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

Ultracold Liquid Hydrogen may be Fuel of the Future

By CSA Editor

Online — NASA has wrapped up testing on a new cooling system that supercools hydrogen to -423 °F.

It’s housed in a shuttle-era storage facility engineers saved from demolition five years ago at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and thereafter transformed into a test site for new ground operations demo units. Continue reading

Big coastal cities sink faster than seas rise

The ruins of a Civil War-era structure, Fort Beauregard, lie partially submerged east of New Orleans. Researchers say many large coastal cities around the world sink faster than sea levels rise. Credit: Frank McMains

The ruins of a Civil War-era structure, Fort Beauregard, lie partially submerged east of New Orleans. Researchers say many large coastal cities around the world sink faster than sea levels rise.
Credit: Frank McMains

Online  — While the threat of rising seas is well established, a phenomenon that is, in a sense, its opposite receives far fewer headlines: large coastal cities sinking faster than oceans can rise.

That is the conclusion of a review article published by a team of scientists* who recently assembled in New Orleans, La., and in Venice, Italy, to examine the problem.

Extraction of groundwater or fossil fuels, and sometimes simply generations of farming, are causing large metropolitan areas in coastal zones around the world to subside surprisingly quickly—making the relative rise of adjacent seas an even greater potential hazard.

“Sea level rise is a problem, and subsidence is a huge problem, too,” said Cathleen Jones, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena who specializes in such hazards and is a member of the New Orleans team.

“There are areas where it is happening more rapidly than sea level rise,” she said. “I think it is not fully appreciated how much greater subsidence is in some of these areas, and how much it contributes to the loss of wetlands.”

Continue reading