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Highlights Archive


Earth Science Division Highlights for week ending March 14, 2007

SGG team at INTEX-B Data Review meeting

Phil Russell, Hanwant Singh, Bob Chatfield, Mike Gaunce, John Livingston, Lenny Pfister, Jim Podolske (SGG) and Jens Redemann (BAER Institute) attended the NASA Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment (Phase B) INTEX-B Data Review Meeting, March 6-8, organized by Singh, the INTEX-B mission scientist, and held in Virginia Beach, VA. Russell presented a summary of the elements of a recent MILAGRO-related workshop and he co-lead the breakout session on aerosols and radiation. Redemann presented the data status and preliminary scientific results gathered by the Ames Airborne Tracking Sunphotometer- (AATS-)14 in the INTEX-B campaign. Gaunce presented the site logistics for the 2008 Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellite (ARCTAS) campaign.

Following the INTEX-B meeting, the future activities meeting organized by HQ Earth Science program managers was held on March 8-9 in the same location to identify major science questions, assess the relevant satellite observations in the 2010 time frame, discuss how suborbital measurements could add value to the satellite data, and define the need for new measurement and modeling capabilities. Gaunce, Russell, and Singh took part in this meeting. Russell co-presented the research area on aerosols, clouds, and radiation. (POC: Warren Gore, 4-5533, wgore@mail.arc.nasa.gov)

 

“An Inconvenient Truth” and panel discussion a success

The UC-sponsored showing of the Academy award winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” followed by a scientific panel discussion and UC reception was a huge success. The movie was shown at 4:30pm, March 9, in the Ames Conference Center Ballroom. The science panel then took questions from the audience. The panel consisted of Dr. Hector D'Antoni, Dr. Katja Drdla and Dr. Chris McKay, (NASA Ames), and Dr. Mark Jacobson, Dr. Terry Root and Dr. Stephen Schneider (Stanford University). Steve Hipskind (Division Chief, SG) served as panel moderator. Panel participants were still answering questions well past the scheduled conclusion of 7:00PM and had little time to enjoy the reception that ended at 8PM. The conference center staff, on directions from the fire marshal, closed the doors after a little over 300 people had been admitted; many people were turned away. Two members from Representative Mike Honda's local staff, Michael Wang and Chris Schwarz, attended. (POC: Steve Hipskind, 4-5076, Steve.Hipskind@nasa.gov )

 

NASA-funded research of evergreen rain forests to be published in PNAS

The March 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences will publish the results of a NASA-funded research project that reveals that Amazon forests are neither evergreen nor dependent on constant rain, and are capable of manufacturing their seasons. Rama Nemani (SGE) is a co-author of the work based on satellite images that revealed the amount and dynamics of green leaf area of Amazon rain forests. Nemani was one of 27 researchers from 15 institutions who found that the rain forests sprout new leaves in anticipation of coming dry seasons. This process allows these forests to capture more sunlight, absorb more carbon dioxide, and evaporate more water during the dry season compared to the wet season. By gradually humidifying the atmosphere, the forests play an important role in the onset of the wet season. The work is an important outcome of over10 years of NASA's investments and teamwork to develop, build, and launch state-of-the-art sensors and data processing for discovering previously unknown vegetation dynamics on Earth. (POC: Rama Nemani, 4-6185, rnemani@mail.arc.nasa.gov )

 

SGG Researchers study of airborne particles' affect on climate change published in JGR

Jens Redemann (BAER Institute) is the lead author of a recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research . The paper links natural and human-made aerosol particles to the degree that the Earth warms or cools. Different types of aerosol particles can influence visible light and other kinds of radiation, which affect climate and temperature. The authors developed and use the Ames Airborne Tracking Sunphotometer (AATS-14) to measure sunlight coming directly from the sun through Earth's atmosphere. These measurements will help determine how aerosols change the flow of solar energy and to gauge the extent to which tiny particles in the air affect climate. The full citation of the paper is:

Redemann, J., P. Pilewskie, P. B. Russell, J. M. Livingston, S. Howard, B. Schmid, J. Pommier, W. Gore, J. Eilers, and M. Wendisch. 2007. Airborne measurements of spectral direct aerosol radiative forcing in the Intercontinental chemical Transport Experiment/Intercontinental Transport and Chemical Transformation of anthropogenic pollution, 2004. J. Geophys. Res. 111, D14210, doi:10.1029/2005JD006812, 2006.

(POC: Jens Redemann, 4-6259, jredemann@mail.arc.nasa.gov )

 

Suborbital Annual Report 2006

A draft copy of the Suborbital Science Program Annual Report was submitted to NASA HQ for review and approval. The report highlights the accomplishments of the suborbital program in FY06, and it is scheduled for release by mid-April. (POC: Mike Gaunce, 4-1266, mgaunce@mail.arc.nasa.gov )

 

Ames' DSO and possible integration of diving activities with KSC, JSC

The NASA Ames Diving Safety Office (DSO), KSC Safety and Mission Assurance, and JSC Neutral Buoyancy Facility Offices have completed initial discussions on the possibility of the integration of diving activities under the Ames American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) certification. Representatives from each center have determined that it is mutually beneficial to standardize all training, safety, and management review processes, as defined by the AAUS. This will provide each NASA organization with a certification and standard that is internationally recognized, allowing reciprocity with external organizations, agencies for all diving related collaborations. The AAUS affiliation will also provide an OSHA exemption under 29 CFR 1910, Subpart T. The framework for this collaboration has been defined and will be presented to Ames, JSC, and KSC management. (POC: Randy Berthold, 4-4-3408, rberthold@mail.arc.nasa.gov )


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