August 2012

Precipitation patterns of Tibetan Plateau
Aug 8, 2012Changing Precipitation Patterns Impacting Tibetan Plateau Glaciers

In the July issue of Nature Climate Change, Tandong Yao and colleagues report on the changing status of Tibetan Plateau glaciers over the past three decades. Using an array of data sources including Landsat (MSS, TM, and ETM+), the researchers [...]

beached giant kelp
Dec 23, 2011Explaining Beached Kelp

Have you ever walked along a California coast and wondered about all of the kelp washed-up on shore? In winter when storms are more frequent, giant kelp is regularly washed ashore. University of California, Santa Barbara researcher David Reed [...]

Dec 9, 2011Searching for thawing permafrost and at-risk infrastructure

Permafrost—ground that remains frozen for at least two years—allows soil substrate to act like bedrock. So when permafrost thaws there can be major problems for structures built atop of it. Imagine if the granite of Mount Rushmore turned to [...]

aspen stand suffering from sudden aspen decline
Dec 6, 2011Consequences of Aspen Die-off

Trembling aspen are dying. No tree species in North America has a broader habitat and no other is as large (a single clone can be a hundred acres in size). So their recent widespread mortality, caused by a severe five-year drought and higher [...]

Caernarvon freshwater diversion in Louisiana.
Aug 11, 2011Wetland Restoration Challenges

A recent publication inGeophysical Research Letters has called into question the effectiveness of current wetland restoration methods. Using more than two decades worth of Landsat data, Dr. Michael Kearney of the University of Maryland analyzed [...]

Rice paddies
Jul 19, 2011Monitoring Waterbird Habitat

In an article published this month in The International Journal of Avian Science,Spanish researchers used Landsat data to map waterbird habitat in rice paddies adjacent to the Doñana National Park in southwestern Spain. As the area of natural [...]

Outer Banks barrier islands
May 10, 2011World Inventory of Barrier Islands Jumps by One Third

A new Landsat-based survey of worldwide barrier islands has discovered over 650 previously unrecognized islands. Length-wis,e the global stretch of barrier islands is now 37 percent greater than formerly thought. Barrier islands are long narrow [...]

Forest height in southern Eleuthera
Jul 31, 2010Landsat Time Series Used to Map Tropical Dry Forest Height

A team of researchers led by Landsat Science Team member Eileen Helmer has used Landsat time series data to map forest height on the island of Eleuthera. In the past, forest height and vertical structure have more typically been mapped with [...]

forest conversion in each Eastern U.S. ecoregion
Apr 14, 2010U.S. Eastern Forests in Decline

In an article published in BioScience, USGS scientists Mark Drummond and Tom Loveland show that forests in the Eastern U.S. have declined four percent since 1973. Using Landsat data along with field work and statistical data Drummond (a USGS [...]

Mar 10, 2010Landsat and the “Human Invader”

• In an article titled “Modeling the human invader in the United States,” USGS scientists Thomas Stohlgren, Catherine Jarnevich, and Chandra Giri modeled humans as an “invasive species” as they “spread” in the conterminous U.S. from Read [...]