NASA study improves forecasts of summer Arctic sea ice

Model uses satellites to detect open water…

Screen Shot NASA_Video

Music credit: Fast Motion by Stephen Daniel Lemaire [ASCAP]
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This video is public domain and can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio.

The Arctic has been losing sea ice over the past several decades as Earth warms.

However, each year, as the sea ice starts to melt in the spring following its maximum wintertime extent, scientists still struggle to estimate exactly how much ice they expect will disappear through the melt season.

Now, a new NASA forecasting model based on satellite measurements is allowing researchers to make better estimates. Continue reading

NASA: Snow science in support of our nation’s water supply

The SnowEx Campaign

SnowEx Field Campaign: 4K B-roll From The P-3 Orion AircraftOnline  —  Researchers have completed the first flights of the NASA-led field campaign that is targeting one of the biggest gaps in scientists’ understanding of Earth’s water resources: snow.

NASA uses the vantage point of space to study all aspects of Earth as an interconnected system. But there remain significant obstacles to measuring accurately how much water is stored across the planet’s snow-covered regions.

The amount of water in snow plays a major role in water availability for drinking water, agriculture and hydropower. Continue reading

January 2017 was third-warmest January on record

A map of the January 2017 LOTI

A map of the January 2017 LOTI (land-ocean temperature index) anomaly -Credit: NASA/GISS
-Click for larger image

Online — January 2017 was the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

Last month’s temperature was 0.20 °C cooler than the warmest,  January 2016. However, it was 0.92 °C warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980.

Two of the three top January temperature anomalies have been during the past two years. Continue reading

NASA, NOAA data show 2016 warmest year on record globally


Land-ocean temperature index, 1880 to present, with base period 1951-1980. The solid black line is the global annual mean and the solid red line is the five-year lowess smooth. The blue uncertainty bars (95% confidence limit) account only for incomplete spatial sampling. [This is an update of Fig. 9a in Hansen et al. (2010).] Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio. Data provided by Robert B. Schmunk (NASA/GSFC GISS).
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Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Continue reading

NASA releases new Greenland glacier data

Far more detail than currently available in satellite observations

Animations and graphics

Animations and graphics for the OMG mission.

Online  —  NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission has released preliminary data on the heights of Greenland coastal glaciers from its first airborne campaign in March 2016.

The new data show the dramatic increase in coverage that the mission provides to scientists and other interested users. Finalized data on glacier surface heights, accurate within three feet (one meter) or less vertically, will be available by Feb. 1, 2017.

As glaciers break off, melt and retreat, they generally speed up. That makes them stretch out and causes their top surfaces to drop lower. Continue reading