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.

Sizing up Mauna Loa’s Lava Flows
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Sizing up Mauna Loa’s Lava Flows

Airborne mapping of the thickness of the lava flows helped scientists calculate that 230 million cubic meters of molten rock poured from the volcano during the two-week eruption.

Published Dec 16, 2022

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Lightning in the U.S. South
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Lightning in the U.S. South

Dangerous thunderstorms and destructive tornadoes lashed the U.S. South amid a sprawling winter storm in December 2022.

Published Dec 16, 2022

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Worst Drought on Record Parches Horn of Africa
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Worst Drought on Record Parches Horn of Africa

The most severe drought in 70 years of record keeping threatens the Horn of Africa with famine.

Published Dec 13, 2022

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Larger Wheat Harvest in Ukraine Than Expected
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Larger Wheat Harvest in Ukraine Than Expected

A satellite-based analysis indicates that nearly 27 million tons of wheat were harvested from the country’s farms this year, but Ukraine won’t reap all of the benefits.

Published Dec 2, 2022

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Phytoplankton May Be Abundant Under Antarctic Sea Ice
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Phytoplankton May Be Abundant Under Antarctic Sea Ice

New evidence shows that a sufficient amount of daylight penetrates the ice to sustain blooms of floating, plant-like organisms.

Published Nov 29, 2022

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Arctic Cyclones to Intensify as Climate Warms
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Arctic Cyclones to Intensify as Climate Warms

Scientists project that sea ice loss and rapidly warming temperatures will cause storms in the far north to intensify by the end of this century.

Published Nov 16, 2022

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Deforestation Follows a Road Through Ucayali
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Deforestation Follows a Road Through Ucayali

A remote oil and logging road first established in eastern Peru in the 1980s has become a hub for forest clearing.

Published Oct 25, 2022

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Drought and Barge Backups on the Mississippi
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Drought and Barge Backups on the Mississippi

Low water levels are making it difficult to ship goods down the river and allowing a wedge of saltwater to move upstream.

Published Oct 21, 2022

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Fuel Regulation Reduced Air Pollution from Shipping
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Fuel Regulation Reduced Air Pollution from Shipping

A global standard limiting sulfur in ship fuel reduced artificial “ship track” clouds to record-low levels in 2020. Pandemic-related disruptions played a secondary role.

Published Oct 19, 2022

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Flood Woes Continue in Pakistan
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Flood Woes Continue in Pakistan

Water has begun to recede, but large swaths of farmland remain waterlogged as food shortages loom and waterborne diseases spread.

Published Oct 13, 2022

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Another Lean Season in the Grand Sud
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Another Lean Season in the Grand Sud

Persistent drought in southern Madagascar is fueling food shortages in the arid region.

Published Oct 11, 2022

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Power Outages after Hurricane Ian
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Power Outages after Hurricane Ian

Several cities on the west coast of Florida lost much of their electric power for days after the storm.

Published Oct 3, 2022

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A Rough Year for Rice in California
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A Rough Year for Rice in California

The ongoing drought has cut rice acreage in the Sacramento Valley in half.

Published Oct 3, 2022

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Power Outages in Puerto Rico
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Power Outages in Puerto Rico

Four days after Hurricane Fiona made landfall on the island, citizens were coping with widespread power losses.

Published Sep 22, 2022

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The Inequitable Distribution of Urban Trees
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The Inequitable Distribution of Urban Trees

A significant disparity in tree cover across urban neighborhoods leads to differences in temperatures and health outcomes.

Published Sep 19, 2022

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Deep Concern About Food Security in Eastern Africa
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Deep Concern About Food Security in Eastern Africa

The Horn of Africa is facing drought and crop failures after four inadequate rainy seasons.

Published Aug 16, 2022

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Tracking Deluge and Drought through Soil Moisture
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Tracking Deluge and Drought through Soil Moisture

From soaked to dry, the variable state of U.S. soils has implications for farmers and crop production.

Published Jul 29, 2022

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Clearer View of Great Lakes Air Quality
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Clearer View of Great Lakes Air Quality

Scientists and regulators are using satellite data and custom models from NASA to help monitor ozone pollution.

Published Jul 28, 2022

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Blooming Lake Okeechobee
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Blooming Lake Okeechobee

Nearly half of the lake was covered with blue-green algae in early July 2022.

Published Jul 15, 2022

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Measuring War’s Effect on a Global Breadbasket
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Measuring War’s Effect on a Global Breadbasket

NASA Harvest researchers are using satellite observations and economic data to track how the Russia-Ukraine conflict is disrupting the global food system.

Published Jun 29, 2022

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NASA Data Supercharges Forecasting in Bangladesh
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NASA Data Supercharges Forecasting in Bangladesh

Researchers with SERVIR created a web-based tool that integrates NASA satellite data with observations from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Wild Fluctuations in Sierra Snow
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Wild Fluctuations in Sierra Snow

The California mountain range alternated between extreme precipitation and none at all this winter.

Published May 6, 2022

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Taking Stock of Rocky Mountain Snowpack
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Taking Stock of Rocky Mountain Snowpack

In the midst of a megadrought, scientists are working to improve snowpack measurements used to forecast water supplies.

Published May 5, 2022

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Keeping a Satellite Eye on GERD
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Keeping a Satellite Eye on GERD

Remote sensing could help experts monitor Nile hydrology as a new reservoir is filled.

Published Apr 20, 2022

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A Grand New Dam on the Nile
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A Grand New Dam on the Nile

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will boost electricity production and development in Ethiopia, but could have less desirable consequences for other users of Nile River water.  

Published Apr 19, 2022

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No Breathing Easy for City Dwellers: Particulates
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No Breathing Easy for City Dwellers: Particulates

A new satellite-derived dataset links concentrations of fine particulate matter in air pollution with health outcomes in cities around the world.

Published Mar 15, 2022

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No Breathing Easy for City Dwellers: Nitrogen Dioxide
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No Breathing Easy for City Dwellers: Nitrogen Dioxide

A new satellite-derived global dataset links concentrations of nitrogen dioxide with cases of pediatric asthma in urban areas around the world.

Published Mar 14, 2022

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Lasering In on Corn Fields
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Lasering In on Corn Fields

An instrument designed to measure tree height can also distinguish corn from other crops.

Published Mar 7, 2022

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Assessing Lightning Risk in South Asia
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Assessing Lightning Risk in South Asia

With lightning killing hundreds of people in Bangladesh and Nepal each year, researchers think space-based observations could help reduce risks.

Published Feb 11, 2022

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Mapping Methane Emissions from Fossil Fuel Exploitation
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Mapping Methane Emissions from Fossil Fuel Exploitation

Scientists track the sources of 97 million metric tons of methane emissions.

Published Jan 25, 2022

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