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Space-Based View of a Changing Climate and its Implications

Dr. Jack Kaye Associate Director for Research Earth Science Division Science Mission Directorate NASA Headquarters

June 18, 2012

The Earth is a Dynamic System...

Land Cover & Biosphere

Close-up of Home!

A flyby from Washington to Baltimore using Landsat imagery draped over elevation data

Earth as a Dynamic System

Forces acting on the Earth system

Earth system responses



NASA ESDs Products for the Nation

! Scientific Knowledge
Discovery Process Knowledge Trend Detection and Attribution Forecasting Capability Environmental Policy Resource Management Forecasting and Assessment Decision-Making by Public and Private Sectors

! Applications to National and Global Needs

! ! ! !

Technical Capability for Space and Airborne Science Environmental Data for Public Use Trained Workforce for Science and Technology A Better-Informed and Inspired Public

NASA Role in Administration Initiatives

NASA is the largest contributor to the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which coordinates climate-related research of 13 Federal Agencies and publishes documents, including
Strategic Plan 2012-2021 Annual Our Changing Planet Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States

NASA also contributes to Administration initiatives in Earth Observation, Oceans, and Arctic

Highlights of 2009 USGCRP Report: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-

induced Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase Climate change will stress water resources Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise, storm surge, and other climate-related stresses Threats to human health will increase Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today

The USGCRP Vision and Mission

Vision - A nation, globally engaged and guided by science, meeting the challenges of climate and global change. Mission - To build a knowledge base that informs human responses to climate and global change through coordinated and integrated federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support.

USGCRP Strategic Plan Goals and

Goals 1. Advance Science Objectives
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Earth System Understanding Science for Adaptation and Mitigation Integrated Observations Integrated Modeling Information Management and Sharing

2. Inform Decisions 3. Conduct Sustained Assessments 4. Communicate & Educate

2.1 Inform Adaptation Decisions 2.2 Inform Mitigation Decisions 2.3 Enhance Global Change Information 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Scientific Integration Ongoing Capacity Inform Responses Evaluate Progress Strengthen Communication and Education Research Reach Diverse Audiences Increase Engagement Cultivate Scientific Workforce


NASA Earth Observing Satellite Fleet - 2012

NASA Satellite Fleet in Motion


Aquarius Commissioning and SSS Measurements

! The S/P and Aquarius has successfully completed commissioning
S/P continues to be healthy with power positive and good link margin Initial orbit maneuvers were successfully performed and the S/P is under SCIENCE mode

! Aquarius instrument commissioning activities were successfully completed

All systems are operating nominally and are within predicted and tested limits. The instrument has been on since turn-on and data has been acquired and processed. All subsystems are performing nominally. All data have been downlinked without loss. Teams are monitoring instrument performance, and preparing for PLAR on Nov 9

NPP Launch


Implementation of Satellite Remote Sensing !

Access to Remote and Hostile Areas

The Lydonia


Sea Surface Temperature: MODIS

Terra/MODIS, May 2001

2005 Hurricane Season


African Fires


Growth of Las Vegas, NV as viewed from Landsat


Global Sea Level Change

Slope = 3.2 mm/year

Change in Mass in centimeters of water thickness

TRMM Precipitation from March 2010 to March 2011 relative to the previous year

From Boening et al., submitted to Science

Long-term ozone change measured by satellite

Our merged multi-instrument time series shows that global average total column ozone has declined since the 1979/1980 reference period. The lowest ozone was observed following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1992.

From R. McPeters (NASA/GSFC)

Current satellite measurements are consistent with long term ground measurements.

A 25-Year Stratospheric Aerosol Record based on SAGE II and CALIPSO

Mt Pinatubo June 1991 QBO Wind 10 hPa CALIPSO Backscatter converted to extinction with a lidar ratio of 50 sr-1

Nevado del Ruiz Nov. 1985 Kelut Feb. 1990

The 2000s had a number of moderate volcanic events including Ruang (2002), Manam (2005), Montserrat (2006), and Sarychev (2009)

Stratospheric AOD

The combined record is critical in assessing the source of change in aerosol levels and inferring the impact of stratospheric aerosol on the climate and stratospheric chemistry. The increase noted over the last ten years is primarily volcanic in origin (Vernier et al., submitted GRL 2011b) and is likely producing a global warming slow down as suggested by Solomon et al.,2011, Science, submitted April 2011.

