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 How earthquakes deform gravity
24.02.2020 | GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre

nachricht Marine Expedition Sheds Light on the Interior of the Earth
24.02.2020 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

NUI Galway highlights reproductive flexibility in hydractinia, a Galway bay jellyfish

24.02.2020 | Life Sciences

KIST researchers develop high-capacity EV battery materials that double driving range

24.02.2020 | Materials Sciences

How earthquakes deform gravity

24.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>