, expanding our knowledge of ocean circulation, monitoring global sea level variations, improving weather and climate predictions and much more.

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data showing earthquake clusters

December 7, 2006

NASA Study Suggests Quake Forecasts May Be on the Horizon

A new university study funded in part by NASA's QuakeSim project finds that large earthquakes in California tend to cluster in time and could potentially be forecast within a window of two to three years.

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Artist's concept of Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate.

November 30, 2006

Purveyors of the Cosmic 'Occult'

To a non-scientist, the words 'radio occultation' might sound a little spooky. But this relatively simple NASA-developed technology at the heart of a new satellite network named Cosmic is proving to be a powerful new tool for weather and climate forecasting.

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November 9, 2006

Esperanza Fire Near Palm Springs

The Esperanza fire started on October 26 in the dry brush near Palm Springs, Calif. By the time it was contained 6 days later, the fire had consumed 40,200 acres, and destroyed 34 homes and 20 outbuildings. Five firefighters died trying to protect homes.

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Explorer 1 model being held up

October 31, 2006

New JPL Site Takes a Step Back in Time

JPL's new history site spans 70 years of exploration, from early rocket motor tests and the first U.S. satellite to present-day space exploration pursuits.

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October 25, 2006

JPL and UCLA Team to Study Southern California's Weather, Climate, Environment

A new JPL-UCLA Joint Institute will strive to better understand and predict regional environmental and climate change and support future space missions.

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South Pole maps, measuring ozone hole chemistry

October 19, 2006

2006 Antarctic Ozone Hole Largest On Record

New NASA and NOAA data, including chemical maps from JPL's Microwave Limb Sounder, confirm that this year's Antarctic ozone hole is the largest on record.

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Hurricane Katrina, seen from Terra satellite

October 12, 2006

Does Your Ocean Have a Fever?

A new NASA website provides up-to-date information on global sea surface temperatures, used to monitor ocean currents, climate change and hurricane development.

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Gentry Lee

October 10, 2006

JPL's Gentry Lee Honored With Masursky Award

Gentry Lee, Chief Engineer for the Planetary Flight Systems Directorate of JPL has been awarded the prestigious Harold Masursky Award, presented by the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences.

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October 5, 2006

In the Pacific, 'The Child' Awakens

El Nino, a cyclical warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that can profoundly affect weather worldwide, appears to be in its early stages of development, according to scientists at NASA and NOAA.

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Day fire

October 3, 2006

JPL Instrument Sees 'Day' Fire

This infrared image of the Day fire burning in Southern California was acquired by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on NASA's Terra satellite at 10 p.m. Pacific Time, Sept. 28.

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artist concept of Aura spacecraft

September 25, 2006

NASA Study Tracks Global Sources, Transport of Air Pollution

A NASA and university study of ozone and carbon monoxide pollution in Earth's atmosphere is providing unique insights into the sources of these pollutants and how they are transported around the world.

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Argo float shortly before recovery by Japanese Coast Guard

September 21, 2006

Short-Term Ocean Cooling Suggests Global Warming 'Speed Bump'

The average temperature of the water near the top of Earth's oceans has significantly cooled since 2003. New research suggests global warming trends are not always steady in their effects on ocean temperatures.

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comparison views of Arctic sea ice, Dec. 21, 2004 and Dec. 21, 2005

September 13, 2006

NASA Sees Rapid Changes in Arctic Sea Ice

NASA data show that Arctic perennial sea ice, which normally survives the summer melt season and remains year-round, shrunk abruptly by 14 percent between 2004 and 2005.

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Map of the path of the plume of pollution from the World Trade Center

September 6, 2006

Smoke Plume Dispersal from the World Trade Center Disaster

The collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the fires that followed produced a noxious smoke plume, a complex mixture of tiny airborne particles and gases.

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Earth, with scale showing amount of ozone

August 30, 2006

NASA, NOAA Data Indicate Ozone Layer is Recovering

A new study using NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data finds consistent evidence that Earth's ozone layer is on the mend.

