Applied Sciences

NASA satellites and sensors constantly take the pulse of our planet, measuring how Earth changes by the day, season, year, and decade. Researchers and resource managers analyze those measurements and apply them on local and regional scales to better manage things like our food and water supplies, health, safety, land use, and ecosystems. NASA data is also used by other government agencies to help with responses to natural disasters and emergencies around the country and the world.

Assessing California Fire Scars
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Assessing California Fire Scars

Analyzing subtle differences in near-infrared and shortwave-infrared light from the landscape, scientists can provide some measure of the severity of wildfire burns.

Published Oct 14, 2020

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Mapping the Roots of Mangrove Loss
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Mapping the Roots of Mangrove Loss

While the rate of losses has declined, the ecosystems are still threatened and are facing more environmental stress.

Published Aug 25, 2020

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Derecho Flattens Iowa Corn
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Derecho Flattens Iowa Corn

A line of thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds caused widespread damage to crops.

Published Aug 20, 2020

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Predicting Cholera Risk in Yemen
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Predicting Cholera Risk in Yemen

Researchers are using satellite and ground data to forecast the risk of cholera in the country, which has consistently experienced cases since 2017.

Published Aug 12, 2020

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Scientists Map Beirut Blast Damage
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Scientists Map Beirut Blast Damage

Radar imagery of ground surface changes could help with efforts at disaster relief and recovery after the explosion.

Published Aug 11, 2020

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Early Detection of Algae Yields Savings
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Early Detection of Algae Yields Savings

Satellites can spot some blooms earlier, resulting in significant savings on health care, lost work hours, and other economic costs.

Published Aug 4, 2020

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Methane Emissions Continue to Rise
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Methane Emissions Continue to Rise

Rapid growth from 2008–2017 built upon the rise in the atmospheric concentration of the gas that has been happening for more than a century.

Published Jul 15, 2020

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Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite
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Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite

A few decades ago, the idea of predicting a disease outbreak via satellite was science fiction. But today, researchers can use environmental data to predict when and where some diseases are likely to spread.

Published Jul 9, 2020

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Scouting Watering Holes from Space
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Scouting Watering Holes from Space

Satellites may make it easier for nomadic herders in Senegal to survive the lean season.

Published Jul 2, 2020

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Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia
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Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia

Fires are raging in eastern Siberia in the midst of an unusually long-lived heat wave.

Published Jun 23, 2020

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Temperatures Predict Bird Biodiversity
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Temperatures Predict Bird Biodiversity

Small birds prefer winter landscapes that have larger thermal differences, likely because they offer more opportunities to find refuge from the cold.

Published Jun 4, 2020

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A Fiery Month in Zulia
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A Fiery Month in Zulia

After dry weather parched the soil and vegetation, large fires burned in the northwestern Venezuela state.

Published Apr 28, 2020

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Tornado Leaves a Mark on Rural Texas
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Tornado Leaves a Mark on Rural Texas

Powerful thunderstorms moving through eastern Texas and western Louisiana spawned several tornadoes, including some that caused major damage.

Published Apr 27, 2020

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Mapping Moose Populations in Russia
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Mapping Moose Populations in Russia

Researchers using vegetation data to explain moose population dynamics run into a hidden variable and a possible signature of history.

Published Apr 27, 2020

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Tracking Water for the Navajo Nation
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Tracking Water for the Navajo Nation

A new web tool designed by NASA applied scientists could help the tribe anticipate and respond to drought.

Published Apr 20, 2020

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Could Satellites Help Head Off a Locust Invasion?
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Could Satellites Help Head Off a Locust Invasion?

Researchers are using satellite data to understand where locusts may spread during the largest infestation in eastern Africa in decades.

Published Mar 30, 2020

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Satellite Observations Aid Bison Management
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Satellite Observations Aid Bison Management

A new study has found a link between the effects of climate change, the productivity of grasslands, and the proliferation of bison in Yellowstone National Park.

Published Mar 12, 2020

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Habitat at Risk for Snow-Dependent Organisms
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Habitat at Risk for Snow-Dependent Organisms

Some species will be exposed to more cold winter air without the insulating protection of snow cover.

Published Mar 6, 2020

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Reflecting on a Tumultuous Amazon Fire Season
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Reflecting on a Tumultuous Amazon Fire Season

The reality of science, statistics, and satellites is that a deep understanding of the causes, effects, and severity of a fire season takes time.

Published Mar 3, 2020

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Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Plummets Over China
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Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Plummets Over China

NO2 amounts have dropped with the coronavirus quarantine, Chinese New Year, and a related economic slowdown.

Published Feb 28, 2020

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ECOSTRESS Sees Plants Waking Up
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ECOSTRESS Sees Plants Waking Up

An instrument on the International Space Station observed vegetation beginning to stir on summer mornings near Lake Superior.

Published Feb 26, 2020

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Rivers Are Getting Less Icy
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Rivers Are Getting Less Icy

The window of time available to make and use ice roads is closing.

Published Feb 19, 2020

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Drought Hits Thailand
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Drought Hits Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is affecting agriculture and drinking water in the region.

Published Feb 15, 2020

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Climate Change Could Trigger More Landslides in High Mountain Asia
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Climate Change Could Trigger More Landslides in High Mountain Asia

Warming temperatures will likely cause more intense rainfall, leading to increased landslide activity.

Published Feb 12, 2020

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Polar Bears Struggle as Sea Ice Declines
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Polar Bears Struggle as Sea Ice Declines

A new study shows that polar bears are spending less time on sea ice, leading them to fast longer, become thinner and have fewer cubs.

Published Feb 4, 2020

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Patchwork of Corn in the Snow
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Patchwork of Corn in the Snow

In the wake of a potent winter storm in late November in the U.S. Midwest, an unusual pattern turned up in satellite imagery.

Published Dec 6, 2019

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Night Lights Can Disrupt Wildlife
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Night Lights Can Disrupt Wildlife

A new study shows that nocturnal animals are less active when the nights are too bright with electric lighting.

Published Oct 24, 2019

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A Flash Drought Dries the Southeast
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A Flash Drought Dries the Southeast

After a wet spring, a quick-onset drought has parched fields.

Published Oct 23, 2019

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New Map Shows Risk of Sunburn Across the U.S.
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New Map Shows Risk of Sunburn Across the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using NASA data to help the public better understand their UV exposure.

Published Aug 7, 2019

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Water Cycle is Speeding Up Over Much of the U.S.
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Water Cycle is Speeding Up Over Much of the U.S.

Scientists have developed a new way to measure water cycle intensity over time.

Published Jul 26, 2019

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