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NASA Earthdata
NASA Earth Science Data, Services, Webinars, Tutorials and Tools
NASA Earth Science Data, Services, Webinars, Tutorials and Tools


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Who uses NASA Earth science data? She does- to explore the impact of urban heat islands

Lela Prashad, CEO and Co-Founder of NiJeL, a data science company focused on environmental and social sustainability; former director (2006-2011) of the 100 Cities Project at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration

Research interests: Connecting satellite remote sensing data with ground-based monitors to build a more complete picture of urban environments and how people locally experience these environments.

Research highlights: The end of June and beginning of July in New York City this past summer were sizzling, with temperatures in Central Park soaring into the 90s four straight days. Meanwhile, the temperature in Islip, NY, 53 miles away on Long Island, reached the 90s only one time during this same period. While Islip’s location closer to the Atlantic Ocean likely helped mitigate the high temperatures experienced in New York City, another factor in Islip’s favor may have been that it lacks the extremely high density of people and pavement found in The Big Apple.

Temperature data measured by instruments aboard Earth observing satellites and at ground level show that urban areas tend to have higher average temperatures than the more rural areas around them. These warmer urban areas are called “urban heat islands.” When temperature data are combined with socioeconomic data (such as census data), population clusters that may be affected by higher urban temperatures are easy to identify.

Learn more about her work:
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New OMPS Product Provides a Better View of High-Aerosol Events

The new PyroCumuloNimbus product from the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi-NPP satellite's Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) makes it easier to track and analyze high concentrations of aerosols from wildfires and similar events.
The 2018 wildfire season has been one for the record books. Along with historically high numbers of wildfires in the Western U.S. and in Canada, this season included rare wildfires above the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia and near the Russia-Finland border.

Along with the threat to lives and property, these fires also affect local weather. As heat from these fires rises into the atmosphere, it has the potential for producing pyrocumulonimbus, or pyroCb, events. A pyroCb is a fire-caused or fire-enhanced thunderstorm that in its most extreme form pumps high amounts of smoke and other biomass-burning emissions into the lower stratosphere. Smoke and other suspended particles in the atmosphere are known as "aerosols."

Learn more about this new data product:

Explore new aerosol index imagery in NASA Worldview by going to, click on "add layers" and then enter "aerosol index" into the search bar at the top.

Worldview Direct Links:
*Smoke from Fires in North America (Top image)
*OMPS AI Layer (Middle image)
*OMPS PyroCb Layer (Bottom image)
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EOSDIS DAACs Celebrate Milestones of Service to Global Data Users

For more than 25 years, EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) have maintained the flexibility to serve ever-greater volumes of data to an ever-growing worldwide user community.

When NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) became operational as part of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) in 1994, it faced a daunting challenge. Charged with providing end-to-end capabilities for managing NASA’s Earth science data from sources including satellites, aircraft, field measurements, and various other programs, the EOSDIS had to accomplish this using 1990s technology—personal computers with an average of 400 to 1,000 megabyte (MB) hard drives, 33 MHz processors, and 14.4k “high speed” modems. A critical EOSDIS need was to establish a structure that would enable efficient scaling to deal with the surge of data from planned and future EOS missions along with inevitable advances in technology.
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Updated Data: NASA Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) Merged Atmospheric Chemistry, Trace Gases, and Aerosols

This dataset provides information on greenhouse gases and human-produced air pollution, including atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), tropospheric ozone (O3) and black carbon (BC) aerosols, collected during airborne campaigns conducted by NASA's ATom mission.

ATom deploys an extensive gas and aerosol payload on the NASA DC-8 aircraft for systematic, global-scale sampling of the atmosphere, profiling continuously from 0.2 to 12 km altitude. Flights occurred in each of 4 seasons from 2016 to 2018. Flights originate from the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, fly north to the western Arctic, south to the South Pacific, east to the Atlantic, north to Greenland, and return to California across central North America.

This updated data is archived and distributed at the NASA Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center. ORNL DAAC is one of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs that manage, archive and distribute Earth science data as part of the Earth Science Data Systems Program.

To discover and access data:
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Announcing Upcoming Webinar on 9/26/18

Land Ho! Exploring Earth’s Land Surface with Suomi-NPP NASA VIIRS Land Data
Looking to learn more about global land data products available from NASA? This webinar will focus on the new NASA land data products produced from the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument.

Join us to learn more about the different types of NASA S-NPP VIIRS land data products that are available from NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). The NASA S-NPP product suite includes data for surface reflectance, vegetation indices, fires and more.

During this webinar, we will provide information about how to access and work with these data using a variety of tools from the LP DAAC. Live data discovery and data download demonstrations using NASA’s Earthdata Search and the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS) will be provided.

