Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA Joins Snow Study Over The Sea Of Japan

30.01.2003


NASA and two Japanese government agencies are collaborating on a snowfall study over Wakasa Bay, Japan. Using NASA’s Earth Observing System Aqua satellite, research aircraft and coastal radars to gather data, the joint effort is expanding scientific knowledge about where precipitation falls.




Until now, the north Pacific’s contributions to the global hydrologic cycle have been difficult to quantify. Precipitation measurements by satellite over open water are very important, because there are very few other ways to obtain the data. Snowfall is particularly difficult to measure from space even over the relatively uniform background of the ocean. New satellite instruments, that can detect precipitation over water, will give scientists data to help interpret how the hydrology of the Pacific Ocean impacts the U.S. and the world.

The Wakasa Bay Field Campaign is a combined research effort among NASA, the National Space Agency of Japan (NASDA), and the Japanese Meteorological Research Institute (MRI). The campaign began January 3 and runs through February 14.


"These experiments are critical to understanding whether the current El Nino event, for instance, actually increases global precipitation or merely redistributes it between land and ocean regions," said Tom Wilheit, Mission Scientist from Texas A&M University.

Wakasa Bay, located North of Osaka on the Sea of Japan, is known for its diverse weather in winter months. Ranging from extreme cold, that brings Siberian air and accompanying snow into the region, to fast moving extra-tropical low pressure systems, that consist primarily of rain at the surface, but originating as snowfall at higher altitudes.

A NASA P-3 Orion aircraft, from Wallops Island, Va., is flying over the bay and collecting data on snowfall and rainfall to compare to data being gathered by the Aqua satellite orbiting over the same area. The aircraft payload consists of five microwave sensors, each capable of uniquely observing precipitation and cloud properties.

On board Aqua is a Japanese-built Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) instrument. "With AMSR-E on Aqua, we’re able to extend the high quality precipitation measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite to beyond the tropics, in fact into both the mid-and high latitudes," said Claire Parkinson, Aqua Project Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Some of the measurements will also be used for another field campaign concerning sea ice in the Sea of Okhotsk and to compare with data from the AMSR instrument aboard the Japanese ADEOS-II satellite.

The Wakasa Bay experiment is designed to test the calculations and methods that scientists use to process satellite data. The P-3 Orion observations will be used to get precise values for the cloud and precipitation properties, such as the size distribution of the ice particles or raindrops, that are currently assumed in the satellite calculations. By replacing the assumed data with precise observations from the P-3, scientists can determine the accuracy of the Aqua AMSR-E rainfall and snowfall estimates.

"This mission will be helpful in understanding the north Pacific, because there is simply no place in this vast stretch of ocean where surface observations can be taken.

Despite its remoteness, the ocean’s size makes it an important player in the global hydrologic cycle that must be properly quantified to make progress in the global sense," said Christian Kummerow, Atmospheric Scientist at Colorado State University, Boulder, Co., one of the leaders of this mission.

NASA’s Aqua satellite was launched on May 4, 2002. The Aqua mission provides a multi-disciplinary study of the Earth’s atmospheric, oceanic, cryospheric, and land processes and their relationship to global change.


For the AMSR-E instrument website:
http://aqua.nasa.gov/AMSRE3.html

Rob Gutro | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2003/0122japansnow.html
http://rain.atmos.colostate.edu/Wakasa
http://aqua.nasa.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>