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eye of Hurricane Ileana

August 25, 2006

CloudSat Catches Eye of Ileana

These two images are from two different satellites, giving a top-down and sideways view of Hurricane Ileana as she spins in the eastern Pacific on Aug. 23, 2006. The bottom view is from the JPL-managed CloudSat mission.

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infrared image of Typhoon Saomai

August 11, 2006

Typhoon Saomai Seen by Atmospheric Infrared Sounder

This is an infrared image of Typhoon Saomai taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite on August 10, 2006. This image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions.

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thunderstorms over Africa

July 26, 2006

NASA Africa Mission Investigates Origin, Development of Hurricanes

Scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, universities and international agencies will study how winds and dust conditions from Africa influence the birth of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

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views of Hurricane Daniel

July 25, 2006

NASA's CloudSat Captures Hurricane Daniel's Transformation

Hurricane Daniel intensified between July 18 and July 23rd. NASA's new CloudSat satellite was able to capture and confirm this transformation in its side-view images of Hurricane Daniel as seen in this series of images.

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CloudSat image of Hurricane Bud

July 14, 2006

CloudSat Gets Acquainted With Bud

Hurricane Bud, churning in the Pacific off the western coast of Mexico, was captured in this July 12 image from NASA's CloudSat satellite (lower panel). The top image is from a geostationary imager. The red and purple areas in the CloudSat image indicate the presence of large amounts of cloud water or precipitation.

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map of South America using Grace data

July 5, 2006

NASA Satellites Find Balance in South America's Water Cycle

For the first time, NASA scientists using space-based measurements have directly monitored and measured the complete cycle of water movement for an entire continent.

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map showing time elapsed after Sumatra earthquake, December 2004, with an inset of GPS data

June 28, 2006

NASA Satellite Positioning Software May Aid in Tsunami Warnings

University scientists using Global Positioning System (GPS) software developed by JPL have shown that GPS can determine, within minutes, whether an earthquake is big enough to generate an ocean-wide tsunami.

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waves crashing on rocks. image courtesy Franklin O'Donnell

June 14, 2006

NASA Missions Help Dissect Sea Level Rise

Sea level isn't, well, level. Nor is the rate by which sea level has been rising over the past few decades, but the trend is clearly up.

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CloudSat image of tropical storm Alberto

June 12, 2006

CloudSat Peers Inside Tropical Storm Alberto

Tropical Storm Alberto is dissected in this June 12 image (top) from NASA's new CloudSat satellite. In comparison to two views from National Weather Service tools (lower images), CloudSat saw a broader and more vertical view of the the storm. Heavy rainfall is seen where the horizontal green line at the bottom of the CloudSat image disappears.

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Cloudsat image of storm over central Alaska

June 6, 2006

First Images From NASA'S Cloudsat Have Scientists Sky-High

The first images from NASA's new CloudSat satellite are already revealing never-before-seen 3-D details about clouds.

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Jason data showing Pacific Ocean

June 1, 2006

Jason Satellite Shows Calm Pacific

The latest remote sensing data from the NASA/French Jason satellite show near normal conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. As we enter the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, there are currently no visible signs in sea surface height of either El Niño or La Niña.

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extensive pattern of rain water deposited by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on land surfaces over several states in the southern and eastern United States

May 22, 2006

NASA Instrument Provides New Data on Floods and Droughts

A NASA instrument designed primarily to measure winds on the ocean surface is turning out to have other abilities over land that may help in both flood and drought situations.

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May 18, 2006

JPL Instrument Tracks Dust From China Dust Storm

Large dust storms emanating from northwestern China's Inner Mongolia region traveled eastward and caused the worst period of air pollution in six years in Beijing. JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder aboard NASA's Aqua satellite helped track the dust.

