1. Satellite observations and measurements have helped determine agricultural production and been used in famine early warning detection, and as carbon dioxide rises and warms the planet’s climate, NASA’s knowledge of planet life, learned from its 20-year observations, will play a major role in monitoring carbon in the Earth’s system.
  2. The satellites have also been able to monitor the ocean’s subtly changing colors, helping satellites track changes in phytoplankton populations.
  3. As environmental conditions change, scientists are using satellite data to track ocean planet life on a global scale.
  4. So far, they’ve noticed rising sea surface temperatures are causing “biological deserts” — ocean regions of low phytoplankton growth. As the surface waters get warmer, fewer nutrients reach phytoplankton at the surface and the consequences for fisheries and the marine ecosystem become more dire, Feldman said.
  5. Signs of environmental change are especially visible in Arctic regions and in Alaska, where, in areas that have burned due to fires, deforestation and other changes, the region’s underlying permafrost to burn off.
  6. “It’s like taking the insulating layer off a cooler,” Chris Potter, a research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, said. “The ice melts underneath and it becomes a slushy mess.”
  7. Watch the video below and visit nasa.gov to learn more about how NASA is tracking life on Earth and how the discoveries will allow us to better understand how Earth’s biology will respond to the changing environment.
  8. Our Living Planet From Space
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