Just in time for Earth Day: A new NASA website shows how Earth Observation Agency data helps US communities deal with climate change, disasters and environmental challenges.
The initiative called Place for the United States, allows users to choose from the map to see descriptions of programs using NASA data; Alternatively, visitors may choose to view programmatic initiatives by topic. Clicking on Oklahoma, for example, shows how NASA's Center for Surveys and Transition (SPoRT) helped the residents of and around Moore recover from the devastating tornado in May 2013.
"The NASA Center for SPoRT analyzes the practical use of Earth observations on meteorology and transfers them to the real-time weather community," said NASA officials. he said on his Oklahoma page, "For this storm, SPoRT has joined NASA's Navy satellites and sensors, as well as NOAA Earth Observation Data and other partners to determine the extent of the tornado boom."
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SPoRT identifies issues of immediate interest, such as power outages, which show areas with severe infrastructure damage. It also tracks lightning strikes that are a sign of intense local thunder activity and can help to better warn of future storms.
NASA's other Earth observation projects listed on the website – 56 in total – include aiding maneuvering pilots around aluminum volcanic ash sprays and helping environmentalists in Hawaii with the protection of delicate coral reefs from climate change.
"It's exciting and impressive how people put NASA data into work across the country," said Lawrence Friedl, director of NASA's Applied Science Program at Washington, USA. says a statement,
NASA officials added that the organization "free and open" offers Earth observation data so local communities can work on issues such as food security, human health or the availability of clean drinking water.