August 30, 2019
As Hurricane Dorian slowly approaches Florida’s Atlantic coast, NASA personnel have engaged with federal, state and local emergency responders in preparation for landfall as soon as Labor Day. A team of NASA disaster coordinators from the Earth Science Division’s Disasters Program has been activated to work with emergency agencies to determine what NASA information assets derived from satellite data can be provided to help decision makers direct resources and help communities likely to be affected by the storm. NASA has already created a map of Florida showing current soil moisture conditions to help scientists and response agencies predict the impact of heavy rainfall from Hurricane Dorian on flooding and runoff across the state. The map uses data from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite. This and other data products are made available from the program’s mapping portal.
July 9, 2019
Planet Earth is hotter than ever. Seas are invading formerly dry land. Dry is dryer, and wet wetter. Weather extremes threaten life and property as never before, whether it’s ongoing flooding in the U.S. Midwest and, in June, extensive inundations in southern Uruguay or volcanic eruptions in the Kuril Island chain and Papua New Guinea. The threat of natural disasters continues unabated, with populated areas especially susceptible to extreme damage from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, volcanos and wildfires, to name but several. At a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations (U.N.) issued its biennial Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, or GAR (https://gar.unisdr.org/), that spells out worldwide efforts to anticipate and reduce disaster risks. NASA has partnered with the U.N., offering its strengths in remote sensing and data analysis in a collaboration that aims to confront potential global hazards head on. “We have in-space and airborne instrumentation that can ‘look’ at Earth every day of every year. What they see, we translate,” says David Green, manager of NASA’s Disaster Program. “NASA takes that data, analyzes it, and produces images and overlays that tell decisionmakers and first responders where the threats are. When disasters do occur, we steer that information to those on the ground so they can provide as much help as possible where it’s most needed.”
May 30, 2019
The Southern and Central United States have been drenched by rainstorm after rainstorm in the spring of 2019, leading to widespread flooding. Across the continental United States, river gauges at 404 locations were above flood stage on May 29, with the vast majority along the Missouri, Mississippi, and Arkansas rivers and their tributaries. The problem was most acute in late May along the Arkansas River. As of May 29, the National Weather Service reported flooding at 22 gauges along the river in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, not including nearby tributaries and lakes. Major flooding was observed at 13 of those gauges. News media and forecasters predicted flooding in every major community along the river in the coming days. Every county in Oklahoma was in a state of emergency, and evacuations were ordered or recommended in several communities in Arkansas. MODIS imagery of flooding on the Arkansas River May 27, 2019. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory The false-color image above was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua and Terra on May 27, 2019.. The combination of near-infrared and visible light (MODIS bands 7-2-1) makes it easier to see rivers out of their banks and water spread across flood plains. Water is blue; vegetation is green; clouds are bright blue or white; and bare flood plains along the river are tan (2018 image).
May 28, 2019
On June 1, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season begins. But worldwide there really is no off-season for these tropical storms; they affect the globe in one way or another year-round. At NASA, we leverage the power of our views of Earth from space and research aircraft to assist communities around the world as they plan for — and recover from — these severe, often life-threatening, events. Data from NASA’s robust constellation of orbiting satellites and airborne and ground sensors are used to assess, predict and describe disaster impacts to inform the actions of leaders, first responders, and those providing relief.
May 13, 2019
Landsat 8 Monitors Flooding on the Mississippi River // Suomi NPP VIIRS Used to Detect Wildfires Across the UK in 2019
May 6, 2019
AIRS Images Cyclone Fani Before Landfall to Analyze Atmospheric Conditions // GPM IMERG Adds up Rainfall from Cyclone Fani
April 25, 2019
"The SAR Handbook: Comprehensive Methodologies for Forest Monitoring and Biomass Estimation" is the culmination of a two-year collaboration between NASA SERVIR and SilvaCarbon. Five trainings, led by six SAR subject matter experts, were held at hubs throughout the SERVIR network. The topics of these trainings included SAR basics, SAR for forest change detection, forest height estimation, biomass estimation, mangrove monitoring, and sampling design. Each of these training topics are covered in a SAR Handbook chapter, which includes the theoretical basics and applied exercises. You can download the entire SAR Handbook (PDF) below, or explore individual chapters, trainings and one-pagers. Each chapter of the SAR Handbook is divided into a theory section, which discusses the scientific background of the chapter topic; a tutorial section, which provides step-by-step instructions on how to put the theory into practice; and additional tutorial materials, which include data, scripts and slideshows necessary to complete the tutorial.
April 16, 2019
Suomi NPP VIIRS Tracks Blizzard in the U.S. Midwest
April 2, 2019
ARIA Team Uses Multiple Satellites to Create Flood Proxy Maps for Mozambique // Landsat 8 Used to Identify Landslides and Flood Areas in Zimbabwe from Cyclone Idai // Suomi NPP VIIRS Detects Hundreds of Wildfires in Venezuela
April 1, 2019
NASA and global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps are partnering to help vulnerable communities in some of the most fragile places on Earth better withstand challenges such as population growth, resource scarcity and climate change. Eighty percent of Nigeriens are subsistence farmers. NASA and Mercy Corps are exploring how NASA’s satellite measurements can help the drought-prone, farming-intensive country create sustainable livelihoods for people like this Nigerien woman watering her garden. Credits: Mercy Corps/Sean Sheridan Under a three-year Space Act Agreement signed on March 29, the partnership will combine NASA’s Earth observation capabilities, including satellite data, imagery, and modeling and analysis, with Mercy Corps’ local insights and development expertise in more than 40 countries. Projects will assist communities in building resilience to complex stresses and making decisions that have long-term benefits for people and the environment. “This partnership enables NASA and Mercy Corps to amplify our collective capacities to reach communities in the most risk-prone regions of the world with the information they need the most,” said David Green, disasters program director in NASA’s Earth Science Division, Washington. “As NASA seeks to expand our understanding of the integrated Earth system from global to local scales, Mercy Corps’ extensive and practical knowledge of the human element – social, environmental, economic and political – is critical.”