January 2017


outlet glacier
Jan 9, 2017Using Landsat to Take the Long View on Greenland’s Glaciers

A new Landsat-based data portal enables scientists to study in unprecedented detail how fast outlet glaciers such as this one move and change over space and time.

Heimdal Glacier
Dec 23, 2016Landsat Provides Global View of Speed of Ice

Scientists are providing a near-real-time view of every large glacier and ice sheet on Earth with Landsat 8.

forest inventory
Dec 16, 2016How FastEmap is Helping Foresters

A new a tool to help with annual forest mapping.

Sierra Nevada Mountains
Dec 15, 2016Extreme Event: 2012-2015 Snowpack Drought in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

The water year 2015 peak snowpack was found to be the lowest over the 65-year reconstruction of peak annual snow water equivalent.

Folgefonna glacier
Dec 15, 2016A New Way to Map Glaciers

Using Landsat time-series analysis to map glaciers.

forest near Mt. Hood
Dec 15, 2016Fingerprinting Carbon Loss in Pacific Northwest Forests

Looking at the causes of carbon loss in Pacific Northwest forests.

Springtime on an Urban Heat Island
Dec 15, 2016Springtime on an Urban Heat Island

How the urban heat island of Boston affects the growing season of vegetation in and around the city.

snowmelt dates for Alaska
Dec 15, 2016Mapping Snowmelt in the Arctic

The extensive Landsat record has been analyzed to map the climatalogical normal date of snowmelt for large areas of the Arctic.

livestock, Pamir Mountains
Dec 15, 2016The 2015 Surge of Kelayayilake Glacier

In May 2015, a severe glacier surge struck the eastern Pamir.

Nevado Coropuna
Dec 14, 2016A Glacierized Volcano in Peru & El Niño

How the El Niño Southern Oscillation impacts snow cover of a glacierized volcano in Peru.

Punak Jaya glacier
Dec 14, 2016Decline of the Last Glaciers in the Eastern Tropics

The glaciers of Puncak Jaya have continued their decline.

abandoned barn
Dec 14, 201645 Years of Ecosystem Carbon Storage Change Across the U.S.

The carbon implications of 45 years of land use and land cover change in the conterminous U.S.

Getz Ice Shelf
Dec 12, 2016The Shifting Boundary Between Grounded Continental Ice and the Ocean in West Antarctica

Using Landsat to closely monitor changes in ‘grounding line’ position in West Antarctica.

Taimyr reindeer
Dec 12, 2016What Satellites Can Tell Us About How Animals Will Fare in a Changing Climate

From the Arctic to the Mojave Desert, terrestrial and marine habitats are quickly changing. Satellites are particularly well-suited to observe habitat transformation and help scientists forecast what animals might do next.

Karakoram mountain range
Dec 12, 2016Glacier Behavior in High Mountain Asia

How do glaciers respond to present climate change, in particular how have ice flows evolved over the last few decades?

Nabesna Glacier
Dec 12, 2016The Mechanics of Glacier Motion

Using Landsat 8 to document glacier velocity patterns on a mountain-range-wide scale.

Louisiana coastal marshes
Dec 12, 2016How Louisiana’s Coastal Marshes are Responding to Climate Change

Louisiana's coastal marshes are responding to climate change.

Himalayas
Dec 12, 2016Dust on a Glacier

The authors use Landsat imagery collected between 1996–2016 to analyze trends and variability in snow/ice albedo over the Himalayas.

Hamlet of Paulatuk
Dec 12, 2016The Eroding Hamlet of Paulatuk

The potential impacts of climate change on the Hamlet of Paulatuk in the Canadian Arctic are erosive.

NW Florida mangroves
Dec 12, 2016The Poleward March of Mangroves

Mangrove expansion has been observed in some subtropical locations around the world.

Antarctica
Dec 12, 2016Reassessing Mass Balance in West Antarctica

Mr. Chuter presented a poster on new mass balance estimates and velocity changes for parts of West Antarctica.

climate change data as art
Sep 30, 2016Landsat, Art, and a Glacier’s Perspective

Glaciologist and prolific AGU blogger, Mauri Pelto, regularly publishes posts about changing glaciers around the globe on his "From a Glacier's Perspective" blog. In many cases, Landsat data informs his posts.