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Artist concept of earth observing spacecrafts

May 9, 2006

Tibet Provides Passage for Chemicals to Reach the Stratosphere

NASA and university researchers have found that thunderstorms over Tibet provide a main pathway for water vapor and chemicals to travel from the lower atmosphere, where human activity directly affects atmospheric composition, into the stratosphere, where the protective ozone layer resides.

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graphic showing cold water from La Nina and trade winds that blow them

May 4, 2006

La Niña Not Expected To Affect 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season

NASA oceanographers concur that the recent La Niñ a in the Pacific Ocean is not expected to have an effect on the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1. Normally, a La Niña tends to increase Atlantic hurricane activity and decrease Pacific Ocean hurricanes.

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launch of CloudSat/Calipso

April 28, 2006

NASA Launches Satellites for Weather, Climate, Air Quality Studies

Two NASA satellites were launched Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on missions to reveal the inner secrets of clouds and aerosols, tiny particles suspended in the air.

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CloudSat on launch pad

April 27, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Rescheduled for Friday

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., has been rescheduled for Friday morning, April 28, at 3:02 a.m. PDT. Weather is not expected to be a concern for Friday's launch.

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CloudSat on launch pad, Apr. 25, 2006

April 25, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Postponed

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., was scrubbed Tuesday shortly before 3 a.m. PDT due to higher than allowable upper level wind conditions. The next launch attempt is tentatively set for Wednesday, April 26, at 3:02 a.m. PDT. Weather is a concern for Wednesday's launch attempt. The forecast calls for a 40 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions.

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CloudSat on launch pad, Apr. 22, 2006. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

April 23, 2006

CloudSat and Calipso Sunday Morning Launch Postponed

The Sunday morning launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., has been postponed. Mission managers are reviewing the next available launch opportunity. The refueling aircraft required to maintain the radar tracking plane was unavailable to support a launch attempt on Sunday. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
+ Larger view of image

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CloudSat on launch pad

April 23, 2006

CloudSat and Calipso Launch Rescheduled for April 25

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 25. Launch is set for 3:02 a.m. Pacific, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The current weather forecast calls for a 90 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
+ Larger view

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CloudSat on launch pad

April 21, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Postponed to Sunday

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso spacecraft has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 23, at 3:02 a.m. PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The current weather forecast calls for an 80 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions.

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CloudSat on launch pad

April 21, 2006

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso Launch Rescheduled

The launch of NASA's CloudSat and Calipso satellites is rescheduled for Saturday, April 22. Launch is set for 3:02 a.m. PDT. Today's launch was scrubbed at T-48 seconds due to loss of the primary and backup phone communications between the Mission Directors' Center at Vandenberg and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Space Command in Toulouse, France. The communications loss is being evaluated.

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CloudSat preps for launch

April 19, 2006

Cloud-Observing Missions Prep for April 21 Launch

NASA's CloudSat and Calipso spacecraft prepare for launch on Apr. 21, 3:02 a.m. Pacific, aboard the same Boeing Delta rocket. After achieving orbit, the two craft will separate. CloudSat, managed by JPL, and Calipso will study the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate and air quality.

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1906 San Francisco earthquake damage

April 17, 2006

A Century of Quake Research

In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, a violent earthquake shook San Francisco and the surrounding area. A new interactive Flash feature, video and podcast explore the impact this quake has had on current earthquake research.

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launch of Cosmic

April 15, 2006

U.S.-Taiwan Satellite Constellation Launches

A globe-spanning constellation of six weather and climate research satellites based on global positioning system occultation technology developed at JPL successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Friday, April 14.

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artist's concept of COSMIC

April 13, 2006

NASA Technology Spawns Weather, Climate Satellite Constellation

A globe-spanning constellation of six weather and climate research satellites based on a novel application of NASA-developed technology is set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Friday, April 14.

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CloudSat launch preps

April 13, 2006

Cloud-Observing Missions Prep for April 21 Launch

NASA's CloudSat and CALIPSO spacecraft are lifted at Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for integration with the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle. The spacecraft will study the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate and air quality.
+ CloudSat news | + Mission home
+ CALIPSO home

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artist's concept of Ocean Surface Topography Mission

April 11, 2006

NASA Joins Partners for Ocean Surface Topography Mission

NASA has signed an agreement with other U.S. and international agencies to launch the Ocean Surface Topography Mission in 2008.

