2004 Earth Feature Story
Average Difference in Leaf Area Index for Houston Metro Area between 2001 and 2002.
This 5 kilometer resolution image of the Houston area shows the differences in Leaf Area Index (LAI) as an average for August between 2001 and 2002. MODIS LAI measurements show, that on average for August between 2001 and 2002, leaf area in some areas within Houston decreased, likely associated with development in the metropolitan area. Non-urban areas to the northwest and west of the city show higher LAI values compared to the 2001-2002 average, indicating more vegetation. This slide underscores the importance of using current LAI data (rather than climatological, as is standard) in models like LIS. Credit: NASA/Land Information Systems
Houston Area Temperatures, August 22, 2002
Surface temperature on August 22, 2002 at 20:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for the Houston area as predicted by the Land Information System (LIS). As shown, the temperatures in the Houston area are 1-2 degrees Kelvin (K) (1.8-3.6 F) warmer than the surrounding areas. The black areas are lakes or water bodies, which are not currently modeled by the Land Information System. Credit: Credit: NASA/Land Information Systems
Satellites and computers are getting so good, that now they can help study human activity on scales as local as ones own neighborhood, and may answer questions concerning how local conditions affect global processes, like water and energy cycles.
NASAs Land Information System (LIS) uses computer models to predict impacts that cities and other local land surfaces might have on regional and global land and atmospheric processes. Dr. Christa Peters-Lidard, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Manager for LIS, at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md., gave a presentation on LIS this week at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Seattle.
Krishna Ramanujan / Rob Gutro | GSFC
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