Spartina grass on Sapelo Island
Aug 15, 2016Landsat Reveals Serious Decline in Georgia Salt Marsh Health

Scientists at the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute at Sapelo Island have found that the amount of vegetation along the Georgia coast has declined significantly in the last 30 years, spurring concerns about the overall health of marshland [...]

trees killed by pine beetles
Jul 19, 2016Landsat—The Watchman that Never Sleeps

In western North America, mountain pine beetles infest and ravage thousands of acres of forest lands. Landsat satellites bear witness to the onslaught in a way that neither humans nor most other satellites can.

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019
Jun 21, 2016Sierra Nevada Snowpack Not Likely To Recover from Drought Until 2019

Even with this winter’s strong El Niño, the Sierra Nevada snowpack will likely take until 2019 to return to pre-drought levels, according to new research.

west Antarctica
Jun 1, 2016Antarctic Coastline Images Reveal Four Decades of Ice Loss to Ocean

A study of images along 2000 kilometers of West Antarctica’s coastline has shown the loss of about 1000 square kilometers of ice – an area equivalent to the city of Berlin – over the past 40 years.

Landscape of West Kalimantan, Indonesia by Yayan Indriatmoko , CIFOR
Apr 27, 2016Staying Alert: How a New Landsat-Based Tool Spots Deforestation

Forests are commodities. The biggest driver of deforestation worldwide is the economic value of trees and the land they stand on. With the high demand for agricultural land and wood products, deforestation has become an intractable problem.

Canadian forest changes 1985-2011
Apr 18, 2016Landsat Used to Recreate the History of Canada’s Forests

Canada has recreated the recent history of its forest disturbance and related recovery using Landsat data; a history that would otherwise not be possible to recreate in a manner that is spatially explicit and at a spatial resolution of relevance [...]

forest and fungi
Mar 31, 2016Landsat Uncovers Underground Forest Fungi

A NASA-led team of scientists has developed the first-ever method for detecting the presence of different types of underground forest fungi from space, information that may help researchers predict how climate change will alter forest habitats.

wetlands in winter
Mar 16, 2016New Technique Tracks ‘Heartbeat’ of Hundreds of Wetlands

Across the U.S. and particularly in Washington state, very little is known about the acreage, yearly flooding cycles and even the actual locations of wetlands. Even hazier is what could happen to these vital ecosystems under climate change.

2015 Antarctica velocity map
Dec 18, 2015Measuring Movement at the Bottom of the Earth

Alex Gardner, a Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has used 30 years of Landsat data—some 3 million scenes—to measure the velocity of Antarctica's ice sheet. He spoke with us about the work he is presenting at #AGU15.

Lake Clark
Dec 18, 2015Watching Glacial Sediment Plumes in Alaska’s Lake Clark

Carson Baughman, a geographer at the USGS Alaska Science Center, presented results of his study on seasonal glacial sediment plumes in Alaska's Lake Clark at #AGU15. We talked to Carson about his work.

Antarctic rock outcrop map
Dec 17, 2015Mapping Antarctic Rock Outcrops with Landsat 8

Alex Burton-Johnson, Martin Black, and Peter Fretwell from the British Antarctic Survey have used Landsat 8 data to create a new rock outcrop map for Antarctica, which will become part of the Antarctic Digital Database. The team presented their [...]

Denali, snow
Dec 17, 2015A New Landsat-based Snow Cover Product from USGS

David Selkowitz, a Research Geographer with the USGS Alaska Science Center, and his team have developed a snow cover product, that allows users to look at historical snow cover through time. Selkowitz presented a poster on the Landsat-based data [...]

Coropuna
Dec 15, 2015Survival of a Tropical Glacier

William Kochtitzky, a student from Dickinson College, presented a poster on glacial changes on Peru’s Nevado Coropuna volcano at #AGU15.

