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Indian-American NASA Scientist reveals new global climate data

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Washington:  An Indian-American scientist working with NASA has revealed how temperature and rainfall patterns may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

New high-resolution global climate data prepared by Ramakrishna Nemani, project scientist at the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), a big-data research platform in California, can be viewed on a daily timescale at the scale of individual cities and towns.

It will help the scientists and planners in conducting climate risk assessments to understand local and global effects of hazards, such as severe drought, floods, heat waves, and losses in agriculture productivity better.

“This is a fundamental dataset for climate research and assessment with a wide range of applications,” Nemani said in a statement.

“NASA continues to produce valuable community-based data products on the NEX platform to promote scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing, and research and development,” Nemani added.

The data shows projected changes worldwide at a regional level, in response to different scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide simulated by 21 climate models.

“With this new global data-set, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet,” noted Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist.

This NASA data-set integrates actual measurements from around the world with data from climate simulations.

These climate simulations used the best physical models of the climate system available, to provide forecasts of what the global climate might look like under different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

The NASA climate projections provide a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a 25-km resolution, covering the time period from 1950 to 2100.

The 11-terabyte data-set provides daily estimates of maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation over the entire globe. (IANS)

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NASA’s TESS Discovers New Worlds Only 5 Months After Its Launch

With four special cameras, TESS uses a detection method called transit photometry.

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TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is shown in this conceptual illustration obtained by Reuters on March 28, 2018. NASA sent TESS into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. VOA

A planet-hunting orbital telescope designed to detect worlds beyond our solar system discovered two distant planets this week five months after its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, officials said on Thursday.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as TESS, made an early discovery of “super-Earth” and “hot Earth” planets in solar systems at least 49 light-years away, marking the satellite’s first discovery since its April launch.

TESS is on a two-year, $337 million mission to expand astronomers’ known catalog of so-called exoplanets, worlds circling distant stars.

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TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager. VOA

While the two planets are too hot to support life, TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager expects many more such discoveries.

“We will have to wait and see what else TESS discovers,” Seager told Reuters. “We do know that planets are out there, littering the night sky, just waiting to be found.”

TESS is designed to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.

NASA expects to pinpoint thousands more previously unknown worlds, perhaps hundreds of them Earth-sized or “super Earth” sized — no larger than twice as big as our home planet.

Those are believed the most likely to feature rocky surfaces or oceans and are thus considered the best candidates for life to evolve. Scientists have said they hope TESS will ultimately help catalog at least 100 more rocky exoplanets for further study in what has become one of astronomy’s newest fields of exploration.

 

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An artist’s concept provided by NASA shows the Keplar Spacecraft moving through space. VOA

 

MIT researchers on Wednesday announced the discovery of Pi Mensae c, a “super-earth” planet 60 light-years away orbiting its sun every 6.3 days. The discovery of LHS 3844 b, a “hot-earth” planet 49 light-years away that orbits its sun every 11 hours, was announced on Thursday.

Pi Mensae c could have a solid surface or be a waterworld as the composition of such planets is a mixed bag, Martin Spill, NASA’s program scientist for TESS, said in a phone interview.

The two newest planets, which still need to be reviewed by other researchers, offer the chance for follow-up study, officials said.

Also Read: Parker Solar Probe of NASA Sends Back Its First Images

“That, of course, is TESS’ entire purpose — to find those planets around those brightest nearby stars to do this really detailed characterization,” Spill said.

With four special cameras, TESS uses a detection method called transit photometry, which looks for periodic dips in the visible light of stars caused by planets passing, or transiting, in front of them. (VOA)