Latest News and Updates

March 4, 2020
Kristopher Bedka gives a presentation during the Severe Weather panel at the JPSS / GOES-R Proving Ground / Risk Reduction Summit. Credit: NASA
On February 24th – 28th the NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) hosted the first JPSS / GOES-R Proving Ground / Risk Reduction Summit in College Park, Maryland. Research Scientist Kristopher Bedka participated in the meeting on behalf of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program, serving as a panelist for the Severe Weather Panel and presenting a talk entitled “Analysis and Detection of Hazardous Thunderstorms Through Remote Sensing Data Fusion”. Kristopher Bedka gives a presentation during the Severe Weather panel at the JPSS / GOES-R Proving Ground / Risk Reduction Summit. Credit: NASA The meeting focused on delivering user-inspired science to maximize the utility of National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) operational and research products. Each meeting day featured individual sessions on various proving ground initiatives that use both GOES-R and JPSS data. The sessions offered opportunities for algorithm developers and users to share their perspectives on the current status and future needs within each product group. Learn more about the summit here: https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/star/meeting_2020JPSSGOES.php

 

February 25, 2020
Participants in the Tradewinds 2020 Mid Planning Conference, including NASA Disasters Program HQ Emergency Management Coordinator Brady Helms (second from right). Credit: NASA
Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program recently participated in the Tradewinds 2020 Mid Planning Conference, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored regionally oriented disasters management exercise that was conducted February 10th -14th 2020 in Georgetown, Guyana.  Participants in the Tradewinds 2020 Mid Planning Conference, including NASA Disasters Program HQ Emergency Management Coordinator Brady Helms (second from right). Credit: NASA The Mid Planning Conference is one of several activities held in preparation for the Tradewinds 2020 Exercise Execution activity to be held June 10th  – 14th, 2020. This year’s Tradewinds exercise will simulate both oil spills and flooding disaster scenarios in the host country of Guyana, and attendees will assist in executing Guyana’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan. These exercises promote regional security cooperation by involving security forces and disaster response agencies from partner nations, primarily from the Caribbean Basin, U.S., Canada, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

 

February 21, 2020
NASA Disasters Program GIS Specialist Garrett Layne speaks with visitors at the NASA ESD booth. Credit: NASA
NASA staff, including several members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program, attended and supported Esri’s Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 10th - 12th, 2020, to explore how to apply geospatial technology to better understand our changing planet. Several GIS products hosted on the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal were highlighted during the conference’s plenary session, which had over 5,000 people in attendance. NASA Disasters Program staff also supported NASA’s Earth Science Division (ESD) booth in the exhibit hall, interacting with several hundred attendees and sharing information on how to access NASA GIS products in support of disaster risk reduction and response. The NASA Disasters team also hosted a session providing an overview of the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal, which was given to a packed room. Many new connections were made during the session, including with groups within the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

February 19, 2020
Pyrocumulus clouds forming from the bushfires in Australia as seen by the JMA Himawari-8 satellite. Credit: Satellite data from JMA Himawari 8 processed by NOAA, CIRA
Researchers from the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program are using data from multiple satellites to study the formation of fire-induced clouds from the Australian bushfires, known as pyrocumulus clouds, and their potential impacts to Earth’s atmosphere and climate.  Data from the NASA-NOAA OMPS (above) and ESA TROPOMI instruments (below) show aerosols and carbon monoxide from the Australia fires spreading across the Tasman Sea. Credit: NASA On February 2nd, 2020 the Ozone Monitoring Profiler Suite (OMPS) onboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite observed a 3000 km-long smoke plume extending from the Australian East Coast to New Zealand across the Tasman Sea. The visualizations above show the so called "Aerosol Index" from OMPS (top image), which indicates the presence of aerosols such as soot, and would be seen as black and brown clouds through human eyes. These aerosols absorb solar radiation, which contributes to the warming of the atmosphere and has potential long-term implications for Earth’s climate.

 

February 18, 2020
Sandra Cauffman giving her keynote speech at the Understanding Risk Central America Forum. Credit: NASA
Sandra Cauffman, director (acting) of NASA's Earth Sciences Division opened the Understanding Risk Central America Forum with a keynote address on the strength of partnerships and building community resilience in Central America. The event was attended by more than 500 people and notable attendees included the President of Costa Rica - Carlos Alvarado, the General Secretary of SICA - Marco Vinicio, and the Director for World Bank Central America, Seynabou Sahko.