The webinar will conclude with a step-by-step walk-through of a Jupyter Notebook (Python) tutorial demonstrating some basic image processing techniques for working with daily NASA S-NPP VIIRS surface reflectance data

To register:
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Highlights from the NASA DEVELOP National Program Spring 2018 Term

During the Spring 2018 Term of NASA’s DEVELOP National Program, participants used geospatial data and technologies to investigate, analyze, and monitor several issues around the world. Some of the topics explored throughout the term included invasive species, pollution, crop diversity, extreme weather, changing ecologies, wildfires, disease, water resources, archaeological preservation, and urbanization. Each project completed by a DEVELOP team is conducted in partnership with agencies or organizations local to the study area. Fundamental to the analytical and geospatial component of each of these projects is NASA Earth science remote sensing data.

Two of these projects used data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on board NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites and distributed by the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). LP DAAC is one of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) DAACs that manage, archive and distribute Earth science data as part of the Earth Science Data Systems Program.

To read more about the Spring Term highlights:

About the NASA DEVELOP National Program

The DEVELOP National Program is part of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program. Participants from around the country join the DEVELOP program for 10-week terms to apply data acquired by NASA Earth-observing satellites to bridge the gap between science and society. DEVELOP participants work with non-profit, local, state, and federal partners to create maps and other products in eight focus areas, including Agriculture & Food Security, Disasters, Ecological Forecasting, Energy, Health and Air Quality, Urban Development, Water Resources, and Transportation & Infrastructure.

Learn more:
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We are pleased to announce the Summer 2018 edition of the NASA EOSDIS Update quarterly newsletter!

In this issue you’ll learn how to view almost 20 years of global daily MODIS imagery using the EOSDIS Worldview satellite imagery exploration tool (and how this monumental long-term imagery record was created). You’ll also learn more about the NASA ORNL DAAC's Daymet data product, which provides gridded estimates of daily weather parameters across North America, and how the EOSDIS works with the international World Data System (WDS) to help facilitate free and open data. As always, you’ll find links to Data User Profiles, webinars, data recipes and, of course, amazing images of Earth.

Download your copy today:

Subscribe to the newsletter:

To view or download earlier issues:
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Who uses NASA Earth science data? He does- to develop new ways to study active volcanoes and to provide data to support emergency response efforts.
Dr. Mike Ramsey, Professor of Volcanology and Planetary Science, Department of Geology and Environmental Science,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Research interests: Thermal infrared spectroscopy and remote sensing applied to a variety of Earth and planetary surface processes, especially the study of active volcanoes using ASTER data.

Research highlights: According to legend, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, Pele, lives in the Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is reported to take many forms, sometimes appearing as a white dog, an old woman, or a beautiful young woman. Her most common form, though, is that of lava pouring across the ground.

Like Pele, lava, too, takes different forms, including smooth, ropy pahoehoe (“pa-hoy-hoy”) and lumpy, rough a’a (“ah-ah”). Whether smooth or lumpy, all lava has one element in common—it is made from molten rock that can be hotter than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This intense heat can be detected by instruments aboard Earth observing satellites. For volcanologist Dr. Mike Ramsey, these thermal data are a cornerstone of his work using infrared spectroscopy and remote sensing data in his studies of active volcanoes. He and his students currently are working at volcanoes in Guatemala (Fuego, Pacaya), Russia (Tolbachik), Hawaii (Kilauea), Italy (Etna, Stromboli), and Reunion Island (Piton de la Fournaise).

Read about his work in our newest data user profile!

Image Caption: Dr. Mike Ramsey collecting thermal infrared data at a vent in the Leilani Estates subdivision near the eastern tip of the island of Hawaii in early June. The subdivision is located over part of the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea. More than 27 homes in the subdivision have been destroyed as a result of eruptions that began this past May.
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Massive Rains Led to Disastrous Flooding in Southern Japan Early July 2018

The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center collaborates with the Precipitation Measurement Missions to archive and distribute the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG). These data are produced at half-hourly, daily, and monthly scales, at 10-km resolution, and are essential for timely assessments of precipitation events around the globe. We use IMERG here to get a perspective on the complex synoptic events that contributed to this weather-related disaster.
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ICYMI: The "NASA ORNL DAAC MODIS and VIIRS Data Tools and Services at your Fingertips" webinar, held on August 16, 2018 is now posted to our NASA Earthdata YouTube Channel.

In this webinar, learn how to discover, subset, access and visualize both MODIS and VIIRS land data products using a suite of user-friendly tools developed by NASA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC). Demonstrations for the Global Subsetting Tool, the Fixed Sites Subsetting Tool, Web Services and workflows in R and Python with Jupyter notebook are included.

Check out other NASA Earthdata data discovery and access webinars:
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