Earth Sciences Division (610) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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NASA Snow Campaign Wraps 2020 Survey

NASA’s SnowEx ground and airborne campaign is a multiyear effort using a variety of techniques to study snow characteristics, and the team concluded their second field campaign in March 2020.

Muddy Flooding in Michigan

Two days of heavy rain led to catastrophic dam failures and major flooding in Midland County.

Mangga (was 27S) – Southern Indian Ocean

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and provided forecasters with a visible image of newly formed Tropical Storm 27S.

NASA Calculates Former Cyclone Amphan’s Massive Rainfall

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM Core Observatory satellite observed Tropical Cyclone Amphan as it tracked north over the Bay of Bengal during the week of May 18. NASA monitored the heavy rain associated with Tropical Cyclone Amphan.

Deforestation in Argentina’s Gran Chaco

South America’s second-largest forest has been experiencing rapid tree losses in recent decades.

Satellites Show a Decline in Fire in the U.S. Southeast

Among the byproducts of the pandemic and social distancing is a drop in forest management fires on federal lands.

Amphan – Northern Indian Ocean

When NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the Northern Indian Ocean on May 18, it gathered water vapor data that showed the intensity of powerful Tropical Cyclone Amphan.

Mount St. Helens

In May 1980, a satellite watched the mountain violently erupt; satellites over the next forty years watched it recover.

Arthur (was 90L) – Atlantic Ocean

Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the east coast of Florida from a low-pressure system (90L) that developed days before in the Straits of Florida.

Nighttime Waves Over the South Atlantic

A layer of marine stratocumulus clouds off the west coast of Africa displayed some particularly complex wave patterns.

NCCS Upgrade Markedly Improves Skill of NASA Seasonal Prediction System

NASA’s upgraded seasonal prediction system shows substantial improvement in performance, infrastructure, and forecast skill over its predecessor, per a broad set of experiments carried out at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).

Vongfong Makes Landfall in the Philippines

The first typhoon of the year in the Western Pacific was later than usual and quite potent.

NASA’s ICESat-2 Measures Arctic Ocean’s Sea Ice Thickness, Snow Cover

Initial results from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite suggest that Arctic sea ice has thinned by as much as 20 % since the end of the first ICESat mission (2003-2009).

NASA Satellite Data Show Air Pollution Decreases over Southwest U.S. Cities

On March 19, California was one of the first states to set mandatory stay-at-home restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Arizona and Nevada followed suit around April 1.

Tiny NASA Satellite Captures First Image of Clouds and Aerosols

The Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter (HARP) CubeSat achieved “first light” on April 17, 2020. The tiny satellite sent back its very first image over Europe with bright splashes of colors labeling clouds and aerosols, tiny particles in the atmosphere.

Fires Rage in the State of Guerrero in Mexico

Fires are raging in the coastal state of Guerrero in south-central Mexico and smoke from the fires drifts over most of the state.

Still Sandy After All These Years

In 2002, Earth Observatory published one of the site’s most popular images: the Great Bahama Bank. Eighteen years later, the science has advanced but the sand has not.

NASA Funds Four Research Projects on COVID-19 Impacts

Through its Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Science (RRNES) initiative, NASA is providing funding for selected, rapid-turnaround projects that make innovative use of satellite data and other NASA resources to address the different environmental, economic and societal impacts of the pandemic.

Vongfong – Northwestern Pacific Ocean

NASA’s Terra satellite revealed powerful storms in Vongfong as it ramped up from a tropical storm to a typhoon. Vongfong is known locally in the Philippines as Typhoon Ambo.

Flooding in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Water has stopped pouring from the broken wall of the Sardoba Reservoir, but many areas are still submerged.

A New Lake—Water Not Lava—On Kilauea

After its lava lake drained and the floor dropped, water has been pooling up in the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater for several months.

Perma-Blooms off Mauritania

In a bay off the coast of northwest Africa, conditions are almost always just right for phytoplankton blooms.

New Zealand Browned by Drought

North Island vegetation shows signs of stress during one the region’s most severe droughts on record.

Prescribed Fire in Florida's Panhandle Grows Out of Control

In Florida's panhandle, a prescribed fire grew out of control on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 under perfect fire conditions: low humidity coupled with high winds.

NASA’s Claire Parkinson Named Finalist for Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal

Claire was selected for her achievements in conducting breakthrough scientific research documenting how the changing sea ice covers in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans have played a significant role in climate change and for her role as Project Scientist for the Aqua satellite.
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