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Ozone Hole is Big, But Tempered by CFC Reductions
Drought Persists in the U.S. Southwest
The Largest River Delta in Europe
Scars of the Somme
Image of the Day Nov 14, 2018

Ozone Hole is Big, But Tempered by CFC Reductions

The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was slightly above average size in 2018, but smaller than expected for the weather conditions.

Camp Fire Rages in California
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Camp Fire Rages in California

Multiple fast-moving fires are producing huge plumes of smoke and threatening several communities.

Published Nov 9, 2018

Image of the Day Heat Land Fires Human Presence

Pine Island Glacier Quickly Drops Another Iceberg
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Pine Island Glacier Quickly Drops Another Iceberg

Calving that used to happen about every six years has become a near-annual event.

Published Nov 8, 2018

Image of the Day Unique Imagery Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Highlights from The Earth Observer
Earth Observatory Blogs

Highlights from The Earth Observer

A new edition of The Earth Observer, a bi-monthly publication that covers the nuts-and-bolts of NASA’s Earth Observing System, is out.

Published Nov 7, 2018 in Earth Matters

Which Way Will the Smoke Go?
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Which Way Will the Smoke Go?

A new experimental model that relies on data from NOAA and NASA satellites has proven remarkably good at simulating the behavior of wildfire smoke.

Published Nov 6, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires Remote Sensing

Bushfire Burns More than 2 Million Acres
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Bushfire Burns More than 2 Million Acres

This dry season, a bushfire in western Australia wiped out an area six times the size of Los Angeles.

Published Nov 6, 2018

Image of the Day Heat Land Fires

Fires Rage along the Garden Route
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Fires Rage along the Garden Route

More than 86,000 hectares of land have burned, making it one of South Africa's biggest fires near populated areas.

Published Nov 5, 2018

Atmosphere Fires

Famous Rectangular Iceberg’s Rough Journey
Earth Observatory Blogs

Famous Rectangular Iceberg’s Rough Journey

The sharp-angled iceberg that made headlines in late October 2018 had a longer, rougher journey than was initially thought.

Published Nov 5, 2018 in Earth Matters

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jun 2006 — Jul 2018

Net Radiation

Net radiation is the balance between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere. It is the total energy available to influence climate after light and heat are reflected, absorbed, or emitted by clouds and land.

Heat

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jul 2018

Aerosol Optical Depth

Airborne aerosols can cause or prevent cloud formation and harm human health. These maps depict aerosol concentrations in the air based on how the tiny particles reflect or absorb visible and infrared light.

Atmosphere

Rainy October Soaks Texas
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Rainy October Soaks Texas

Storm after storm rolled through and dumped record rainfall in parts of Texas.

Published Nov 2, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Floods Human Presence

A Close-Up View of the Betsiboka
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A Close-Up View of the Betsiboka

The braided river carries iron-rich sediment from the high central plateau and mountains down through complex, woven channels and vegetated islands.

Published Nov 2, 2018

Image of the Day Land Water

October Snow in Siberia
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October Snow in Siberia

As many areas around the world are experiencing autumn, Siberia sees the beginning of winter.

Published Nov 2, 2018

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Mission: Biomes
Article

Mission: Biomes

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different part of the world? What would the weather be like? What kinds of animals would you see? Which plants live there? By investigating these questions, you are learning about biomes.

Published Oct 5, 2000

Land Life

Carbon Monoxide
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jan 2017

Carbon Monoxide

When fuels such as coal, wood, and oil burn incompletely, they produce carbon monoxide. The gas is spread by winds and circulation. These maps show monthly averages of CO in the lower atmosphere.

Atmosphere

Looking Into the Eye of Yutu
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Looking Into the Eye of Yutu

A stroke of luck brought the CloudSat radar directly over the center of one of the strongest typhoons of the year.

Published Nov 2, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Severe Storms

Smokier and Smokier Skies in India
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Smokier and Smokier Skies in India

Since 2003, the number of November crop fires in northern India has increased significantly.

Published Nov 1, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Human Presence

Watching Out for Whales
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Watching Out for Whales

Environmental variables detected by satellites can help reduce collisions between ships and blue whales.

Published Nov 1, 2018

Image of the Day Life Water Remote Sensing

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Jan 2000 — Jul 2018

Cloud Fraction

In addition to making rain and snow, clouds can have a warming or cooling influence depending on their altitude, type, and when they form. These maps show what fraction of an area was cloudy each month.

Atmosphere

A Place Where Icebergs Go to Die
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A Place Where Icebergs Go to Die

This image could be a scene out of a spooky movie, but the reality is just as morbid.

Published Oct 31, 2018

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Yutu Hits the Philippines
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Yutu Hits the Philippines

The category 2 typhoon brought soaking rain and landslides.

Published Oct 30, 2018

Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence

Monitoring Outflow and Algae
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Monitoring Outflow and Algae

A NASA team was able to use satellite imagery to observe effects of a repair of Los Angeles' largest wastewater treatment plant.

Published Oct 30, 2018

Image of the Day Heat Water Human Presence

Increased Fire Activity in New Guinea
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Increased Fire Activity in New Guinea

October 2018 brought an increase in fire detections, which might be associated with a weak El Niño.

