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.

Southern Brazil Submerged
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Southern Brazil Submerged

This map reveals the depth of floodwater that covered Rio Grande do Sul in May 2024.

Published May 31, 2024

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Parched Kafue Flats
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Parched Kafue Flats

Severe drought in Zambia jeopardizes electricity supplies and food security for millions of people.

Published Apr 30, 2024

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Severe Drought in Southern Africa
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Severe Drought in Southern Africa

One of the driest growing seasons in decades has decimated crops and left millions hungry.

Published Apr 22, 2024

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Tracking the Invisible Movement of Water
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Tracking the Invisible Movement of Water

A moisture measurement tool known as OpenET is improving the way farmers, ranchers, and water resource managers steward one of Earth’s most precious resources.

Published Feb 2, 2024

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Earthquake Lifts the Noto Peninsula
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Earthquake Lifts the Noto Peninsula

Some parts of the peninsula rose up to 4 meters (13 feet), shifting the position of coastlines and leaving some ports dry.

Published Jan 23, 2024

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New Fissures Spill Lava in Iceland
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New Fissures Spill Lava in Iceland

The latest round of eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula destroyed homes in the town of Grindavík.

Published Jan 19, 2024

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Making Fire Sense on Monroe Mountain
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Making Fire Sense on Monroe Mountain

A high-intensity prescribed burn in south-central Utah will help restore the region’s aspen trees. It could also improve the lives of people managing, fighting, and living with fire.

Published Dec 14, 2023

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Devastating Flooding in East Africa
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Devastating Flooding in East Africa

Heavy rainfall in the Horn of Africa submerged entire towns in floodwater.

Published Nov 21, 2023

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El Niño Forecast to Contribute to Food Insecurity
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El Niño Forecast to Contribute to Food Insecurity

Shifting rainfall patterns are projected to leave millions of people without consistent access to food in late 2023 and early 2024.

Published Oct 30, 2023

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Tracking Canada’s Extreme 2023 Fire Season
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Tracking Canada’s Extreme 2023 Fire Season

A new system that draws upon active fire data from satellites is making it easier for scientists to track the spread of wildland fires in near real-time.  

Published Oct 25, 2023

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Karamoja Beset with Drought
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Karamoja Beset with Drought

Poor harvests stemming from a prolonged dry spell have exacerbated food insecurity in northeastern Uganda.

Published Oct 23, 2023

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Drought Fuels Wildfires in the Amazon
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Drought Fuels Wildfires in the Amazon

With an El Niño brewing in the Pacific, uncontrolled fires are burning beneath the canopy in some parts of the rainforest.

Published Oct 19, 2023

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Indigenous Communities Protect the Amazon
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Indigenous Communities Protect the Amazon

Indigenous people are protecting carbon-rich forests in South America, and satellites are helping.

Published Oct 9, 2023

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Tracking Nightlights in Libya
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Tracking Nightlights in Libya

Cities and towns darkened after a cyclone unleashed torrential flooding along the country’s coast.

Published Sep 25, 2023

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Devastation in Morocco
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Devastation in Morocco

Communities in the High Atlas Mountains were among the hardest hit after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake caused widespread damage.

Published Sep 20, 2023

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The Best Places to Plant Trees in Maryland
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The Best Places to Plant Trees in Maryland

Using remote sensing, researchers have developed a method to guide the state of Maryland’s tree-planting efforts.

Published Sep 7, 2023

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Idalia Spawns Major Winds
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Idalia Spawns Major Winds

The hurricane rapidly intensified over the Gulf of Mexico, weakening only slightly before making landfall over Florida.

Published Aug 30, 2023

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Idalia Roars Into the Gulf of Mexico
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Idalia Roars Into the Gulf of Mexico

Fueled by unusually warm waters, the hurricane is forecast to rapidly intensify before barreling into Florida.

Published Aug 29, 2023

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Winds and Hail Scar the Great Plains  
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Winds and Hail Scar the Great Plains  

A new database details two decades of damage swaths left after winds and hail pulverize crops and vegetation.  

Published Aug 23, 2023

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Shifting Cultivation in Laos
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Shifting Cultivation in Laos

A detailed analysis of satellite data reveals the expansion of land that has been converted from forest to impermanent farmland.

Published Aug 21, 2023

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Devastation in Maui
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Devastation in Maui

Strong winds and dry weather helped fuel destructive wildfires on Hawaii’s second-largest island.

Published Aug 10, 2023

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Fire Season Heats Up in the West
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Fire Season Heats Up in the West

Following a slow start to the fire season, several blazes burned across the western U.S. in early August.

Published Aug 3, 2023

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Canals in Ukraine are Drying Up
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Canals in Ukraine are Drying Up

After the breach of Kakhovka Dam and the flood that ensued, farmers in the area are coping with depleted water supplies.

Published Jul 27, 2023

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Fires Ignite on Greek Islands
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Fires Ignite on Greek Islands

Wildfires broke out on Rhodes and other islands amid record heat, forcing thousands to evacuate.

Published Jul 25, 2023

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Idaho’s Emerald Refuge
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Idaho’s Emerald Refuge

Plants are abundant along Baugh Creek, thanks to the ponded water from beaver dams.

Published Jul 24, 2023

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Watching a Hurricane Intensify
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Watching a Hurricane Intensify

Observations made by NASA’s newest storm-watching satellites captured the evolution of Hurricane Adrian’s structure as the storm strengthened.

Published Jul 21, 2023

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Water Woes in Doñana National Park
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Water Woes in Doñana National Park

Satellite data show wetlands in Spain desiccated by demands on groundwater and persistent drought.

Published Jun 26, 2023

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A Rough Harvest for Kansas Wheat
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A Rough Harvest for Kansas Wheat

Prolonged drought in Kansas set the stage for what may be one of the state’s smallest wheat harvests in decades.

Published Jun 22, 2023

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Satellites Show Gains in California Water
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Satellites Show Gains in California Water

Data from winter 2022-2023 show the greatest net gain of water in nearly 22 years, but groundwater levels still suffer from years of drought.

Published Jun 10, 2023

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California Reservoir Rebound
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California Reservoir Rebound

Shasta Lake refilled in spring 2023 after a season of heavy rain and snowmelt.

Published Jun 7, 2023

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