 

February 14, 2020
Attendees of the NASA / PDC floods and landslides monitoring and modeling workshop. Credit: NASA
Members of the Pacific Disaster Center and NASA’s Disasters Program met recently to advance their collaboration on global flood and landslide risk modeling and monitoring. Meeting at the Pacific Disaster Center headquarters in Kihei, Hawaii from February 11th to 14th, this workshop increased awareness of the technical and science opportunities and capabilities of each of the participating groups with a robust exchange of information and ideas. The workshop identified synergies between projects and PDC partner activities and identified next steps to collaborate scientifically and in support of disaster response activities. Discussion focused on advancing how the Pacific Disaster Center can integrate NASA flood and landslide models and maps into the DisasterAWARE™ application, a global early warning and decision support system to translate data into actionable information to improve situational awareness, disaster response and recovery of at-risk communities.

 

February 11, 2020
The model shows landslide risk for High Mountain Asia increasing in the summer months in the years 2061-2100, thanks to increasingly frequent and intense rainfall events. Summer monsoon rains can destabilize steep mountainsides, triggering landslides. Cre
      More frequent and intense rainfall events due to climate change could cause more landslides in the High Mountain Asia region of China, Tibet and Nepal, according to the first quantitative study of the link between precipitation and landslides in the region.  The model shows landslide risk for High Mountain Asia increasing in the summer months in the years 2061-2100, thanks to increasingly frequent and intense rainfall events. Summer monsoon rains can destabilize steep mountainsides, triggering landslides. Credits: NASA's Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens High Mountain Asia stores more fresh water in its snow and glaciers than any place on Earth outside the poles, and more than a billion people rely on it for drinking and irrigation. The study team used satellite estimates and modeled precipitation data to project how changing rainfall patterns in the region might affect landslide frequency. The study team found that warming temperatures will cause more intense rainfall in some areas, and this could lead to increased landslide activity in the border region of China and Nepal.

 

February 7, 2020
NASA Earth Science Directory (Acting) Sandra Cauffman. Credit: NASA
Versión en español Director (Acting) of the NASA Earth Science Mission Directorate Sandra Cauffman will be the key speaker at the upcoming “Understanding Risk Central America” conference taking place February 12th  - 14th,  2020 in San José, Costa Rica. She will be speaking on NASA’s role in supporting disaster risk reduction and response in Central America.   NASA Earth Science Director (Acting) Sandra Cauffman. Credit: NASA Understanding Risk (UR) is an open and global community of individuals and institutions that work on the creation, communication and use of disaster risk information. The community organizes global and regional conferences to highlight best practices, facilitates public-private partnerships and shares the latest technical knowledge in disaster risk identification. NASA has signed a joint declaration with the countries of the Central American Integration (SICA) to collaborate in disaster risk reduction and related areas. NASA Earth observation data represent a strategic value for decision-making in disaster risk reduction and resilience for one of the world's most vulnerable regions to natural disasters. NASA will have a booth at the Understanding Risk event and representatives will be attending from the NASA Disasters Program and SERVIR.

 

February 5, 2020
Members of the NASA Disasters Program at the Esri user conference. Credit: NASA Disasters Program
Join more than 5,000 attendees from across government agencies at the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC on February 11 - 12, 2020. Hear how government agencies are using GIS to power deeper understanding for effective solutions. Learn more: https://www.esri.com/en-us/about/events/federal-gis-conference/overview Members of the NASA Disasters Program at the Esri user conference. Credit: NASA Disasters Program Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program will be attending to teach people about the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal how NASA is connecting GIS to science and applying geospatial technology to better understand our changing planet. NASA Events NASA Special Interest Group Meeting  Wednesday February 12th, 12:30 – 1:30pm, Room 154B This meeting is for NASA staff and collaborating partners to discuss and share information on NASA projects supported by GIS. NASA Disasters Program Mapping Portal Overview Wednesday February 12th, 1:30 – 2:30pm, Room 154B Learn how the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal bridges the gap between NASA scientists and end-users. The Portal hosts NASA near real-time image services and event specific products for users involved in disaster risk management and day-to-day planning and operations.

 

February 3, 2020
Carbon monoide levels measured by the Aura MLS instrument from July 2019 - January 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 
Carbon monoxide levels measured by the Aura MLS instrument from July 2019 - January 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory  Bushfires have raged in Victoria and New South Wales since November 2019, yielding startling satellite images of smoke plumes streaming from southeastern Australia on a near daily basis. The images got even more eye-popping in January 2020 when unusually hot weather and strong winds supercharged the fires. Narrow streams of smoke widened into a thick gray and tan pall that filled the skies on January 4, 2020. Several pyrocumulus clouds rose from the smoke, and the towering clouds functioned like elevators, lifting huge quantities of gas and particles well over 10 kilometers (6 miles) above the surface—high enough to put smoke into the stratosphere.

 

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