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meddes, shown in red, in Atlantic Ocean

March 20, 2006

Scientists Use Satellites to Help Detect Deep-Ocean Whirlpools

Marine scientists have figured out a way to see through the ocean's surface and detect what's below, with the help of satellites.

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map showing estimated change in total Antarctic mass from 2002 to 2005

March 2, 2006

NASA Mission Detects Significant Antarctic Ice Mass Loss

The first-ever gravity survey of the entire Antarctic ice sheet, conducted using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), concludes the ice sheet's mass has decreased significantly from 2002 to 2005.

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pre-sumatra earthquake

March 1, 2006

Tsunami Disaster Studies Force Rethinking of Quakes

Two newly published studies of the December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake shed new insights on the fault rupture that caused the quake and have implications for where such giant quakes are likely to occur in the future.
+ Image caption
+ Full story from Caltech

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break-off area of Helheim Glacier

February 16, 2006

Greenland Ice Loss Doubles in Past Decade, Raising Sea Level Faster

The loss of ice from Greenland doubled between 1996 and 2005, as its glaciers flowed faster into the ocean in response to a generally warmer climate, according to a NASA/University of Kansas study.

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Oscillation across the equatorial Indian and western Pacific Oceans is shown in these plots of atmospheric water vapor superimposed over rainfall data.

February 2, 2006

Scientists Surf the Seas of Space to Catch an Atmospheric Wave

A study by NASA and university scientists is shedding new light on a mysterious, cyclical wave in Earth's atmosphere that at times profoundly affects our planet's weather and climate.

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students work on temperature sensor

January 26, 2006

Student-Built Buoy Launches Ocean Studies

A student-built buoy, launched this month, will send back data on ocean temperatures that will be available to scientists and students around the world.

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artist's concept of Topex/Poseidon

January 5, 2006

NASA's Topex/Poseidon Oceanography Mission Ends

The joint NASA/Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales Topex/Poseidon oceanography satellite ceased operations after nearly 62,000 orbits of Earth.

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 Topex/Poseidon data of Pacific Ocean showing El Nino

January 5, 2006

Topex/Poseidon Sails Off Into the Sunset

After a remarkable 13-year voyage of discovery, Topex/Poseidon, the first great oceanographic research vessel to sail into space, ended its mission this month.

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Grace data showing effect of the December 2004 great Sumatra earthquake on the Earth's gravity field

December 20, 2005

NASA's Grace Finds Greenland Melting Faster, 'Sees' Sumatra Quake

In the first direct, comprehensive mass survey of the entire Greenland ice sheet, scientists using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) have measured a significant decrease in the mass of the Greenland ice cap. Grace is a satellite mission that measures movement in Earth's mass.

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upper image is a radargram from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding; the lower image shows the position of the ground track on a topographic map of the area

December 2, 2005

Mars Express Radar Instrument Reveals Martian Subsurface

A U.S.-Italian radar instrument aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express has peered deep below the surface. Early results from the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding reveal buried craters and reservoirs of ice. The top image shows radar data from the subsurface. The lower image shows the location on a topographic map of the area. (Dec. 2)
+ JPL's Mars Express site

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radar image of Titan

November 2, 2005

Radar Sees More 'Cat Scratches' and Hones in on Huygens Landing Site

The Cassini spacecraft flew by Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 28, 2005, capturing new radar views that show the Huygens probe landing site and a series of dunes that extend thousands of kilometers across Titan's surface. These so called "cat scratches," curve around teardrop-shaped bright terrain, giving the impression of a Japanese garden of sand raked around boulders.
+ 'Cat scratches'

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series of images showing Hurricane Wilma

October 26, 2005

Tracking Hurricane Wilma Across the Caribbean

These images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer on NASA's Terra satellite depict Hurricane Wilma's cloud top heights at different stages in the life cycle of the then rapidly intensifying storm. Such data may prove useful for evaluating the ability of numerical weather models to predict the intensity changes of hurricanes.