Increase of AOD due to volcanic activity

Recently many new insights into the major ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica

2003 to 2007
+3 Gt/yr
1 2

+15 Gt/yr

-33 Gt/yr

3 7

-14 Gt/yr ELA 2000 m 6 -3 Gt/ yr -9 Gt/ yr


-41 Gt/yr

-69 Gt/yr

-151 Gt/yr total

Images courtesy Vaughan, Zwally, Joughin and Luthcke

GRACE Greenland Ice Mass Results


Drought Decreased NPP from 2000 - 2009


Zhao & Running 2010, Science

GRACE Studying Ground Water Depletion in NW India

Rodell et al Appeared in Nature Aug 20, 2009

Groundwater levels declining by 1 meter every 3 years. More than 109 cubic km of groundwater disappeared between 2002 and 2008

GRACE Story as Described in The Nation (Pakistan)

THE warning by NASA that Pakistan and India could go to war over the sharing of Indus waters should be taken seriously. At fault is New Delhi which the NASA believes is responsible for the whole situation. It has warned that Pakistan will run out of water because of India's diversion of Indus waters, the building of dams and pumping of underground water have pushed the water table to a very low level and at a speed where it cannot be replenished by the natural process. The NASA is right in its assessment that this could spell disaster for Pakistan's agriculture. Because of the global warming which is depleting the fresh water resources by making the ice on the glaciers melt at a fast speed, the prediction that water will be the oil of the 21th century and that wars would be fought over it, could become an ugly reality. Though Pakistan in the recent past has done its best to assert its claim over its share of the Canal waters, it is obligatory upon the World Bank to wake up to its duty and compel India to respect the Indus Waters Treaty and not create a situation that could lead to war between the two nuclear armed neighbours. Editorials/19-Aug-2009/Impending-water-wars; thanks to Dwayne Brown (NASA PAO) for calling this to our attention!


GRACE Observations of Groundwater Depletion in Californias Central Valley

Sacramento River Basin

GRACE Observation of Variations of Total Water Storage (mm) in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins

The combined Sacramento and San Joaquin drainage basins include Californias major mountain water source (the Sierras) and its primary agricultural region (the Central Valley) One fourth of food consumed in the U.S. is grown in the Central Valley, which accounts for one sixth of the irrigated land in the country

San Joaquin River Basin

Central Valley Groundwater Storage Variations

Groundwater is being used for [GRACE Total Water Storage minus NOHRSC Snow irrigation at unsustainable rates, Water Equivalent] leading to declining water tables, water shortages, decreasing crop sizes and land subsidence GRACE data (upper panel) can quantify rates of groundwater depletion (lower panel) for the entire Central Valley in near real time, which can be used by water managers to make informed decisions regarding water allocations

Jay Famiglietti, UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling, UC Irvine

ESDs Accomplishments: Disaster Characterization and Response

The Icelandic volcanic plume as observed by CALIPSO on April 17, 2010 near 02:00 UTC over France MODIS image shows the full extent of the smoke plume, of Russian fires in summer, 2010, spanning about 3,000 km from east to west

AVIRIS airborne spectra show presence of surface oil in Gulf of Mexico following Spring, 2010 spill Tornado tracks after April 27, 2011 outbreak in Alabama UAVSAR Coherence image of Haitis Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault following January, 2010 earthquake purple indicates low coherence, which may be due to mudslide, water runoff, or 31 vegetation change

Recent Fires

High Park Fire, Colorado June 9, 2012

Little Bear Fire, NM June 9, 2012


Missions in Formulation and Implementation


NPP 10/28/2011 w/NOAA EOS cont., Op Met. LDCM 1/2013 w/USGS; TIRS

ICESat-2 April 2016 Ice Dynamics

SMAP* Oct 2014 w/CSA Soil Moist., Frz/Thaw

GPM Feb 2014 w/ JAXA; Precip

OCO-2 2013* Global CO2

* LRDs in flux because of launch vehicle failures

SMAP Science Objectives

SMAP science objectives are to provide global mapping of soil moisture and freeze/thaw state (hydrosphere state) enabling science and applications users to:
- Understand processes that link the terrestrial water, energy & carbon cycles - Estimate global water and energy fluxes at the land surface - Quantify net carbon flux in boreal landscapes - Enhance weather and climate forecast skill - Develop improved flood prediction and drought monitoring capability
Primary Controls on Land Evaporation and Biosphere Primary Productivity

Moisture Thaw



SMAP Data Have High Value Across Agencies

SMAP Data Will Improve Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Over the Continents by Accurately Initializing Land Surface States

Buffalo Creek, CO

24-Hours Ahead Atmospheric Model Forecasts

With Realistic Soil Moisture

Future NCEP 10 km NWP Domains

Observed Rainfall 0000Z to 0400Z 13/7/96

Without Realistic Soil Moisture

SMAP Will Provide 10 km Soil Moisture Data Product Meet Operational User Needs

Environment Canada NOAA Weather Air Force Weather NOAA Climate


35 A-35

Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2)

density of coverage simultaneous measurement slope and elevation

3 sets of 3 beams

Low energy High rep-rate 70 cm along-track sampling

Micropulse lidar

Ice sheet mass balance from elevation change

Sea ice thickness from freeboard Large-scale biomass from vegetation height

Waleed Abdalati, ESOC/CIRES, Univ. of Colorado, IPCC Sea Level Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 21-24, 2010

