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.

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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Failed Rainy Seasons Create Food Emergency in Eastern Africa
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Failed Rainy Seasons Create Food Emergency in Eastern Africa

More than 20 million people in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia now face some of the worst food security risks in 35 years.

Published Jan 7, 2022

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Mapping Marine Microplastics
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Mapping Marine Microplastics

Researchers used satellite data to detect and track masses of plastic floating in the ocean.

Published Dec 3, 2021

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Study Traces Ammonia Pollution in Africa
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Study Traces Ammonia Pollution in Africa

Scientists used satellites to parse where and how agriculture is changing atmospheric concentrations of the chemical.

Published Nov 17, 2021

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An Extra Air Pollution Burden
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An Extra Air Pollution Burden

New research shows that neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., with more people of color are exposed to more air pollution and have higher rates of disease.

Published Nov 9, 2021

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Falling For Corn
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Falling For Corn

More than one third of the world’s maize (corn) crop is grown in the United States, and the largest share comes from a swath of land across the Midwest.

Published Nov 4, 2021

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Scientific Questions Arrive in Ports
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Scientific Questions Arrive in Ports

Satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide near key U.S. ports suggest that increased shipping activity and backlogs may be affecting air quality.

Published Oct 28, 2021

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Satellites View California Oil Spill
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Satellites View California Oil Spill

Satellite imagers can make oil spills easier to detect in open water.

Published Oct 7, 2021

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Research Shows More People Living in Floodplains
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Research Shows More People Living in Floodplains

The proportion of the world’s population exposed to floods grew by 20 to 24 percent—ten times greater than what previous models had predicted.

Published Sep 27, 2021

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Mapping Methane Emissions in California
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Mapping Methane Emissions in California

Using precision instruments and new mapping and machine-learning tools, a research team has been pinpointing sources of the greenhouse gas.

Published Sep 9, 2021

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Earthquake in Haiti Triggers Landslides
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Earthquake in Haiti Triggers Landslides

A break in the clouds offered satellites a view of hillslopes that slid away during the magnitude 7.2 temblor.

Published Aug 16, 2021

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Sizing Up How Agriculture Connects to Deforestation
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Sizing Up How Agriculture Connects to Deforestation

Using satellite data from the past two decades, scientists are starting to pinpoint which crops and farming styles have lasting impacts on forests.

Published Aug 11, 2021

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An Upended Ecosystem in the Arabian Sea
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An Upended Ecosystem in the Arabian Sea

How can snow cover on the Himalayas influence the species that thrive in the ocean a thousand kilometers away?

Published Aug 5, 2021

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Mapping the Spread of Lyme Disease
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Mapping the Spread of Lyme Disease

Researchers used field observations and remote sensing data to map the spread of the bacteria-carrying ticks in central and eastern Canada.

Published Jun 25, 2021

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Finding Gold Mining Hotspots in Peru
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Finding Gold Mining Hotspots in Peru

Researchers have created a satellite-based tool to help officials identify new activity.

Published Jun 16, 2021

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