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Oct. 20, 2005,  image showing Airs data of Hurricane Wilma

October 24, 2005

Wilma's Cold Eye Stares Down on the Caribbean

The cold cloud tops of powerful Hurricane Wilma are evident in this infrared image acquired by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Cooler areas are depicted in purple, with warmer areas in red.

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Spirit view looking down from top of Husband Hill

October 24, 2005

Looking Back at Spirit's Trail to the Summit

Before moving on to explore more of Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit looked back at the long and winding trail of twin wheel tracks the rover created to get to the top of "Husband Hill." Spirit, seen in the lower right, spent several days in October 2005 at this location.

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QuikScat data of Hurricane Wilma from Oct. 21, 2005

October 21, 2005

Wilma's Winds Whip Mexico's Yucatan

The eye of Hurricane Wilma, a menacing Category 4 storm, approaches the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in this October 21 image from NASA's QuikScat satellite, depicting relative wind speeds and direction. The storm is projected to make landfall in south Florida on Monday.
+ Storm animation for 2005 hurricane season
+ Related image: Trek Through Warm Caribbean/Gulf Waters
+ Related image: Cold Eye Stares Down on the Caribbean

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maps show the extensive pattern of rain water deposited by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on land surfaces over several states in the southern and eastern United States

October 14, 2005

NASA Satellite Monitors Post-Hurricane Gulf Coast Flood Potential

Data from NASA's QuikScat satellite are being used to monitor changes in surface water resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Mississippi River basin. In these images, the colors represent increases in surface soil moisture resulting from rainfall.

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computer simulation showing San Andreas fault and San Francisco

October 13, 2005

New Forecast of San Francisco Earthquake Risk Released

Nearly 100 years after the 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake, a new computer simulation by scientists at JPL; the University of California, Davis; and other institutions concludes the region has a 25 percent chance of a magnitude 7 or greater temblor in the next 20 years.
+ UC Davis news release
+ Full report (PDF)

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region southeast of the epicenter of the magnitude 7.6 Pakistan earthquake on October 8, 2005

October 12, 2005

Mission Sees Landslide From Pakistan Earthquake

Last weekend's Pakistan earthquake caused a massive landslide in the mountains of Kashmir, as captured in this Oct. 11th image from a JPL instrument.

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close-up view of Saturn's moon Tethys

September 26, 2005

Close Look at Tethys

Cassini's weekend flyby of Saturn's moon Tethys is providing close-up views of the moon's speckled surface. Raw images are now available.

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Bjorn Lambrigtsen

September 23, 2005

Researchers Explore Mystery of Hurricane Formation

This past summer NASA researchers headed off to Costa Rica to learn more about the birth of hurricanes and to test some of the latest weather technology.

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map showing heat potential of Hurricane Rita

September 23, 2005

NASA Data Helps Track Heat Potential Fueling Rita

The path of Hurricane Rita is indicated with circles representing storm intensity, spaced every 3 hours. Altimeters like that on NASA's Jason satellite provide critical data to estimate the ocean heat potential of the Gulf waters that increase hurricane intensity.

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September 22, 2005

Rita Roars Through a Warm Gulf - Updated Image

This sea surface height map of the Gulf of Mexico, with the Florida peninsula on the right and the Texas-Mexico Gulf Coast on the left, shows the expected path of Hurricane Rita.

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projected path of Hurricane Rita, as of Sept. 22, 4 p.m. Central Time

September 22, 2005

Rita's Rising Waters Threaten the Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast from the Mississippi Delta through the Texas coast is shown in this satellite image from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer overlain with data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and the predicted storm track for Hurricane Rita.

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map showing sea surface height of Hurricane Rita, with predicted path

September 21, 2005

Rita Roars Through a Warm Gulf