U.S. forest
Dec 14, 2015Finding Where U.S. Forests Have Been Undisturbed for a Quarter Century

Chengquan Huang presented a poster explaining where to find U.S. forests that have been undisturbed for last 25 years at #AGU15. His research relied on Landsat to both find these forests and understand forest disturbance trends in the U.S.

a prairie pothole
Dec 14, 2015Climate Change, Conservation, and the Chemical Evolution of Prairie Potholes

Martin Goldhaber gave a talk about how climate change will impact the hydrochemistry of wetlands in an immensely important ecosystem known as the Prairie Pothole Region at #AGU15. Landsat data helped Goldhaber track how the size of the [...]

Panmah and Choktoi glacier movement
Nov 27, 2015Animating the “Karakoram Anomaly” with Landsat

Capitalizing on the long Landsat data record and the human brain’s capacity to recognize movement, Frank Paul from the University of Zurich has created glacier animations that enable viewers to witness the complex flow of glaciers.

an arctic stream
Nov 16, 2015Case Studies in Carbon and Climate

Every part of the mosaic of Earth's surface — ocean and land, Arctic and tropics, forest and grassland — absorbs and releases carbon in a different way. Wild-card events such as massive wildfires and drought complicate the global picture even [...]

forest fall colors
Oct 28, 2015Forest Disturbance History from Landsat Released, 1986-2010

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC, has just release a Landsat-based forest disturbance history covering the years between 1986 and 2010.

close-up of study area land-terminating glacier
Oct 28, 2015Despite Warming, Landsat Reveals Decadal Slowdowns on Greenland Ice Sheet

Ice sheets are in perpetual motion, making their way downslope like a river. If the amount of snow that an ice sheet accumulates does not keep pace with its loss to the sea, sea level will rise. As temperatures have climbed, positive feedback [...]

Comparison of idle fields from 2011 to 2015
Oct 21, 2015Federal Agencies Release Data Showing California Central Valley Idle Farmland Doubling During Drought

NASA, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the California Department of Water Resources, released data today showing the effect the current drought has had on [...]

ridge-top bristlecone pine forest
Oct 5, 2015A forest by any other name?
Semantics, carbon implications, and solutions


Using the world’s first global, Landsat-based 30-meter resolution map of tree cover, researchers found that ambiguity of the term “forest” has the potential to create 13 percent discrepancies in forest area maps. While ecologists have long [...]

New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots
Sep 2, 2015New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots

The world lost more than 18 million hectares (45 million acres) of tree cover in 2014, an area twice the size of Portugal, according to new data from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Google released by Global Forest Watch. The data find that [...]

Superglacial lakes in Greenland. Photo credit: Washington University.
Aug 17, 2015Lakes On A Glacier

How deep is that icy blue water on Greenland's ice sheet? Dr. Allen Pope, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, is using data from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite to find out. In this video, Dr. Pope shares what he sees when he looks at a [...]

Percent loss of Turkey's glaciers
Jul 2, 2015Turkish Glaciers Shrink By Half

Researchers and citizens have known for some time that Turkey’s glaciers are shrinking. Now scientists have calculated the losses and found that more than half of the ice cover in this mountainous country has vanished since the 1970s.

calved icebergs from Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier
Jun 1, 2015Ebb & Flow of Greenland’s Glaciers: New Study Could Improve Understanding of Greenland’s Contribution to Sea-level Rise

In northwestern Greenland, glaciers flow from the main ice sheet to the ocean in see-sawing seasonal patterns. The ice generally flows faster in the summer than in winter, and the ends of glaciers, jutting out into the ocean, also advance and [...]

RSESTeP students
May 26, 2015A Reward for Teachers: Remote Sensing Earth Science Teacher Program (RSESTeP)

As part of a NASA-associated program, Michael Geiswhite and 28 of his 11th grade students from North Schuylkill Junior-Senior High School studied a coal mine fire that ignited in 1962 in Centralia, PA and forced the permanent exodus from their [...]

Server farm at Google
Mar 26, 2015Big Data Helps Scientists Dig Deeper

In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey took 3.6 million images acquired by Landsat satellites and made them free and openly available on the Internet.

Fremont Lake Basin
Mar 23, 2015Historical Satellite Images Reveal Snow is Melting Earlier in Wyoming

A NASA study of a basin in northwestern Wyoming revealed that the snowmelt season in the area is now ending on average about sixteen days earlier than it did from the 1970s through the 1990s.