Land Surface Temperature [Day] (8 day - Terra/MODIS)
Satellite derived estimates of land surface temperature have been used in recent epidemiological studies, especially for Malaria and West Nile Virus. For example, monthly rainfall and maximum and minimum temperature were significantly correlated with monthly malaria incidences in the East African highlands with a time lag of 1-2 months and 2-5 months, respectively (Zhou et. al 2004). This animation covers February 2000 through December 2012.
Several NASA Eath Observation (NEO) data sets are featured below.
These maps show where and how much sunlight fell on Earth's surface during the time period indicated. Scientists call this measure solar insolation. Knowing how much of the Sun's energy reaches the surface helps scientists understand weather and climate patterns as well as patterns of plant growth around our world. Solar insolation maps are also useful to engineers who design solar panels and batteries designed to convert energy from the Sun into electricity to power appliances in our homes and work places. This animation covers July 2006 through January 2013.
Colorless, odorless, and poisonous, carbon monoxide is a gas that comes from burning fossil fuels, like the gas in cars, and burning vegetation. Carbon monoxide is not one of the gases that is causing global warming, but it is one of the air pollutants that leads to smog. These data sets show monthly averages of carbon monoxide across the Earth measured by the MOPITT sensor (short for "Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere") on NASA's Terra satellite. Different colors show different amounts of the gas in the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere closet to the Earth's surface, at an altitude of about 12,000 feet. This animation covers March 2000 through December 2012.
These maps show rainfall around the world (red is high; white is very low). Anomalous rainfall patterns may have a strong effect on the transmission of malaria, especially along the edges of endemic malaria regions. The mosquitoes (hosts) can easily spread into new territory and/or have better reproductive success. This animation covers February 1998 through March 2010.
Sea surface temperature is the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean's surface and may be useful for predicting conditions favorable for cholera outbreaks. Seasonal warming of the waters allows phytoplankton to thrive. The surge in phytoplankton is followed by blooms of zooplankton that are associated with increases in cholera bacteria (Colwell, 2008). This animation covers June 2002 through September 2011.
When air temperature falls below freezing (0 degrees Celsius), the water droplets in clouds harden into ice crystals. Such crystals may grow into large, lacey snowflakes; or they may stick together to form odd-shaped clusters of ice crystals. When they grow heavy enough, the ice crystals fall to the ground as snow. If the ground temperature is also below freezing, the snow can build up into a bright white blanket covering the surface. Snow cover is an important part of Earth's environment. Because it reflects most of the sunlight that hits it, snow helps to cool Earth's surface. Many areas of the world rely on snowmelt for drinking water and water for their crops. This animation covers February 2000 through December 2012.
Satellites are used to map the amount of aerosols (e.g, dust, volcanic ash, smoke) that are in the air. In the maps shown here, dark brown areas indicate high aerosol concentrations, tan areas indicate lower concentrations, and light yellow areas indicate little or no aerosols (measurements are not available for areas in black). Aerosols can affect air quality, causing throat or respiratory irritation. This animation covers July 2002 through December 2012.
Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (1 month - Aqua/AMSR-E)
Sea surface temperature is the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean's surface. An anomaly is when something is different from normal, or average. A sea surface temperature anomaly is how different the ocean temperature at a particular location at a particular time is from the normal temperatures for that place. For example, a global map of sea surface temperature anomaly for May 2006 would show where the temperatures in May 2006 were warmer, cooler, or the same as other Mays in previous years. Sea surface temperature anomalies can happen as part of normal ocean cycles or they can be a sign of long-term climate change, such as global warming. This animation covers June 2002 through September 2011.
Chlorophyll, from phytoplankton, can be measured by satellites in space. Environmental factors such as sea surface temperature and ocean chlorophyll concentration play a role in cholera outbreaks. Remote sensing technologies have successfully detected, monitored, and quantified phytoplankton concentrations from chlorophyll concentrations in open oceans and coastal areas. This animation covers July 2002 through December 2012.
Ozone is a gas made out of oxygen. The oxygen that we breathe is two oxygen atoms joined together. Ozone is three oxygen atoms joined together.
Near the ground, human activity such as burning coal or gasoline creates ozone. High amounts of ozone at ground level harm plant life and damages peoples' lungs.
High in Earth's atmosphere (miles above the surface), ozone forms from natural processes. There, ozone is good for life on Earth because it shields us from ultraviolet sunlight that causes sunburns, skin cancer, and damage to the eyes.
So while humans want to limit ozone near the ground where we might breathe it, we want a healthy layer of ozone high in the atmosphere to help protect life on our planet.
This animation covers October 2004 through January 2013.
Land Surface Temperature Anomaly [Day] (8 day - Terra/MODIS)
Land surface temperature is how hot or cold the ground feels to the touch. An anomaly is when something is different from average. These maps show where Earth's surface was warmer or cooler in the daytime than the average temperatures for the same week or month from 2001-2010. So, a land surface temperature anomaly map for May 2002 shows how that month's average temperature was different from the average temperature for all Mays between 2001 and 2010. This animation covers March 2000 through January 2013.
The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) maps help scientists monitor plant growth; darker colors indicate lands covered by green, leafy vegetation, while lighter colors indicate little or no vegetation. NDVI maps in combination with other data can be used to predict disease outbreaks. For Rift Valley Fever in Africa, scientists look for "dark green" areas to identify mosquito habitat within the savannahs. This animation covers February 2000 through December 2012.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 18.104.22.168.0