Published Oct 29, 2018

Atmosphere Land Fires Human Presence

A Fire in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean?
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A Fire in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

High-energy particles from the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly occasionally trick satellite sensors.

Published Oct 29, 2018

Image of the Day Heat Land Remote Sensing

A Dusty View of the Al Qassim Region
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A Dusty View of the Al Qassim Region

A line of thunderclouds marched across the desert of central Saudi Arabia on the way toward Yemen.

Published Oct 28, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

A Blackwater River Meets the Sea
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A Blackwater River Meets the Sea

A satellite image offers inky evidence of the organic-rich freshwater that the Suwannee River delivers to the Gulf of Mexico.

Published Oct 27, 2018

Image of the Day Land Life Water

October Puzzler
Earth Observatory Blogs

October Puzzler

Your challenge is to tell us what we are looking at and why it is interesting.

Published Oct 26, 2018 in Earth Matters

It’s Valley Fog Season
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It’s Valley Fog Season

As cool air pours into valleys on chilly autumn nights, valley fog and dicey driving conditions can emerge.

Published Oct 26, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

Super Typhoon Yutu
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Super Typhoon Yutu

In just 30 hours, the cyclone grew from tropical storm to category 5 monster. It may be the strongest storm to ever hit the Northern Mariana Islands, a territory of the United States.

Published Oct 24, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence

Hide and Seek Sandstone: Geology by Satellite
Earth Observatory Blogs

Hide and Seek Sandstone: Geology by Satellite

Find out how scientists see different rock types with the help of satellites and solve the mystery of how rock layers move to make cool rock formations. 

Published Oct 23, 2018 in EO Kids

Hurricane Willa Closes in on Mexico
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Hurricane Willa Closes in on Mexico

Still a “dangerous hurricane,” the category 3 storm passed the Islas Marías as it closed in on Mexico’s mainland.

Published Oct 23, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence

A Neat Slice of Ice in Antarctica
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A Neat Slice of Ice in Antarctica

A sharp-edged rectangular iceberg floats near the Larsen C ice shelf.

Published Oct 23, 2018

Unique Imagery Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Aerosol Size
Global Maps Dec 2004 — Aug 2016

Aerosol Size

Sea salt, volcanic ash, dust, wildfire smoke, and industrial pollution are types of airborne aerosols. Natural aerosols tend to be larger than human-made aerosols. These maps show when and where aerosols come from nature, humans, or both.

Atmosphere

Earth Awash in Lights of the Night
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Earth Awash in Lights of the Night

City lights sprawl across Earth’s surface below a constant glow in the upper atmosphere.

Published Oct 23, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Fires Scar Northern Botswana
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Fires Scar Northern Botswana

Satellites detect fires that are not necessarily being reported. Scientists are taking note and compiling global views of fire behavior and evolution.

Published Oct 23, 2018

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Hurricane Willa
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Hurricane Willa

A powerful, dangerous hurricane is poised to hit Mexico.

Published Oct 22, 2018

Atmosphere Water Severe Storms Human Presence

The New UN Climate Report in One Sentence
Earth Observatory Blogs

The New UN Climate Report in One Sentence

Many parts of the world are already seeing rising sea levels, hotter temperatures, more extreme precipitation and droughts, more acidic oceans, and faster rates of extinctions.

Published Oct 19, 2018 in Earth Matters

Snow Cover
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jul 2018

Snow Cover

Snow and ice influences climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. When it melts, snow is a source of water for drinking and vegetation; too much snowmelt can lead to floods. These maps show average snow cover by month.

Snow and Ice

A Season of Smoke
Article

A Season of Smoke

In summer 2018, wildfires across western North America disrupted the lives of millions. Smoke from some of the blazes was so pronounced it was visible from space.

Published Sep 11, 2018

Atmosphere Land Remote Sensing Videos

Padma River: The Shape of Erosion
Article

Padma River: The Shape of Erosion

From 1988 to the present, Landsat satellites have seen changes in shape, size, and position of the Padma River in Bangladesh. View the river's transformations over the past three decades.

Published Aug 21, 2018

Land Water

The Carbon Cycle
Article

The Carbon Cycle

Carbon flows between the atmosphere, land, and ocean in a cycle that encompasses nearly all life and sets the thermostat for Earth's climate. By burning fossil fuels, people are changing the carbon cycle with far-reaching consequences.

Published Jun 16, 2011

Atmosphere Land

World of Change: Padma River
Article

World of Change: Padma River

One of the major rivers of Bangladesh has been growing in size, transforming in shape, and changing in location for decades. Each twist and zigzag of the river tells a different geologic story about the power of erosion.

Published Jul 31, 2018

Land Water Remote Sensing World of Change

Patriotic Places from Orbit
Article

Patriotic Places from Orbit

On July 4, United States citizens celebrate the nation’s independence. EO does the same by visiting five places with historical significance.

Published Jul 3, 2018

Land Videos

Kilauea From Orbit
Article

Kilauea From Orbit

In early May 2018, an eruption on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began to unfold. Here’s what satellites saw in the first few weeks of the eruption.

Published Jun 13, 2018

Atmosphere Land Videos