How NASA Studies Water
NASA missions collect data about the global water cycle.
This includes rain, floods, and tides. Using that data, scientists
develop or refine their theories about the how air, water, temperature
changes, and gravity interact. To test their theories, they send up new
missions. Then they share what they learn, so that we can understand the
behavior of the Earth's water resource and see how our behavior affects it.
Over the next 15 years, an international program called EOS will monitor climate and environmental change on Earth. The leading satellite in this program is called Terra. From Terra will come data for new research about how Earth's lands, oceans, air, ice, and life function as a total environmental system
The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) Project
provides Earth scientists with information about the ocean's fertility.
Subtle changes in ocean color indicate various types and numbers of
phytoplankton (microscopic plants that live in the ocean), knowing this information can
lead to a better understanding of how pollution affects the oceans, how fish populations migrate,
and how the Carbon Cycle reduces greenhouse gases.
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission
Rainfall in tropical zones is responsible for much of the weather in the rest of the
world. The TRMM satellite measures how much rain is falling at any given time around the
tropics so that scientists can better predict weather patterns.
El Nino is caused by warm surface water flowing from the western pacific towards South America. This phenomenon can
cause severe weather, flooding and high tides on the west coast of North and South America. Find out how El Nino affects you and
why it's important.
Ocean Research from MODIS, An Educational Tutorial
describing the ocean research and applications conducted with MODIS
Updated: January 22, 2003