What NASA Knows from Decades of Earth System Observations

  • Released Monday, December 13th, 2021
  • Updated Monday, January 15th, 2024 at 12:37AM

NASA has the world’s largest Earth observing fleet and has an uninterrupted record and observed evidence of climate change. Increased greenhouse gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Trapped atmospheric greenhouse gases warm the planet – our land, ocean, and atmosphere. Most of the global warming goes into the ocean, delaying the full impact of global warming. Ocean currents move the heat around the globe, impacting your local weather and climate. Warmer oceans accelerate melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Rising seas are a major consequence of climate change, impacting coastal communities, infrastructure, and economy. Warmer climate amplifies Earth’s water cycle. Dry areas are getting drier and wet areas are getting wetter. Wet areas are experiencing more flooding and extreme storms, such as typhoons and hurricanes. Drought prone areas will see less rainfall, effecting agriculture. NASA data are used for projections that can help inform actions for the future. More extreme conditions are occurring due to climate change, such as wildfires. NASA data and knowledge are open and free, enabling informed decision-making. NASA information aids preparation and recovery from natural hazards around the world

Warmer climate amplifies Earth’s water cycle. Dry areas are getting drier and wet areas are getting wetter. The top left corner is global precipitation anomaly data from NASA/JAXA GPM IMERG. For the most recent global precipitation anomaly see https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4897

Wet areas are experiencing more flooding and extreme storms, such as typhoons and hurricanes.The top left corner shows the 2021 Hurricane season where the ocean is colored by sea surface temperature from NASA Aqua MODIS, MUR. The global precipitation is NASA/JAXA GPM IMERG, and the cloud data is NOAA CPC.

Trapped atmospheric greenhouse gases warm the planet – our land, ocean, and atmosphere. Temperature Difference from the average temperature is data from NASA GISSTEMP, and the total extra heat trapped in the earth system is data from NASA CERES.

More extreme conditions are occurring due to climate change, such as wildfires.
The data on the left is activefires from NASA/NOAA Suomi-NPP/VIIRS.  The data on the left is Landsat 8-OLI of the Camp Fire from Nov 8, 2018 https://landsat.visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=144225

More extreme conditions are occurring due to climate change, such as wildfires.

The data on the left is activefires from NASA/NOAA Suomi-NPP/VIIRS. The data on the left is Landsat 8-OLI of the Camp Fire from Nov 8, 2018 https://landsat.visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=144225

Drought prone areas will see less rainfall, effecting agriculture.
Data on the left is NASA SMAP data visualized by NASA Eyes.  For the latest NASA SMAP data visualized with NASA Eyes see  https://eyes.nasa.gov/apps/earth/#/vitalsign?vitalsign=soil_moisture&altid=0&animating=f&start=&end=

Drought prone areas will see less rainfall, effecting agriculture.

Data on the left is NASA SMAP data visualized by NASA Eyes. For the latest NASA SMAP data visualized with NASA Eyes see https://eyes.nasa.gov/apps/earth/#/vitalsign?vitalsign=soil_moisture&altid=0&animating=f&start=&end=

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission will test the connection between ocean warming and ice loss in Greenland. Warmer oceans accelerate melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica

Rising seas are a major consequence of climate change, impacting coastal communities, infrastructure, and economy.

Source: NASA/CNES/NOAA/EUMETSAT/ESA TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, 2, & 3, Sentinel-6MF

NASA data are used for projections that can help inform actions for the future. Here is an example of yield projections from wheat and maize. Source is Jaegermeyer et al. 2021 CMIP6, AgMIP, NASA Goddard.

NASA Informs Actionable Climate Decision Making

NASA information aids preparation and recovery from natural hazards around the world like tracking fires at https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/

NASA data and knowledge are open and free, enabling informed decision-making

Example: planning for sea level rise on 10-100 year horizons at your coastal city

https://sealevel.nasa.gov (also at UNFCCC)



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio