• NASA Airborne Mission Returns to Africa to Study Smoke, Clouds

    NASA's P-3 research plane begins flights this month through both clouds and smoke over the South Atlantic Ocean to understand how tiny airborne particles called aerosols change the properties of clouds and how they influence the amount of incoming sunlight the clouds reflect or absorb.

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  • What it takes to recover from drought

    Drought-stricken areas anxiously await the arrival of rain. Full recovery of the ecosystem, however, can extend long past the first rain drops on thirsty ground.

    According to a study published August 10 in Nature, the length of drought recovery depends on several factors, including the region of the world and the post-drought weather conditions. The authors, including William Anderegg of the University of Utah, warn that more frequent droughts in the future may not allow time for ecosystems to fully recover before the next drought hits.

    Find a video abstract of this study here. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and by NASA.

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  • East Coast's rapidly rising seas explained

    University of Florida scientists discover cause of Atlantic coastline’s sea level rise hot spots.

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  • U.S. had 2nd warmest year to date and 10th warmest July on record

    July is the hallmark of summer in the United States. Long days, intense sun and high humidity typically make it the hottest month of the year. The heat can also trigger flash droughts, wildfires and summer storms. This July didn’t disappoint.

    Here’s how July and the year to date fared in terms of the climate record. 

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  • Incomplete Drought Recovery May Be The New Normal

    The amount of time it takes for an ecosystem to recover from a drought is an important measure of a drought’s severity. During the 20th century, the total area of land affected by drought increased, and longer recovery times became more common, according to new research published by Nature by a group of scientists including Carnegie’s Anna Michalak and Yuanyuan Fang.

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  • Super-heatwaves of 55°C to emerge if global warming continues

    Heatwaves amplified by high humidity can reach above 40°C and may occur as often as every two years, leading to serious risks for human health. If global temperatures rise with 4°C, a new super heatwave of 55°C can hit regularly many parts of the world, including Europe.

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  • Climate change may confuse plant dormancy cycles

    Perennial plants in the Midwest are well attuned to their surroundings. They hunker down all winter in a dormant state, just waiting for a sign that it’s safe to unfurl their first tender leaves or flower buds. For many plants, the cue is a sustained warming trend, but day length also factors into the dormancy equation.

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  • RAVAN CubeSat Measures Earth's Outgoing Energy

    An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth’s climate.

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  • NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite Takes a Double Look at Tropical Storm Franklin

    When NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Franklin instruments aboard provided a night-time view of the storm’s clouds and measured their temperatures, revealing a strengthening storm.

    The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite captured infrared images of Franklin on August 8 at 3:58 a.m. EDT (0758 UTC). The Suomi NPP night-time image showed that Franklin’s northwestern edge had not yet reached San Francisco de Campeche or Merida, as the lights of both cities were still visible in the image. The infrared image provided temperatures of Franklin’s cloud tops, where thunderstorms surrounding the low-level center were as cold as 190 Kelvin (minus 117.7 degrees Fahrenheit / minus 83.1 degrees Celsius). NASA research has shown that storms with cloud top temperatures that cold have the ability to generate very heavy rainfall.

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  • NASA's Smartest Satellite Is Gone. Can Private Space Replace It?

    Look down on Buenos Aires from the sky, and you can learn a fair bit about the city. It's got a lot of concrete. Also a lot of trees. There's a bright green river delta to the north, which probably explains the ruddy-brown bay to the east. But with the right camera—a hyperspectral one—you can pick up a whole lot more. New colors emerge, hidden hues your eyes and mine aren't wired to see. And these colors reflect even more detail about the scene: the gases coming out of the city, the health of the plants surrounding it, the species of algae coloring the water offshore.

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