ESD Missions thru 2020


Phase A


EV-2 2017

All others pre-formulation, or Pre Phase A


ASCENDS NET 2020 Instrument Developments

EV-I4 ~2020

PACE 2019

SWOT 2019

EV-I3 ~2019

EV-I2 ~2018

EV-I1 ~2017

The International Effort in Satellites and Global Observations for Climate

Space-based perspective provides unequalled vantage point for observing entire Earth system Efforts of all countries are needed to provide needed breadth, resilience, and innovation Cooperation among nations, including data sharing calibration/validation, and assessment, enhances value of all nations efforts Satellite data can support both long-term climate and near-term operational requirements, and be used to improve quality of life for all the worlds citizens Numerous entities and mechanisms exist that are facilitating this coordination


Timeline of Satellite Observations for Ocean Color



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End-to-end Support in a Globally Integrated Program

Space-based: Sensors & Data Relay
Airborne Sensors Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles Field Campaigns Research Balloons

Ground Networks


Research Vessels

Ground Stations

Ground Stations

Research Balloons

NASAs & Partners ground, sea, air and in-situ measurements augment space-based observations to validate science results and provide 40 complimentary measurements

Examples of NASA-Supported Ground Networks


Metsahovi Potsdam Riga Mendeleevo Borowiec Herstmonceux Wettzell Zimmerwald Graz Simiez Grasse (2) Katzively Maidanak Cagliari Matera San Fernando Riyadh Helwan

Changchun Beijing Keystone (4) Simosato Kunming

Monument Peak

Greenbelt McDonald

Santiago de Cuba Haleakala Arequipa South Africa Tahiti Concepcion Legend: NASA NASA Partner NASA Partner (Proposed) International Cooperating

Yarragadee Mt. Stromlo




Airborne/Suborbital Campaigns Provide Global Access to Regional Processes

Satellite/Space Data Product Calibration/Validation & Algorithm Development Process Studies & Model Validation Applications Development & Demonstration Space Sensor and Remote Sensing Technology Development & Demonstration Future capability for focused observations of persistent but finite phenomena and hazardous operations (UAVs)

GRIP: (Hurricane) Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes Field Experiment

o Global Hawk (UAV) (240 hours)
Radar, Microwave Radiometers, Dropsondes, Electric Field Geosynchronous Orbit Simulation

o DC-8 four engine jet (120 hours)

Dual frequency precipitation radar Dropsondes, Variety of microphysics probes Lidars for 3-D Winds and for high vertical resolution measurements of aerosols and water vapor In-situ measurements of temperature, moisture and aerosols

o WB-57 (60 hours, funded by NOAA)

Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer Hurricane Imaging Radiometer

Blue line: DC-8 range for 12-h flight, 6 h on station Red lines: GH range for 30-h flight with 10, 15 and 20 h on station

o Six week deployment from midAugust to late September 1, 2010

Light blue X: Genesis locations for 1940-2006 R.Kakar/NASA HQ

Integrated Airborne Observations of Hurricane Karl During GRIP


Simulation of Ocean Circulation

Perpetual Ocean


From ICSU Belmont Challenge Report

! The Belmont Challenge: a challenge for the international scientific community to develop and deliver knowledge in support of national and international government action to mitigate and adapt to global and regional environmental change with an emphasis on regional hazards. ! Urgent needs identified by the panel:
Coordinate efforts and enhance the support required to address the needs of a sustainable environment and the needs of society. The challenge is to integrate environmental and developmental issues that have often been addressed independently in past decades. Facilitate the dialogue between scientists, decision makers and the general public to support decisions and actions at the forefront of societys needs. Encourage natural and social scientists to work together to ensure that environmental observations, analyses, predictions and services most effectively meet the needs of society. Maintain and expand access to, and use of, the current global observing and monitoring systems through coordinated databases and develop assimilation procedures to achieve the maximum benefit. Respond to societys increasing demand for detailed information at the regional and local scales. This requires sector-relevant information that includes observations, analyses, high-resolution projections/predictions 47 at timescales from days to decades.

Concluding Message
The vantage point of space provides a good approach to watch the whole planet evolve and explore the interconnections between physics, chemistry, and biology The current and projected suite of space-based environmental measurement capability enables scientific discovery and (for many parameters) monitoring, and can be enhanced by technology Current observations show significant changes in many aspects of earth system, especially in polar regions, with the potential for even more significant changes in the future Impacts of potential climate change for civilization are significant and require strong scientific knowledge base that supports action as well as an interdisciplinarily-oriented workforce Investments in space measurements are synergistic with surface-, aircraft-, and balloon-based measurements, along with models